Elife 2018 01 11;7. Epub 2018 Jan 11.
Janelia Research Campus, Ashburn, United States.
Recurrent connections are thought to be a common feature of the neural circuits that encode memories, but how memories are laid down in such circuits is not fully understood. Here we present evidence that courtship memory in relies on the recurrent circuit between mushroom body gamma (MBγ), M6 output, and aSP13 dopaminergic neurons. We demonstrate persistent neuronal activity of aSP13 neurons and show that it transiently potentiates synaptic transmission from MBγ>M6 neurons. M6 neurons in turn provide input to aSP13 neurons, prolonging potentiation of MB>M6 synapses over time periods that match short-term memory. These data support a model in which persistent aSP13 activity within a recurrent circuit lays the foundation for a short-term memory.