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A cortico-collicular pathway for motor planning in a memory-d
AAV-ChR2 was used for optogenetic manipulation. (From BrainVTA)
The viruses used in this article from BrainVTA are in the table below
Custom-Made AAV  PT-0296 AAV-DJ-CaMKIIa-ChR2-EYFP
Chunyu A. Duan, Yuxin Pan, Guofen Ma, Taotao Zhou, Siyu Zhang, Ning-long Xu
Pub Date: 2021-05-11, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-22547-9, Email: [email protected]
Survival in a dynamic environment requires animals to plan future actions based on past sensory evidence, known as motor planning. However, the neuronal circuits underlying this crucial brain function remain elusive. Here, we employ projection-specific imaging and perturbation methods to investigate the direct pathway linking two key nodes in the motor planning network, the secondary motor cortex (M2) and the midbrain superior colliculus (SC), in mice performing a memory-dependent perceptual decision task. We find dynamic coding of choice information in SC-projecting M2 neurons during motor planning and execution, and disruption of this information by inhibiting M2 terminals in SC selectively impaired decision maintenance. Furthermore, we show that while both excitatory and inhibitory SC neurons receive synaptic inputs from M2, these SC subpopulations display differential temporal patterns in choice coding during behavior. Our results reveal the dynamic recruitment of the premotor-collicular pathway as a circuit mechanism for motor planning.
Figure 1. SC excitatory and inhibitory neurons receive inputs from M2 and carry choice-related signals. 
To investigate the information routing in the direct premotor-collicular pathway and its precise contribution to motor planning, in this study, the authors developed a delayed-response task in head-fixed mice parametrizing the memory demands by varying the stimulus difficulty and delay duration and employed projection-specific methods to examine the projections from the secondary motor cortex (M2) to SC during memory-guided directional licking. The results reveal the dynamic recruitment of the premotor-collicular pathway as a circuit mechanism for motor planning.
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