Circuit modules linking internal states and social behaviour in flies and mice
Goal-directed social behaviours such as mating and fighting are associated with scalable and persistent internal states of emotion, motivation, arousal or drive. How those internal states are encoded and coupled to behavioural decision making and action selection is not clear. Recent studies in Drosophila melanogaster and mice have identified circuit nodes that have causal roles in the control of innate social behaviours. Remarkably, in both species, these relatively small groups of neurons can influence both aggression and mating, and also play a part in the encoding of internal states that promote these social behaviours. These similarities may be superficial and coincidental, or may reflect conserved or analogous neural circuit modules for the control of social behaviours in flies and mice.
© 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. Published online 18 October 2016. The author thanks D. Tsao, E. Hoopfer and members of the Anderson laboratory, and an anonymous reviewer for helpful discussions and critical feedback, and V. Chiu for fly drawings in figures 1 and 3. The author apologizes to all of those authors whose primary research papers could not be cited owing to restrictions on the number of references. This work was supported by grants from the US National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Mental Health, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, the Simons Foundation, the Ellison Medical Foundation, the Moore Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation and the California Institute of Technology. D.J.A. is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The author declares no competing interests.