Modulation of social investigation by anterior hypothalamic nucleus rhythmic neural activity

Renad Jabarin, Wael Dagash, Shai Netser, Shelly Singh, Blesson K. Paul, Edi Barkai, Shlomo Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social interactions involve both approach and avoidance toward specific individuals. Currently, the brain regions subserving these behaviors are not fully recognized. The anterior hypothalamic nucleus (AHN) is a poorly defined brain area, and recent studies have yielded contradicting conclusions regarding its behavioral role. Here we explored the role of AHN neuronal activity in regulating approach and avoidance actions during social interactions. Using electrophysiological recordings from behaving mice, we revealed that theta rhythmicity in the AHN is enhanced during affiliative interactions, but decreases during aversive ones. Moreover, the spiking activity of AHN neurons increased during the investigation of social stimuli, as compared to objects, and was modulated by theta rhythmicity. Finally, AHN optogenetic stimulation during social interactions augmented the approach toward stimuli associated with the stimulation. These results suggest the role for AHN neural activity in regulating approach behavior during social interactions, and for theta rhythmicity in mediating the valence of social stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105921
Issue number2
StatePublished - 17 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors


  • Behavioral neuroscience
  • Biological sciences
  • Neuroscience
  • Systems neuroscience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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