Gunaydin, L. A., Grosenick, L., Finkelstein, J. C., Kauvar, I. V., Fenno, L. E., Adhikari, A., Lammel, S., Mirzabekov, J. J., Airan, R. D., Zalocusky, K. A., Tye, K. M., Anikeeva, P., Malenka, R. C., & Deisseroth, K. (2014). Natural neural projection dynamics underlying social behavior. Cell, 157(7), 1535-1551. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2014.05.017
This study applied fiber photometry to elucidate circuit level pathways of endogenous neural activity during social interaction. Results revealed the activity dynamic of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to nucleus accumbens (NAc) could encode and predict key features of social interaction. The study found that the optogenetic control of cells specifically contributing to this projection was sufficient to modulate social behavior, which was mediated by type 1 dopamine receptors signaling downstream in the NAc.