Salient experiences are represented by unique transcriptional signatures in the mouse brain

Diptendu Mukherjee, Bogna Marta Ignatowska-Jankowska, Eyal Itskovits, Ben Jerry Gonzales, Hagit Turm, Liz Izakson, Doron Haritan, Noa Bleistein, Chen Cohen, Ido Amit, Tal Shay, Brad Grueter, Alon Zaslaver, Ami Citri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


It is well established that inducible transcription is essential for the consolidation of salient experiences into long-term memory. However, whether inducible transcription relays information about the identity and affective attributes of the experience being encoded, has not been explored. To this end, we analyzed transcription induced by a variety of rewarding and aversive experiences, across multiple brain regions. Our results describe the existence of robust transcriptional signatures uniquely representing distinct experiences, enabling near-perfect decoding of recent experiences. Furthermore, experiences with shared attributes display commonalities in their transcriptional signatures, exemplified in the representation of valence, habituation and reinforcement. This study introduces the concept of a neural transcriptional code, which represents the encoding of experiences in the mouse brain. This code is comprised of distinct transcriptional signatures that correlate to attributes of the experiences that are being committed to long-term memory.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere31220
StatePublished - 7 Feb 2018


  • experience-dependent plasticity
  • immediate-early genes
  • inducible transcription
  • limbic system
  • mouse
  • neuroscience
  • prospective coding
  • valence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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