Calcium dynamics regulating the timing of decision-making in C. Elegans

Yuki Tanimoto, Akiko Yamazoe-Umemoto, Kosuke Fujita, Yuya Kawazoe, Yosuke Miyanishi, Shuhei J. Yamazaki, Xianfeng Fei, Karl Emanuel Busch, Keiko Gengyo-Ando, Junichi Nakai, Yuichi Iino, Yuishi Iwasaki, Koichi Hashimoto, Koutarou D. Kimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Brains regulate behavioral responses with distinct timings. Here we investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the timing of decision-making during olfactory navigation in Caenorhabditis elegans. We find that, based on subtle changes in odor concentrations, the animals appear to choose the appropriate migratory direction from multiple trials as a form of behavioral decision-making. Through optophysiological, mathematical and genetic analyses of neural activity under virtual odor gradients, we further find that odor concentration information is temporally integrated for a decision by a gradual increase in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i), which occurs via L-type voltage-gated calcium channels in a pair of olfactory neurons. In contrast, for a reflex-like behavioral response, [Ca2+]i rapidly increases via multiple types of calcium channels in a pair of nociceptive neurons. Thus, the timing of neuronal responses is determined by cell type-dependent involvement of calcium channels, which may serve as a cellular basis for decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere21629
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 23

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Calcium dynamics regulating the timing of decision-making in C. Elegans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this