Grunfeld I.S., Likhtik E. (2018) Mixed selectivity encoding and action selection in the prefrontal cortex during threat assessment. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 49:108-115. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2018.01.008
The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) regulates expression of emotional behavior. The mPFC combines multivariate information from its inputs, and depending on the imminence of threat, activates downstream networks that either increase or decrease the expression of anxiety-related motor behavior and autonomic activation. Here, we selectively highlight how subcortical input to the mPFC from two example structures, the amygdala and ventral hippocampus, help shape mixed selectivity encoding and action selection during emotional processing. We outline a model where prefrontal subregions modulate behavior along orthogonal motor dimensions, and exhibit connectivity that selects for expression of one behavioral strategy while inhibiting the other..