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Book Review

The emergence and influence of internal states


Gogolla,  Nadine
Dept. Emotional Research, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

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Flavell, S. W., Gogolla, N., Lovett-Barron, M., & Zelikowsky, M. (2022). The emergence and influence of internal states. NEURON, 110(16), 2545-2570.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000C-CF50-1
Animal behavior is shaped by a variety of "internal states''-partially hidden variables that profoundly shape perception, cognition, and action. The neural basis of internal states, such as fear, arousal, hunger, motivation, aggression, and many others, is a prominent focus of research efforts across animal phyla. Internal states can be inferred from changes in behavior, physiology, and neural dynamics and are characterized by properties such as pleiotropy, persistence, scalability, generalizability, and valence. To date, it remains unclear how internal states and their properties are generated by nervous systems. Here, we review recent progress, which has been driven by advances in behavioral quantification, cellular manipulations, and neural population recordings. We synthesize research implicating defined subsets of state-inducing cell types, widespread changes in neural activity, and neuromodulation in the formation and updating of internal states. In addition to highlighting the significance of these findings, our review advocates for new approaches to clarify the underpinnings of internal brain states across the animal kingdom.