Astrocytes have emerged as important partners of neurons in information processing. Important progress has been made in the past two decades in understanding the role of astrocytes in the generation of neuron-astrocyte network outputs resulting in behavior. We review evidence for astrocyte involvement across four different behavioral domains: cognition, emotion, motor, and sensory processing. Accumulating evidence from animal models has provided a wealth of data that largely supports a direct involvement of astrocytes on diverse aspects of behavior. The development of tools for selectively controlling the temporal and spatial properties of astrocyte activity will help to consolidate our knowledge of the mechanisms underlying this involvement.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors acknowledge funding from the Marie Curie Fellowship FP7-PEOPLE-2010-IEF 273936 and BIAL Foundation Grant 61/2010 to J.F.O.; Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) project grant (PTDC/SAU-NSC/118194/2010) to J.F.O., V.M.S., and S.G.G.; and fellowships (SFRH/BD/89714/2012 to V.M.S., SFRH/BPD/97281/2013 to J.F.O. and SFRH/BD/101298/2014 to S.G.G.); Human Frontier Science Program (Research Grant RGP0036/2014) to A.A.; FEDER funds through the Operational Program for Competitiveness Factors (COMPETE), and ‘ON2 Programa Operacional Regional do Norte (ON.2 O Novo Norte)’ QREN/FEDER to N.S.