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Preview: Nature Reviews Neuroscience - Issue - science feeds

Nature Reviews Neuroscience - Issue - science feeds


Neurodegenerative disease: A chimeric approach


In a new, chimeric model of Alzheimer disease (AD), in which human neurons were transplanted into an AD mouse model, amyloid-β-related pathology was associated with robust degeneration of the human neurons but no neurofibrillary tangle formation.

Sensory processing: The eyes have it


Direction selectivity is an important part of motion detection. Direction-selective cells have been found both in the retina and in their projection target, the superior colliculus (SC), but precisely where and how direction selectivity arises is not well understood. By optogenetically manipulating specific direction-selective retinal

Neural development: Digit development


The specification of the motor neuron subtypes that innervate digits is not well understood. Limb-innervating motor neuron specification is influenced by retinoic acid, the synthesis of which is regulated by specific expression patterns of homeobox (HOX) transcription factors and their cofactor FOXP1 (forkhead box protein

Sleep: Gaining sleep while losing synapses


It has been suggested that synaptic weakening occurs during sleep to counterbalance daytime synaptic strengthening. The authors found that sleep was associated with a reduction in the level of postsynaptic AMPA receptors compared with awake periods, indicating homeostatic scaling down. The mechanism involves expression of

Synaptic plasticity: Kainate receptors can LTP


Classical synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) requires NMDA receptor (NMDAR) activation, which drives AMPA receptor (AMPAR) insertion into the postsynaptic membrane. Here, activation of kainate receptors (KARs) in rat CA1 neurons triggered an increase in postsynaptic AMPAR surface expression and potentiated AMPAR-mediated CA1 excitatory postsynaptic responses.

Cell biology of the neuron: Lightening the load


Touch neurons in Caenorhabditis elegans eliminate aggregated or neurotoxic proteins and dysfunctional mitochondria by exporting them in large vesicles called exophers.

Pain: A gatekeeper circuit


The dissection of a circuit for the descending modulation of pain processing in the spinal cord that is recruited by stress.

Learning and memory: Remembering where not to go


In rats, CA1 place cells that encode the location of an aversive experience are reactivated during retrieval of the memory of that event.

Sense of agency in the human brain


In adult life, people normally know what they are doing. This experience of controlling one's own actions and, through them, the course of events in the outside world is called 'sense of agency'. It forms a central feature of human experience; however, the brain mechanisms

Operation and plasticity of hippocampal CA3 circuits: implications for memory encoding


The CA3 region of the hippocampus is important for rapid encoding of memory. Computational theories have proposed specific roles in hippocampal function and memory for the sparse inputs from the dentate gyrus to CA3 and for the extended local recurrent connectivity that gives rise to

Integration of optogenetics with complementary methodologies in systems neuroscience


Modern optogenetics can be tuned to evoke activity that corresponds to naturally occurring local or global activity in timing, magnitude or individual-cell patterning. This outcome has been facilitated not only by the development of core features of optogenetics over the past 10 years (microbial-opsin variants,

NMDA receptors: linking physiological output to biophysical operation


NMDA receptors are preeminent neurotransmitter-gated channels in the CNS, which respond to glutamate in a manner that integrates multiple external and internal cues. They belong to the ionotropic glutamate receptor family and fulfil unique and crucial roles in neuronal development and function. These roles depend

The two-century journey of Parkinson disease research


Since the first formal description of Parkinson disease (PD) two centuries ago, our understanding of this common neurodegenerative disorder has expanded at all levels of description, from the delineation of its clinical phenotype to the identification of its neuropathological features, neurochemical processes and genetic factors.