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Preview: Nature Reviews Neuroscience - Issue - science feeds

Nature Reviews Neuroscience - Issue - science feeds


Blending computational and experimental neuroscience


The launch of the United States' BRAIN Initiative brings with it a new era in systems neuroscience that is being driven by innovative neurotechnologies, increases in computational power and network-style artificial intelligence. A new conceptual framework for understanding cognitive behaviours based on the dynamical patterns

Adult neurogenesis: Encouraging integration


Adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus is regulated by existing hippocampal connectivity and can be manipulated to enhance memory function in aged mice.

Neuronal development: Signalling synaptogenesis


Early in development, GABA released from interneurons is excitatory and induces the formation of functional inhibitory and excitatory synapses in cortical layer 2/3.

Reward: Calculating error


Inputs to the ventral tegmental area, which computes the reward prediction error, carry diverse signals about the actual and expected reward from distributed areas.

Neurodegenerative disease: A mechanism for missing memory


A loss of cholinergic inputs to the hippocampus in a mouse model of Alzheimer disease leads to memory deficits by affecting interneurons in the oriens lacunosum moleculare.

Neuronal development: Forcing axon pathfinding


Developing axons grow through brain tissue to reach their targets — a process termed pathfinding. The regulation of this process involves chemical cues, but it is not known whether the mechanical forces encountered by the axon as it grows through brain tissues also play a

Neurogenetics: Accelerating towards mental illness


The human genome contains conserved loci that show accelerated divergence from other species — called human accelerated regions (HARs) — but the effect of mutations in these regions on brain function is poorly understood. Doan et al. found that the levels of two types

Synaptic plasticity: TARP target


Long-term potentiation (LTP) at excitatory hippocampal synapses involves the postsynaptic insertion of AMPA receptors triggered by calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase type II (CaMKII)-mediated protein phosphorylation, but the CaMKII substrate remains unclear. Here, mice expressing a mutant form of auxiliary transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory protein γ8 (TARP

Neuroimmunology: Waking the immune system


Recent evidence suggests that narcolepsy, a disorder that results from the loss of orexinergic neurons of the lateral hypothalamus, has an autoimmune aetiology, but the underlying mechanisms have not been elucidated. Here, haemagglutinin (which acted as an artificial 'self-antigen') was selectively expressed in mouse hypothalamic

Topoisomerases and the regulation of neural function


Topoisomerases are unique enzymes that regulate torsional stress in DNA to enable essential genome functions, including DNA replication and transcription. Although all cells in an organism require topoisomerases to maintain normal function, the nervous system in particular shows a vital need for these enzymes. Indeed,

Spatial genome organization and cognition


Nonrandom chromosomal conformations, including promoter–enhancer loopings that bypass kilobases or megabases of linear genome, provide a crucial layer of transcriptional regulation and move vast amounts of non-coding sequence into the physical proximity of genes that are important for neurodevelopment, cognition and behaviour. Activity-regulated changes in

Circuit modules linking internal states and social behaviour in flies and mice


Goal-directed social behaviours such as mating and fighting are associated with scalable and persistent internal states of emotion, motivation, arousal or drive. How those internal states are encoded and coupled to behavioural decision making and action selection is not clear. Recent studies in Drosophila melanogaster

Lasting impact of general anaesthesia on the brain: mechanisms and relevance


General anaesthesia is usually considered to safely induce a reversible brain state allowing the performance of surgery under optimal conditions. An increasing number of clinical and experimental observations, however, suggest that anaesthetic drugs, especially when they are administered at the extremes of age, can trigger

Mind-wandering as spontaneous thought: a dynamic framework


Most research on mind-wandering has characterized it as a mental state with contents that are task unrelated or stimulus independent. However, the dynamics of mind-wandering — how mental states change over time — have remained largely neglected. Here, we introduce a dynamic framework for understanding