2017-04-06People have been told that 'brain training' will make them not only better at playing certain games but smarter in general. However, evidence indicates that brain plasticity is specific to the acquired skill. The search for neural mechanisms of transfer of training-induced benefits needs to build on this evidence.
2017-04-06Two recent studies report changes in the activity of cerebellar granule cells during two different types of learning, providing insights into the function of these cells.
2017-03-23A new study describes a method for differentiating human and murine induced pluripotent stem cells into microglia-like cells.
2017-03-31Astrocytic–neuronal signalling in the dorsal suprachiasmatic nucleus is essential for the maintenance of circadian timekeeping.
2017-04-18α-Synuclein promotes the dilation of the fusion pore of exocytotic vesicles in neurons.
2017-03-23The endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol increases the tonic and evoked firing rate of mouse dopamine midbrain neurons by inhibiting A-type potassium currents through a direct lipid interaction with Kv4.3 channels.
2017-04-18Axonal injuries can trigger a process of axonal disintegration known as Wallerian degeneration, which is thought to be largely driven by intrinsic mechanisms in the axon. Here, knocking out the death receptor 6 (Dr6) gene in cultured mouse sympathetic or dorsal root ganglion
2017-04-18Humans exhibit socially contagious behaviours, including contagious itching, but studying the underlying mechanisms has been difficult. Yu et al. found that they could socially transmit scratching to mice by allowing them to watch mice with chronic itch. The observer mice showed upregulated neuronal activity
2017-04-18Two new studies provide new tools for examining mechanisms of plasticity in dendrites. Tang and Yasuda developed new fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based sensors for extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and protein kinase A (PKA), which are implicated in synaptic plasticity, primarily by replacing the fluorophore
2017-03-23Stroke instigates a dynamic process of repair and remodelling of remaining neural circuits, and this process is shaped by behavioural experiences. The onset of motor disability simultaneously creates a powerful incentive to develop new, compensatory ways of performing daily activities. Compensatory movement strategies that are
2017-03-31Amyloid precursor protein (APP) gives rise to the amyloid-β peptide and thus has a key role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease. By contrast, the physiological functions of APP and the closely related APP-like proteins (APLPs) remain less well understood. Studying these physiological functions has
2017-04-06The proper construction of neural circuits requires the generation of diverse cell types, their distribution to defined regions, and their specific and appropriate wiring. A major objective in neurobiology has been to understand the molecular determinants that link neural birth to terminal specification and functional
2017-03-31The nature and neural implementation of emotions is the subject of vigorous debate. Here, we use Bayesian decision theory to address key complexities in this field and conceptualize emotions in terms of their relationship to survival-relevant behavioural choices. Decision theory indicates which behaviours are optimal