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Annual Review of Neuroscience

Benedikt Zott, Marc Aurel Busche, Reisa A Sperling, Arthur Konnerth
A major mystery of many types of neurological and psychiatric disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), remains the underlying, disease-specific neuronal damage. Because of the strong interconnectivity of neurons in the brain, neuronal dysfunction necessarily disrupts neuronal circuits. In this article, we review evidence for the disruption of large-scale networks from imaging studies of humans and relate it to studies of cellular dysfunction in mouse models of AD. The emerging picture is that some forms of early network dysfunctions can be explained by excessively increased levels of neuronal activity...
July 8, 2018: Annual Review of Neuroscience
David M Schneider, Richard Mooney
Hearing is often viewed as a passive process: Sound enters the ear, triggers a cascade of activity through the auditory system, and culminates in an auditory percept. In contrast to a passive process, motor-related signals strongly modulate the auditory system from the eardrum to the cortex. The motor modulation of auditory activity is most well documented during speech and other vocalizations but also can be detected during a wide variety of other sound-generating behaviors. An influential idea is that these motor-related signals suppress neural responses to predictable movement-generated sounds, thereby enhancing sensitivity to environmental sounds during movement while helping to detect errors in learned acoustic behaviors, including speech and musicianship...
July 8, 2018: Annual Review of Neuroscience
Michelle Monje
Structural plasticity in the myelinated infrastructure of the nervous system has come to light. Although an innate program of myelin development proceeds independent of nervous system activity, a second mode of myelination exists in which activity-dependent, plastic changes in myelin-forming cells influence myelin structure and neurological function. These complementary and possibly temporally overlapping activity-independent and activity-dependent modes of myelination crystallize in a model of experience-modulated myelin development and plasticity with broad implications for neurological function...
July 8, 2018: Annual Review of Neuroscience
Ryan N Doan, Taehwan Shin, Christopher A Walsh
Understanding the biological basis for human-specific cognitive traits presents both immense challenges and unique opportunities. Although the question of what makes us human has been investigated with several different methods, the rise of comparative genomics, epigenomics, and medical genetics has provided tools to help narrow down and functionally assess the regions of the genome that seem evolutionarily relevant along the human lineage. In this review, we focus on how medical genetic cases have provided compelling functional evidence for genes and loci that appear to have interesting evolutionary signatures in humans...
July 8, 2018: Annual Review of Neuroscience
Xiaoqin Wang
How the cerebral cortex encodes auditory features of biologically important sounds, including speech and music, is one of the most important questions in auditory neuroscience. The pursuit to understand related neural coding mechanisms in the mammalian auditory cortex can be traced back several decades to the early exploration of the cerebral cortex. Significant progress in this field has been made in the past two decades with new technical and conceptual advances. This article reviews the progress and challenges in this area of research...
July 8, 2018: Annual Review of Neuroscience
Jennifer L Raymond, Javier F Medina
Supervised learning plays a key role in the operation of many biological and artificial neural networks. Analysis of the computations underlying supervised learning is facilitated by the relatively simple and uniform architecture of the cerebellum, a brain area that supports numerous motor, sensory, and cognitive functions. We highlight recent discoveries indicating that the cerebellum implements supervised learning using the following organizational principles: ( a) extensive preprocessing of input representations (i...
July 8, 2018: Annual Review of Neuroscience
Gregory Corder, Daniel C Castro, Michael R Bruchas, Grégory Scherrer
Opioids are the most commonly used and effective analgesic treatments for severe pain, but they have recently come under scrutiny owing to epidemic levels of abuse and overdose. These compounds act on the endogenous opioid system, which comprises four G protein-coupled receptors (mu, delta, kappa, and nociceptin) and four major peptide families (β-endorphin, enkephalins, dynorphins, and nociceptin/orphanin FQ). In this review, we first describe the functional organization and pharmacology of the endogenous opioid system...
July 8, 2018: Annual Review of Neuroscience
Douglas A Ruff, Amy M Ni, Marlene R Cohen
Understanding how cognitive processes affect the responses of sensory neurons may clarify the relationship between neuronal population activity and behavior. However, tools for analyzing neuronal activity have not kept up with technological advances in recording from large neuronal populations. Here, we describe prevalent hypotheses of how cognitive processes affect sensory neurons, driven largely by a model based on the activity of single neurons or pools of neurons as the units of computation. We then use simple simulations to expand this model to a new conceptual framework that focuses on subspaces of population activity as the relevant units of computation, uses comparisons between brain areas or to behavior to guide analyses of these subspaces, and suggests that population activity is optimized to decode the large variety of stimuli and tasks that animals encounter in natural behavior...
July 8, 2018: Annual Review of Neuroscience
Timothy E Holy
In mammals, the accessory olfactory system is a distinct circuit that has received attention for its role in detecting and responding to pheromones. While the neuroscientific investigation of this system is comparatively new, recent advances and its compact size have made it an attractive model for developing an end-to-end understanding of such questions as regulation of essential behaviors, plasticity, and individual recognition. Recent discoveries have indicated a need to reevaluate our conception of this system, suggesting that ( a) physical principles-rather than biological necessity-play an underappreciated role in its raison d'être and that ( b) the anatomy of downstream projections is not dominated by unique specializations but instead consists of an abbreviated cortical/basal ganglia motif reminiscent of other sensorimotor systems...
July 8, 2018: Annual Review of Neuroscience
Sheena A Josselyn, Paul W Frankland
Memories for events are thought to be represented in sparse, distributed neuronal ensembles (or engrams). In this article, we review how neurons are chosen to become part of a particular engram, via a process of neuronal allocation. Experiments in rodents indicate that eligible neurons compete for allocation to a given engram, with more excitable neurons winning this competition. Moreover, fluctuations in neuronal excitability determine how engrams interact, promoting either memory integration (via coallocation to overlapping engrams) or separation (via disallocation to nonoverlapping engrams)...
July 8, 2018: Annual Review of Neuroscience
Scott W Emmons
The recently determined connectome of the Caenorhabditis elegans adult male, together with the known connectome of the hermaphrodite, opens up the possibility for a comprehensive description of sexual dimorphism in this species and the identification and study of the neural circuits underlying sexual behaviors. The C. elegans nervous system consists of 294 neurons shared by both sexes plus neurons unique to each sex, 8 in the hermaphrodite and 91 in the male. The sex-specific neurons are well integrated within the remainder of the nervous system; in the male, 16% of the input to the shared component comes from male-specific neurons...
July 8, 2018: Annual Review of Neuroscience
Jan-Marino Ramirez, Nathan A Baertsch
Rhythmicity is a universal timing mechanism in the brain, and the rhythmogenic mechanisms are generally dynamic. This is illustrated for the neuronal control of breathing, a behavior that occurs as a one-, two-, or three-phase rhythm. Each breath is assembled stochastically, and increasing evidence suggests that each phase can be generated independently by a dedicated excitatory microcircuit. Within each microcircuit, rhythmicity emerges through three entangled mechanisms: ( a) glutamatergic transmission, which is amplified by ( b) intrinsic bursting and opposed by ( c) concurrent inhibition...
July 8, 2018: Annual Review of Neuroscience
Sonia J Bishop, Christopher Gagne
In everyday life, the outcomes of our actions are rarely certain. Further, we often lack the information needed to precisely estimate the probability and value of potential outcomes as well as how much effort will be required by the courses of action under consideration. Under such conditions of uncertainty, individual differences in the estimation and weighting of these variables, and in reliance on model-free versus model-based decision making, have the potential to strongly influence our behavior. Both anxiety and depression are associated with difficulties in decision making...
July 8, 2018: Annual Review of Neuroscience
Siegfried Weisenburger, Alipasha Vaziri
The mammalian brain is a densely interconnected network that consists of millions to billions of neurons. Decoding how information is represented and processed by this neural circuitry requires the ability to capture and manipulate the dynamics of large populations at high speed and high resolution over a large area of the brain. Although the use of optical approaches by the neuroscience community has rapidly increased over the past two decades, most microscopy approaches are unable to record the activity of all neurons comprising a functional network across the mammalian brain at relevant temporal and spatial resolutions...
July 8, 2018: Annual Review of Neuroscience
Claire N Bedbrook, Benjamin E Deverman, Viviana Gradinaru
Recombinant viruses allow for targeted transgene expression in specific cell populations throughout the nervous system. The adeno-associated virus (AAV) is among the most commonly used viruses for neuroscience research. Recombinant AAVs (rAAVs) are highly versatile and can package most cargo composed of desired genes within the capsid's ∼5-kb carrying capacity. Numerous regulatory elements and intersectional strategies have been validated in rAAVs to enable cell type-specific expression. rAAVs can be delivered to specific neuronal populations or globally throughout the animal...
July 8, 2018: Annual Review of Neuroscience
Ryan T Roemmich, Amy J Bastian
The fields of human motor control, motor learning, and neurorehabilitation have long been linked by the intuition that understanding how we move (and learn to move) leads to better rehabilitation. In reality, these fields have remained largely separate. Our knowledge of the neural control of movement has expanded, but principles that can directly impact rehabilitation efficacy remain somewhat sparse. This raises two important questions: What can basic studies of motor learning really tell us about rehabilitation, and are we asking the right questions to improve the lives of patients? This review aims to contextualize recent advances in computational and behavioral studies of human motor learning within the framework of neurorehabilitation...
July 8, 2018: Annual Review of Neuroscience
Hannah R Monday, Thomas J Younts, Pablo E Castillo
Long-lasting changes of brain function in response to experience rely on diverse forms of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. Chief among them are long-term potentiation and long-term depression of neurotransmitter release, which are widely expressed by excitatory and inhibitory synapses throughout the central nervous system and can dynamically regulate information flow in neural circuits. This review article explores recent advances in presynaptic long-term plasticity mechanisms and contributions to circuit function...
July 8, 2018: Annual Review of Neuroscience
Jaiprakash Sharma, Alberto di Ronza, Parisa Lotfi, Marco Sardiello
One of the fundamental properties of the cell is the capability to digest and remodel its own components according to metabolic and developmental needs. This is accomplished via the autophagy-lysosome system, a pathway of critical importance in the brain, where it contributes to neuronal plasticity and must protect nonreplaceable neurons from the potentially harmful accumulation of cellular waste. The study of lysosomal biogenesis and function in the context of common and rare neurodegenerative diseases has revealed that a dysfunctional autophagy-lysosome system is the shared nexus where multiple, interconnected pathogenic events take place...
July 8, 2018: Annual Review of Neuroscience
Jun Wang, Alexandra Garancher, Vijay Ramaswamy, Robert J Wechsler-Reya
Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related death in children, and medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant pediatric brain tumor. Advances in surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy have improved the survival of MB patients. But despite these advances, 25-30% of patients still die from the disease, and survivors suffer severe long-term side effects from the aggressive therapies they receive. Although MB is often considered a single disease, molecular profiling has revealed a significant degree of heterogeneity, and there is a growing consensus that MB consists of multiple subgroups with distinct driver mutations, cells of origin, and prognosis...
July 8, 2018: Annual Review of Neuroscience
Ragnhildur T Káradóttir, Chay T Kuo
The addition of new neurons and oligodendroglia in the postnatal and adult mammalian brain presents distinct forms of gray and white matter plasticity. Substantial effort has been devoted to understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling postnatal neurogenesis and gliogenesis, revealing important parallels to principles governing the embryonic stages. While during central nervous system development, scripted temporal and spatial patterns of neural and glial progenitor proliferation and differentiation are necessary to create the nervous system architecture, it remains unclear what driving forces maintain and sustain postnatal neural stem cell (NSC) and oligodendrocyte progenitor cell (OPC) production of new neurons and glia...
July 8, 2018: Annual Review of Neuroscience
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