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Trends in Neurosciences

Alexandros Goulas, Karl Zilles, Claus C Hilgetag
A key component of current theories of brain structure and function is the layer-specific origin of structural connections of the cerebral cortex. This fundamental connectional feature pertains to different mammalian cortices, and recent neuroimaging advancements have started to pave the way for its function-based mapping in humans. Here, we propose a framework that systematically explains the characteristic layer-specific origin of structural connections and its graded variation across the cortical sheet and across mammalian species...
July 3, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Gabriela Martínez, Sanjeev Khatiwada, Mauro Costa-Mattioli, Claudio Hetz
Neuronal proteostasis is maintained by the dynamic integration of different processes that regulate the synthesis, folding, quality control, and localization of proteins. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) serves as a fundamental pillar of the proteostasis network, and is emerging as a key compartment to sustain normal brain function. The unfolded protein response (UPR), the main mechanism that copes with ER stress, plays a central role in the quality control of many ion channels and receptors, in addition to crosstalk with signaling pathways that regulate connectivity, synapse formation, and neuronal plasticity...
June 23, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Lilach Avitan, Geoffrey J Goodhill
Developing animals must begin to interact with the world before their neural development is complete. This means they must build neural codes appropriate for turning sensory inputs into motor outputs adaptively as their neural hardware matures. We review some recent progress in the understanding of the relationship between neural coding and neural circuit development. We focus particularly on neural coding in the context of topographic maps and spontaneous activity, as well as receptive field and circuit development, drawing on examples from both mammalian visual cortex and fish optic tectum...
June 20, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Vineet Augustine, Sertan Kutal Gokce, Yuki Oka
The precise regulation of fluid and energy homeostasis is essential for survival. It is well appreciated that ingestive behaviors are tightly regulated by both peripheral sensory inputs and central appetite signals. With recent neurogenetic technologies, considerable progress has been made in our understanding of basic taste qualities, the molecular and/or cellular basis of taste sensing, and the central circuits for thirst and hunger. In this review, we first highlight the functional similarities and differences between mammalian and invertebrate taste processing...
June 15, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Ho Namkung, Sun-Hong Kim, Akira Sawa
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 9, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Kevin J Mitchell
A reductively mechanistic approach to neuroscience suggests that low-level physical laws determine our actions and that mental states are epiphenomena. In this scheme there seems to be little room for free will or genuine agency. I argue here that physical indeterminacy provides room for the information entailed in patterns of neuronal firing - the mental content of beliefs, goals, and intentions - to have real causal power in decision-making.
June 7, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Amit Berson, Raffaella Nativio, Shelley L Berger, Nancy M Bonini
Mechanisms of epigenetic regulation, including DNA methylation, chromatin remodeling, and histone post-translational modifications, are involved in multiple aspects of neuronal function and development. Recent discoveries have shed light on critical functions of chromatin in the aging brain, with an emerging realization that the maintenance of a healthy brain relies heavily on epigenetic mechanisms. Here, we present recent advances, with a focus on histone modifications and the implications for several neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Huntington's disease (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)...
June 6, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
P Robin Hiesinger, Bassem A Hassan
As in all biological systems, neurons and their networks must balance precision with variability. Phenotypic precision and phenotypic variability can both occur with remarkable robustness, where robustness is defined as the ability to tolerate perturbation. Variability in genotype-phenotype mapping produces phenotypic variability despite identical genetic information. The resulting variability among genetically identical neurons can contribute to the robustness of brain development. Similarly, variability of genetically identical individuals can contribute to evolutionary robustness...
June 4, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
J Jézéquel, E M Johansson, M Leboyer, L Groc
Recent years have seen a flourishing literature on detection of circulating autoantibodies against neurotransmitter receptors in patients with neuropsychiatric disorders. These studies have generated hope for a better understanding of the underlying molecular dysfunctions and for appropriate therapeutic strategies. However, the detection of these autoantibodies in healthy subjects, and the lack of mechanistic insights have fostered debate about the pathogenic role of such autoantibodies. Here, we specifically discuss the biological evidence linking autoantibodies directed against the glutamatergic N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor (NMDAR-Abs) and psychosis, emphasising recent single-molecule imaging investigations that unveiled the impaired surface trafficking of NMDAR in the presence of NMDAR-Abs from psychotic patients...
May 25, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Todd S Horowitz, Jerry Suls, Melissa Treviño
Cancer-related cognitive impairment (CRCI) is a widespread problem for the increasing population of cancer survivors. Our understanding of the nature, causes, and prevalence of CRCI is hampered by a reliance on clinical neuropsychological methods originally designed to detect focal lesions. Future progress will require collaboration between neuroscience and clinical neuropsychology.
May 23, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Amy L Heffernan, Dominic J Hare
Interplay between genetic and environmental factors during critical time windows can have effects that span from neurodevelopment to neurodegeneration. We present the concept of the 'neuroexposome', emphasizing the brain's distinctive response to environmental exposure, and how current 'omics' sciences can inform on both disease pathogenesis and future public health policies.
May 7, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Alessandra Perugini, Jochen Ditterich, Aasef G Shaikh, Barbara J Knowlton, Michele A Basso
People with Parkinson's disease (PD) show impaired decision-making when sensory and memory information must be combined. This recently identified impairment results from an inability to accumulate the proper amount of information needed to make a decision and appears to be independent of dopamine tone and reinforcement learning mechanisms. Although considerable work focuses on PD and decisions involving risk and reward, in this Opinion article we propose that the emerging findings in perceptual decision-making highlight the multisystem nature of PD, and that unraveling the neuronal circuits underlying perceptual decision-making impairment may help in understanding other cognitive impairments in people with PD...
May 7, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Erik Svensson, Michael J Williams, Helgi B Schiöth
Many neuronal circuits contain, or are influenced by, colocalized neurotransmitters, which are suggested to fine-tune circuit function. Much of our knowledge about cotransmission derives from studies in non-mammalian model systems, although a growing number of studies have provided insights into the physiological role of cotransmission in more complex mammalian circuits, including the spinal cord. Here we discuss the current picture of colocalized neurotransmitters in spinal circuits of non-mammalian and mammalian systems, as well as the progression towards understanding of their functional roles...
May 7, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Stephan J Sanders, Arthur J Campbell, Jeffrey R Cottrell, Rikke S Moller, Florence F Wagner, Angie L Auldridge, Raphael A Bernier, William A Catterall, Wendy K Chung, James R Empfield, Alfred L George, Joerg F Hipp, Omar Khwaja, Evangelos Kiskinis, Dennis Lal, Dheeraj Malhotra, John J Millichap, Thomas S Otis, Steven Petrou, Geoffrey Pitt, Leah F Schust, Cora M Taylor, Jennifer Tjernagel, John E Spiro, Kevin J Bender
Advances in gene discovery for neurodevelopmental disorders have identified SCN2A dysfunction as a leading cause of infantile seizures, autism spectrum disorder, and intellectual disability. SCN2A encodes the neuronal sodium channel NaV 1.2. Functional assays demonstrate strong correlation between genotype and phenotype. This insight can help guide therapeutic decisions and raises the possibility that ligands that selectively enhance or diminish channel function may improve symptoms. The well-defined function of sodium channels makes SCN2A an important test case for investigating the neurobiology of neurodevelopmental disorders more generally...
April 22, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Kelly G Jameson, Elaine Y Hsiao
The past decade has yielded substantial evidence that the gut microbiome modulates brain function, including for instance behaviors relevant to anxiety and depression, pointing to a need to identify the biological pathways involved. In 2013 Clarke and colleagues reported that the early-life microbiome regulates the hippocampal serotonergic system in a sex-dependent manner, findings that opened up numerous lines of inquiry on the effects of the microbiome on neurodevelopment and behavior.
July 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Bruno Cauli, Edith Hamel
How can blood rapidly and precisely reach active neurons at a given time and location has remained enigmatic for a long time. A 2003 paper by Zonta et al. suggested key roles for astrocytes in the signaling between neurons and blood vessels. While a consensus on the specific intermediary roles of astrocytes in this process is still evolving, research in the past 15 years has led to a deeper and more refined understanding of the neuro-glio-vascular unit.
July 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Kevin J Mitchell
Why did the axon cross the midline? A 1993 paper by Corey Goodman and colleagues described a genetic screen in fruit flies that pioneered the discovery of conserved families of axon guidance cues and receptors, highlighting fundamental processes underlying wiring specificity in the developing nervous system.
July 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Chris D Frith, Patrick Haggard
In 1983 Libet et al. demonstrated that brain activity associated with a voluntary act precedes conscious experience of the intention to act by several hundred milliseconds. The implication that it is the brain, rather than 'free will', that initiates voluntary acts has been discussed ever since by philosophers and lawyers, as well as by scientists. We show here how Libet's original study gave rise to an entire research field of experimental investigations of volition.
July 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Freek van Ede, Andrew J Quinn, Mark W Woolrich, Anna C Nobre
Frequency-specific patterns of neural activity are increasingly interpreted as transient bursts of isolated events rather than as rhythmically sustained oscillations. This has potentially far-reaching implications for theories of how such oscillations originate and how they shape neural computations. As this debate unfolds, we explore alternative interpretations and ask how best to distinguish between them.
July 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Suhan Senova, Antoine Chaillet, Andres M Lozano
Pharmacological neuromodulation strategies have shown limited efficacy in treating memory deficits related to Alzheimer's disease (AD). Despite encouraging results from a few preclinical studies, clinical trials investigating open-loop deep brain stimulation (DBS) for AD have not been successful. Recent refinements in understanding the various phases of memory processes, animal studies investigating phase-specific modulation of hippocampal activity during memorization, and clinical studies using closed-loop DBS strategies to treat patients with movement disorders, all point to the need to investigate closed-loop fornical DBS strategies to better understand memory dynamics and potentially treat memory deficits in AD preclinical models...
July 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
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