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Trends in Neurosciences

Francis S Lee, Barbara L Hempstead
The publisher regrets that this article has been temporarily removed. A replacement will appear as soon as possible in which the reason for the removal of the article will be specified, or the article will be reinstated. The full Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal can be found at
September 12, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Sylvain Crochet, Seung-Hee Lee, Carl C H Petersen
Precisely wired neuronal circuits process sensory information in a learning- and context-dependent manner in order to govern behavior. Simple sensory decision-making tasks in rodents are now beginning to reveal the contributions of distinct cell types and brain regions participating in the conversion of sensory information into learned goal-directed motor output. Task learning is accompanied by target-specific routing of sensory information to specific downstream cortical regions, with higher-order cortical regions such as the posterior parietal cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, and hippocampus appearing to play important roles in learning- and context-dependent processing of sensory input...
September 7, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Elizabeth V Goldfarb, Rajita Sinha
The biological stress response of the body forms one of the foundations of adaptive behavior, including promoting (and impairing) different forms of memory. This response transcends stressful experiences and underlies reactions to challenges and even reinforcers such as addictive substances. Nevertheless, drug-induced stress responses are rarely incorporated into models of addiction. We propose here that drug-induced stress responses (particularly glucocorticoids) play a crucial role in addictive behavior by modulating the formation of memories for substance-use experiences...
August 28, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Alexey Ostroumov, John A Dani
Behavioral adaptations occur through remodeling of brain circuits, as arising, for instance, from experience-dependent synaptic plasticity. Drugs of abuse and aversive stimuli, such as stress, act on the mesocorticolimbic system, dysregulating adaptive mechanisms and leading to a variety of aberrant behaviors associated with neuropsychiatric disorders. Until recently, research in the field has commonly focused on experience-dependent synaptic plasticity at excitatory synapses. However, there is growing evidence that synaptic plasticity within inhibitory circuits is an important contributor to maladaptive behaviors...
August 24, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Benjamin D Umans, Stephen D Liberles
Many internal organs change volume periodically. For example, the stomach accommodates ingested food and drink, the bladder stores urine, the heart fills with blood, and the lungs expand with every breath. Specialized peripheral sensory neurons function as mechanoreceptors that detect tissue stretch to infer changes in organ volume and then relay this information to the brain. Central neural circuits process this information and evoke perceptions (satiety, nausea), control physiology (breathing, heart rate), and impact behavior (feeding, micturition)...
August 21, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Yaoda Xu
Although the primate posterior parietal cortex (PPC) has been largely associated with space, attention, and action-related processing, a growing number of studies have reported the direct representation of a diverse array of action-independent nonspatial visual information in the PPC during both perception and visual working memory. By describing the distinctions and the close interactions of visual representation with space, attention, and action-related processing in the PPC, here I propose that we may understand these diverse PPC functions together through the unique contribution of the PPC to adaptive visual processing and form a more integrated and structured view of the role of the PPC in vision, cognition, and action...
August 14, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Jinhong Luo, Steffen R Hage, Cynthia F Moss
Understanding the neural underpinnings of vocal-motor control in humans and other animals remains a major challenge in neurobiology. The Lombard effect - a rise in call amplitude in response to background noise - has been demonstrated in a wide range of vertebrates. Here, we review both behavioral and neurophysiological data and propose that the Lombard effect is driven by a subcortical neural network, which can be modulated by cortical processes. The proposed framework offers mechanistic explanations for two fundamental features of the Lombard effect: its widespread taxonomic distribution across the vertebrate phylogenetic tree and the widely observed variations in compensation magnitude...
August 13, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Wei-Chao Huang, Kathleen Bennett, Christopher Gregg
The benefits of diploidy are considered to involve masking partially recessive mutations and increasing genetic diversity. Here, we review new studies showing evidence for diverse allele-specific expression and epigenetic states in mammalian brain cells, which suggest that diploidy expands the landscape of gene regulatory and expression programs in cells. Allele-specific expression has been thought to be restricted to a few specific classes of genes. However, new studies show novel genomic imprinting effects that are brain-region-, cell-type- and age-dependent...
August 8, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Shan Shan H Wang, Pascal S Kaeser
How are synaptic vesicles tied together in a nerve terminal? A recent study by Milovanovic and colleagues offers a new mechanism for this old and important problem: synapsin proteins establish a liquid phase that clusters vesicles. Liquid-liquid phase separation provides a fluid-like state that accommodates the dynamic demands of presynaptic vesicle traffic.
August 4, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Hiroki Takeda, Anna Dondzillo, Jessica A Randall, Samuel P Gubbels
Hearing loss in mammals is an irreversible process caused by degeneration of the hair cells of the inner ear. Current therapies for hearing loss include hearing aids and cochlear implants that provide substantial benefits to most patients, but also have several shortcomings. There is great interest in the development of regenerative therapies to treat deafness in the future. Cell-based therapies, based either on adult, multipotent stem, or other types of pluripotent cells, offer promise for generating differentiated cell types to replace lost or damaged hair cells of the inner ear...
July 19, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Redmond G O'Connell, Michael N Shadlen, KongFatt Wong-Lin, Simon P Kelly
Sequential sampling models have provided a dominant theoretical framework guiding computational and neurophysiological investigations of perceptual decision-making. While these models share the basic principle that decisions are formed by accumulating sensory evidence to a bound, they come in many forms that can make similar predictions of choice behaviour despite invoking fundamentally different mechanisms. The identification of neural signals that reflect some of the core computations underpinning decision formation offers new avenues for empirically testing and refining key model assumptions...
July 11, 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Eric I Knudsen
Selective attention is central to cognition. Dramatic advances have been made in understanding the neural circuits that mediate selective attention. Forebrain networks, most elaborated in primates, control all forms of attention based on task demands and the physical salience of stimuli. These networks contain circuits that distribute top-down signals to sensory processing areas and enhance information processing in those areas. A midbrain network, most elaborated in birds, controls spatial attention. It contains circuits that continuously compute the highest priority stimulus location and route sensory information from the selected location to forebrain networks that make cognitive decisions...
July 10, 2018: 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
Kurt A Sailor, Pierre-Marie Lledo
Using new methods to functionally dissect circuits, two papers from 2015 found enhanced synaptic properties of the inputs and outputs of hippocampal adult-born neurons specifically during a critical period of their development. These studies provided a circuit-level view of unique roles for new neurons and how they cope with the ever-changing environment.
September 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Lisa Feldman Barrett
Is an amygdala necessary to experience and perceive fear? Intriguing evidence comes from patient S.M. who lost her left and right amygdalae to disease. Initial testing suggested that S.M.'s most defining symptom was an inability to recognize fear in other people's facial expressions. A fascinating paper by Adolphs and colleagues in 2005 examined one potential mechanism for this impairment: a failure to spontaneously attend to widened eyes, the most distinctive physical feature portrayed in symbolic fear expressions...
September 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Philippe Vincent-Lamarre, Michael Lynn, Jean-Claude Béïque
The ability of central synapses to undergo long-term potentiation (LTP) still captures the imagination of scientists and has become one of the most fascinating and deeply studied questions in modern neuroscience. By the mid-1990s, however, the field was deeply ensnarled in trying to answer a passionately dichotomous question: is LTP expressed by a pre- or a postsynaptic mechanism? Experimental results that could only be seen by many as being incontrovertibly contradictory presented a perplexing conundrum. However, two papers published in 1995 fundamentally redefined critical assumptions and provided a cunningly simple and elegant solution to an otherwise inextricable impasse...
September 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Eva Klinman, Erika L F Holzbaur
Active intracellular transport of organelles relies on the coordinated activities of cytoplasmic dynein and kinesin, ATP-dependent microtubule motor proteins. While axonemal dynein was discovered during the mid-1960s, it was not until the mid-1980s that kinesin was discovered by Ron Vale and colleagues, as reported in 1985. Their research demonstrated that the newly identified protein, isolated from both squid axoplasm and bovine brain, was independently capable of driving microtubule gliding or organelle movement...
September 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Christopher Black, Radu Darie, David Borton
Artificial restoration of touch is an active area of research in neuroprosthetics. However, most approaches do not consider emulating the biological machinery they intend to replace. Recently, Kim et al. proposed a bioinspired artificial touch transducer that closely mimics the behavior of natural sensory afferents.
September 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Caitlin V Cosme, Gates K Palissery, Talia N Lerner
Neuromodulators such as dopamine can transform neural circuit function, but the mechanisms underlying such transformations are incompletely understood. A recent study introduced dLight1, a genetically encoded fluorescent dopamine indicator. dLight1 allows the optical measurement of dopamine sensed by isolated target circuits with high spatiotemporal resolution and has unique advantages for the study of neuromodulatory mechanisms.
September 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
Jürgen G Haas, Richard Lathe
Two papers in Neuron provide compelling new indications of a link between herpesviruses and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Readhead et al. report an increased abundance of human herpesviruses 6A and 7 (HHV-6A/7) in AD brain, whereas Eimer et al. show that binding of the AD signature protein, Aβ, to herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and HHV-6 surface glycoproteins causes fibrillar Aβ agglutination that can protect against viral challenge.
September 2018: Trends in Neurosciences
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