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Neural circuit

J L Salzer, B Zalc
Myelin is a key evolutionary acquisition that underlay the development of the large, complex nervous systems of all hinged-jaw vertebrates. By promoting rapid, efficient nerve conduction, myelination also made possible the development of the large body size of these vertebrates. In addition to increasing the speed of nerve conduction, myelination has emerged as a source of plasticity in neural circuits that is crucial for proper timing and function. Here, we briefly describe the organization of myelin and of myelinated axons, as well as the functions of myelin in nerve conduction and neural circuits, and consider its potential evolutionary origins...
October 24, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Leah H Somerville
In the brain, the striatum and prefrontal cortex interact to gauge the value of actions and the self-regulatory demands in a given environment. New research, involving manipulation of the neural circuitry, has revealed multiple routes by which 'imbalances' in circuit function cause regulation deficits.
October 24, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Irving E Wang, Thomas R Clandinin
The activity and maintenance of neurons requires substantial metabolic energy, resulting in selective pressure to decrease resource consumption by the nervous system. The wiring economy principle proposes that animals have evolved mechanisms that wire circuits efficiently by minimizing neurite length. Computational modeling of neuronal morphology, microcircuit organization, and neural networks reveals that wiring economy is a significant determinant of nervous system layout. The strategies for reducing wiring costs are shared across phyla and point to the possibility of generalizable rules that specify the development of efficient nervous systems...
October 24, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Damon A Clark, Jonathan B Demb
Sensory systems use receptors to extract information from the environment and neural circuits to perform subsequent computations. These computations may be described as algorithms composed of sequential mathematical operations. Comparing these operations across taxa reveals how different neural circuits have evolved to solve the same problem, even when using different mechanisms to implement the underlying math. In this review, we compare how insect and mammalian neural circuits have solved the problem of motion estimation, focusing on the fruit fly Drosophila and the mouse retina...
October 24, 2016: Current Biology: CB
John C Tuthill, Rachel I Wilson
The ability of animals to flexibly navigate through complex environments depends on the integration of sensory information with motor commands. The sensory modality most tightly linked to motor control is mechanosensation. Adaptive motor control depends critically on an animal's ability to respond to mechanical forces generated both within and outside the body. The compact neural circuits of insects provide appealing systems to investigate how mechanical cues guide locomotion in rugged environments. Here, we review our current understanding of mechanosensation in insects and its role in adaptive motor control...
October 24, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Jean-Stéphane Joly, Gaelle Recher, Alessandro Brombin, Kathy Ngo, Volker Hartenstein
The visual systems of vertebrates and many other bilaterian clades consist of complex neural structures guiding a wide spectrum of behaviors. Homologies at the level of cell types and even discrete neural circuits have been proposed, but many questions of how the architecture of visual neuropils evolved among different phyla remain open. In this review we argue that the profound conservation of genetic and developmental steps generating the eye and its target neuropils in fish and fruit flies supports a homology between some core elements of bilaterian visual circuitries...
October 24, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Vidya Narayanaswami, Linda P Dwoskin
Obesity is a global epidemic that contributes to a number of health complications including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and neuropsychiatric disorders. Pharmacotherapeutic strategies to treat obesity are urgently needed. Research over the past two decades has increased substantially our knowledge of central and peripheral mechanisms underlying homeostatic energy balance. Homeostatic mechanisms involve multiple components including neuronal circuits, some originating in hypothalamus and brain stem, as well as peripherally-derived satiety, hunger and adiposity signals that modulate neural activity and regulate eating behavior...
October 20, 2016: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Leopold Zangemeister, Fabian Grabenhorst, Wolfram Schultz
Economic saving is an elaborate behavior in which the goal of a reward in the future directs planning and decision-making in the present. Here, we measured neural activity while subjects formed simple economic saving strategies to accumulate rewards and then executed their strategies through choice sequences of self-defined lengths. Before the initiation of a choice sequence, prospective activations in the amygdala predicted subjects' internal saving plans and their value up to two minutes before a saving goal was achieved...
October 19, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Jennifer L Hoy, Iryna Yavorska, Michael Wehr, Cristopher M Niell
The ability to genetically identify and manipulate neural circuits in the mouse is rapidly advancing our understanding of visual processing in the mammalian brain [1, 2]. However, studies investigating the circuitry that underlies complex ethologically relevant visual behaviors in the mouse have been primarily restricted to fear responses [3-5]. Here, we show that a laboratory strain of mouse (Mus musculus, C57BL/6J) robustly pursues, captures, and consumes live insect prey and that vision is necessary for mice to perform the accurate orienting and approach behaviors leading to capture...
October 8, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Marijn Bart Martens, Monica Frega, Jessica Classen, Lisa Epping, Elske Bijvank, Marco Benevento, Hans van Bokhoven, Paul Tiesinga, Dirk Schubert, Nael Nadif Kasri
Heterozygous mutations or deletions in the human Euchromatin histone methyltransferase 1 (EHMT1) gene cause Kleefstra syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by autistic-like features and severe intellectual disability (ID). Neurodevelopmental disorders including ID and autism may be related to deficits in activity-dependent wiring of brain circuits during development. Although Kleefstra syndrome has been associated with dendritic and synaptic defects in mice and Drosophila, little is known about the role of EHMT1 in the development of cortical neuronal networks...
October 21, 2016: Scientific Reports
Li-Wa Shao, Rong Niu, Ying Liu
Neurons have a central role in the systemic coordination of mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPR(mt)) and the cell non-autonomous modulation of longevity. However, the mechanism by which the nervous system senses mitochondrial stress and communicates to the distal tissues to induce UPR(mt) remains unclear. Here we employ the tissue-specific CRISPR-Cas9 approach to disrupt mitochondrial function only in the nervous system of Caenorhabditis elegans, and reveal a cell non-autonomous induction of UPR(mt) in peripheral cells...
October 21, 2016: Cell Research
Gustavo Rios, Evgueniy V Lubenov, Derrick Chi, Michael L Roukes, Athanassios G Siapas
Computations in brain circuits involve the coordinated activation of large populations of neurons distributed across brain areas. However, monitoring neuronal activity in the brain of intact animals with high temporal and spatial resolution has remained a technological challenge. Here we address this challenge by developing dense, three-dimensional (3-D) electrode arrays for electrophysiology. The 3-D arrays constitute the front-end of a modular and configurable system architecture that enables monitoring neuronal activity with unprecedented scale and resolution...
October 21, 2016: Nano Letters
Yaling Yang, Shantanu H Joshi, Neda Jahanshad, Paul M Thompson, Laura A Baker
Verbal and physical aggression begin early in life and steadily decline thereafter in normal development. As a result, elevated aggressive behavior in adolescence may signal atypical development and greater vulnerability for negative mental and health outcomes. Converging evidence suggests that brain disturbances in regions involved in impulse control, emotional regulation, and sensation seeking may contribute to heightened aggression. However, little is known regarding the neural mechanisms underlying subtypes of aggression (i...
October 21, 2016: Aggressive Behavior
Clarissa J Whitmire, Garrett B Stanley
Adaptation is fundamental to life. All organisms adapt over timescales that span from evolution to generations and lifetimes to moment-by-moment interactions. The nervous system is particularly adept at rapidly adapting to change, and this in fact may be one of its fundamental principles of organization and function. Rapid forms of sensory adaptation have been well documented across all sensory modalities in a wide range of organisms, yet we do not have a comprehensive understanding of the adaptive cellular mechanisms that ultimately give rise to the corresponding percepts, due in part to the complexity of the circuitry...
October 19, 2016: Neuron
Yongseok Yoo, Woori Kim
Neural systems are inherently noisy. One well-studied example of a noise reduction mechanism in the brain is the population code, where representing a variable with multiple neurons allows the encoded variable to be recovered with fewer errors. Studies have assumed ideal observer models for decoding population codes, and the manner in which information in the neural population can be retrieved remains elusive. This letter addresses a mechanism by which realistic neural circuits can recover encoded variables...
October 20, 2016: Neural Computation
William Severa, Ojas Parekh, Conrad D James, James B Aimone
The dentate gyrus forms a critical link between the entorhinal cortex and CA3 by providing a sparse version of the signal. Concurrent with this increase in sparsity, a widely accepted theory suggests the dentate gyrus performs pattern separation-similar inputs yield decorrelated outputs. Although an active region of study and theory, few logically rigorous arguments detail the dentate gyrus's (DG) coding. We suggest a theoretically tractable, combinatorial model for this action. The model provides formal methods for a highly redundant, arbitrarily sparse, and decorrelated output signal...
October 20, 2016: Neural Computation
Ruyi Huang, Serapio M Baca, Jason W Worrell, Xingquan Liu, Yeji Seo, James C Leiter, Daniel C Lu
Respiration is produced and controlled by well-characterized brainstem nuclei, but the contributions of spinal circuits to respiratory control and modulation remain under investigation. Many respiratory studies are conducted in in vitro preparations (e.g., brainstem slice) obtained from neonatal rodents. While informative, these studies do not fully recapitulate the complex afferent and efferent neural circuits that are likely to be involved in eupnea (i.e., quiet breathing). To begin to investigate spinal contributions to respiration, we electrically stimulated the cervical spinal cord during unassisted respiration in anesthetized, intact mice...
October 7, 2016: Journal of Applied Physiology
Agnieszka Mika, Heidi E Day, Alexander Martinez, Nicole L Rumian, Benjamin N Greenwood, Maciej Chichlowski, Brian M Berg, Monika Fleshner
Manipulating gut microbes may improve mental health. Prebiotics are indigestible compounds that increase the growth and activity of health- promoting microorganisms, yet few studies have examined how prebiotics affect CNS function. Using an acute inescapable stressor known to produce learned helplessness behaviors such as failure to escape and exaggerated fear, we tested whether early life supplementation of a blend of two prebiotics, galactooligosaccharide (GOS) and polydextrose (PDX), and the glycoprotein lactoferrin (LAC) would attenuate behavioral and biological responses to stress later in life...
October 20, 2016: European Journal of Neuroscience
David S Freedman, Joseph B Schroeder, Gregory I Telian, Zhengyang Zhang, Smrithi Sunil, Jason T Ritt
OBJECTIVE: Behavioral neuroscience studies in freely moving rodents require small, light-weight implants to facilitate neural recording and stimulation. Our goal was to develop an integrated package of 3D printed parts and assembly aids for labs to rapidly fabricate, with minimal training, an implant that combines individually positionable microelectrodes, an optical fiber, zero insertion force (ZIF-clip) headstage connection, and secondary recording electrodes, e.g. for electromyography (EMG)...
October 20, 2016: Journal of Neural Engineering
Haitao Yu, Rishi R Dhingra, Thomas E Dick, Roberto Fernandez Galan
Neural activity generally displays irregular firing patterns even in circuits with apparently regular outputs, such as motor pattern generators, in which the output frequency fluctuates randomly around a mean value. This "circuit noise" is inherited from the random firing of single neurons, which emerges from stochastic ion-channel gating (channel noise), spontaneous neurotransmitter release, and its diffusion and binding to synaptic receptors. Here, we demonstrate how to expand conductance-based network models that are originally deterministic to include realistic, physiological noise, focusing on stochastic ion-channel gating...
October 19, 2016: Journal of Neurophysiology
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