Thursday, February 23, 2017

Nature Neuroscience Contents: March 2017 Volume 20 Number 3, pp 297 - 496

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Nature Neuroscience

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March 2017 Volume 20, Issue 3

News and Views
Brief Communications

Animation: Alzheimer's disease

Nature Neuroscience presents this animation, which introduces the molecular, cellular and physiological mechanisms associated with Alzheimer's disease and highlights some of the most recent advances in our understanding of the onset and progression of this devastating neurological condition. 

Watch the Animation free online >>

Recommend to library

Nature Outlook: Multiple Sclerosis 

Multiple Sclerosis induces the immune system to damage the central nervous system. Research on causes and treatments offers new hope. 

Access the Outlook free online today! 

This activity has been supported by a grant from F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, which has had no control over the educational content of this activity.
Nature Outlook: Parkinson's disease 

It is 200 years since Parkinson's disease was first described. This Outlook charts the progress of research in an engaging timeline and shows how our understanding of Parkinson's motor and non-motor symptoms has evolved. It also reveals the exciting new applications of smartphones in monitoring the disease. 

Access the Outlook free online

The first journal to bring together the findings of neuroscientists, psychologists, and education researchers to understand how the brain learns. The journal is now open for submissions.
Explore the benefits of submitting your next paper to npj Science of Learning.


Focus on human brain mapping
Focus issue: March 2017 Volume 20, No 3



Focus on human brain mapping   p297
We present a special issue highlighting considerations and recent developments in noninvasive techniques that improve our understanding of neural measurements in humans, bridging the gap between human and animal research in neuroscience.

Fostering reproducible fMRI research   p298
The validity of conclusions drawn from functional MRI research has been questioned for some time now. Nature Neuroscience and Nature Communications are committed to working with neuroimaging researchers to improve the robustness and reproducibility of their work.



Best practices in data analysis and sharing in neuroimaging using MRI   pp299 - 303
Thomas E Nichols, Samir Das, Simon B Eickhoff, Alan C Evans, Tristan Glatard et al.
Responding to widespread concerns about reproducibility, the Organization for Human Brain Mapping created a working group to identify best practices in data analysis, results reporting and data sharing to promote open and reproducible research in neuroimaging. We describe the challenges of open research and the barriers the field faces.



Computational approaches to fMRI analysis   pp304 - 313
Jonathan D Cohen, Nathaniel Daw, Barbara Engelhardt, Uri Hasson, Kai Li et al.
A revolution is underway in cognitive neuroscience, where tools and techniques from computer science and the tech industry are helping to extract more meaningful cognitive signals from noisy and increasingly large fMRI datasets. In this paper, the authors review the cutting edge of such computational analyses and discuss future opportunities and challenges.



Studying neuroanatomy using MRI   pp314 - 326
Jason P Lerch, Andre J W van der Kouwe, Armin Raznahan, Tomas Paus, Heidi Johansen-Berg et al.
The study of neuroanatomy using MRI enables key insights into how our brains function, are shaped by genes and environment, and how they change with development, aging and disease. The authors provide an overview of the methods for measuring the brain and also describe key artifacts and confounds

Magnetoencephalography for brain electrophysiology and imaging   pp327 - 339
Sylvain Baillet
Magnetoencephalography (MEG) tracks the millisecond electrical activity of the brain noninvasively. This review emphasizes MEG's unique assets, especially in terms of imaging and resolving the mechanisms underlying the apparent complexity of polyrhythmic brain dynamics. It also identifies practical challenges and clarifies misconceptions about the technique.

Dynamic models of large-scale brain activity   pp340 - 352
Michael Breakspear
Cognitive activity requires the collective behavior of cortical, thalamic and spinal neurons across large-scale systems of the CNS. This paper provides an illustrated introduction to dynamic models of large-scale brain activity, from the tenets of the underlying theory to challenges, controversies and recent breakthroughs.

Network neuroscience   pp353 - 364
Danielle S Bassett and Olaf Sporns
Network neuroscience tackles the challenge of discovering the principles underlying complex brain function and cognition from an explicitly integrative perspective. Here, the authors discuss emerging trends in network neuroscience, charting a path towards a better understanding of the brain that bridges computation, theory and experiment across spatial scales and species.

Building better biomarkers: brain models in translational neuroimaging   pp365 - 377
Choong-Wan Woo, Luke J Chang, Martin A Lindquist and Tor D Wager
Neuroimaging and pattern recognition are being combined to develop brain models of clinical disorders. Such models yield biomarkers that can be shared and validated across populations, narrowing the gap between neuroscience and clinical applications. The authors summarize 475 translational modeling studies, highlighting challenges and ways to improve biomarker development.

News and Views


Summing up the parts of the hypothalamus   pp378 - 379
Martin Hemberg
A catalog of the cells found in the hypothalamic arcuate-median eminence complex provides insights into genome-wide association studies of complex traits

See also: Resource by Campbell et al.

Setting the mood for love   pp379 - 380
Gül Dölen
McHenry and colleagues delineate a neural circuit controlling female sexual behavior. These experiments shed light on how the brain optimizes reproductive behavior to coincide with phases of peak fertility.

See also: Article by McHenry et al.

Rodent see, rodent fear   pp381 - 382
Yoav Kfir and Rony Paz
To learn from others' experience, one must link environmental conditions with social cues. A specific amygdala circuit underlies social learning of fear, and targeted activation normalizes behavior in a rodent model of autism.

See also: Article by Twining et al.

Glucose utilization: still in the synapse   pp382 - 384
A Jon Stoessl
Many people still associate brain glucose metabolism with neurons. A new report shows that stimulation of astrocytic glutamate uptake increases glucose utilization, suggesting that astrocytes play a major role in the glucose uptake signal. However, this still reflects synaptic activity.

See also: Brief Communication by Zimmer et al.

JOBS of the week
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Postdoctoral Fellow - Neurosurgery (Neuroscience - Oncology Research)
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Brief Communications


Hypothalamic CRFR1 is essential for HPA axis regulation following chronic stress   pp385 - 388
Assaf Ramot, Zhiying Jiang, Jin-Bin Tian, Tali Nahum, Yael Kuperman et al.
Dysfunction of the neuroendocrine HPA axis is associated with a variety of physiological and psychological pathologies. The authors show that corticotropin-releasing factor type 1 receptors within the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus are a key central component of HPA axis regulation that prepares the organism for chronic exposure to stressful stimuli.

An inhibitory pull-push circuit in frontal cortex   pp389 - 392
Pablo Garcia-Junco-Clemente, Taruna Ikrar, Elaine Tring, Xiangmin Xu, Dario L Ringach et al.
Using large-network calcium imaging in alert mouse frontal cortex, the authors identify a significant covariance of responses of VIP interneurons and pyramidal cells. Optogenetic interrogation of this brain region revealed a pull-push inhibitory circuit driven by neuromodulation of VIP interneurons that contrasts with canonical feedforward push-pull excitation.

[18F]FDG PET signal is driven by astroglial glutamate transport   pp393 - 395
Eduardo R Zimmer, Maxime J Parent, Debora G Souza, Antoine Leuzy, Clotilde Lecrux et al.
The identity of the cell types contributing to the [18F]FDG positron emission tomography signal remain highly controversial. In this study, the authors demonstrate that activating glutamate astrocytic transport increases brain [18F]FDG uptake. These findings indicate that astrocytes may also impact [18F]FDG positron emission tomography signal.

See also: News and Views by Stoessl

Portable fNIRS System 

Shimadzu's LIGHTNIRS expands opportunities for brain imaging research by providing high-quality Blood Oxygen Level Dependent signals of the cerebral cortex in a compact, wearable design. The portability of LIGHTNIRS allows visualizing brain function activity in real time in a more natural state than other methods.

Learn more



Identification of diverse astrocyte populations and their malignant analogs   pp396 - 405
Chia-Ching John Lin, Kwanha Yu, Asante Hatcher, Teng-Wei Huang, Hyun Kyoung Lee et al.
The nature of astrocyte diversity in the adult brain has remained poorly defined. The authors identify five astrocyte subpopulations in the brain that exhibit extensive molecular and functional diversity. They uncover correlative populations in malignant glioma, providing insight into how diverse astrocyte populations contribute to synaptogenesis, tumor pathophysiology and neurological disease.

Pericyte degeneration leads to neurovascular uncoupling and limits oxygen supply to brain   pp406 - 416
Kassandra Kisler, Amy R Nelson, Sanket V Rege, Anita Ramanathan, Yaoming Wang et al.
The role of pericytes in the regulation of cerebral blood flow (CBF) and neurovascular coupling remains unclear. Using loss-of-function pericyte-deficient mice, the authors report that pericyte degeneration reduces CBF responses to neuronal stimuli and oxygen supply to the brain, leading to metabolic stress, neuronal dysfunction and neurodegeneration.

Inhibitory suppression of heterogeneously tuned excitation enhances spatial coding in CA1 place cells   pp417 - 426
Christine Grienberger, Aaron D Milstein, Katie C Bittner, Sandro Romani and Jeffrey C Magee
The authors investigate the role of inhibition in shaping spatial selectivity of CA1 place cells. Combining whole-cell recordings, optogenetics and computational modeling, they demonstrate that inhibition enhances both rate and temporal coding of space by counteracting noise from broad out-of-field excitation.

REM sleep selectively prunes and maintains new synapses in development and learning   pp427 - 437
Wei Li, Lei Ma, Guang Yang and Wen-Biao Gan
The function of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep remains unclear. By examining how REM sleep affects synapses in the mouse cortex, the authors show that REM sleep is fundamental to brain development, learning and memory consolidation by selectively pruning and maintaining newly formed synapses via dendritic calcium spike-dependent mechanisms.

Circuit specificity in the inhibitory architecture of the VTA regulates cocaine-induced behavior   pp438 - 448
Nicholas J Edwards, Hugo A Tejeda, Marco Pignatelli, Shiliang Zhang, Ross A McDevitt et al.
Inputs to midbrain dopamine neurons control rewarding and drug-related behaviors. The authors found that nucleus accumbens inputs and local GABA neurons inhibit dopamine neurons through distinct populations of GABA receptors. Furthermore, genetic deletion of GABAB receptors from dopamine neurons selectively increased behavioral sensitivity to cocaine.

Hormonal gain control of a medial preoptic area social reward circuit   pp449 - 458
Jenna A McHenry, James M Otis, Mark A Rossi, J Elliott Robinson, Oksana Kosyk et al.
Social behaviors require neural circuits to process social cues and orchestrate motivational states. This study identifies a subpopulation of hypothalamic neurons expressing neurotensin that are engaged by social and hormonal signals. These neurons project to midbrain dopaminergic reward systems to promote and reinforce social and motivated behavior in a hormone-sensitive manner.

See also: News and Views by Dolen

An intra-amygdala circuit specifically regulates social fear learning   pp459 - 469
Robert C Twining, Jaime E Vantrease, Skyelar Love, Mallika Padival and J Amiel Rosenkranz
Effective social behavior requires comprehension of social cues and use of those cues to guide behavior. This study uncovers an amygdala circuit that is necessary for socially driven valuation of environmental cues. The strength of this circuit correlates with social learning, and augmentation of this circuit enhances abnormal social learning.

See also: News and Views by Kfir & Paz

Overlearning hyperstabilizes a skill by rapidly making neurochemical processing inhibitory-dominant   pp470 - 475
Kazuhisa Shibata, Yuka Sasaki, Ji Won Bang, Edward G Walsh, Maro G Machizawa et al.
Using magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Shibata et al. show that continuous training conducted after performance improvement has been maximized hyperstabilizes the skill learned and protects it from subsequent new learning by drastically changing early visual areas from excitatory (glutamate)-dominant to inhibitory (GABA)-dominant neurochemical environments.



Neuronal activity modifies the chromatin accessibility landscape in the adult brain   pp476 - 483
Yijing Su, Jaehoon Shin, Chun Zhong, Sabrina Wang, Prith Roychowdhury et al.
Su et al. investigated the chromatin accessibility status of neurons in the adult mouse dentate gyrus at different timepoints after activation at the genome-wide level. Their study provides a potential mechanism by which neuronal activity may reshape the epigenetic landscape, thereby dynamically changing transcriptome and neuronal properties over time.

A molecular census of arcuate hypothalamus and median eminence cell types   pp484 - 496
John N Campbell, Evan Z Macosko, Henning Fenselau, Tune H Pers, Anna Lyubetskaya et al.
The hypothalamic arcuate-median eminence (Arc-ME) complex is rich with functionally distinct cell types, a fraction of which have been characterized. The authors profile 20,921 individual cells by single-cell RNA-seq, identifying 50 Arc-ME cell types and their markers, determining each's response to energy status and implicating two neuron populations in the genetic control of obesity.

See also: News and Views by Hemberg

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