Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Nature Neuroscience Contents: April 2017 Volume 20 Number 4, pp 497 - 628

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April 2017 Volume 20, Issue 4

News and Views
Brief Communication
Technical Reports
Novel In Vivo Neuropsychiatric Disorder Models

Taconic Biosciences is now offering 3 new genetic copy number variation (CNV) models, useful for in vivo investigations of neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, and ADHD.

Watch Taconic's Webinar on these Novel Disorder Models 

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The NYSCF Investigator Program supports top early career neuroscientists and stem cell researchers around the world through the: 

NYSCF - Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Awards

NYSCF - Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Awards

Learn more about the Program and its investigators here
Focus on Psychiatric Disorders 

Compared to other areas, psychiatric research faces unique biological, technological, clinical, regulatory and ethical challenges.

In this focus Nature Neuroscience and Nature Medicine present a collection of Commentaries, Perspectives, and Reviews that address these challenges. 

Access the Focus online

Produced with support of a grant from: 
Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 

Focus on Disease models: reproducibility and translation 

Lab Animal, a Nature Research journal focusing on in vivo methods, research and technology with model organisms of human health & disease, presents a special Focus on reproducibility and translation of in vivo research with disease models. 

Access this Focus >

Produced with support from: 
Taconic Biosciences, Inc. 
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News and Views


Nusinersen, an antisense oligonucleotide drug for spinal muscular atrophy   pp497 - 499
David R Corey
Nusinersen (Spinraza) is a recently approved drug for treating spinal muscular atrophy. Approval of nusinersen may signal new opportunities for using antisense oligonucleotides as treatments for devastating neurological diseases.

Cocaine, cadherins and synaptic plasticity   pp499 - 501
Kristina Valentinova and Manuel Mameli
Addictive substances hijack the reward system partly via synaptic plasticity onto dopamine neurons. Cadherins may contribute to cocaine-evoked adaptations, supporting the notion that drug addiction is a synaptic disease.

See also: Article by Mills et al.

A neuronal mechanism for recall of bad events   pp501 - 503
Chenguang Zheng and Laura Lee Colgin
Hippocampal place cells are traditionally thought to represent locations where animals currently are or predict where they are headed. However, new results reveal that place cells also represent distant places that are actively avoided.

See also: Article by Wu et al.

Adolescence, brain maturation and mental health   pp503 - 504
Adriana Galvan
The rate of development of the brain connectome distinguishes adolescents with and without psychiatric symptoms. Those with symptoms exhibit delayed development of connectome distinctiveness as compared to healthy adolescents.

See also: Brief Communication by Kaufmann et al.

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Motivational neural circuits underlying reinforcement learning   pp505 - 512
Bruno B Averbeck and Vincent D Costa
Reinforcement learning (RL) is the behavioral process of learning to associate rewards with actions or objects. Conceptual and theoretical accounts of RL have focused on the striatum. However, recent data shows that the amygdala also plays an important role in RL.

Brief Communication


Delayed stabilization and individualization in connectome development are related to psychiatric disorders   pp513 - 515
Tobias Kaufmann, Dag Alnæs, Nhat Trung Doan, Christine Lycke Brandt, Ole A Andreassen et al.
This study on neurodevelopment of functional networks reveals a network tuning process that transforms the human connectome into a stable, individualized wiring pattern. Delay in this tuning was associated with disordered mental health, revealing the detrimental paths that brain plasticity can take during adolescence, when initial symptoms of mental illness occur.

See also: News and Views by Galvan

NYU Nature Conference on Neurogenetics 

August 9-11, 2017| New York, NY

Presented by: New York University (NYU) | Nature Genetics | Nature Neuroscience 

Register now!



Ontogenetic establishment of order-specific nuclear organization in the mammalian thalamus   pp516 - 528
Wei Shi, Anjin Xianyu, Zhi Han, Xing Tang, Zhizhong Li et al.
Shi et al. performed a systematic clonal analysis and revealed an intricate ontogenetic logic of structural development and functional organization of the mammalian thalamus. Notably, neurons in cognitive versus sensory or motor nuclei as well as in first-order versus high-order sensory or motor nuclei across different modalities exhibit distinct progenitor origin and spatial configuration.

Metabotropic action of postsynaptic kainate receptors triggers hippocampal long-term potentiation   pp529 - 539
Milos M Petrovic, Silvia Viana da Silva, James P Clement, Ladislav Vyklicky, Christophe Mulle et al.
The authors show that activation of GluK2-containing kainate receptors on hippocampal neurons, by either agonist application or high-frequency synaptic stimulation, leads to a new form of NMDA-receptor-independent LTP. Induction of this form of plasticity requires the metabotropic action of postsynaptic kainate receptors, which triggers spine growth and potentiation of AMPA-receptor-mediated transmission.

Cadherins mediate cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity and behavioral conditioning   pp540 - 549
Fergil Mills, Andrea K Globa, Shuai Liu, Catherine M Cowan, Mahsan Mobasser et al.
Drugs of abuse alter the strength of synaptic connections within the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system. The current study demonstrates that this is dependent on the recruitment of cadherin to the synaptic membrane. Increased cadherin at dopaminergic synapses impairs cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity, resulting in a reduction in cocaine preference.

See also: News and Views by Valentinova & Mameli

Retinal origin of direction selectivity in the superior colliculus   pp550 - 558
Xuefeng Shi, Jad Barchini, Hector Acaron Ledesma, David Koren, Yanjiao Jin et al.
The authors use a variety of techniques to isolate and manipulate retinal inputs to direction-selective neurons in the mouse superior colliculus. They show that these cells inherit their selectivity from the retina by combining inputs from similarly tuned ganglion cells, which are further amplified in the colliculus without altering selectivity.

A distinct entorhinal cortex to hippocampal CA1 direct circuit for olfactory associative learning   pp559 - 570
Yiding Li, Jiamin Xu, Yafeng Liu, Jia Zhu, Nan Liu et al.
Entorhinal cortex transfers multimodal information to hippocampus CA1 neurons via indirect and direct pathways. The authors show that excitatory projections from lateral entorhinal cortex selectively target a subpopulation of morphologically complex, calbindin-expressing pyramidal cells in CA1, forming a distinct direct circuit that is required for olfactory associative learning.

Hippocampal awake replay in fear memory retrieval   pp571 - 580
Chun-Ting Wu, Daniel Haggerty, Caleb Kemere and Daoyun Ji
How hippocampal place cells participate in fear memory retrieval is unknown. Wu et al. show that, when rats retrieve prior shock experience prompting them to avoid a shock zone, precise place cell activity patterns encoding paths from animals/' current locations to the shock zone are replayed in association with high-frequency ripple oscillations.

See also: News and Views by Zheng & Colgin

Dopamine reward prediction errors reflect hidden-state inference across time   pp581 - 589
Clara Kwon Starkweather, Benedicte M Babayan, Naoshige Uchida and Samuel J Gershman
A long-standing idea in modern neuroscience is that the brain computes inferences about the outside world rather than passively observing its environment. The authors record from midbrain dopamine neurons during tasks with different reward contingencies and show that responses are consistent with a learning rule that harnesses hidden-state inference.

Persistently active neurons in human medial frontal and medial temporal lobe support working memory   pp590 - 601
Jan Kaminski, Shannon Sullivan, Jeffrey M Chung, Ian B Ross, Adam N Mamelak et al.
Using single-neuron recordings in the human brain during a working-memory task, the authors show both stimulus-specific and nonspecific types of persistent activity in neurons of the medial frontal and medial temporal lobes. Persistent activity in hippocampus and amygdala was predictive of memory content and displayed dynamic attractor patterns.

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.



Whole genome sequencing resource identifies 18 new candidate genes for autism spectrum disorder   pp602 - 611
Ryan K C Yuen, Daniele Merico, Matt Bookman, Jennifer L Howe, Bhooma Thiruvahindrapuram et al.
Yuen et al. developed a cloud-based database with 5,205 whole genomes from families with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). They identified 18 new candidate ASD-risk genes and approximately 100 risk genes and copy-number loci, which account for 11% of the cases. They also found that individuals bearing mutations in ASD-risk genes had lower adaptive ability.

Technical Reports


One-step optogenetics with multifunctional flexible polymer fibers   pp612 - 619
Seongjun Park, Yuanyuan Guo, Xiaoting Jia, Han Kyoung Choe, Benjamin Grena et al.
The authors use fiber-based fabrication to create flexible biocompatible probes with integrated optical, electrical and microfluidic capabilities. Functionality is demonstrated by characterizing the temporal dynamics of opsin expression following viral delivery, long-term tracking of individual neuron action potentials and modulation of neural circuits in the context of mouse behavior.

Video-rate volumetric functional imaging of the brain at synaptic resolution   pp620 - 628
Rongwen Lu, Wenzhi Sun, Yajie Liang, Aaron Kerlin, Jens Bierfeld et al.
The authors built a simple optical module that generates axially extended Bessel foci, optimized for in vivo brain imaging. Easily incorporated into existing two-photon fluorescence microscopes, this module allowed 30-Hz volumetric functional imaging of sparsely labeled brains at synaptic resolution in a variety of model organisms in vivo.

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