Browse Articles

  • News & Views |

    In an unfamiliar situation, animals display variable choice behavior. Based on computational modeling and empirical data, a new study suggests that the variability in decision-making across individuals is driven by differences in internal neural dynamics in the medial frontal cortex.

    • Huriye Atilgan
    •  & Alex C. Kwan
  • Article |

    Partial loss of psychiatric risk gene Mir137 in mice causes repetitive behavior and impairs sociability and learning via increased Pde10a.

    • Ying Cheng
    • , Zhi-Meng Wang
    • , Weiqi Tan
    • , Xiaona Wang
    • , Yujing Li
    • , Bing Bai
    • , Yuxin Li
    • , Shuang-Feng Zhang
    • , Hai-Liang Yan
    • , Zuo-Lun Chen
    • , Chang-Mei Liu
    • , Ting-Wei Mi
    • , Shuting Xia
    • , Zikai Zhou
    • , An Liu
    • , Gang-Bin Tang
    • , Cong Liu
    • , Zhi-Jie Dai
    • , Ying-Ying Wang
    • , Hong Wang
    • , Xusheng Wang
    • , Yunhee Kang
    • , Li Lin
    • , Zhenping Chen
    • , Nina Xie
    • , Qinmiao Sun
    • , Wei Xie
    • , Junmin Peng
    • , Dahua Chen
    • , Zhao-Qian Teng
    •  & Peng Jin
  • News & Views |

    The combination of spinal epidural stimulation and physical therapy is restoring walking function to people with spinal cord injury. With intensive rehabilitation, some participants are able to walk in their communities during stimulation and even regain control over previously paralyzed movement in the absence of stimulation.

    • Chet Moritz
  • Article |

    Electrical spinal cord stimulation interferes with natural proprioceptive information in humans. Ecological stimulation protocols that preserve limb position awareness and proprioceptive circuit dynamics facilitate walking after spinal cord injury.

    • Emanuele Formento
    • , Karen Minassian
    • , Fabien Wagner
    • , Jean Baptiste Mignardot
    • , Camille G. Le Goff-Mignardot
    • , Andreas Rowald
    • , Jocelyne Bloch
    • , Silvestro Micera
    • , Marco Capogrosso
    •  & Gregoire Courtine
  • Article |

    A small cluster of brainstem-projecting layer 5 neurons in primary motor cortex elicit contraction of the bladder muscle and trigger urination. These findings open new directions for treating urination-related disorders.

    • Jiwei Yao
    • , Quanchao Zhang
    • , Xiang Liao
    • , Qianwei Li
    • , Shanshan Liang
    • , Xianping Li
    • , Yalun Zhang
    • , Xiangning Li
    • , Haoyu Wang
    • , Han Qin
    • , Meng Wang
    • , Jingcheng Li
    • , Jianxiong Zhang
    • , Wenjing He
    • , Wen Zhang
    • , Tong Li
    • , Fuqiang Xu
    • , Hui Gong
    • , Hongbo Jia
    • , Xiaohong Xu
    • , Junan Yan
    •  & Xiaowei Chen
  • News & Views |

    Two recent studies have expanded our understanding of the circuits controlling urination: one described a projection from brainstem to spinal cord that relaxes the urethral sphincter, and the other revealed a subpopulation of brainstem-projecting layer 5 pyramidal neurons in primary motor cortex that direct the initiation of urination.

    • Zheyi Ni
    •  & Hailan Hu
  • Article |

    Distributed networks in visual cortex precisely link the fine-scale functional architecture with distant network elements and appear early in development, when heterogeneous local connections may seed long-range network interactions.

    • Gordon B. Smith
    • , Bettina Hein
    • , David E. Whitney
    • , David Fitzpatrick
    •  & Matthias Kaschube
  • Article |

    The authors investigated the neocortical representations that mediate sensory–motor transformations in active sensing behavior. Layer 5 of vibrissae cortex generates a diverse, distributed network representation via active dendritic integration.

    • Gayathri N. Ranganathan
    • , Pierre F. Apostolides
    • , Mark T. Harnett
    • , Ning-Long Xu
    • , Shaul Druckmann
    •  & Jeffrey C. Magee
  • Review Article |

    Somatic mutations occur after fertilization and are present in only some cells of an individual. Somatic mutations contribute to normal and abnormal brain development, including neurodevelopmental disorders like autism spectrum disorder.

    • Alissa M. D’Gama
    •  & Christopher A. Walsh
  • Article |

    Mattar and Daw propose a normative theory predicting which memories should be accessed at each moment to optimize future decisions. This theory offers a simple explanation for numerous findings about hippocampal replay, bridging planning and learning.

    • Marcelo G. Mattar
    •  & Nathaniel D. Daw
  • Article |

    Saccadic eye movements during free viewing exhibit patterns that reflect a strategy to increase neural responses by matching motor behavior with the statistics of the natural world and with the processing limitations of sensory systems.

    • Jason M. Samonds
    • , Wilson S. Geisler
    •  & Nicholas J. Priebe
  • News & Views |

    What you choose depends on what information your brain considers and what it neglects when computing the value of actions. An early theory used this insight for a computational account of habits versus deliberation. It has ultimately helped uncover how choice in the brain goes beyond such simple dichotomies.

    • Nathaniel D. Daw
  • Article |

    Widespread differences in H3K27ac, a key histone modification, are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. H3K27ac differences were enriched in genomic regions containing loci involved in the progression of Aβ and tau pathology.

    • Sarah J. Marzi
    • , Szi Kay Leung
    • , Teodora Ribarska
    • , Eilis Hannon
    • , Adam R. Smith
    • , Ehsan Pishva
    • , Jeremie Poschmann
    • , Karen Moore
    • , Claire Troakes
    • , Safa Al-Sarraj
    • , Stephan Beck
    • , Stuart Newman
    • , Katie Lunnon
    • , Leonard C. Schalkwyk
    •  & Jonathan Mill
  • Article |

    BRS3 is a receptor regulating energy metabolism. The authors find that DMH Brs3 neurons control body temperature, energy expenditure, and heart rate, but not food intake. In contrast, PVH Brs3 neurons regulate food intake but not energy expenditure.

    • Ramón A. Piñol
    • , Sebastian H. Zahler
    • , Chia Li
    • , Atreyi Saha
    • , Brandon K. Tan
    • , Vojtěch Škop
    • , Oksana Gavrilova
    • , Cuiying Xiao
    • , Michael J. Krashes
    •  & Marc L. Reitman
  • News & Views |

    A new theory derives the sequential nature of hippocampal replay from first principles and, moreover, predicts the specific patterns of replay that are actually observed in multiple different experiments.

    • John Widloski
    •  & David J. Foster
  • Article |

    Mátyás, Komlósi, et al. describe a highly specialized, calretinin-containing cell population in the dorsal medial thalamus. Connectivity, activity, and optogenetic manipulations identify these neurons as key mediators of forebrain arousal.

    • Ferenc Mátyás
    • , Gergely Komlósi
    • , Ákos Babiczky
    • , Kinga Kocsis
    • , Péter Barthó
    • , Boglárka Barsy
    • , Csaba Dávid
    • , Vivien Kanti
    • , Cesar Porrero
    • , Aletta Magyar
    • , Iván Szűcs
    • , Francisco Clasca
    •  & László Acsády
  • Article |

    Venniro et al. report that drug-addicted rats reliably choose contact with another rat over drugs, even when group-housed between tests. They also do not show the increase in drug craving that normally occurs during forced abstinence.

    • Marco Venniro
    • , Michelle Zhang
    • , Daniele Caprioli
    • , Jennifer K. Hoots
    • , Sam A. Golden
    • , Conor Heins
    • , Marisela Morales
    • , David H. Epstein
    •  & Yavin Shaham
  • Resource |

    Bienkowski et al. have created a new subregional atlas of the mouse hippocampus that integrates gene expression with anatomical connectivity to reveal the multiscale organization of the hippocampus and its connections throughout the brain.

    • Michael S. Bienkowski
    • , Ian Bowman
    • , Monica Y. Song
    • , Lin Gou
    • , Tyler Ard
    • , Kaelan Cotter
    • , Muye Zhu
    • , Nora L. Benavidez
    • , Seita Yamashita
    • , Jaspar Abu-Jaber
    • , Sana Azam
    • , Darrick Lo
    • , Nicholas N. Foster
    • , Houri Hintiryan
    •  & Hong-Wei Dong
  • Article |

    The authors report TNFα-dependent hyperactivity in cortical microcircuits during remission in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis, a maladaptive response to the immune attack with behavioral changes.

    • Erik Ellwardt
    • , Gautam Pramanik
    • , Dirk Luchtman
    • , Tanja Novkovic
    • , Eduardo Rosales Jubal
    • , Johannes Vogt
    • , Isabelle Arnoux
    • , Christina Francisca Vogelaar
    • , Shibajee Mandal
    • , Melanie Schmalz
    • , Zeke Barger
    • , Inigo Ruiz de Azua
    • , Tanja Kuhlmann
    • , Beat Lutz
    • , Thomas Mittmann
    • , Stefan Bittner
    • , Frauke Zipp
    •  & Albrecht Stroh
  • News & Views |

    In this issue of Nature Neuroscience, Menegas et al. demonstrate a role for midbrain dopamine neurons projecting to the tail of the striatum in encoding stimulus novelty and threat avoidance. From this study emerges a model whereby distinct dopaminergic projections to striatum influence behavior along at least two axes, one representing value and one representing threat.

    • Cody A. Siciliano
    • , Fergil Mills
    •  & Kay M. Tye
  • Review Article |

    Microglia are the sentinels, housekeepers, and defenders of the brain. In this review we consider the immune checkpoints that control microglial functions and discuss how their imbalance and subsequent neuroinflammation leads to neurodegeneration.

    • Suzanne Hickman
    • , Saef Izzy
    • , Pritha Sen
    • , Liza Morsett
    •  & Joseph El Khoury
  • Article |

    Hunt, Malalasekera et al. recorded populations of prefrontal neurons from monkeys performing a visual attention-guided-choice task. The results revealed that distinct computations in three PFC subregions as information was sampled guided the eventual decision.

    • Laurence T. Hunt
    • , W. M. Nishantha Malalasekera
    • , Archy O. de Berker
    • , Bruno Miranda
    • , Simon F. Farmer
    • , Timothy E. J. Behrens
    •  & Steven W. Kennerley
  • Review Article |

    Older people often have more than one form of neuropathology. The authors describe how insights from the genomic architecture of syndromically defined neurodegenerative diseases can be integrated to inform person-specific trajectories of brain aging.

    • Philip L. De Jager
    • , Hyun-Sik Yang
    •  & David A Bennett
  • Review Article |

    Neurodegenerative diseases cause progressive loss of brain functions associated with aging. Here we review intricate genotype–phenotype relationships, shared pathogenic mechanisms, and emerging therapeutic opportunities and challenges.

    • Li Gan
    • , Mark R. Cookson
    • , Leonard Petrucelli
    •  & Albert R. La Spada
  • Review Article |

    Adequate blood supply and vascular integrity are key to normal brain functioning. Cerebral blood flow and blood–brain barrier disruption contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders as reviewed in humans and animal models.

    • Melanie D. Sweeney
    • , Kassandra Kisler
    • , Axel Montagne
    • , Arthur W. Toga
    •  & Berislav V. Zlokovic
  • Review Article |

    The authors review the current state of rodent models for AD, PD, FTD, and ALS. Limitations and utility of current models, issues regarding translatability, and future directions for developing animal models of these human disorders are discussed.

    • Ted M. Dawson
    • , Todd E. Golde
    •  & Clotilde Lagier-Tourenne
  • Review Article |

    Neurodegenerative diseases impact specific cell populations within the brain. However, not all cells within the population are impacted, a phenomenon called selective cellular vulnerability. The molecular basis of this vulnerability is discussed.

    • Hongjun Fu
    • , John Hardy
    •  & Karen E. Duff
  • Article |

    Goel et al found similar deficits in visual discrimination in humans and in a mouse model of FXS. In mice, a robust decrease in PV cell activity mediated this impairment, suggesting that manipulating inhibition may improve sensory processing in FXS.

    • Anubhuti Goel
    • , Daniel A. Cantu
    • , Janna Guilfoyle
    • , Gunvant R. Chaudhari
    • , Aditi Newadkar
    • , Barbara Todisco
    • , Diego de Alba
    • , Nazim Kourdougli
    • , Lauren M. Schmitt
    • , Ernest Pedapati
    • , Craig A. Erickson
    •  & Carlos Portera-Cailliau
  • News & Views |

    While the role of protein synthesis in synaptic plasticity and memory is well-established, protein degradation processes have been less studied. A seminal 2003 Nature Neuroscience paper showed that ubiquitin-dependent degradation of synaptic proteins is engaged during activity-regulated synaptic remodeling.

    • Jason D. Shepherd
  • Article |

    The authors report that impaired hippocampal synchrony in a mouse model of schizophrenia is due to parvalbumin interneuron hypoexcitability. Rescuing interneuron excitability during adulthood restores wild-type-like network dynamics and behavior.

    • Thomas Marissal
    • , Rodrigo F. Salazar
    • , Cristina Bertollini
    • , Sophie Mutel
    • , Mathias De Roo
    • , Ivan Rodriguez
    • , Dominique Müller
    •  & Alan Carleton
  • Resource |

    The BRAINcode consortium found that tens of thousands of transcribed noncoding elements (TNEs) from the ‘dark matter’ of our genome are active in dopamine neurons. They may be linked to schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, and addiction.

    • Xianjun Dong
    • , Zhixiang Liao
    • , David Gritsch
    • , Yavor Hadzhiev
    • , Yunfei Bai
    • , Joseph J. Locascio
    • , Boris Guennewig
    • , Ganqiang Liu
    • , Cornelis Blauwendraat
    • , Tao Wang
    • , Charles H. Adler
    • , John C. Hedreen
    • , Richard L. M. Faull
    • , Matthew P. Frosch
    • , Peter T. Nelson
    • , Patrizia Rizzu
    • , Antony A. Cooper
    • , Peter Heutink
    • , Thomas G. Beach
    • , John S. Mattick
    • , Ferenc Müller
    •  & Clemens R. Scherzer
  • Article |

    Applying a social Pavlovian conditioning procedure for macaques, this study shows that medial prefrontal neurons selectively monitor self-reward or other-reward information and that dopamine neurons integrate this information into subjective value.

    • Atsushi Noritake
    • , Taihei Ninomiya
    •  & Masaki Isoda
  • News & Views |

    How we value our own rewards depends on what others have. A new study shows that neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex selectively monitor the value of rewards received by oneself or by another individual, whereas midbrain dopaminergic neurons integrate these values to generate social subjective reward values.

    • Olga Dal Monte
    • , Siqi Fan
    •  & Steve W. C. Chang
  • Article |

    Louveau et al. demonstrate that meningeal lymphatics drain CSF-derived macromolecules and immune cells and play a key role in regulating neuroinflammation. Meningeal lymphatics may represent a new therapeutic target for multiple sclerosis.

    • Antoine Louveau
    • , Jasmin Herz
    • , Maria Nordheim Alme
    • , Andrea Francesca Salvador
    • , Michael Q. Dong
    • , Kenneth E. Viar
    • , S. Grace Herod
    • , James Knopp
    • , Joshua C. Setliff
    • , Alexander L. Lupi
    • , Sandro Da Mesquita
    • , Elizabeth L. Frost
    • , Alban Gaultier
    • , Tajie H. Harris
    • , Rui Cao
    • , Song Hu
    • , John R. Lukens
    • , Igor Smirnov
    • , Christopher C. Overall
    • , Guillermo Oliver
    •  & Jonathan Kipnis
  • Article |

    Mongillo et al. use theoretical modeling to link structure & activity in a cortical network. They find that activity patterns are predominantly controlled by inhibitory connections, making the network robust to ongoing changes in excitatory synapses.

    • Gianluigi Mongillo
    • , Simon Rumpel
    •  & Yonatan Loewenstein
  • Article |

    Behavior is the result of a Bayesian computation that weights past experience and current sensory information by their reliabilities. Here single-neuron activity in eye movement cortex exemplifies how the brain implements a Bayesian computation.

    • Timothy R. Darlington
    • , Jeffrey M. Beck
    •  & Stephen G. Lisberger
  • News & Views |

    The surge in single-cell and single-nucleus RNA-sequencing has raised the question of the value of bulk tissue transcriptomics. Kelley et al. describe an analysis framework by which existing bulk transcriptomic data can be reanalyzed using cell-type-specific data to yield insights into cell-type variation across brain regions and diseases.

    • Vilas Menon
  • Article |

    A GWAS of lifetime cannabis use reveals new risk loci, shows that cannabis use has genetic overlap with smoking and alcohol use, and indicates that the likelihood of initiating cannabis use is causally influenced by schizophrenia.

    • Joëlle A. Pasman
    • , Karin J. H. Verweij
    • , Zachary Gerring
    • , Sven Stringer
    • , Sandra Sanchez-Roige
    • , Jorien L. Treur
    • , Abdel Abdellaoui
    • , Michel G. Nivard
    • , Bart M. L. Baselmans
    • , Jue-Sheng Ong
    • , Hill F. Ip
    • , Matthijs D. van der Zee
    • , Meike Bartels
    • , Felix R. Day
    • , Pierre Fontanillas
    • , Sarah L. Elson
    • , Harriet de Wit
    • , Lea K. Davis
    • , James MacKillop
    • , Jaime L. Derringer
    • , Susan J. T. Branje
    • , Catharina A. Hartman
    • , Andrew C. Heath
    • , Pol A. C. van Lier
    • , Pamela A. F. Madden
    • , Reedik Mägi
    • , Wim Meeus
    • , Grant W. Montgomery
    • , A. J. Oldehinkel
    • , Zdenka Pausova
    • , Josep A. Ramos-Quiroga
    • , Tomas Paus
    • , Marta Ribases
    • , Jaakko Kaprio
    • , Marco P. M. Boks
    • , Jordana T. Bell
    • , Tim D. Spector
    • , Joel Gelernter
    • , Dorret I. Boomsma
    • , Nicholas G. Martin
    • , Stuart MacGregor
    • , John R. B. Perry
    • , Abraham A. Palmer
    • , Danielle Posthuma
    • , Marcus R. Munafò
    • , Nathan A. Gillespie
    • , Eske M. Derks
    •  & Jacqueline M. Vink
  • Article |

    The authors describe microscopic channels that directly connect the skull marrow cavities with the meninges. Neutrophils originating from the skull marrow have a higher propensity to travel to the ischemic mouse brain than cells in the tibia.

    • Fanny Herisson
    • , Vanessa Frodermann
    • , Gabriel Courties
    • , David Rohde
    • , Yuan Sun
    • , Katrien Vandoorne
    • , Gregory R. Wojtkiewicz
    • , Gustavo Santos Masson
    • , Claudio Vinegoni
    • , Jiwon Kim
    • , Dong-Eog Kim
    • , Ralph Weissleder
    • , Filip K. Swirski
    • , Michael A. Moskowitz
    •  & Matthias Nahrendorf