Browse Articles

  • Research Highlight |

    Postnatal brain development is highly influenced by sensory experience, in part via de novo activation of enhancer sequences by inducible transcription factors.

    • Sian Lewis
  • Research Highlight |

    The activity of a subset of projections neurons in the song premotor nucleus HVC of canaries depends on preceding steps in the bird’s song and can predict future song phrases.

    • Natasha Bray
  • Review Article |

    The homeostatic CNS environment is maintained by the function of the blood–blood barrier and neurovascular coupling. Kaplan, Chow and Gu describe how neural and vascular activity act on one another with regard to the blood–blood barrier and neurovascular coupling.

    • Luke Kaplan
    • , Brian W. Chow
    •  & Chenghua Gu
  • Research Highlight |

    In flies, mutant TRPV4 causes mitochondrial transport deficits, axonal degeneration and neuronal dysfunction.

    • Darran Yates
  • Research Highlight |

    Two studies shed light on the neural bases of torpor and a hibernation-like state not usually observed in mice.

    • Natasha Bray
  • Review Article |

    Ageing is the main risk factor for Alzheimer disease (AD), but the mechanisms connecting ageing to this disease remain incompletely understood. In this Review, Saez-Atienzar and Masliah examine whether cellular senescence may have a role in linking ageing and AD.

    • Sara Saez-Atienzar
    •  & Eliezer Masliah
  • Research Highlight |

    Neuronal silencing drives homeostatic plasticity by regulating the alternative splicing of potassium channels.

    • Katherine Whalley
  • Review Article |

    The human motor cortex is selectively vulnerable in numerous neurodegenerative diseases. In this Review, McColgan et al. integrate layer-specific physiology with pathobiology in the motor cortex, thereby generating hypotheses that can be tested in humans using ultra-high-resolution neuroimaging techniques.

    • Peter McColgan
    • , Julie Joubert
    • , Sarah J. Tabrizi
    •  & Geraint Rees
  • Research Highlight |

    The temporal association cortex, a higher cortical area, of mother mice becomes tuned to pups’ ultrasonic vocalizations.

    • Natasha Bray
  • Review Article |

    There have been a number of recent advances in the use of transplanted cells to enable functional recovery in animal models of spinal cord injury. Fischer and colleagues review this work and describe the use of neural progenitor cell transplants to restore connectivity in key neural systems following spinal damage.

    • Itzhak Fischer
    • , Jennifer N. Dulin
    •  & Michael A. Lane
  • Comment |

    Although neuroscientists focus on only very few animal species today, there are many important reasons to take advantage of model system diversity and embrace (anew) a comparative approach in modern brain research. Recent technological advances make this increasingly possible.

    • Gilles Laurent
  • Research Highlight |

    In a rat model of spinal cord injury, inhibiting calmodulin-mediated relocalization of aquaporin 4 to the blood–spinal cord barrier after injury reduced CNS oedema and promoted functional recovery.

    • Darran Yates
  • Perspective |

    In this Perspective, Hanno Würbel and colleagues argue that a disregard for incorporating biological variation in study design is an important cause of poor reproducibility in animal research. They put the case for the use of systematic heterogenization of study samples and conditions in studies to improve reproducibility.

    • Bernhard Voelkl
    • , Naomi S. Altman
    • , Anders Forsman
    • , Wolfgang Forstmeier
    • , Jessica Gurevitch
    • , Ivana Jaric
    • , Natasha A. Karp
    • , Martien J. Kas
    • , Holger Schielzeth
    • , Tom Van de Casteele
    •  & Hanno Würbel
  • Research Highlight |

    A step function opsin with extreme light sensitivity has been developed that can be activated with an external light source.

    • Sian Lewis
  • Research Highlight |

    A pathway connecting the brain and spleen allows neural activity to modulate adaptive immune responses.

    • Katherine Whalley
  • Review Article |

    Models of dendrites have been instrumental in our understanding of their functions. Poirazi and Papoutsi review the major contributions of dendritic models, including those already proved or waiting to be experimentally verified, and highlight successful interactions between the modelling and experimental neuroscience communities.

    • Panayiota Poirazi
    •  & Athanasia Papoutsi
  • Comment |

    Neuroscience laboratories can take steps to ‘go green’ in a number of ways, including curbing unnecessary energy usage and reducing plastic waste. Such measures often rely on behavioural changes but need not affect scientific output.

    • Joseph D. Zak
    • , Jenelle Wallace
    •  & Venkatesh N. Murthy
  • Review Article |

    Syllables play a central role in speech production and perception. In this Review, Poeppel and Assaneo outline how a simple biophysical model of the speech production system as an oscillator explains the remarkably stable rhythmic structure of spoken language.

    • David Poeppel
    •  & M. Florencia Assaneo
  • Research Highlight |

    The presence of sugar in the gut is signalled via the vagus nerve to neurons in the caudal nucleus of the solitary tract, which help to mediate the formation of the preference for sugar over sweeteners.

    • Natasha Bray
  • Perspective |

    The backpropagation of error (backprop) algorithm is frequently used to train deep neural networks in machine learning, but it has not been viewed as being implemented by the brain. In this Perspective, however, Lillicrap and colleagues argue that the key principles underlying backprop may indeed have a role in brain function.

    • Timothy P. Lillicrap
    • , Adam Santoro
    • , Luke Marris
    • , Colin J. Akerman
    •  & Geoffrey Hinton
  • Research Highlight |

    Study demonstrates that the ion channel KCNN2 has an important role in motor skill learning deficiencies resulting from fetal alcohol exposure in mice.

    • Grant Otto
  • Review Article |

    Early processing in subcortical areas has been underemphasized in models of how perception and cognition are altered in psychiatric disorders. Here, McFadyen and colleagues review recent discoveries in how subcortical–cortical dynamics contribute to perception and higher-order cognition.

    • Jessica McFadyen
    • , Raymond J. Dolan
    •  & Marta I. Garrido
  • Review Article |

    The lateral habenula (LHb) has received increasing attention in part because dysfunction of this region may play a part in several psychiatric disorders, notably depression. In this Review, Hu et al. examine the neural circuits, physiological functions and potential pathophysiological roles of the LHb.

    • Hailan Hu
    • , Yihui Cui
    •  & Yan Yang
  • Research Highlight |

    Study demonstrates a crucial role for cold-sensitive, warm-inactivated sensory neurons in the perception of innocuous warmth.

    • Katherine Whalley