3,314 results match your criteria Current opinion in neurobiology[Journal]


Normalization and pooling in hierarchical models of natural images.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 18;55:65-72. Epub 2019 Feb 18.

Computational Neuroscience Lab, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Miami, FL 33146, United States.

Divisive normalization and subunit pooling are two canonical classes of computation that have become widely used in descriptive (what) models of visual cortical processing. Normative (why) models from natural image statistics can help constrain the form and parameters of such classes of models. We focus on recent advances in two particular directions, namely deriving richer forms of divisive normalization, and advances in learning pooling from image statistics. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2019.01.008DOI Listing
February 2019

Analyzing biological and artificial neural networks: challenges with opportunities for synergy?

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 19;55:55-64. Epub 2019 Feb 19.

Computational Neuroengineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Technical University of Munich, Germany.

Deep neural networks (DNNs) transform stimuli across multiple processing stages to produce representations that can be used to solve complex tasks, such as object recognition in images. However, a full understanding of how they achieve this remains elusive. The complexity of biological neural networks substantially exceeds the complexity of DNNs, making it even more challenging to understand the representations they learn. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2019.01.007DOI Listing
February 2019

Vesicular degradation pathways in neurons: at the crossroads of autophagy and endo-lysosomal degradation.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 18;57:94-101. Epub 2019 Feb 18.

Department of Physiology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, United States.

Autophagy and endo-lysosomal degradation are two parallel degradation pathways essential for maintaining neuronal health and function. Autophagosomes and endosomes sequester cellular cargo through different mechanisms, but these pathways converge upon fusion with lysosomes. Both pathways are spatially regulated, with distinct features evident in the soma, axons, and dendrites, possibly as an adaptation to the unique morphology of neurons and the specific demands of each compartment. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2019.01.005DOI Listing
February 2019

Surveillance and transportation of mitochondria in neurons.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 18;57:87-93. Epub 2019 Feb 18.

Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA 94304, United States. Electronic address:

Neurons need to allocate and sustain mitochondria to provide adequate energy and sufficient Ca-buffering capacity in each sub specialization of their extensive arborizations. Damaged mitochondria, which are highly deleterious to the neuron, must be rapidly repaired or eliminated, even when they are left at terminals extremely far away from the soma. The unique shape of neurons complicates the tasks of both transporting and clearing mitochondria. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2019.01.015DOI Listing
February 2019

Molecular constituents and localization of the ionotropic GABA receptor complex in vivo.

Authors:
Susumu Tomita

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 18;57:81-86. Epub 2019 Feb 18.

Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Department of Neuroscience, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, United States. Electronic address:

The ionotropic GABA receptor (GABAR) mediates fast inhibition in the brain. The GABAR pore-forming (α, β, and non-α/β) subunits were isolated approximately 30 years ago and have since been the focus of extensive studies. As a result, many properties of GABARs, including subunit assembly and channel and pharmacological properties, have been discovered. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2019.01.017DOI Listing
February 2019

Subcellular control of membrane excitability in the axon.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 19;57:117-125. Epub 2019 Feb 19.

Dartmouth College, Department of Biological Sciences, Hanover, NH, United States. Electronic address:

Ion channels are microscopic pore proteins in the membrane that open and close in response to chemical and electrical stimuli. This simple concept underlies rapid electrical signaling in the brain as well as several important aspects of neural plasticity. Although the soma accounts for less than 1% of many neurons by membrane area, it has been the major site of measuring ion channel function. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2019.01.020DOI Listing
February 2019

The travels of mRNAs in neurons: do they know where they are going?

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 18;57:110-116. Epub 2019 Feb 18.

Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA; Janelia Research Campus, Ashburn, VA, USA. Electronic address:

Neurons are highly polarized cells that can extend processes far from the cell body. As such, transport of messenger RNAs serves as a set of blueprints for the synthesis of specific proteins at distal sites. RNA localization to dendrites and axons confers the ability to regulate translation with extraordinary precision in space and time. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2019.01.016DOI Listing
February 2019

Septin functions during neuro-development, a yeast perspective.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 18;57:102-109. Epub 2019 Feb 18.

University of Lyon, University of Lyon 1 Claude Bernard Lyon1, NeuroMyoGene Institute, CNRS UMR5310, INSERM U1217, 8 Avenue Rockefeller, Lyon F-69008, France. Electronic address:

Septins, discovered almost half a century ago in yeast, have prominent contributions in a broad range of morphological and functional processes from yeast to human. Septins now emerge as key players of neurodevelopment and more specifically of the mechanisms driving the complex morphological differentiation and compartmentalization of neurons that are fundamental to their function. We review here recent advances in Septin-mediated processes of neuron differentiation, which enlighten similarities and differences between neuron and yeast polarity programs. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2019.01.012DOI Listing
February 2019

Pumping the brakes: suppression of synapse development by MDGA-neuroligin interactions.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 13;57:71-80. Epub 2019 Feb 13.

Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health and Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, 2211 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 2B5, Canada. Electronic address:

Synapse development depends on a dynamic balance between synapse promoters and suppressors. MDGAs, immunoglobulin superfamily proteins, negatively regulate synapse development through blocking neuroligin-neurexin interactions. Recent analyses of MDGA-neuroligin complexes revealed the structural basis of this activity and indicate that MDGAs interact with all neuroligins with differential affinities. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2019.01.002DOI Listing
February 2019
1 Read

Mechanisms and regulation of dopamine release.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 12;57:46-53. Epub 2019 Feb 12.

Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, United States. Electronic address:

Dopamine controls motor functions, motivation, and reward-related learning through G-protein coupled receptor signaling. The current working model is that upon release, dopamine diffuses to influence many target cells via wide-spread receptors. Recent studies, however, suggest that dopamine release is fast and generates small signaling hotspots. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2019.01.001DOI Listing
February 2019
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New insights on synaptic dysfunction in neuropsychiatric disorders.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 8;57:62-70. Epub 2019 Feb 8.

CNC-Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, 3004-504 Coimbra, Portugal; Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, 3004-517 Coimbra, Portugal. Electronic address:

Growing evidence implicates synaptic proteins in the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disability (ID) and schizophrenia. In fact, mutations in genes encoding synaptic proteins are enriched and overlap among different conditions highlighting the complex and pleiotropic nature of these disorders. In this review, we discuss recently described candidate genes that affect excitatory synapse function and result in changes in spine number and morphology. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2019.01.004DOI Listing
February 2019
2 Reads

Non-coding RNAs: the gatekeepers of neural network activity.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 8;57:54-61. Epub 2019 Feb 8.

Dorris Neuroscience Center, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, 92037, USA. Electronic address:

Non-coding RNAs have emerged as potent regulators of numerous cellular processes. In neurons and circuits, these molecules serve especially critical functions that ensure neural activity is maintained within appropriate physiological parameters. Their targets include synaptic proteins, ion channels, neurotransmitter receptors, and components of essential signaling cascades. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2019.01.006DOI Listing
February 2019

Statistical model-based approaches for functional connectivity analysis of neuroimaging data.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 7;55:48-54. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering and Department of Statistics, University of Washington, United States. Electronic address:

We present recent literature on model-based approaches to estimating functional connectivity from neuroimaging data. In contrast to the typical focus on a particular scientific question, we reframe a wider literature in terms of the underlying statistical model used. We distinguish between directed versus undirected and static versus time-varying connectivity. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2019.01.009DOI Listing
February 2019

Microtubule control of functional architecture in neurons.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 6;57:39-45. Epub 2019 Feb 6.

Biochemistry Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA. Electronic address:

Neurons are exquisitely polarized cells whose structure and function relies on microtubules. Microtubules in signal-receiving dendrites and signal-sending axons differ in their organization and microtubule-associated proteins. These differences, coupled with microtubule post-translational modifications, combine to locally regulate intracellular transport, morphology, and function. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2019.01.003DOI Listing
February 2019

Editorial overview: Neurobiology of learning and plasticity.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb;54:iii-vi

Centre for Research in Neuroscience, Department of Medicine, The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Montréal, Québec, Canada. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2019.01.018DOI Listing
February 2019

Transcytosis at the blood-brain barrier.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Jan 29;57:32-38. Epub 2019 Jan 29.

Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, 220 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115, USA. Electronic address:

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a functional interface separating the brain from the circulatory system and is essential for homeostasis of the central nervous system (CNS). The BBB regulates molecular flux to maintain an optimal environment for neuronal function and protects the brain from toxins and pathogens. Endothelial cells forming the walls of CNS blood vessels constitute the BBB. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.12.014DOI Listing
January 2019

Alternative splicing of neuronal genes: new mechanisms and new therapies.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Jan 28;57:26-31. Epub 2019 Jan 28.

Robert J and Nancy D Carney Institute for Brain Science, Department of Neuroscience, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA.

Dynamic changes in alternative splicing during the life cycle of neurons support development and plasticity, and are implicated in disease pathology. Cell-specific alternative splicing programs coordinate exon selection across networks of functionally connected genes. In this opinion piece, we highlight recent publications that identify some of the molecular mechanisms-RNA and DNA binding proteins and epigenetic modifications-which direct cell-specific exon selection during pre-mRNA splicing. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.12.013DOI Listing
January 2019

Neuronal cell types in the fly: single-cell anatomy meets single-cell genomics.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Jan 28;56:125-134. Epub 2019 Jan 28.

VIB Center for Brain & Disease Research, KU Leuven, Leuven 3000, Belgium; Department of Human Genetics KU Leuven, Leuven 3000, Belgium. Electronic address:

At around 150 000 neurons, the adult Drosophila melanogaster central nervous system is one of the largest species, for which a complete cellular catalogue is imminent. While numerically much simpler than mammalian brains, its complexity is still difficult to parse without grouping neurons into consistent types, which can number 1-1000 cells per hemisphere. We review how neuroanatomical and gene expression data are being used to discover neuronal types at scale. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.12.012DOI Listing
January 2019

Unc13: a multifunctional synaptic marvel.

Authors:
Jeremy S Dittman

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Jan 25;57:17-25. Epub 2019 Jan 25.

Department of Biochemistry, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY 10065, United States. Electronic address:

Nervous systems are built on synaptic connections, and our understanding of these complex compartments has deepened over the past quarter century as the diverse fields of genetics, molecular biology, physiology, and biochemistry each made significant in-roads into synaptic function. On the presynaptic side, an evolutionarily conserved core fusion apparatus constructed from a handful of proteins has emerged, with Unc13 serving as a hub that coordinates nearly every aspect of synaptic transmission. This review briefly highlights recent studies on diverse aspects of Unc13 function including roles in SNARE assembly and quality control, release site building, calcium channel proximity, and short-term synaptic plasticity. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.12.011DOI Listing
January 2019

Neuronal cell types in the annelid Platynereis dumerilii.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Jan 24;56:106-116. Epub 2019 Jan 24.

Living Systems Institute, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, EX4 4QD, Exeter, UK. Electronic address:

The marine annelid Platynereis dumerilii is an invertebrate laboratory model for developmental biology and neuroscience. Its larval stages are small and transparent, enabling whole-body analyses of cell-type diversity and neuronal circuits. Here, we review the diversity of neuronal cell types in Platynereis. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.12.008DOI Listing
January 2019
1 Read

Neuronal and synaptic protein lifetimes.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Jan 21;57:9-16. Epub 2019 Jan 21.

Technion Faculty of Medicine, Rappaport Institute and Network Biology Research Laboratories, Fishbach Building, Technion City, Haifa, 32000, Israel. Electronic address:

Neuronal proteostasis is uniquely challenged by the extraordinary architecture of neurons, the vast number of synapses they form, and the need to precisely preserve function at individual synapses. Quantitative information on protein lifetimes can provide clues as to how these challenges are met. Advances in proteomics and mass spectrometry, which now enable comprehensive lifetime estimations for thousands of proteins, suggest that neuronal and synaptic protein lifetimes are unusually long, with half-lives typically ranging from days to weeks, even months and beyond for certain protein families. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.12.007DOI Listing
January 2019
1 Read

Bridging large-scale neuronal recordings and large-scale network models using dimensionality reduction.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Jan 21;55:40-47. Epub 2019 Jan 21.

Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Department of Electrical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Department of Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Electronic address:

A long-standing goal in neuroscience has been to bring together neuronal recordings and neural network modeling to understand brain function. Neuronal recordings can inform the development of network models, and network models can in turn provide predictions for subsequent experiments. Traditionally, neuronal recordings and network models have been related using single-neuron and pairwise spike train statistics. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.12.009DOI Listing
January 2019
4 Reads

Shared and derived features of cellular diversity in the human cerebral cortex.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Jan 21;56:117-124. Epub 2019 Jan 21.

Department of Neurology and the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research at the University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA. Electronic address:

The cerebral cortex is the hallmark of the mammalian nervous system, and its large size and cellular diversity in humans support our most sophisticated cognitive abilities. Although the basic cellular organization of the cortex is conserved across mammals, cells have diversified during evolution. An increasingly integrated taxonomy of cell types, especially with the advent of single-cell transcriptomic data, has revealed an unprecedented variety of human cortical cell subtypes. Read More

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https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S09594388183019
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.12.005DOI Listing
January 2019
3 Reads

Neuronal identity control by terminal selectors in worms, flies, and chordates.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Jan 18;56:97-105. Epub 2019 Jan 18.

Department of Neurobiology, University of Chicago, 947 E. 58th St., Chicago, IL 60637, USA. Electronic address:

How do post-mitotic neurons acquire and maintain their terminal identity? Genetic mutant analysis in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has revealed common molecular programs that control neuronal identity. Neuron type-specific combinations of transcription factors, called terminal selectors, act as master regulatory factors to initiate and maintain terminal identity programs through direct regulation of neuron type-specific effector genes. We will provide here an update on recent studies that solidify the terminal selector concept in worms, flies and chordates. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.12.006DOI Listing
January 2019
1 Read

Not all cortical expansions are the same: the coevolution of the neocortex and the dorsal thalamus in mammals.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Jan 15;56:78-86. Epub 2019 Jan 15.

Center for Neuroscience, University of California, Davis, CA, United States; Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, CA, United States. Electronic address:

A central question in comparative neurobiology concerns how evolution has produced brains with expanded neocortices, composed of more areas with unique connectivity and functional properties. Some mammalian lineages, such as primates, exhibit exceptionally large cortices relative to the amount of sensory inputs from the dorsal thalamus, and this expansion is associated with a larger number of distinct cortical areas, composing a larger proportion of the cortical sheet. We propose a link between the organization of the neocortex and its expansion relative to the size of the dorsal thalamus, based on a combination of work in comparative neuroanatomy and experimental research. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.12.003DOI Listing
January 2019
1 Read

Modern genomic tools reveal the structural and cellular diversity of cnidarian nervous systems.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Jan 14;56:87-96. Epub 2019 Jan 14.

Department of Genetics and Evolution, Institute of Genetics and Genomics in Geneva (iGE3), University of Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Cnidarians shared a common ancestor with bilaterians more than 600 million years ago. This sister group relationship gives them an informative phylogenetic position for understanding the fascinating morphological and molecular cell type diversity of bilaterian nervous systems. Moreover, cnidarians display novel features such as endodermal neurogenesis and independently evolved centralizations, which provide a platform for understanding the evolution of nervous system innovations. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.12.004DOI Listing
January 2019
1 Read

Single cell RNA-sequencing: replicability of cell types.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Jan 9;56:69-77. Epub 2019 Jan 9.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, One Bungtown Road, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724, USA. Electronic address:

Recent technical advances have enabled transcriptomics experiments at an unprecedented scale, and single-cell profiles from neural tissue are accumulating rapidly. There has been considerable effort to use these profiles to understand cell diversity, primarily through unsupervised clustering and differential expression analysis. However, current practices to validate these findings vary. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.12.002DOI Listing
January 2019
1 Read

Harnessing networks and machine learning in neuropsychiatric care.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Jan 11;55:32-39. Epub 2019 Jan 11.

Department of Bioengineering, School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; Department of Physics & Astronomy, School of Arts & Sciences, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; Department of Neurology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering, School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

The development of next-generation therapies for neuropsychiatric illness will likely rely on a precise and accurate understanding of human brain dynamics. Toward this end, researchers have focused on collecting large quantities of neuroimaging data. For simplicity, we will refer to large cross-sectional neuroimaging studies as broad studies and to intensive longitudinal studies as deep studies. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.12.010DOI Listing
January 2019
1 Read

Phase separation as a mechanism for assembling dynamic postsynaptic density signalling complexes.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2018 Dec 29;57:1-8. Epub 2018 Dec 29.

Division of Life Science, State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China; Center of Systems Biology and Human Health, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address:

The postsynaptic density (PSD) is an electron dense, semi-membrane bound compartment that lies beneath postsynaptic membranes. This region is densely packed with thousands of proteins that are involved in extensive interactions. During synaptic plasticity, the PSD undergoes changes in size and composition along with changes in synaptic strength that lead to long term potentiation (LTP) or depression (LTD). Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.12.001DOI Listing
December 2018
1 Read

Computational processing of neural recordings from calcium imaging data.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2018 Dec 7;55:22-31. Epub 2018 Dec 7.

HHMI Janelia Research Campus, Ashburn, VA 20147, USA. Electronic address:

Electrophysiology has long been the workhorse of neuroscience, allowing scientists to record with millisecond precision the action potentials generated by neurons in vivo. Recently, calcium imaging of fluorescent indicators has emerged as a powerful alternative. This technique has its own strengths and weaknesses and unique data processing problems and interpretation confounds. Read More

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https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S09594388183009
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.11.005DOI Listing
December 2018
11 Reads

Perspectives on defining cell types in the brain.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2018 Dec 6;56:61-68. Epub 2018 Dec 6.

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, QB3 Functional Genomics Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, United States. Electronic address:

The diversity of brain cell types was one of the earliest observations in modern neuroscience and continues to be one of the central concerns of current neuroscience research. Despite impressive recent progress, including single cell transcriptome and epigenome profiling as well as anatomical methods, we still lack a complete census or taxonomy of brain cell types. We argue this is due partly to the conceptual difficulty in defining a cell type. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.11.007DOI Listing
December 2018
1 Read

Neuronal identity: the neuron types of a simple chordate sibling, the tadpole larva of Ciona intestinalis.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2018 Dec 6;56:47-60. Epub 2018 Dec 6.

Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Life Sciences Centre, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 4R2, Canada. Electronic address:

Neurons of the sparsely populated nervous system of the tadpole larva in the tunicate Ciona intestinalis, a chordate sibling, are known from sporadic previous studies but especially two recent reports that document the connectome of both the central and peripheral nervous systems at EM level. About 330 CNS cells comprise mostly ciliated ependymal cells, with ∼180 neurons that constitute about 50 morphologically distinguishable types. The neurons reveal various chordate characters amid many features that are idiosyncratic. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.10.015DOI Listing
December 2018
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Biological mechanisms for observational learning.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 6;54:178-185. Epub 2018 Dec 6.

Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, 10016 USA; Neuroscience Institute, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, 10016 USA; Department of Otolaryngology, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, 10016 USA; Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, 10016 USA. Electronic address:

Observational learning occurs when an animal capitalizes on the experience of another to change its own behavior in a given context. This form of learning is an efficient strategy for adapting to changes in environmental conditions, but little is known about the underlying neural mechanisms. There is an abundance of literature supporting observational learning in humans and other primates, and more recent studies have begun documenting observational learning in other species such as birds and rodents. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.11.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6361711PMC
February 2019
2 Reads

Astrocyte identity: evolutionary perspectives on astrocyte functions and heterogeneity.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2018 Dec 5;56:40-46. Epub 2018 Dec 5.

Department of Neuroscience, Tufts University School of Medicine, 136 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA, 02111, United States; Sackler School of Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University, 145 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA, 02111, United States. Electronic address:

The development of new animal models, in vivo isolation approaches, and improvements in genome-wide RNA expression methods have greatly propelled molecular profiling of astrocytes and the characterization of astrocyte heterogeneity in the central nervous system (CNS). Several recent reviews have comprehensively discussed the molecular and functional diversity of mammalian astrocytes. In this brief review, we emphasize interspecies comparisons and an evolutionary perspective regarding the astro(glia) of vertebrates and invertebrates which are similar in form and function. Read More

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https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S09594388183019
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.11.006DOI Listing
December 2018
2 Reads

Cell-type-specific programs for activity-regulated gene expression.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2018 Dec 4;56:33-39. Epub 2018 Dec 4.

Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science, 76100 Rehovot, Israel. Electronic address:

Experience leaves a lasting mark on neural circuit function in part through activity-regulated gene (ARG) expression. New genome wide approaches have revealed that ARG programs are highly cell-type-specific, raising the possibility that they mediate different forms of experience-dependent plasticity in different cell types. The cell-type specificity of these gene programs is achieved by a combination of cell-intrinsic mechanisms that determine the transcriptional response of each neuronal subtype to a given stimulus and by cell-extrinsic mechanisms that influence the nature of the stimulus a cell receives. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.11.001DOI Listing
December 2018
1 Read

The algorithmic architecture of exploration in the human brain.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2018 Dec 5;55:7-14. Epub 2018 Dec 5.

Department of Psychology and Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, 52 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. Electronic address:

Balancing exploration and exploitation is one of the central problems in reinforcement learning. We review recent studies that have identified multiple algorithmic strategies underlying exploration. In particular, humans use a combination of random and uncertainty-directed exploration strategies, which rely on different brain systems, have different developmental trajectories, and are sensitive to different task manipulations. Read More

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https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S09594388183009
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.11.003DOI Listing
December 2018
5 Reads

Analysis pipelines for calcium imaging data.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2018 Dec 15;55:15-21. Epub 2018 Dec 15.

Center for Computational Mathematics, Flatiron Institute, New York, NY 10010, United States. Electronic address:

Calcium imaging is a popular tool among neuroscientists because of its capability to monitor in vivo large neural populations across weeks with single neuron and single spike resolution. Before any downstream analysis, the data needs to be pre-processed to extract the location and activity of the neurons and processes in the observed field of view. The ever increasing size of calcium imaging datasets necessitates scalable analysis pipelines that are reproducible and fully automated. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.11.004DOI Listing
December 2018
1 Read

Predictive models avoid excessive reductionism in cognitive neuroimaging.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2018 Dec 2;55:1-6. Epub 2018 Dec 2.

Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

Understanding the organization of complex behavior as it relates to the brain requires modeling the behavior, the relevant mental processes, and the corresponding neural activity. Experiments in cognitive neuroscience typically study a psychological process via controlled manipulations, reducing behavior to one of its components. Such reductionism can easily lead to paradigm-bound theories. Read More

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https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S09594388183010
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.11.002DOI Listing
December 2018
7 Reads

Temporal control of Drosophila central nervous system development.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2018 Nov 27;56:24-32. Epub 2018 Nov 27.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Research Campus, 19700 Helix Drive, Ashburn, VA 20147, USA. Electronic address:

A complex nervous system requires precise numbers of various neuronal types produced with exquisite spatiotemporal control. This striking diversity is generated by a limited number of neural stem cells (NSC), where spatial and temporal patterning intersect. Drosophila is a genetically tractable model system that has significant advantages for studying stem cell biology and neuronal fate specification. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.10.016DOI Listing
November 2018
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Hypothalamic cell diversity: non-neuronal codes for long-distance volume transmission by neuropeptides.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2018 Nov 21;56:16-23. Epub 2018 Nov 21.

Department of Molecular Neurosciences, Center for Brain Research, Medical University of Vienna, A-1090 Vienna, Austria; Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, SE-17165 Solna, Sweden. Electronic address:

Volume transmission is a mode of intercellular communication using cerebral liquor to deliver signal molecules over long distances and allow their action for extended periods. For hypothalamic neuropeptides, nerve endings amongst ependymal cells are seen as a site of release into the cerebrospinal fluid. Recent single-cell RNA-seq data identify tanycytes and ventricular ependyma as alternative sources by being unexpectedly rich in neuroactive substances. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.10.012DOI Listing
November 2018
2 Reads

Editorial Overview: Developmental neuroscience (2018).

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2018 Dec;53:iii-vi

Spanish Research Council, Instituto de Neurociencias, Alicante, Spain. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.10.010DOI Listing
December 2018
1 Read

Function first: classifying cell types and circuits of the retina.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2018 Nov 14;56:8-15. Epub 2018 Nov 14.

Institute for Ophthalmic Research, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany; Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, University of Tübingen, Germany.

Cell type classification has been a major part of retina research for over one hundred years. In recent years, the ability to sample large populations of retinal cells has accelerated cell type classification based on different criteria like genetics, morphology, function, and circuitry. For example, recent work includes bipolar and retinal ganglion cell classifications based on single-cell transcriptomes, large-scale electron microscopy reconstruction, and population-level functional imaging. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.10.011DOI Listing
November 2018
13 Reads

How foresight might support the behavioral flexibility of arthropods.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 13;54:171-177. Epub 2018 Nov 13.

Department of Biological and Experimental Psychology, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, London E1 4NS, UK; Wissenschaftskolleg/Institute for Advanced Study, Wallotstrasse 19, 14193 Berlin, Germany.

The small brains of insects and other invertebrates are often thought to constrain these animals to live entirely 'in the moment'. In this view, each one of their many seemingly hard-wired behavioral routines is triggered by a precisely defined environmental stimulus configuration, but there is no mental appreciation of the possible outcomes of one's actions, and therefore little flexibility. However, many studies show problem-solving behavior in various arthropod species that falls outside the range of fixed behavior routines. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.10.014DOI Listing
February 2019
16 Reads

Neuronal competition: microcircuit mechanisms define the sparsity of the engram.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 10;54:163-170. Epub 2018 Nov 10.

Program in Neurosciences & Mental Health, Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Ave. Toronto, ON, M5G 1X8, Canada; Dept. of Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, M5G 1X8, Canada; Dept. of Psychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, M5G 1X8, Canada; Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, M5G 1X8, Canada; Brain, Mind & Consciousness Program, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), Toronto, Ontario M5G 1M1, Canada. Electronic address:

Extensive work in computational modeling has highlighted the advantages for employing sparse yet distributed data representation and storage Kanerva (1998), properties that extend to neuronal networks encoding mnemonic information (memory traces or engrams). While neurons that participate in an engram are distributed across multiple brain regions, within each region, the cellular sparsity of the mnemonic representation appears to be quite fixed. Although technological advances have enabled significant progress in identifying and manipulating engrams, relatively little is known about the region-dependent microcircuit rules governing the cellular sparsity of an engram. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.10.013DOI Listing
February 2019
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The importance of identified neurons in gastropod molluscs to neuroscience.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2018 Oct 31;56:1-7. Epub 2018 Oct 31.

Neuroscience and Behavior Graduate Program, Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 611 North Pleasant Street, 221 Morrill Science Center 3, Amherst, MA 01003, United States.

Gastropod molluscs have large neurons that are uniquely identifiable across individuals and across species based on neuroanatomical and neurochemical criteria, facilitating research into neural signaling and neural circuits. Novel neuropeptides have been identified through RNA sequencing and mass spectroscopic analysis of single neurons. The roles of peptides and other signaling molecules including second messengers have been placed in the context of small circuits that control simple behaviors. Read More

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https://www.bio.umass.edu/biology/about/directories/faculty/
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https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S09594388183016
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.10.009DOI Listing
October 2018
11 Reads

Homeostatic plasticity-a presynaptic perspective.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 25;54:155-162. Epub 2018 Oct 25.

Institute of Molecular Life Sciences, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland; Neuroscience Center Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Plastic changes in synaptic transmission are thought to underlie learning and memory formation. However, changes in synaptic function are only meaningful in the context of stable baseline function. Accumulating evidence suggests that homeostatic signaling systems actively stabilize synaptic transmission in response to neural activity perturbation. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.10.003DOI Listing
February 2019
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Connectomics and function of a memory network: the mushroom body of larval Drosophila.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 24;54:146-154. Epub 2018 Oct 24.

Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology (LIN), Department of Genetics, Brenneckestr. 6, 39118 Magdeburg, Germany; Center for Behavioral Brain Sciences (CBBS), Magdeburg, Germany; Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, Institute for Biology, Universitätsplatz 2, 39106 Magdeburg, Germany. Electronic address:

The Drosophila larva is a relatively simple, 10 000-neuron study case for learning and memory with enticing analytical power, combining genetic tractability, the availability of robust behavioral assays, the opportunity for single-cell transgenic manipulation, and an emerging synaptic connectome of its complete central nervous system. Indeed, although the insect mushroom body is a much-studied memory network, the connectome revealed that more than half of the classes of connection within the mushroom body had escaped attention. The connectome also revealed circuitry that integrates, both within and across brain hemispheres, higher-order sensory input, intersecting valence signals, and output neurons that instruct behavior. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.10.007DOI Listing
February 2019
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Roles for sleep in memory: insights from the fly.

Authors:
Jeffrey M Donlea

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 23;54:120-126. Epub 2018 Oct 23.

Department of Neurobiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1763, USA. Electronic address:

Sleep has been universally conserved across animal species. The basic functions of sleep remain unclear, but insufficient sleep impairs memory acquisition and retention in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Sleep is also a homeostatic process that is influenced not only by the amount of time awake, but also by neural activity and plasticity. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.10.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6361691PMC
February 2019
2 Reads

Learning and processing of navigational cues in the desert ant.

Authors:
Markus Knaden

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 22;54:140-145. Epub 2018 Oct 22.

Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Hans Knoell Strasse 8, 07745 Jena, Germany. Electronic address:

The desert ant Cataglyphis inhabits the arid environment of North Africa where it forages individually for dead arthropods. Because of the ants' high motivation to find the nest entrance and due to the almost lab-like conditions of their environment - the flat salt pan (where visual information and partly also olfactory information available to a homing ant can be easily manipulated) - Cataglyphis has become an important model for animal navigation. So far, we know a lot about how Cataglyphis uses path integration and learns visual and olfactory cues to return to its nest entrance after far-reaching foraging runs. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.10.005DOI Listing
February 2019
16 Reads

Neuroplasticity in the acoustic startle reflex in larval zebrafish.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2019 Feb 22;54:134-139. Epub 2018 Oct 22.

Research Unit Sensory Biology & Organogenesis, Helmholtz Zentrum Munich, Neuherberg 85764, Germany. Electronic address:

Learning is essential for animal survival under changing environments. Even in its simplest form, learning involves interactions between a handful of neuronal circuits, hundreds of neurons and many thousand synapses. In this review I will focus on habituation - a form of non-associative learning during which organisms decrease their response to repetitions of identical sensory stimuli. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2018.10.004DOI Listing
February 2019
8 Reads