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Empathy is a characteristic of all mammals that ranges from being sensitive to another's emotions to adopting their perspective. In this Review, de Waal and Preston discuss current hypotheses concerning how the emotional states of others are understood in a variety of species.
The prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus have distinct and complementary roles in episodic memory, and their interactions are also crucial for memory. Eichenbaum describes the pathways and mechanisms mediating these interactions and suggests a model of how these regions communicate to retrieve cued memories.
The responses of striatal GABAergic interneurons to thalamic inputs are not well characterised. Here, the authors demonstrate that complex intrastriatal circuitry is responsible for thalamic-evoked monosynaptic and disynaptic excitation in NPY-NGF interneurons but a disynaptic inhibition in the NPY-PLTS.
Most cancer patients experience loss of appetite and feelings of illness, which contribute to cancer-related deaths and morbidity. The authors demonstrate that, in mice, activation of a subset of neurons in the parabrachial nucleus mediate cancer-induced anorexia and associated sickness behaviors.
There is little agreement on the definition of emotions or the neural mechanisms by which they are realized. Bach and Dayan here use decision theory to shed light on the nature and implementation of the algorithms that underlie emotion-related behaviours.