Inhibition in the nervous system occurs when a neuron or circuit is rendered less likely to generate an action potential. It generally involves the release of an inhibitory neurotransmitter such as GABA, which acts to hyperpolarize a neuron and thus increase the threshold for depolarization and action potential generation.

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  • News and Views |

    During cocaine withdrawal, a shift in the balance between excitatory and inhibitory inputs from globus pallidus to lateral habenula may activate habenula and contribute to the aversive 'crash' state.

    • Masago Ishikawa
    •  & Paul J Kenny
    Nature Neuroscience 19, 981–983
  • News and Views |

    Inhibitory optogenetic tools prevent action potential generation during illumination. A study explores the possibility of squelching already propagating action potentials locally at axon terminals before they trigger neurotransmitter release.

    • J Simon Wiegert
    •  & Thomas G Oertner
    Nature Neuroscience 19, 527–528
  • Research Highlights |

    Two recent studies show that vasoactive intestinal polypeptide-expressing interneurons exert a disinhibitory effect on cortical pyramidal cells in a number of brain areas, and this has important implications for control of cortical processing and behaviour.

    • Sian Lewis
  • News and Views |

    Purkinje cells in the brain region known as the cerebellum act by inhibiting their target neurons. A paper in this issue provides an explanation for how this inhibition might be used to control the timing of action potentials. But experts are not equally convinced about the functional relevance of this finding. See Letter p.502

    • Javier F. Medina
    •  & Kamran Khodakhah
    Nature 481, 446–447