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The nervous system consists of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (motor nerves, sensory nerves, cranial and spinal nerves, autonomic ganglia, and plexuses).
How neuronal migration and axon growth coordinate during development is only partially understood. Here the authors use quantitative imaging to characterise the morphogenesis of the zebrafish olfactory placode and report an unexpected phenomenon, whereby axons extend through the passive movement of neuron cell bodies away from tethered axon tips.
Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHC) mediate the interactions between individuals in eusocial insects, but the sensory receptors for CHCs are unclear. Here the authors show that in ants such as H. saltator, the 9-exon subfamily of odorant receptors (HsOrs) responds to CHCs, and ectopic expression of HsOrs in Drosophila neurons imparts responsiveness to CHCs.
New techniques for visually stimulating and stabilizing the retina reveal that humans control covert attentional resources with high precision at the center of gaze. These findings show that fine attentional deployment occurs within the fovea and enhances high-acuity vision.
Information about taste sensations, such as bitter or sweet, is relayed from the mouse tongue to the brain through taste-specific pathways. It emerges that semaphorin proteins guide the wiring of these pathways. See Letter p.330
The likelihood of winning a bout of competitive behaviour is increased by past wins, and the neural circuitry underlying this crucial determinant of social rank in a group of mice is identified as a projection from the mediodorsal thalamus to the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex.