Some assembly required: the development of neuronal synapses. Li, Z. & Sheng, M. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology November (2003)

The acquisitive auditory cortex. Middlebrooks, J. C. Nature Neuroscience November (2003) The auditory cortex was previously thought to be a passive detector of sounds, but this News and Views article reviews new evidence that it reshapes the frequency of its neurons to intercept target sounds that are important for a behavioural task.

The vagaries of memory. Spiegel, D. Nature Medicine October (2003) A review of Richard McNally's book Remembering Trauma.

To be and not to be. Lin, H. Nature 25 September (2003) This News and Views article describes data that provide new insights into the mechanism of asymmetric cell division in Drosophila neuroblasts.

Backchat at the synapse. Salinas, P. C. Nature 2 October (2003) This News and Views article discusses how muscles can signal back to presynaptic neurons to influence neurotransmitter release.

Misleading media reporting? The MMR story. Lewis, J. & Speers, T. Nature Reviews Immunology November (2003) The controversy about the safety of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine, including claims of a link with autism, could have real consequences for public health, as the drop in take-up of the vaccine has increased the risk of disease. This review explores the relationship between media coverage and the public understanding of MMR.

The genetic and molecular basis of congenital eye defects. Graw, J. Nature Reviews Genetics November (2003)

The glial identity of neural stem cells. Doetsch, F. Nature Neuroscience November (2003)

Exposing the roots of hair cell regeneration in the ear. Kelley, M. W. Nature Medicine October (2003) This News and Views article reports on the identification of a new stem cell in the mammalian ear that might provide a precursor to allow the regeneration of mechanosensory hair cells.

Maintaining stability in the face of change. Buttery, P. & Mason, C. Nature Neuroscience November (2003) A News and Views article that addresses how the brain retains the flexibility to learn while preserving the integrity of networks that store memories.