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Interdisciplinary study is an important and fruitful approach in contemporary neuroscience research. In a Perspective article on page 169, Neuwelt and colleagues highlight the close links between the brain barrier field and neuroscience, and the broader role of the blood–brain barrier in brain development, physiology and pathology that has emerged in recent years. They discuss the mechanisms underlying the different roles of the brain barriers in CNS function and the consequences of barrier deregulation in neurological disorders.

On page 154, Davidson and colleagues also highlight a previously underappreciated link. On the basis of various data on the anterior cingulate cortex, the authors conclude that cognition, affect and pain are not segregated in this area as an influential model posits, but are in fact integrated in the anterior midcingulate cortex. They propose that this region has an 'adaptive control' function, synthesizing information from these different domains to determine the best course of action in situations involving uncertainty.

The elusive link between mechanoreceptors, which form the starting point of our sense of touch, and their molecular correlates is addressed by Delmas and colleagues. In their Review on page 139, they discuss the properties of mechanosensitive currents and highlight key protein candidates that might constitute the underlying channels.

Robust transmission of information within the nervous system is essential for brain function and, at the level of the synapse, is reliant on sustainable transmitter release. How is this achieved under conditions of high-frequency, prolonged neuronal activity? On page 127, Haucke and colleagues explain that the likely mechanism crucially involves tight coupling between exocytosis and endocytosis of synaptic vesicles.

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From the editors. Nat Rev Neurosci 12, 119 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn3007

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