It is well-established that neurons can encode and transmit information by altering their firing rate; however, the idea that the spatiotemporal pattern of firing is also important for information processing is growing in popularity. In a Review on page 327, De Zeeuw and colleagues review evidence for spatiotemporal coding in the cerebellum. They suggest that particular features of the cerebellar architecture make it uniquely well-adapted to use such a coding method in addition to rate coding.

In their Perspective article (page 359), Collier and colleagues tackle the view that the changes in midbrain dopamine neurons that occur in Parkinson's disease are unrelated to age-related changes in these cells. Their examination of findings from primate studies leads them to propose that the cellular events underlying each process are indeed linked and that ageing-related changes induce a pre-parkinsonian state.

CNS neurons are located in an immunologically 'privileged' environment that protects them from some harmful effects of the immune response. This makes them an ideal site for microbes to ensure their survival. On page 345, Kristensson describes the mechanisms by which microbes enter and travel through the nervous system. Understanding these processes is important for the development of therapeutic strategies to limit infection and sheds light on basic neuronal functions and molecular sorting mechanisms.

Neuroscience research has long benefitted from a combination of experimental investigation and theoretical modelling to answer questions about nervous system function; however, computational neuroscience has tended to focus on the adult nervous system. On page 311, van Ooyen shows how theoretical models can also be used to enhance our understanding of many aspects of neural development.