By the time this column appears, how many of us will have already broken our New Year's resolution to indulge less often in our favourite vice? This is anyone's guess, but I'll wager that it is a significant minority. See how easy it is to slip up? The processes involved in making decisions and evaluating choices have been the subject of philosophical discussion for centuries. In this issue, Jeff Schall provides an accessible and thought-provoking synthesis of the evidence that has recently accumulated from electrophysiological studies on the neural basis of choice and decision making in the face of alternatives. Creating, rather than diminishing alternatives is the subject of Dredge, Polydorides and Darnell's account of alternative splicing — a mechanism for generating a versatile repertoire of functionally different proteins from a single gene. This review brings together recent data on the specific regulation of alternative splicing in neurons with an assessment of the role of aberrations in this process in neurological disease. This ability to create diversity could be of special significance during periods of development and plasticity but a further layer of complexity might result from the ability of cells to switch fate. Indeed, two Highlight articles in this issue focus on recent demonstrations of the neurogenic potential of radial glial cells, and the ability of bone-marrow-derived cells to colonize the brain and differentiate into neurons. And what better way to usher in the New Year than to welcome the appointment of our new Associate Editor, Heather Wood, the author of these two Highlights. Heather will enhance the diversity of the journal through the coming year with her strong background in developmental neurobiology. Welcome aboard Heather.