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  • The caudal ventrolateral medulla was thought to be involved in pain control, but its pathway was unknown. Here, Gu et al. identify the molecular components of a caudal ventrolateral medulla–locus coeruleus–spinal cord pathway and show it has a role in counter-stimulus pain control.

    • Xinglong Gu
    • Yizhen Z. Zhang
    • Mark A. Hoon
  • This study mapped the developmental trajectory of transmission speed in the human brain by using electrical pulses and intracranial recordings. The authors found that these pulses travel with increasing speeds up to at least the age of 30.

    • Dorien van Blooijs
    • Max A. van den Boom
    • Dora Hermes
    Brief Communication Open Access
  • The neuroscience of hormonal contraceptives is a vital but relatively new field. Existing studies are limited in size and scope, but they nonetheless highlight that the effects of hormonal contraceptives on the nervous system are complex and can vary because of individual differences, contraceptive type and formulation, and timing of use, among other factors. Neuroscientists can empower individuals with information about the biopsychological effects of hormonal contraceptives by delving more deeply into these effects in rigorous randomized controlled trials, large-scale studies that examine population-level trends, and dense imaging or intensive longitudinal studies that examine individual-level effects.

    • Nicole Petersen
    • Adriene M. Beltz
    • Belinda Pletzer
  • We developed a wearable platform (the Neuro-stack) for recording single-neuron and local field potentials in freely moving humans. The Neuro-stack enabled the recording of single-neuron activity during walking behavior in humans. The platform also enables personalized stimulation during real-time decoding of neural activity, which can potentially improve neurostimulation treatments.

    Research Briefing
  • Despite extensive studies on how social networks affect behavior at the population level, little is known about how the human brain makes decisions in networked environments. This study shows that the brain flexibly weighs information received from a social contact according to how well-connected that contact is on the network responsible for information transmission.

    Research Briefing
  • The authors developed flexible, unfolded mesh electronics for implantation in multiple brain regions of mice. The probes show minimal immune response and electrode drift, enabling stable recording of single-unit action potentials from the same neurons during the adult life of animals.

    • Siyuan Zhao
    • Xin Tang
    • Jia Liu
    Technical Report
  • Information flowing among connected peers shapes our beliefs and decisions. Jiang et al. show that learning on social networks is biased toward well-connected individuals, with the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex tracking connectedness on the network that routes learning.

    • Yaomin Jiang
    • Qingtian Mi
    • Lusha Zhu
  • STARmap PLUS is a new spatial gene mapping method combined with histological staining. With STARmap PLUS, we created high-resolution, comprehensive maps of altered molecular pathways and reactive cells in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. These maps enabled us to infer the trajectories of biological processes and cell states during disease progression.

    Research Briefing
  • Loss-of-function variants of TREM2 increase risk for Alzheimer’s disease. A new study presents a therapeutic candidate — ATV:TREM2, a TREM2-activating antibody engineered with a transferrin receptor binding site to facilitate blood-to-brain transport. Treatment of a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease with ATV:TREM2 improved energy metabolism and microglial function.

    • Na Zhao
    • Guojun Bu
    News & Views
  • The defense response to threat involves complex behavioral and autonomic adjustments. We identified integrated, short-lasting microstates and long-lasting macrostates evoked by threat, consisting of patterned behavioral and cardiac responses, which are dynamically interrelated, dependent on environmental threat levels, and controlled by neurons in the midbrain periaqueductal gray region.

    Research Briefing