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Dragomir et al. use a new decision-making assay in larval zebrafish to show that fish modulate their behavior depending on stimulus strength. A whole-brain imaging functional screen reveals neurons that integrate sensory evidence over the course of seconds.
Lau et al. find that α-synuclein strains initiate distinct diseases when injected into mice, which provides a potential molecular explanation for the clinical and pathological differences between Parkinson’s disease and related neurodegenerative disorders.
Using samples from the Danish Neonatal Screening Biobank, children with ASD and children with ADHD were found to have similar, significantly increased rates of rare protein-truncating variants in evolutionarily constrained genes.
Animals compose behaviors from both sensory cues and internal states. Calhoun et al. develop an unsupervised modeling framework to identify the dynamic internal states that shape social interactions in Drosophila and use the model to identify neurons that modulate the male’s internal state.
This study shows that mouse prefrontal neurons differentially categorize social and nonsocial olfactory cues. Social cue representations are refined with experience and are disrupted in a mouse model of autism with elevated cortical noise.
The authors show that spatiotemporal spike sequences across neurons in the primate amygdala serve as a coding mechanism and might aid memory formation via the rehearsal of a recently experienced aversive or pleasant tone–odor association.
DNA sequencing of 3,864 individuals with ALS and 7,839 controls identified a novel disease gene, DNAJC7, which encodes a heat-shock protein. As DNAJC7 is an essential part of cell maintenance, mutations in DNAJC7 may lead to neurodegeneration.
Walking requires continual integrated information about the dynamic internal and external environment. This study reveals a pathway whereby the somatosensory cortex directly influences motor behavior based on integrated spatiotemporal information.
Zhou et al. show that the reward and context information of cocaine-associated memory is stored in selectively strengthened inter-engram connections from the ventral CA1 to the nucleus accumbens core, forming an ‘engram circuit’ that mediates memory recall.
Hartley et al. report the bidirectional remodeling of a basolateral amygdala-to-central amygdala neural circuit, where input onto corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF)-expressing and CRF-negative neurons is shaped by the acquisition and extinction of fear memory.
Qasim et al. describe neurons in the human entorhinal cortex that activate near the locations in space that a person is cued to recall during a memory task. These results show one way in which the cognitive map shifts according to memory demands.
The authors develop a deep learning approach that enables an efficient search of the input space to find the best stimuli for modeled neurons. When tested, these stimuli are most effective at driving their matching cells in the brain.
Forkosh, Karamihalev and colleagues present a framework for inferring stable traits from a broad range of behavioral readouts and apply it to capture biologically relevant individual differences in mice.
Findling, Skvortsova et al. find that a large fraction of non-greedy decisions that humans make in volatile environments do not stem from exploration but from the limited precision of learning, and further identify its neurophysiological correlates.
The Drosophila neuropeptide leucokinin mediates hunger- and thirst-dependent expression of learned behaviors. State-relevant selection of appropriate memory emerges from competition between leucokinin and other modulators onto dopaminergic neurons.
Chow et al. show that high blood levels of insulin in prediabetic conditions are linked to saturated insulin levels in the brain. Chronic insulin exposure leads to insulin resistance, cell cycle reentry and premature aging, corresponding to senescence-like pathological changes in neurons.
Krabbe, Paradiso et al. show that amygdala VIP interneurons are activated by instructive cues for associative learning. These interneurons provide a mandatory disinhibitory signal permitting plasticity in response to unexpected salient events.
Liu et al. show that microglial process surveillance is restrained in awake mice, and that reduced neuronal activity due to anesthesia, sensory deprivation or optogenetic inhibition increases microglial dynamics via norepinephrine signaling.
Stowell, Sipe et al. describe how norepinephrine signaling to microglia during wakefulness influences the dynamic movement of microglial processes, affecting both microglial interactions with neurons and experience-dependent plasticity.
In offspring exposed to THC in utero, molecular, synaptic and circuit reorganizations lead to a hyperdopaminergic phenotype and behavioral susceptibility. The neurosteroid pregnenolone restores both dopamine function and abnormal behavior.
The authors found that activity of the same ventral tegmental area dopaminergic axons in basal amygdala increased following learned cues predicting either food rewards or punishments, in a manner consistent with signaling of motivational salience.
The authors report that the ALS-associated gene FUS stimulates transcription of acetylcholine receptor subunit genes in subsynaptic myonuclei. ALS mutations distort this mechanism, inducing muscle-intrinsic toxicity that may contribute to dying-back motor neuronopathy.
Control of movements can be understood in terms of the interplay between a controller, a simulator and an estimator. Egger et. al. show that cortical neurons establish the same building blocks to control cognitive states in the absence of movement.
Frank et al. find that a subregion in the zebrafish homolog of olfactory cortex maps odor space onto a representation of valence. Learning shapes this odor-to-valence map through plasticity processes that modify inhibition.
Using intracranial recordings in humans, the authors found decision conflict-related effects on firing rate in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), on spike-phase coupling in the dACC, and on spike-field coherence in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.
The authors use a linear model to reveal how neural activity patterns are related to cognition or movements. They find that uninstructed movements dominate single-cell and population activity throughout the brain, outpacing task-related activity.
By developing layer-specific functional MRI techniques for a high-order cognitive brain area, Finn et al. dissociate activity in superficial and deeper cortical layers during different periods of a working memory task in human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.
Microglia and astrocytes propagate neurodegeneration by releasing fragmented and dysfunctional mitochondria into the neuronal milieu. Inhibiting pathological fragmentation of glial mitochondria blunts neuroinflammation and increases neuroprotection.
In leukocyte transcriptomes from toddlers with ASD, Gazestani et al. find a perturbed gene network that is involved in fetal brain development and lies downstream of ASD risk genes, and whose dysregulation level correlates with ASD symptom severity.
Sun and Jin et al. report that a population of neurons in the subiculum form a pathway for visual information to reach the hippocampus and impact place-specific activity. Activation of these neurons promotes the formation of object-location memories.
Ruff and Cohen find that the prominent hypotheses about how attention improves perception do not account for behavioral improvements. Instead, their results suggest that attention reshapes sensory representations so the relevant information guides behavior.
Gehrlach et al. show how the posterior insular cortex processes and modulates diverse internally and externally generated aversive states, and they dissect the functional contribution of segregated projections mediating inhibition of ongoing behaviors.
Breen et al. map RNA editing profiles in cortical samples from individuals with schizophrenia and controls, and find links between altered RNA editing in glutamatergic and postsynaptic density genes and schizophrenia genetic risk architecture.
Zhou et al. report a novel 5-HT circuit from the dorsal raphe nucleus to somatostatin-expressing neurons in the central nucleus of the amygdala that partially mediates depressive-like behavior in a mouse model of chronic pain.
Given a choice between food and water outcomes on a T-maze, rats preferred the outcome they did not have access to overnight, yet the content of awake hippocampal replay was consistently shifted away from the preferred outcome.
Researchers identify a transcriptional network engaged in stress-resilient mice that is regulated by a previously unstudied transcription factor, Zfp189, and elucidate molecular mechanisms controlling this network and resilience behavior.
Neural populations often encode unknown variables. Chaudhuri et al. develop a method to decode unknown variables by finding shapes in neural data. They show that a mammalian brain circuit of thousands of neurons constructs a navigational compass with only a one-dimensional ring of stable activity states.
Using data from rats and humans, the authors study the time it takes to make sensory judgments. The authors define the new regularity as the time–intensity equivalence in discrimination (TIED), which provides a mechanistic basis of Weber’s law.
Like humans, songbirds learn to communicate vocally early in life. Moore and Woolley taught birds the songs of a different species to identify how vocal experience and auditory tuning mechanisms create neural representations of communication sounds.
Everyday decisions require choosing among multiple options. This work derives the optimal decision policy and shows how it can be approximated by a biologically plausible neural circuit and how this circuit can reproduce observed behavior.
This study identifies eight significant genetic associations with intrusive reexperiencing of trauma in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the Million Veteran Program (MVP), a large biobank focused on US veterans.
Detecting and responding to noxious stimuli is essential for survival. Wee et al. show that noxious stimuli elicit intense and widespread activity in zebrafish oxytocin neurons, which promote defensive behavior by activating hindbrain premotor neurons.
Henderson et al. use quantitative pathology mapping and network modeling to show that α-synuclein pathology spreads through a neuroanatomically connected network, guided by selective vulnerability and genetic risk factors.
Badwan et al. find direction-opponent responses in the most peripheral direction-selective cells of Drosophila. They analyze how this property constrains models for direction selectivity and how it impacts motion estimation in natural scenes.
Guo et al. show that synaptic alterations in ACC pyramidal neurons underlie social impairments in Shank3 mutant mice and that selective activation of ACC pyramidal neurons or enhancing AMPAR function improves social behavior in these mice.
Green et al. find that, when their internal heading estimate is rotated via neural stimulation, flies turn their body in a direction that aims to return their heading estimate back to its previous value. This suggests the heading estimate is compared with an internal goal to guide navigation.
Laboy-Juárez et al. show that barrel cortex neurons in mice are tuned for elementary multi-whisker sequences that represent tactile motion, using a computation similar to motion direction selectivity in vision. These findings provide a novel view of columnar organization.
The authors find that olfactory bulb inputs and outputs sample overlapping but distinct odor subspaces. Physical–chemical properties used to characterize odorants are not well represented in bulb activity, urging further search for better descriptors of odor space.
SFRP1, an ADAM10 inhibitor, is elevated in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Antibody-mediated neutralization of its activity stalls brain alterations and cognitive loss in AD-like mice, supporting SFRP1 as a potential target for disease therapy.