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Volume 19 Issue 7, July 2016

Yoshihara and colleagues identify the neural circuitry underlying the effects of the sex pheromone prostaglandin F2α on zebrafish reproductive behavior.p 897

News & Views

  • Early nicotine exposure during brain development may cause long-lasting neurobiological and behavioral alterations in adulthood. Jung et al. present insights into the mechanisms mediating these developmental changes.

    • Rafael Maldonado
    • Miquel Martin
    News & Views


  • Developmental knockdown of Shank3 affects excitatory synaptic transmission, activity of midbrain dopamine neurons, and behavior. Optogenetic dopamine release or enhancing metabotropic glutamate receptor signaling rescues these deficits.

    • Michael F Priest
    • Yevgenia Kozorovitskiy
    News & Views
  • During a binary choice task, neuronal activity in monkey orbitofrontal cortex alternated between two network states. The internal dynamics revealed by a linear decoder correlated with the reaction time and with the eventual choice.

    • Katherine E Conen
    • Camillo Padoa-Schioppa
    News & Views
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  • In this Perspective the authors provide a comparison of recent neurophysiological findings on the pathophysiology of three major movement disorders: Huntington's disease, l-DOPA-induced dyskinesia and dystonia. Both clinical and preclinical studies show that these hyperkinetic disorders share mechanisms underlying synaptic scaling and synaptic plasticity alterations in the basal ganglia–thalamo-cortical network.

    • Paolo Calabresi
    • Antonio Pisani
    • Barbara Picconi
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Brief Communication

  • Hedonic value is a dominant aspect of olfactory perception. The authors combine immediate early gene mapping and optogenetics to show that the degree of behavioral attraction to odors is represented along the antero-posterior axis of the ventral olfactory bulb. This suggests that organization of the olfactory bulb reflects hedonic value.

    • Florence Kermen
    • Maëllie Midroit
    • Nathalie Mandairon
    Brief Communication
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  • During evolution, the neocortex has expanded dramatically and folded in certain species, providing superior sensorimotor and cognitive abilities. Expansion of neural progenitors called bRGs and IPCs plays key roles in expansion and folding of the neocortex. Using mouse models, comparative genomics and human cerebral organoids, this study shows that Shh signaling expands bRG and IPC populations, leading to neocortical expansion and folding.

    • Lei Wang
    • Shirui Hou
    • Young-Goo Han
  • In fish, prostaglandin F is a female hormone regulating ovulation, but it is also a pheromone that triggers male reproductive behavior. In this study, the authors identified an olfactory receptor for prostaglandin F, which, when mutated, leads to impaired courtship behavior in male zebrafish.

    • Yoichi Yabuki
    • Tetsuya Koide
    • Yoshihiro Yoshihara
  • Developmental nicotine exposure increased cortical dendritic complexity, levels of Ash2l and Mef2c (components of a histone methyltransferase complex), and H3MeK4 trimethylation at promoters of genes involved in synapse maintenance. Knockdown and overexpression experiments in utero showed that Ash2l and Mef2c regulate nicotine-mediated dendritic remodeling and changes in passive avoidance behavior.

    • Yonwoo Jung
    • Lawrence S Hsieh
    • Marina R Picciotto
  • Cocaine and morphine produce similar addiction-related behaviors, but different adaptations at accumbens synapses. The authors explain this paradox, showing that both drugs generate silent synapses in distinct neuronal types: cocaine in D1 type and morphine in D2 type. Withdrawal strengthens cocaine-generated silent synapses and weakens morphine-generated ones, producing common circuit effects.

    • Nicholas M Graziane
    • Shichao Sun
    • Yan Dong
  • The authors show that downregulation of SHANK3 in the VTA induces cell specific changes in DA and GABA neurons that converge to generate social behavioral deficits. Administration of a positive allosteric modulator of the type 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR1) ameliorates synaptic, circuit and behavioral deficits.

    • Sebastiano Bariselli
    • Stamatina Tzanoulinou
    • Camilla Bellone
  • The lateral entorhinal cortex computes and transfers olfactory information from the olfactory bulb to the hippocampus and supports associative multimodal memories. Leitner et al. characterize the activity of odor-responsive cell types in this brain area and identify upstream and downstream brain areas to which olfactory information is conveyed.

    • Frauke C Leitner
    • Sarah Melzer
    • Hannah Monyer
  • The circuit mechanisms underlying temporal coding in hippocampal area CA1 are poorly understood. The authors demonstrate that genetically removing CA3 input to CA1 disrupts temporally compressed ensemble-wide theta sequences in CA1 while sparing single-cell place coding, suggesting a crucial role for CA3 input in organizing the ensemble code for space.

    • Steven J Middleton
    • Thomas J McHugh
  • Hippocampal place cells encode the animal’s position within the environment. Using flying bats navigating either by vision or echolocation, the authors found that hippocampal spatial maps changed completely between vision and echolocation. This suggests the hippocampus does not contain a single abstract map for a given environment, but rather multiple maps for different sensory modalities.

    • Maya Geva-Sagiv
    • Sandro Romani
    • Nachum Ulanovsky
  • The authors show that artificially enhancing the temporal coordination between hippocampal sharp wave-ripples and cortical delta waves and spindles leads to the reorganization of cortical networks, an increase in their responsivity during recall, and memory consolidation. The study provides causal evidence for the role of hippocampo-cortical interactions during sleep in memory consolidation.

    • Nicolas Maingret
    • Gabrielle Girardeau
    • Michaël Zugaro
  • The neural mechanisms of subjective choice are largely unknown. Here the authors show that neural activity in orbitofrontal cortex alternates rapidly between the values of available options in patterns that predict choice behavior. These dynamics may provide a neural mechanism for deliberation and optimal decision-making.

    • Erin L Rich
    • Jonathan D Wallis
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