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Volume 21 Issue 1, January 2018

Temporal scaling of cortical dynamics

Fractured through a prism, the components of light travel at different speeds. Wang, Narain and colleagues identify an analogous principle for timing control in the brain.

See Wang et al. 21, 102–110 (2017)

Image: Jing Wang. Cover Design: Erin Dewalt.


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News & Views

  • New studies provide compelling evidence that the number and length of myelin sheaths generated by oligodendrocytes in the CNS are controlled by local calcium levels, linking axonal activity to individual myelin sheath formation.

    • Robert H. Miller
    News & Views
  • Both nucleus accumbens and orexin play clear roles in motivated behavior, but the functions of orexin projections to accumbens are poorly understood. Blomeley et al. show that this pathway, via specific orexin excitation of dopamine D2 receptor–expressing neurons, can inhibit reward seeking and exploratory drive when danger is perceived.

    • Stephen V. Mahler
    News & Views
  • Super-resolution optical imaging of presynaptic terminals shows that a protein essential to all known forms of neurotransmitter release is clustered in small assemblies that likely correspond to release sites for synaptic vesicle fusion.

    • Timothy A. Ryan
    News & Views
  • The medial entorhinal cortex contains spatially selective grid cells, whose lattice-like firing patterns are proposed to support path-integration-based navigation. However, direct behavioral evidence has been lacking. Gil et al. disrupt grid cells in a targeted manner, establishing a clear link between grid cell codes and navigation.

    • Caitlin S. Mallory
    • Lisa M. Giocomo
    News & Views
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  • The glial scar plays critical but divergent roles during regeneration of the mammalian CNS. Here the authors propose that in-depth analysis of the functionally heterogeneous populations of reactive glia within the scar is needed to fully understand the glial scar’s dual nature.

    • Katrina L. Adams
    • Vittorio Gallo
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Brief Communications

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  • Using single-cell RNA-sequencing, the authors record snapshots of the dynamic sensory-experience-dependent transcriptome across all cell types of the visual cortex in mice exposed to a light stimulus. The authors note diverse cell-type-specific programs in pyramidal neuron subtypes and robust non-neuronal responses that may regulate experience-dependent neurovascular coupling and myelination.

    • Sinisa Hrvatin
    • Daniel R. Hochbaum
    • Michael E. Greenberg
  • The protein composition of excitatory synapses differs in the areas of the human neocortex controlling language, emotion and other behaviors. This neocortical postsynaptic proteome data resource can be used to link genetics to brain imaging and behavior.

    • Marcia Roy
    • Oksana Sorokina
    • Seth G. N. Grant
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Technical Reports

  • The authors present a new computational approach to automatically annotate, analyze, visualize and easily share whole-brain datasets at cellular resolution, based on a scale-invariant and interactive mouse brain reference atlas. The authors applied this framework to define the organization and cocaine-induced activity of corticostriatal circuits.

    • Daniel Fürth
    • Thomas Vaissière
    • Konstantinos Meletis
    Technical Report
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