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Volume 21 Issue 3, March 2018

A circuit for object exploration

Kim and colleagues discovered a medial preoptic circuit involved in mediating behavioral responses toward nonsocial objects and prey.

See Park et al. 21, 364–372 (2018)

Image: Photograph by Yoon-Jung Nam. Cover Design: Erin Dewalt.

News & Views

  • Direct conversion of adult Huntington’s disease patient fibroblasts into medium spiny neurons recapitulates hallmark phenotypes such as cell death, in contrast to models that lack epigenetic markers of aging. This successful ‘disease-in-a-dish’ highlights the benefits of capturing age in an adult-onset disorder model.

    • Virginia B. Mattis
    • Clive N. Svendsen

    Nature Outlook:

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  • Using a series of functional manipulation and in vivo recording tools, Park et al. identify a pathway from medial preoptic CaMKIIα-expressing neurons to the ventral periaqueductal gray that mediates object craving and prey hunting.

    • Dayu Lin
    News & Views
  • Humans and animals can react to the affective state of others in distress. However, exposure to a stressed partner can trigger stress-related adaptations. Two studies shed light on the mechanisms underlying the behavioral responses toward stressed individuals and on the synaptic changes associated with social transmission of stress.

    • Dana Rubi Levy
    • Ofer Yizhar
    News & Views
  • The human brain shows regional selective vulnerability to the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease. Jacobs et al. show that the protein amyloid-β promotes the spread of tau through specific components of a neural system underlying memory formation, thus leading to the prominent early symptom of amnesia.

    • William Jagust
    News & Views
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