Volume 21 Issue 5, May 2018

Volume 21 Issue 5

Locomotion modulates associative learning

Albergaria, Carey and colleagues show that locomotor activity improves associative learning in mice through mechanisms that act on the mossy fiber pathway within the cerebellum. The cover image incorporates references to Pavlov’s original classical conditioning experiments, within a cerebellar landscape.

See Albergaria et al.

Image: Gil Costa. Cover Design: Erin Dewalt.


News & Views

  • News & Views |

    The behavioral state of a human or animal can dramatically alter how information is processed in its neural circuits. Albergaria et al. show that locomotion enhances the performance of a cerebellum-dependent behavior. The results provide new constraints on how information is represented there to support learning.

    • Jennifer L. Raymond
  • News & Views |

    Recurring bursts of thalamocortical cells were thought to be indispensable in driving absence seizures. A new study demonstrates that bursts from inhibitory thalamic reticular neurons are crucial instead. Reticular bursts are driven by cortical inputs and govern precise timing of thalamocortical cell activity during seizures.

    • László Acsády
  • News & Views |

    Epidemiology and animal research have shown that the offspring of mothers who experience inflammation during pregnancy are at increased risk for psychopathology. A human study links a mother’s inflammation during pregnancy to her newborn’s functional brain organization and the child’s working memory two years later.

    • Monica D. Rosenberg

Brief Communications


  • Article |

    Specific retinal connectivity depends on laminar restriction of neuronal processes. The authors show that a single transcription factor specifies a common laminar identity in dendrites of four retinal cell types, albeit via cell-type-specific means.

    • Jinyue Liu
    • , Jasmine D. S. Reggiani
    • , Mallory A. Laboulaye
    • , Shristi Pandey
    • , Bin Chen
    • , John L. R. Rubenstein
    • , Arjun Krishnaswamy
    •  & Joshua R. Sanes
  • Article |

    Hruska et al. suggest an architectural basis for NMDAR-dependent spine plasticity mediated by addition of unitary pre- and postsynaptic nanomodules that function as building blocks of synaptic organization and enable structural plasticity.

    • Martin Hruska
    • , Nathan Henderson
    • , Sylvain J. Le Marchand
    • , Haani Jafri
    •  & Matthew B. Dalva
  • Article |

    Huang et al. demonstrate that somatostatin (Sst)-expressing primary afferents are pruriceptors. In spinal cord, they show that Sst potentiates itch by disinhibition involving dynorphin-expressing spinal neurons and that Sst also suppresses pain.

    • Jing Huang
    • , Erika Polgár
    • , Hans Jürgen Solinski
    • , Santosh K. Mishra
    • , Pang-Yen Tseng
    • , Noboru Iwagaki
    • , Kieran A. Boyle
    • , Allen C. Dickie
    • , Mette C. Kriegbaum
    • , Hendrik Wildner
    • , Hanns Ulrich Zeilhofer
    • , Masahiko Watanabe
    • , John S. Riddell
    • , Andrew J. Todd
    •  & Mark A. Hoon
  • Article |

    Todd et al. show a daily rhythm in aggression propensity in male mice and reveal a novel polysynaptic circuit within the hypothalamus by which the central circadian clock (the suprachiasmatic nucleus) influences neurons that regulate attack behavior.

    • William D. Todd
    • , Henning Fenselau
    • , Joshua L. Wang
    • , Rong Zhang
    • , Natalia L. Machado
    • , Anne Venner
    • , Rebecca Y. Broadhurst
    • , Satvinder Kaur
    • , Timothy Lynagh
    • , David P. Olson
    • , Bradford B. Lowell
    • , Patrick M. Fuller
    •  & Clifford B. Saper
  • Article |

    Albergaria et al. demonstrate that ongoing locomotor activity modulates cerebellum-dependent associative learning. Optogenetic circuit dissection reveals a site of locomotor modulation within the mossy fiber pathway in the cerebellum.

    • Catarina Albergaria
    • , N. Tatiana Silva
    • , Dominique L. Pritchett
    •  & Megan R. Carey
  • Article |

    The authors demonstrate that the thalamic output during absence seizures is controlled and synchronized by a combination of excitation from the cortex and fast feedforward inhibition from reticular thalamus, with little involvement of thalamocortical neuron intrinsic mechanisms.

    • Cian McCafferty
    • , François David
    • , Marcello Venzi
    • , Magor L. Lőrincz
    • , Francis Delicata
    • , Zoe Atherton
    • , Gregorio Recchia
    • , Gergely Orban
    • , Régis C. Lambert
    • , Giuseppe Di Giovanni
    • , Nathalie Leresche
    •  & Vincenzo Crunelli
  • Article |

    The authors measured the organization of cortical feedback inputs in mouse primary visual cortex. They found that the locations in visual cortex targeted by feedback axons relate to their tuning properties according to a simple geometrical rule.

    • Tiago Marques
    • , Julia Nguyen
    • , Gabriela Fioreze
    •  & Leopoldo Petreanu
  • Article |

    The authors show that maternal inflammation during pregnancy, indexed by IL-6, can be estimated from the newborn brain connectome and predicts future working memory performance in offspring at two years of age.

    • Marc D. Rudolph
    • , Alice M. Graham
    • , Eric Feczko
    • , Oscar Miranda-Dominguez
    • , Jerod M. Rasmussen
    • , Rahel Nardos
    • , Sonja Entringer
    • , Pathik D. Wadhwa
    • , Claudia Buss
    •  & Damien A. Fair