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Volume 22 Issue 9, September 2019

The cover depicts a sad, anxious or sick mouse sitting on a small island surrounded by an ocean of neurons, unable to socially interact, explore or feed. This is a metaphor for the function of the insular cortex, also called the ‘island of the brain’ (‘insula’ is the Latin word for ‘island’). In this study, Gehrlach et al. reveal how the posterior part of the insula processes and regulates aversive emotional and bodily internal states and mediates inhibition of ongoing rewarding and exploratory behaviors.

See Gehrlach et al

Image credit: Julia Kuhl. Cover design: Marina Corral Spence.

News & Views

  • Repeat-associated non-AUG (RAN) translation generates toxic repeat proteins from pathological repeat expansions found in certain neurodegenerative disorders, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. How to suppress RAN translation has so far been unknown. A new study now reports a selective regulator of RAN translation identified in a genetic screen in yeast.

    • Saskia Hutten
    • Dorothee Dormann
    News & Views


  • A new study sheds light on how sensitivity to communication sounds is established in the brain. Juvenile finches raised with tutors of either the same or different species always learned the tutors’ songs. Cortical neurons developed selectivity for the learned song by tuning for its secondary acoustic features.

    • Aaron Williams
    • Maria N. Geffen
    News & Views
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