Volume 9 Issue 10, October 2006

Volume 9 Issue 10

Developmental disorders such as dyslexia, autism and fragile X syndrome can affect a wide range of cognitive and social functions that arise in childhood. Researchers suspect that multiple genes in early development, as well as environmental factors, may influence the course of these disorders, but surprisingly little is known about their etiology. In this issue, we present several perspectives on the neurobiology of developmental disorders and their relationship to one another. This special focus is sponsored by the March of Dimes, Cure Autism Now and Autism Speaks. (p 1209)


  • Editorial |

    A researcher recently announced his decision to stop working with primates after animal rights protesters targeted his family. These events underscore the need for neuroscientists to support the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.

Book Review

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    Transmission of sensory information through the rhinal cortices is essential for hippocampus-dependent learning. In this issue Paz et al. show that amygdala activity elicited by an unexpected reward facilitates communication from perirhinal to entorhinal cortex, providing a physiological mechanism for emotional modulation of memory.

    • Gregory J Quirk
    •  & Ivan Vidal-Gonzalez
  • News & Views |

    Axon guidance requires local protein synthesis at the growth cone. Two new studies show that guidance cues induce asymmetric targeting and translation of β-actin (Actb) mRNA. Such asymmetry may be the mechanism that underlies growth cone turning.

    • Guo-li Ming
  • News & Views |

    Synapse formation requires adhesive interactions between pre- and postsynaptic membranes. A new study reports that netrin-G2 ligand (NGL-2) interactions with netrin-G2 induces excitatory synapses, expanding the range of known synapse-inducing signals.

    • Thomas Biederer
  • News & Views |

    A new paper demonstrates that polyglutamine pathogenesis in spinocerebellar ataxia need not be cell autonomous. Mutant ataxin-7 expression restricted to Bergmann glia was sufficient to cause Purkinje cell degeneration and neuronal pathology.

    • Christopher A Ross
    •  & Don W Cleveland
  • News & Views |

    Categorization of objects has been considered a function of the temporal 'what' pathway, but a new paper shows that neurons in the lateral intraparietal area of the 'where' pathway show learned responses based on category boundaries.

    • Vincent P Ferrera
    •  & Jack Grinband


Sponsor's Foreword


Brief Communications



  • Focus |

    Childhood Developmental Disorders

    Nature Neurosciencepresents a special focus on childhood developmental disorders, which contains four perspectives exploring the overlap between normal and abnormal development, as well as the commonalties between different disorders. Disorders covered include autism, specific language impairment, dyslexia, and the mental retardation syndrome fragile X. Thanks to generous support from our sponsors, the March of Dimes, Autism Speaks and Cure Autism Now, this focus will be freely available online through December 2006.