Volume 9 Issue 3, March 2006
News & Views
Blessed are the pacemakers
Many neurons, particularly inhibitory neurons in motor areas, express ion channels that cause them to fire rapidly and regularly without input. A paper now presents evidence that an inherited ataxia due to mutation in a P/Q-type calcium channel gene results from compromised pacemaking in cerebellar Purkinje neurons, suggesting a possible therapy.
PEDF: bridging neurovascular interactions in the stem cell niche
Stem cells are defined by their ability to self-renew. Adult brain stem cells divide slowly, and it is unclear how their division is regulated. A new study identifies PEDF as a growth factor that promotes adult stem cell self-renewal.
You are when you eat
The suprachiasmatic nucleus is the main circadian pacemaker. Another oscillator entrains behavior to food availability, but its location has been a mystery. A new study suggests the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus as a possibility.
Perceived size matters
Activity in early visual processing areas is often thought to reflect physical input from the retina, rather than conscious perception. A new study now finds that activity in V1 corresponds to perceived rather than actual object size.