Volume 9 Issue 7, July 2006
News & Views
Fool me once, shame on me—fool me twice, blame the ACC
The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is thought to detect unfavorable outcomes and thus influence behavior. A new paper reports that ACC-lesioned monkeys respond normally to reduced rewards, but do not maintain their improved behavioral strategy. The ACC thus is not a simple error detector, but an integrator of past reward experience.
Fractalkine: moving from chemotaxis to neuroprotection
Microglia are thought to contribute to neurodegeneration. Now ablating the receptor for the chemokine fractalkine is shown to increase microglial inflammatory response and neuronal death in vivo in several models of CNS insult.
When is enough enough?
How does the decision-making process stop? Lo and Wang propose that a large-scale interconnected network encompassing parietal cortex, basal ganglia and motor structures controls the balance between speed and accuracy.
The ebb and flow of attention in the human brain
Lapses in attention can impair performance independent of the task. A new imaging study reports that reduced activity in prefrontal attentional control regions at the beginning of a trial predicts longer reaction times.
Nitro-PDI incites toxic waste accumulation
In Parkinson disease and related disorders, nitric oxide may disable PDI, an enzyme critical for proper protein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum, resulting in the accumulation of damaged proteins and eventually neuronal death.