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  • Impaired interneuron function is widely believed to contribute to schizophrenia pathophysiology. Hardingham and Do describe converging evidence suggesting that NMDA receptor (NMDAR) hypofunction and oxidative stress during development contribute to interneuron dysfunction and schizophrenia pathophysiology.

    • Giles E. Hardingham
    • Kim Q. Do
  • The evolution of complex nervous systems is not well understood. In this Opinion article, Arendt and colleagues discuss comparative gene-expression data that suggest that the bilaterian brain emerged from the integration of distinct integrative centres present on opposite sides of a nerve net.

    • Detlev Arendt
    • Maria Antonietta Tosches
    • Heather Marlow
  • The precise timing of impulse transmission along axons is crucial for synaptic plasticity and brain oscillations, and is partly determined by myelin thickness. In this Opinion article, R. Douglas Fields discusses how electrical activity influences myelin thickness and thus conduction velocity and circuit properties.

    • R. Douglas Fields
  • The cortex can generate packets of neuronal activity with stereotypical sequential structure spontaneously or in response to sensory stimuli. In this Opinion article, Luczak and colleagues examine the evidence for such packets and discuss how packets may act as fundamental units of cortical communication.

    • Artur Luczak
    • Bruce L. McNaughton
    • Kenneth D. Harris
  • Various brain regions have been implicated in emotion regulation, although this process remains poorly understood. In this Opinion article, Etkin and colleagues bring together neuroimaging findings and ideas from value-based decision-making and reinforcement learning to propose a conceptual framework for emotion regulation.

    • Amit Etkin
    • Christian Büchel
    • James J. Gross
  • Classical theories, such as cable theory, can only successfully model signal propagation in neurons on a macroscopic scale. Holcman and Yuste argue that, as the functional importance of neuronal compartments such as dendritic spines becomes apparent, it is important to develop models that can account for the effects of their size and geometry on electrical current flow.

    • David Holcman
    • Rafael Yuste
  • The causes and neurological mechanisms of tinnitus remain incompletely understood. In this Opinion, Elgoyhenet al. critically assess recent neuroimaging studies of people with tinnitus that implicate structural and functional changes among auditory and non-auditory areas and networks, and suggest ways to improve future research into the disorder.

    • Ana Belén Elgoyhen
    • Berthold Langguth
    • Sven Vanneste
  • Individuals with Down syndrome have an enhanced risk of developing early onset Alzheimer disease. Here, the authors describe the features of Alzheimer disease in Down syndrome and show how understanding the genetic and pathogenic mechanisms of this form of Alzheimer disease may shed light on more general mechanisms of neurodegeneration.

    • Frances K. Wiseman
    • Tamara Al-Janabi
    • André Strydom
  • There is emerging evidence that the interactions of oxytocin, GABAergic signals and stress molecules during birth can contribute to autism spectrum disorders. In this Opinion article, Ben-Ari suggests that, during birth, oxytocin can attenuate certain neurodevelopmental alterations, thereby attenuating the pathogenesis of autism in offspring.

    • Yehezkel Ben-Ari
  • The brain balances the segregation and integration of incoming information to facilitate flexible cognition and behaviour. In this Opinion article, Deco and colleagues argue that whole-brain computational modelling based on neuroimaging data can provide insights into these segregation and integration processes.

    • Gustavo Deco
    • Giulio Tononi
    • Morten L. Kringelbach
  • The brain is increasingly thought to predict sensory inputs, based on previous experience. In this Opinion article, Barrett and Simmons integrate this active inference account with an anatomical model of corticocortical connections, and describe how such a system may unify allostatic control and interoception within an integrated neural architecture.

    • Lisa Feldman Barrett
    • W. Kyle Simmons
  • In this Opinion article, Nutt and colleagues examine the history of and current evidence for the dopamine theory of addiction. They argue that dopamine's role in addiction is more complicated than the role that is put forward in this theory.

    • David J. Nutt
    • Anne Lingford-Hughes
    • Paul R. A. Stokes
  • Reading enables language to be perceived through vision. In this Opinion article, Dehaene and colleagues discuss the changes in brain function, brain structures and behaviour that occur when learning how to read, and how these changes may reflect more-efficient connections among visual and language-processing centres.

    • Stanislas Dehaene
    • Laurent Cohen
    • Régine Kolinsky
  • How fast and precise is astrocytic Ca2+ signalling? In this Opinion article, Dmitri Rusakov discusses how overcoming difficulties in monitoring and interpreting astrocyte Ca2+signalling — and the acquisition of a fuller understanding — requires a leap in our experimental and analytical strategies.

    • Dmitri A. Rusakov
  • Exposure to drugs of abuse — for example, cocaine — leads to plastic changes in the activity of ion channels that control neuronal firing. In this Opinion article, Kourrich, Calu and Bonci discuss how accumulating evidence suggests that these changes may contribute to the shaping of addiction phenotype.

    • Saïd Kourrich
    • Donna J. Calu
    • Antonello Bonci
  • Recent work suggests that the insula forms part of a network that mediates the processing of salient stimuli. In this Opinion article, Lucina Q. Uddin examines the role of the insula in salience processing before outlining that dysfunction of such processing in insular subdivisions might accompany several brain disorders.

    • Lucina Q. Uddin
  • Developmental dyslexia occurs across languages and has a major impact on the lives of affected individuals. Here, Usha Goswami considers the evidence for several prominent 'sensory' theories of dyslexia and outlines the key challenges for research in this area.

    • Usha Goswami
  • Retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) produce all of the retina's cells through an evolutionarily conserved series of divisions and cell fate decisions. In this article, Cepko describes recent studies that have shed light on the intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms that drive this process and argues that individual terminally dividing RPCs are molecularly specified to produce particular progeny.

    • Connie Cepko
  • Bilingualism has attracted attention for its reported effects on linguistic and cognitive abilities. In this Opinion article, Costa and Sebastián-Gallés provide their view on how learning and speaking two languages affects language acquisition and processing as well as executive control processes.

    • Albert Costa
    • Núria Sebastián-Gallés