Review Articles

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  • Lewy bodies, which are α-synuclein-rich intracellular inclusions, are pathological hallmarks of several neurodegenerative diseases, notably Parkinson disease. In this Review, Fares, Jagannath and Lashuel examine the biochemical, structural and morphological features of Lewy bodies as well as how α-synuclein pathology may form and spread.

    • Mohamed Bilal Fares
    • Somanath Jagannath
    • Hilal A. Lashuel
    Review Article
  • The molecular basis of trans-synaptic signalling by Neurexins plays an important role in synapse organization. In this Review, Scheiffele and colleagues link cell type-specific alternative splicing to the combinatorial action of Neurexin isoforms, and provide a mechanistic framework for Neurexin functions in synapse organization.

    • Andrea M. Gomez
    • Lisa Traunmüller
    • Peter Scheiffele
    Review Article
  • Local mRNA translation is essential for the function of polarized cells, such as neurons. Twiss and colleagues provide an overview of the cellular mechanisms that coordinate the transport and translation of axonal mRNAs, allowing the axon to respond to changing physiological demands.

    • Irene Dalla Costa
    • Courtney N. Buchanan
    • Jeffery L. Twiss
    Review Article
  • The formation of the nodes of Ranvier in myelinated axons involves a specific clustering of ion channels. In this Review, Rasband and Peles describe two independent, glia-directed mechanisms that converge on the axonal cytoskeleton to cluster and maintain nodal ion channels.

    • Matthew N. Rasband
    • Elior Peles
    Review Article
  • The cerebellum has an established role in procedural learning; however, the mechanisms through which it mediates learning are less well understood. De Zeeuw describes evidence for the existence of ‘upbound’ and ‘downbound’ microzones of cerebellar Purkinje cells and considers how they contribute to different forms of cerebellar learning.

    • Chris I. De Zeeuw
    Review Article
  • Stroke initially causes cell injury and death. After these acute events, there is a period of increased plasticity in the brain. Joy and Carmichael review changes in neuronal excitability systems during this period that lead to neural circuit reformation after stroke and how they may be targeted to promote functional recovery.

    • Mary T. Joy
    • S. Thomas Carmichael
    Review Article
  • Inhibitory stabilization is a network mechanism that can enable high-gain excitatory networks to operate without leading to runaway activity. Here Sadeh and Clopath review the evidence for inhibition-stabilized networks in the brain and discuss their implications for cortical computation.

    • Sadra Sadeh
    • Claudia Clopath
    Review Article
  • Faces represent important objects to primates. In this Review, Janis Hesse and Doris Tsao provide a comprehensive overview of the face patch system in macaques. They also argue that understanding this system may provide more general insights into high-level object representation.

    • Janis K. Hesse
    • Doris Y. Tsao
    Review Article
  • Viral vectors are important tools for neuroscientists. In this Review, Nectow and Nestler discuss state-of-the-art recombinant viral tools, the key principles governing their selection, development and use, and how they could answer some of the most important questions in neuroscience today.

    • Alexander R. Nectow
    • Eric J. Nestler
    Review Article
  • Oligodendrocyte lineage cells have recently been shown to exhibit plasticity in response to sensory experience and learning. In this Review, Xin and Chan outline the evidence for and the possible mechanisms underlying the contribution of oligodendrocyte and myelin plasticity to memory acquisition and maintenance.

    • Wendy Xin
    • Jonah R. Chan
    Review Article
  • Recent advances in animal addiction models have emphasized translational challenges. In this Review, Venniro and colleagues introduce a reverse translational approach that may provide an ecologically relevant platform from which to discover new circuits, test new medications and improve translation.

    • Marco Venniro
    • Matthew L. Banks
    • Yavin Shaham
    Review Article
  • Goal-directed primate behaviour is guided by abstract rules that group events and experiences into meaningful concepts. Here, Mansouri and colleagues discuss the distributed cortical and subcortical brain regions thought to underlie the formation, maintenance and implementation of abstract rules and propose a unified framework describing the neural architecture of rule-guided primate behaviour.

    • Farshad Alizadeh Mansouri
    • David J. Freedman
    • Mark J. Buckley
    Review Article
  • A resurgence in interest in the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs has boosted research into their neurobiological and cognitive effects. Vollenweider and Preller review recent advances in the field and consider the implications of recent discoveries for the therapeutic use of psychedelics.

    • Franz X. Vollenweider
    • Katrin H. Preller
    Review Article
  • Sex steroid hormones such as the potent oestrogen 17β-oestradiol have only recently started to be acknowledged as important neuromodulators. Taxier, Gross and Frick review 17β-oestradiol signalling in the brain and its effects on different types of memory.

    • Lisa R. Taxier
    • Kellie S. Gross
    • Karyn M. Frick
    Review Article
  • Although not electrically excitable, astrocytes display a complex repertoire of intracellular Ca2+ signalling. Semyanov, Henneberger and Agarwal describe experimental preparations and methods for studying Ca2+ activity in astrocytes, their limitations and the ongoing technical and conceptual challenges in the interpretation of astrocytic Ca2+ events and their spatio-temporal patterns.

    • Alexey Semyanov
    • Christian Henneberger
    • Amit Agarwal
    Review Article
  • A number of spatially selective neurons that encode an animal’s distance and direction from environmental features have been proposed by theoretical studies and experimentally identified. Andrej Bicanski and Neil Burgess summarize our current understanding of vector coding cells and describe their contribution to spatial cognition.

    • Andrej Bicanski
    • Neil Burgess
    Review Article
  • The causal role of chromatin modifications has been difficult to study in the brains of behaving animals. Yim, Teague and Nestler review locus-specific neuroepigenome-editing tools to define causal relationships between chromatin modifications and their molecular, cellular, circuit and behavioural consequences.

    • Yun Young Yim
    • Collin D. Teague
    • Eric J. Nestler
    Review Article
  • Satellite glial cells surround the cell bodies of neurons in peripheral ganglia and are activated by numerous types of nerve injury and inflammation. In this Review, Hanani and Spray discuss the cellular changes in these cells that contribute to four common types of pain.

    • Menachem Hanani
    • David C. Spray
    Review Article
  • The homeostatic CNS environment is maintained by the function of the blood–blood barrier and neurovascular coupling. Kaplan, Chow and Gu describe how neural and vascular activity act on one another with regard to the blood–blood barrier and neurovascular coupling.

    • Luke Kaplan
    • Brian W. Chow
    • Chenghua Gu
    Review Article