Filter By:

  • The extent and contribution of maternal influence to the developing hypothalamus to later feeding behaviour remain controversial. In this Opinion, Zeltser proposes that crosstalk between developing circuits regulating different modalities of food intake shapes susceptibility to environmental challenges.

    • Lori M. Zeltser
  • During low-vigilance states, thalamic neurons exhibit diverse rhythmic activities that contribute to specific parts of the electroencephalogram rhythm. In this perspective, Crunelli and colleagues propose that thalamic oscillations of these low-vigilance states also have a plasticity function that modifies the strength of excitatory and inhibitory synapses in local neuronal assemblies.

    • Vincenzo Crunelli
    • Magor L. Lőrincz
    • Adam C. Errington
  • Volitional motor control involves not only the initiation of desired movements but also the suppression of undesired movements. In this Opinion article, Ebbesen and Brecht argue that motor cortex neurons have a role in both aspects of motor control.

    • Christian Laut Ebbesen
    • Michael Brecht
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is emerging as a potential broad-spectrum therapy for addiction. In this Opinion article, Diana and colleagues discuss the neural foundations of TMS and discuss possible mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects observed in people with addictions.

    • Marco Diana
    • Tommi Raij
    • Antonello Bonci
  • The idea that specialized cognitive processes or brain regions are devoted to particular cognitive functions — known as domain specificity — remains an area of substantial debate. Adolphs and Spunt outline the challenges in defining and assessing domain specificity and use social neuroscience findings to suggest a new approach.

    • Robert P. Spunt
    • Ralph Adolphs
  • Recent evidence suggests that T cells and their derived cytokines affect the brain in disease and health. In this Opinion article, Kipnis and colleagues describe their effects and possible underlying mechanisms, and propose an evolutionary model to explain why the T cell-derived cytokine interferon-γ has both pro-social and immune effects.

    • Anthony J. Filiano
    • Sachin P. Gadani
    • Jonathan Kipnis
  • There is little agreement on the definition of emotions or the neural mechanisms by which they are realized. Bach and Dayan here use decision theory to shed light on the nature and implementation of the algorithms that underlie emotion-related behaviours.

    • Dominik R. Bach
    • Peter Dayan
  • Recent human neuroimaging studies suggest that, in addition to its role in visuospatial and sensorimotor processes, the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) also plays an important part in episodic memory retrieval. Here, Sestieri, Shulman and Corbetta present a functional–anatomical model of the involvement of the PPC in memory retrieval.

    • Carlo Sestieri
    • Gordon L. Shulman
    • Maurizio Corbetta
  • In this Opinion article, Hunt and Hayden highlight that many of the models for reward-based choice are based on distinct component processes that occur in series and are functionally localized. They argue that, instead, such choice emerges from repeated computations that are undertaken in many brain areas.

    • Laurence T. Hunt
    • Benjamin Y. Hayden
  • The anatomical complexity and location of the human subcortex render it difficult to study by MRIin vivo. Here, Forstmann et al. argue that understanding subcortex function may be facilitated by combining in vivoand post-mortem ultra-high field MRI, post-mortem histology and modelling approaches.

    • Birte U. Forstmann
    • Gilles de Hollander
    • Max C. Keuken
  • Research on the neural substrates of drug addiction has yet to be translated into a treatment of addiction. Heiliget al. propose that finding neural links between social factors, such as exclusion, and drug addiction would help to make addiction neuroscience research more clinically relevant.

    • Markus Heilig
    • David H. Epstein
    • Yavin Shaham
  • Recent studies have attributed surprisingly similar functional roles to the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and hippocampus. Evidence is presented that both the OFC and hippocampus contribute to 'cognitive mapping', and it is suggested that future work should focus on understanding the functional interactions between these structures.

    • Andrew M. Wikenheiser
    • Geoffrey Schoenbaum
  • Uncovering the neural basis of consciousness is a major challenge to neuroscience. In this Perspective, Tononi and colleagues describe the integrated information theory of consciousness and how it might be used to answer outstanding questions about the nature of consciousness.

    • Giulio Tononi
    • Melanie Boly
    • Christof Koch
  • The understanding of spoken language is mediated by bottom-up and top-down processing in the brain. In this Opinion article, Skeide and Friederici propose how changes in the structure and function of children's brains are associated with the development of language-processing skills.

    • Michael A. Skeide
    • Angela D. Friederici
  • There has been a surge in the number of papers discussing the idea that inter-neuronal spread of 'pathogenic' proteins contributes to neurodegenerative disease progression. Walsh and Selkoe provide a critical overview of the evidence for this mechanism, identify gaps in our knowledge and suggest experimental approaches to test the hypothesis.

    • Dominic M. Walsh
    • Dennis J. Selkoe
  • The anterior hippocampus is thought to be involved in a wide range of cognitive functions, including memory, navigation and perception. In this Opinion article, Zeidman and Maguire show how improved functional imaging techniques are shedding light on the precise anatomy of this region and the contribution of different parts of the anterior hippocampus to specific cognitive functions.

    • Peter Zeidman
    • Eleanor A. Maguire
  • Phasic signalling by midbrain dopamine neurons is thought to contribute to reward processing by encoding a reward prediction error. Schultz describes recent work suggesting that there are two distinct components of the phasic dopamine response and considers the probable functional role of each response component.

    • Wolfram Schultz
  • Synaptic vesicle exocytosis is tightly regulated by a number of synaptic proteins, including complexin; however, several alternative models of complexin function have been presented. Trimbuch and Rosenmund propose that a better understanding of the properties of different domains of complexin may help to shed light on its function.

    • Thorsten Trimbuch
    • Christian Rosenmund