Neural circuits

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Chronic nicotine exposure impacts various components of decision-making processes, such as exploratory behaviors. Here, the authors identify the cellular mechanism and show that chronic nicotine exposure increases the tonic activity of VTA dopaminergic neurons and reduces exploration in mice.

    • Malou Dongelmans
    • , Romain Durand-de Cuttoli
    •  & Philippe Faure
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The brain systems underlying fear experience are debated. Here the authors develop an fMRI-based neural signature for fear and show that fear is represented in distributed brain systems rather than isolated ‘fear centers’.

    • Feng Zhou
    • , Weihua Zhao
    •  & Benjamin Becker
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Hunting behavior typically contains a sequential motor program, including search, chase, attack, and consumption. Here, the authors show that periaqueductal gray neuronal ensembles encode the sequential hunting motor program, which might provide a framework for decoding complex instinctive behaviors.

    • Hong Yu
    • , Xinkuan Xiang
    •  & Haohong Li
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The function of brainstem reticulotegmental nucleus (RtTg) and its related circuits are not fully understood. Here, the authors report a cochlear nucleus-RtTg-spinal motor neuron circuit that specifically mediates acoustic startle reflexes.

    • Weiwei Guo
    • , Sijia Fan
    •  & Wei Xiong
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Orofacial movements for feeding can be triggered, coordinated and rhythmically organised at the level of the brainstem. Here, the authors show two nuclei can organise the stereotyped movements for ingesting fluids in mammals, these neuronal groups are marked by expression of Phox2b and are located in the intermediate reticular formation of the medulla and around the motor nucleus of the trigeminal nerve.

    • Bowen Dempsey
    • , Selvee Sungeelee
    •  & Jean-François Brunet
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Bilaterally projecting CA3 inputs may be crucial for integrating the left and right CA1 during memory but this has not been directly examined. Here, the authors show that projections from bilateral CA3 play a key role in the cross-hemispheric coordination of CA1 spatial coding.

    • Hefei Guan
    • , Steven J. Middleton
    •  & Thomas J. McHugh
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterised by synaptic surplus and atypical functional connectivity. Here, the authors show that synaptic pathology in Tsc2 haploinsufficient mice is associated with autism-like behavior and cortico-striatal hyperconnectivity, and that analogous functional hyperconnectivity signatures can be linked to mTOR-pathway dysfunction in subgroups of children with idiopathic ASD.

    • Marco Pagani
    • , Noemi Barsotti
    •  & Alessandro Gozzi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Male and female mice need to generate spatial maps that integrate vomeronasal signals of territory owners in the hippocampus-dependent memory. The authors show that vomeronasal information influences learning-related activity in the hippocampus via the amygdaloid PMCo, lateral entorhinal cortex, and dorsal CA1.

    • María Villafranca-Faus
    • , Manuel Esteban Vila-Martín
    •  & Vicent Teruel-Martí
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The wake-active orexin system plays a central role in the dynamic regulation of glucose homeostasis. Here the authors report that inactivation of the orexin receptor type 1 or 2 in serotonergic neurons differentially regulate systemic glucose homeostasis in the context of diet induced obesity.

    • Xing Xiao
    • , Gagik Yeghiazaryan
    •  & A. Christine Hausen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Silicon probes for electrical recording from neurons usually have fewer wires than recording channels available to carry signals off the probe, which restricts the number of channels that can be recorded simultaneously. The authors propose to pool electrodes, using a single wire to serve many channels through a set of controllable switches.

    • Kyu Hyun Lee
    • , Yu-Li Ni
    •  & Markus Meister
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Calcitonin receptor-expressing neurons of the nucleus tractus solitarius contribute to long-term control of food intake and body weight. The authors show that a subset of these cells expresses Prlh and that enhancing Prlh-mediated neurotransmission from the NTS dampens hypothalamically-driven hyperphagia and obesity in mice.

    • Wenwen Cheng
    • , Ermelinda Ndoka
    •  & Martin G. Myers Jr
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors find that representational drift in visual cortex differs depending on the sensory stimulus, suggesting that the stability of neuronal responses is not a fixed property of individual cells, but rather depends on the encoded information.

    • Tyler D. Marks
    •  & Michael J. Goard
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The preoptic area (POA) is critical for sleep regulation but its role in acute, non-circadian, light effects on sleep are unclear. The authors show that intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells provide substantial input into the POA and through these modulate the amount of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep.

    • Ze Zhang
    • , Corinne Beier
    •  & Samer Hattar
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) neurons that synthesize and release the stress neuropeptide corticotropin-releasing factor drive binge alcohol drinking and anxiety. The authors describe a complex feedforward inhibitory PVTVGLUT2-BNSTCRF circuit in mice that plays sex-dependent roles in alcohol drinking and avoidance behavior.

    • Olivia B. Levine
    • , Mary Jane Skelly
    •  & Kristen E. Pleil
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The Drosophila visual system first computes motion in the dendrites of T4 and T5 neurons via a linear mechanism that uses ON and OFF information. Here, the authors show that the Tm9, Tm2, and CT1 neurons provide both ON and OFF information to direction-selective T5 cells in the OFF pathway.

    • Giordano Ramos-Traslosheros
    •  & Marion Silies
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In the cerebral cortex, information is processed by multiple hierarchically organized areas, reciprocally connected via feedforward and feedback circuits. Here the authors show that in primate visual cortex, feedforward projection neurons receive monosynaptic feedback contacts selectively from the area to which they project.

    • Caitlin Siu
    • , Justin Balsor
    •  & Alessandra Angelucci
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The relationship between the human structural and functional connectome is still not well established. Here the authors show the interindividual variability that exists in regional coupling of structural and functional connectivity across the brain, and that this is heritable.

    • Zijin Gu
    • , Keith Wakefield Jamison
    •  & Amy Kuceyeski
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The mechanisms stimulating adult neurogenesis are unclear. Here, the authors show the contribution of cholinergic and GABAergic signalling within the locomotor network to spinal cord neurogenesis during homeostasis and regeneration, showing neurogenesis depends on circuit activity in the adult zebrafish.

    • Weipang Chang
    • , Andrea Pedroni
    •  & Konstantinos Ampatzis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Hippocampal pyramidal cells encode an animal’s location by single action potentials and complex spike bursts. The authors show that Kcnq3-containing M-channels synergistically with GABAergic inputs coordinate complex spike bursts during theta oscillations, which is a key mechanism for spatial coding by single spikes.

    • Xiaojie Gao
    • , Franziska Bender
    •  & Alexey Ponomarenko
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Engineering de novo synapse-like connections between neurons could enhance our understanding of neuronal circuits and how they generate behaviour. The authors present a two-component system that creates synthetic neuromodulatory connections to manipulate intracellular Ca2+ levels in in vivo neural circuits.

    • Josh D. Hawk
    • , Elias M. Wisdom
    •  & Daniel A. Colón-Ramos
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Microbial rhodopsins can be used to control action potentials, while animal opsins can be used to control intracellular signaling pathways. The authors identify Opn7b as constitutively active Gi/o coupled receptor that can be deactivated by light and used to modulate neuronal activity.

    • Raziye Karapinar
    • , Jan Claudius Schwitalla
    •  & Stefan Herlitze
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Multi-sensory input can lead to dendritic integration at the single neuron level. Here the authors show that combined auditory and somatosensory input increases distal dendritic and somatic activity in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons of the primary somatosensory cortex and decreases response latency during somatosensory-based goal-directed behaviour.

    • L. Godenzini
    • , D. Alwis
    •  & L. M. Palmer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Intratelencephalic and pyramidal tract neurons are two major types of cortical excitatory neurons that project to cortical and subcortical structures. The authors show that in the prefrontal cortex the two populations have different roles for the maintenance of working memory and for tracking the passage of time.

    • Jung Won Bae
    • , Huijeong Jeong
    •  & Min Whan Jung
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a genetic disorder caused by mutations in neurofibromin and associated with disruptions in physiology and behavior. Here the authors show that neurofibromin regulates metabolic homeostasis via a discrete brain circuit in a Drosophila model of NF1.

    • Valentina Botero
    • , Bethany A. Stanhope
    •  & Seth M. Tomchik
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How genes sculpt the complex architecture of the human connectome remains unclear. Here, the authors show that genes preferentially influence the strength of connectivity between functionally valuable, metabolically costly connections between brain network hubs.

    • Aurina Arnatkeviciute
    • , Ben D. Fulcher
    •  & Alex Fornito
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The central amygdala inhibitory microcircuits mediate fear extinction by reversible, stimulus- and context-specific changes in neuronal responses. These alterations are absent when extinction is deficient and selective silencing of PKCδ neurons impairs fear extinction.

    • Nigel Whittle
    • , Jonathan Fadok
    •  & Stéphane Ciocchi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The representation of space in mouse visual cortex was considered to be relatively uniform. The authors show that mice have improved visual resolution in a cortical region representing a location in space directly in front and slightly above them, showing that the representation of space in mouse visual cortex is non-uniform.

    • Enny H. van Beest
    • , Sreedeep Mukherjee
    •  & Matthew W. Self
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The superior colliculus (SC) receives diverse cortical inputs to drive many behaviors. Here, based on comprehensive mapping of cortico-tectal projections, the authors refined the superior colliculus into medial, centromedial, centrolateral, and lateral zones, and characterized the input-output connectivity and morphology of neurons in each zone that serve the role of SC in goal-directed behaviors.

    • Nora L. Benavidez
    • , Michael S. Bienkowski
    •  & Hong-Wei Dong
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Voltage-sensitive dye imaging (VSDI) is a powerful technique for measuring membrane potential dynamics of neurons but the effective resolution is limited. Here, the authors developed an in silico model of VSDI to probe activity in a biologically detailed reconstruction of rodent neocortical microcircuits.

    • Taylor H. Newton
    • , Michael W. Reimann
    •  & Henry Markram
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Hippocampal place cells contribute to navigation and memory formation. Here, the authors use in vivo glutamate imaging to reveal patterns of excitatory input received by place cell dendrites and find more spatially tuned and functionally organized inputs arriving in the place field.

    • Michael D. Adoff
    • , Jason R. Climer
    •  & Daniel A. Dombeck
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Active responses to stressors involve motor planning, execution, and feedback. The authors identify a neuronal projection from the insular cortex to the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis that is activated during motor struggling in response to restraint stress as a potential active coping response.

    • Joseph R. Luchsinger
    • , Tracy L. Fetterly
    •  & Samuel W. Centanni
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Acute stress transiently disrupts reward-seeking behaviour and repeated stress exposure produces lasting anhedonia-like behaviour in rodents. Here, the authors show that stress triggers GABAergic activity in the ventral tegmental area which blunts reward-seeking behaviour in mice.

    • Daniel C. Lowes
    • , Linda A. Chamberlin
    •  & Alexander Z. Harris
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Aggression in females is understudied in model organisms. Here, the authors establish a model of enhanced aggression in virgin female rats and show that oxytocin and vasopressin systems differentially modulate aggression in distinct neuronal populations of the lateral septum of female rats.

    • Vinícius Elias de Moura Oliveira
    • , Michael Lukas
    •  & Inga D. Neumann
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The basolateral amygdala is implicated in several behavior-related states including anxiety, autism, and addiction. The authors apply circuit-level pathway tracing methods combined with computational techniques to provide a comprehensive connectivity atlas of the mouse basolateral amygdala complex.

    • Houri Hintiryan
    • , Ian Bowman
    •  & Hong-Wei Dong
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Large-scale connectomes from the mammalian brain are becoming available, but it remains unclear how informative these are for the distinction of circuit models. Here, the authors use connectome statistics to test competing models of local cortical circuits with approximate Bayesian computation.

    • Emmanuel Klinger
    • , Alessandro Motta
    •  & Moritz Helmstaedter