Neural circuits

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Stimulus feature maps are found in primary visual cortex of many species. Here the authors show color maps in trichromatic primates containing segregated ensembles of neurons with distinct chromatic signatures that associate with cortical modules known as blobs.

    • Soumya Chatterjee
    • , Kenichi Ohki
    •  & R. Clay Reid
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Mitochondria play a pivotal role in the generation of signals coupling metabolism with neurotransmitter release, though underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Here the authors show that endogenously produced hydrogen peroxide originating from axonal mitochondria functions as a signaling cue to selectively regulate neuropeptide secretion in C. elegans.

    • Qi Jia
    •  & Derek Sieburth
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Simões, Levy et al. use a combination of experiments and models to study how Drosophila flies steer away from dangerous heat. They discover that flies use small temperature differences between the antennae to turn clear of thermal danger; they also demonstrate that heat avoidance, a simple innate behavior, contains unexpected plasticity.

    • José Miguel Simões
    • , Joshua I. Levy
    •  & Marco Gallio
  • Article
    | Open Access

    This study presents an anatomical, neurophysiological and functional characterization of four distinct prefrontal populations that project to striatal and thalamic sub-regions. The authors show that each of these populations have a discrete role in the regulation of cognitive control.

    • Sybren F. de Kloet
    • , Bastiaan Bruinsma
    •  & Huibert D. Mansvelder
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Attractor networks and drift diffusion models are two approaches to model the perceptual decision making process. Here, the authors identify an intermediate regime only for the attractor model that allows flexible categorization of two choice decisions for long duration and noisy stimuli and validate these model predictions with psychophysical experiments.

    • Genís Prat-Ortega
    • , Klaus Wimmer
    •  & Jaime de la Rocha
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Innate defense behaviours in animals in response to approaching threats are mostly studied in response to visual stimuli. Here, the authors show that looming sounds elicit stereotypical sequential defensive reactions that require the auditory cortex, superior colliculus and the striatum.

    • Zhong Li
    • , Jin-Xing Wei
    •  & Li I. Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors show that mouse medial entorhinal cortex encodes three-dimensional head movement as well as eye position and velocity. These self-motion signals are represented conjunctively in individual neurons alongside body position, running speed, and azimuthal head direction.

    • Caitlin S. Mallory
    • , Kiah Hardcastle
    •  & Lisa M. Giocomo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Aberrant synchronous oscillations have been associated with numerous brain disorders, including essential tremor. The authors show that synchronous cerebellar activity can casually affect essential tremor and that its underlying mechanism may be related to the temporal coherence of the tremulous movement.

    • Sebastian R. Schreglmann
    • , David Wang
    •  & Nir Grossman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Identifying the frequency, temporal location, duration, and amplitude of finite oscillation packets in neurophysiological signals with high precision is challenging. The authors present a method based on multiple wavelets to improve the detection of localized time-frequency packets.

    • Vasile V. Moca
    • , Harald Bârzan
    •  & Raul C. Mureșan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Aponte et al. show that cortical direction selectivity to frequency modulated sounds is shaped by asymmetric signal amplification within recurrent circuits. Optogenetics and network modelling demonstrate that this asymmetry arises due to broad spatial topography of SOM cell mediated inhibition.

    • Destinee A. Aponte
    • , Gregory Handy
    •  & Hiroyuki K. Kato
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In the primate cortex, visual images are processed by multiple hierarchically-organized areas reciprocally connected via feedforward and feedback circuits. Here the authors show that feedback circuits are organized into segregated parallel streams that resemble feedforward pathways.

    • Frederick Federer
    • , Seminare Ta’afua
    •  & Alessandra Angelucci
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The gut microbiota may contribute to depression, but the underlying mechanism is not well understood. Here the authors use a mouse model of stress induced depression to demonstrate that behavioural changes conferred by fecal transplant from stressed to naïve mice require the endocannabinoid system.

    • Grégoire Chevalier
    • , Eleni Siopi
    •  & Pierre-Marie Lledo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Torpor is a state of reduced metabolism and body temperature that conserves energy when food is scarce. Here the authors show that estrogen-sensitive neurons in the hypothalamus regulate torpor in mice, maintaining torpor in both sexes but initiating torpor and regulating core temperature differentially across sex.

    • Zhi Zhang
    • , Fernando M. C. V. Reis
    •  & Stephanie M. Correa
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Cultured neuron networks provide insight into network structure and function, but the ability to control network topology is a challenge. Here the authors develop a nanorod-mediated thermoplasmonics platform that enables the formation of new connections, the abolishment of existing connections, and the modulation of network activity during cultivation.

    • Nari Hong
    •  & Yoonkey Nam
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) can offer an attractive approach for providing light stimulation in high-throughput optogenetics. Here, the authors report a microstructured OLED array that provides local photo-stimulation in Drosophila melanogaster larvae for controlled motor responses.

    • Caroline Murawski
    • , Stefan R. Pulver
    •  & Malte C. Gather
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Catecholaminergic neurons of the ventrolateral medulla are known to drive diverse glucose counterregulatory responses to hypoglycemia. Here, the authors show that projections from these neurons onto nucleus accumbens-targeting neurons of the midline thalamus selectively mediate hypoglycemic feeding.

    • B. Sofia Beas
    • , Xinglong Gu
    •  & Mario A. Penzo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Theta and gamma rhythms are essential to ensure timely communication between brain structures during locomotion. Here the authors investigate the association between cerebral blood flow and neural oscillations in freely behaving mice running a linear track.

    • Antoine Bergel
    • , Elodie Tiran
    •  & Ivan Cohen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Drosophila Moonwalker Descending Neurons (MDNs) alter leg motor circuit dynamics so that the fly walks backwards. The authors identify two MDN effector neurons that directly control the stance and swing phases of the backward stepping cycle, indicating distributed control of local motor circuits via command-type descending neurons.

    • Kai Feng
    • , Rajyashree Sen
    •  & Barry J. Dickson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Narcolepsy is characterized by a sudden loss of muscle tone (cataplexy) similar to REM sleep and is caused by hypocretin deficiency. Here, the authors show that deleting the serotonin transporter gene in hypocretin knockout mice suppresses cataplexy while dramatically increasing REM sleep, indicating that these are two different states but are both regulated by hypocretinergic input to serotonergic neurons.

    • Ali Seifinejad
    • , Sha Li
    •  & Mehdi Tafti
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Delay eyeblink conditioning depends on the simplex lobule-interposed nucleus pathway in the cerebellum. Here, the authors show that the vermis-fastigial nucleus-medullary reticular nucleus pathway modulates the conditioned and unconditioned eyelid closure during delay eyeblink conditioning.

    • Xiaolu Wang
    • , Si-yang Yu
    •  & Zhenyu Gao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The neural circuit mechanisms for sensorimotor control by the prefrontal cortex (PFC) are unclear. Here, the authors show that PFC outputs to the visual cortex and superior colliculus respectively facilitate sensory processing and action selection, allowing the PFC to independently control complementary but distinct behavioral functions.

    • Rafiq Huda
    • , Grayson O. Sipe
    •  & Mriganka Sur
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Sensory neuronal circuits adapt during maturation when animals start to actively interact with the external world. The authors reveal structural and functional rearrangements of the input cortical interneurons receive around the time the animals start active sensation.

    • Rahel Kastli
    • , Rasmus Vighagen
    •  & Theofanis Karayannis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Oligodendrocytes myelinate and metabolically support axons. The role of myelination in information processing beyond regulation of conduction velocity is unclear. Here, the authors show that myelination contributes to sustained stimulus perception in the auditory cortex, shaping neuronal responses.

    • Sharlen Moore
    • , Martin Meschkat
    •  & Klaus-Armin Nave
  • Article
    | Open Access

    During NREM sleep, spindles emerge from thalamocortical interactions. Here the authors carry out multisite thalamic and cortical recordings in freely behaving mice, to investigate the role of other non-classical thalamic sites in sleep spindle generation.

    • Mojtaba Bandarabadi
    • , Carolina Gutierrez Herrera
    •  & Antoine R. Adamantidis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The mechanisms underlying striatal cholinergic interneurons (ChINs) synchronization and its interaction with dopamine release are unclear. Here, the authors showed that polysynaptic inhibition between ChINs shapes their network activity and is mediated by dopaminergic input.

    • Matthijs C. Dorst
    • , Anna Tokarska
    •  & Gilad Silberberg
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Motor neurons are generally considered to be passive receivers of commands from other neurons. However, this study shows that motor neurons may shape locomotor behaviour by regulating premotor neurons, and that premotor neurons serve to integrate information from sensory neurons and motor neurons.

    • Ping Liu
    • , Bojun Chen
    •  & Zhao-Wen Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Signal loss in blood oxygen level‐dependent (BOLD) fMRI can lead to misinterpretation of findings. The authors trained a deep learning model to reconstruct compromised BOLD signal in datasets from healthy participants and in patients whose scans suffered signal loss due to intracortical electrodes.

    • Yuxiang Yan
    • , Louisa Dahmani
    •  & Hesheng Liu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Electron microscopy (EM) is the gold standard for biological ultrastructure but acquisition speed is slow, making it unsuitable for large volumes. Here the authors present a parallel imaging pipeline for continuous autonomous imaging with six transmission EMs to image 1 mm3 of mouse cortex in less than 6 months.

    • Wenjing Yin
    • , Derrick Brittain
    •  & Nuno Macarico da Costa
  • Article
    | Open Access

    GABA transporters expressed in the striatum may affect behaviour. Here the authors investigate the contribution of GABA transporters on astrocytes to the regulation of dopamine release in the striatum, and show decreased expression of GAT-1 and GAT-3 in a mouse model of Parkinsonism.

    • Bradley M. Roberts
    • , Natalie M. Doig
    •  & Stephanie J. Cragg
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Current methods of neuronal network imaging cannot be used for continuous, long-term functional recordings. Here, the authors present a dual-mode high-density microelectrode array, which can simultaneously record in full-frame and high-signal-to-noise modes for label-free electrophysiological measurements.

    • Xinyue Yuan
    • , Manuel Schröter
    •  & Urs Frey
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Király et al. propose a method combining micro-CT and MRI imaging to precisely localize electrodes and optic fibers in the mouse brain in vivo. This allows assessing the success of targeting after surgery, depth adjustment of movable probes and identifying systematic errors in the surgical process.

    • Bálint Király
    • , Diána Balázsfi
    •  & Balázs Hangya
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Mapping neuroanatomy is a foundational goal of connectomics, and the gold standard method is electron microscopy as light microscopy lacks nanoscale resolution. Here the authors develop a strategy using multicolor genetic labeling (Brainbow) and expansion microscopy to map putative synaptic connections using light microscopy.

    • Fred Y. Shen
    • , Margaret M. Harrington
    •  & Dawen Cai
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In the neonatal hippocampus, GABA cells born the earliest operate as ‘hubs’ by orchestrating population synchrony. Here, the authors show that the earliest born GABAergic cells in the hippocampal CA1 region maintain distinct anatomical and functional properties throughout their lifetime.

    • Marco Bocchio
    • , Claire Gouny
    •  & Rosa Cossart
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Chronic stress is a risk factor for mood disorders, yet the molecular and circuit mechanisms of stress-induced changes are not well understood. Here, the authors report the role of the transcription factor ΔFosB in driving activity changes in response to stress in glutamatergic neurons in the ventral hippocampus that project to nucleus accumben.

    • Andrew L. Eagle
    • , Claire E. Manning
    •  & Alfred J. Robison
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Theta range oscillations in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are associated with conditioned fear. Here, the authors use exogenous oscillatory stimulation of the BLA and mPFC in mice to determine the dynamic roles of theta-range oscillatory states across conditioned fear and extinction learning.

    • Minagi Ozawa
    • , Patrick Davis
    •  & Leon Reijmers
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Neurons with grid firing fields are thought to play important roles in spatial cognition. Here, the authors show that in contrast to assumptions underlying current models and analyses, grid fields are modulated by local head direction; this suggests different mechanisms and new roles for grid firing.

    • Klara Gerlei
    • , Jessica Passlack
    •  & Matthew F. Nolan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Living in groups allows animals to decrease defenses, enabling other behaviors, but the mechanisms of safety in numbers are unknown. The authors show that fruit flies regulate freezing behavior as a function of group size and identify motion by others, and neurons that detect it, as key to this process.

    • Clara H. Ferreira
    •  & Marta A. Moita
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Wing touching induces a defensive response in D. melanogaster. Here, the authors show that female flies change the defensive response during courtship and after mating. This switch is mediated by functional reconfiguration of a neural circuit in the ventral nerve cord.

    • Chenxi Liu
    • , Bei Zhang
    •  & Wei Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Alcohol craving can be enhanced by alcohol-associated cues and by alcohol-associated contexts. Here the authors investigate the role of the ventral tegmental area (VTA)-to-nucleus accumbens (NAc) core and VTA-to-NAc shell circuits in mediating these distinct aspects of alcohol seeking behaviour in rats.

    • Milan D. Valyear
    • , Iulia Glovaci
    •  & Nadia Chaudhri
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The vCA1-BA projection is enriched in shock responsive neurons, which are necessary for fear memory encoding and become correlated with a network of neurons during retrieval. Here the authors show that the magnitude of vCA1 correlated activity is proportional to memory strength and requires the shock response during encoding.

    • Jessica C. Jimenez
    • , Jack E. Berry
    •  & Rene Hen