Neural circuits

  • Article
    | Open Access

    During active touch, sensory responses to object touch are gated at the level of thalamus and cortex. Here, the authors report gating at the level of the brainstem and show that an intact somatosensory cortex is essential for this response modulation.

    • Shubhodeep Chakrabarti
    •  & Cornelius Schwarz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There are two subtypes of hippocampal theta oscillations that differ in frequency range, pharmacology, and behavioural correlates. Here, the authors report that activity of OLM interneurons in the ventral hippocampus mediates type 2 theta, associated with increased risk-taking in the presence of predator threat.

    • Sanja Mikulovic
    • , Carlos Ernesto Restrepo
    •  & Richardson N. Leão
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Recording the activity of neurons over large brain regions requires expanding the field of view of the optics without losing on spatial and temporal resolution. Here, the authors report a micro-opto-mechanical device that enables two-photon imaging across distant motor areas around 6 mm apart in the mouse.

    • Shin-Ichiro Terada
    • , Kenta Kobayashi
    •  & Masanori Matsuzaki
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Superior colliculus (SC) and frontal eye fields (FEF) contain visuo-motor maps but their contributions to selective attention are not fully understood. Here, the authors perform reversible inactivations of the SC or FEF and report that loss of SC activity has a more devastating effect on attention.

    • Anil Bollimunta
    • , Amarender R. Bogadhi
    •  & Richard J. Krauzlis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How corticostriatal connections of different pyramidal cell types are organized, particularly in convergent circuits, has not been evaluated in detail. Here, cell type-specific Cre-driver mice reveal that pyramidal tract-type corticostriatal projections, though broadly similar to intratelencephalic-type projections from the same cortical region, are generally more restricted and variable in their topographic termination patterns.

    • Bryan M. Hooks
    • , Andrew E. Papale
    •  & Charles R. Gerfen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Locomotor circuits in the spinal cord produce precise movements with variations in timing and vigor. Here, the authors report that such motor flexibility is generated through the specificity of connections between subtypes of V2a interneurons and motoneuron populations and their distinct plasticity mechanisms.

    • Jianren Song
    • , Elin Dahlberg
    •  & Abdeljabbar El Manira
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Striatal GABAergic interneurons regulate the influence of cortical inputs on striatal projection neurons through feedforward inhibition. Here, the authors report that this inhibition is mediated mainly by PV interneurons in the dorsolateral striatum and SOM interneurons in the dorsomedial striatum.

    • Elodie Fino
    • , Marie Vandecasteele
    •  & Laurent Venance
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Cerebellar outputs contribute to motor as well as cognitive behaviors. Here, the authors elucidate the connectivity between deep cerebellar nuclei and specific cell types in the striatum via the intralaminar thalamic nucleus and the participation of this circuit in striatum-dependent behavior.

    • Le Xiao
    • , Caroline Bornmann
    •  & Peter Scheiffele
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Individual animals differ in behavioral traits, but the mechanisms underlying individuation are unclear. Here, the authors show that mice living in a ‘city’ develop individual behavior differences, associated with changes in dopamine cell firing, that can be reversed on moving them to a different social environment.

    • N. Torquet
    • , F. Marti
    •  & P. Faure
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Decoding or predicting cognitive traits from brain activity is an exciting prospect. Here, the authors show that task-based functional connectivity better predicts intelligence-related measures than rest-based connectivity, suggesting that cognitive tasks amplify individual differences in trait-relevant circuitry.

    • Abigail S. Greene
    • , Siyuan Gao
    •  & R. Todd Constable
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Hippocampus is necessary for integrating the context with sensory cues to retrieve memory for unique episodes. Here, the authors show that inhibiting topographically organized projections from hippocampus to the anterior olfactory nucleus independently impairs spatial and temporal odour memory recall.

    • Afif J. Aqrabawi
    •  & Jun Chul Kim
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Feedback modulation of V1 is implicated in functions such as attention yet the precise neural mechanisms are not known. Here the authors report that optogenetic inactivation of V2 projections leads to modulation of V1 receptive field properties such as size, surround suppression and response amplitude.

    • Lauri Nurminen
    • , Sam Merlin
    •  & Alessandra Angelucci
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Many diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are characterized by a chronic inflammatory state, but it is not clear whether or how this affects the brain. Here, the authors show that the severity of on-going inflammation predicts altered functional brain connectivity in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

    • Andrew Schrepf
    • , Chelsea M. Kaplan
    •  & Neil Basu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Prefrontal cortex is involved in flexibly learning the correct behavioural strategies but the neural correlates of this process are not well understood. Here the authors show that reinforcement for a correct decision at behavioural transitions evokes ensemble firing patterns related to prior events.

    • Silvia Maggi
    • , Adrien Peyrache
    •  & Mark D. Humphries
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Feeding-relevant vagal signaling occurs between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain, but it is unclear if this pathway influences cognitive processes. This study shows that endogenous gastrointestinal derived vagal sensory signaling promotes hippocampal-dependent memory function via a multi-order brainstem–septal pathway.

    • Andrea N. Suarez
    • , Ted M. Hsu
    •  & Scott E. Kanoski
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Binaural cue processing in auditory brainstem relies on the precise temporal relationship between excitatory and inhibitory inputs. Here the authors provide direct evidence that sub-millisecond precise inhibition can tune sensitivity to input processing in the lateral superior olive via post inhibitory facilitation.

    • Barbara Beiderbeck
    • , Michael H. Myoga
    •  & Michael Pecka
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Zona incerta (ZI) is an inhibitory subthalamic nucleus with diverse connectivity yet its functional importance has not been extensively studied. Here the authors report that ZI receives mPFC input and can modulate both innate and learned defensive behaviors via its inhibitory projection to the PAG.

    • Xiao-lin Chou
    • , Xiyue Wang
    •  & Huizhong Whit Tao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Dopamine D2 receptor activity in the nucleus accumbens is associated with regulation of motivated responding. Here the authors show that overexpression of D2 receptors specifically in ventral striatal projection neurons leads to an increase in the willingness to work by reducing inhibitory transmission to ventral pallidal neurons.

    • Eduardo F. Gallo
    • , Jozsef Meszaros
    •  & Christoph Kellendonk
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Human timing behavior is biased towards previously encountered intervals and is predicted by Bayesian models. Here, the authors develop a computational model based in properties of the cerebellum to show how we might encode time estimates based on prior experience.

    • Devika Narain
    • , Evan D. Remington
    •  & Mehrdad Jazayeri
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Electron microscopy requires electrically conductive and grounded samples to provide high-resolution, high-contrast images. Here, Kubota et al. describe a suitable carbon nanotube based tape for automated serial section collection and imaging, as in ATUM-based electron microscopy.

    • Yoshiyuki Kubota
    • , Jaerin Sohn
    •  & Yasuo Kawaguchi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Resting cortical activity fluctuates, but it is unclear what underlies these variations in activity. Here, the authors show that large-scale fluctuations in fMRI cortical activity are associated with momentary decreases in cortical arousal and opposite activity changes in the basal forebrain and thalamus.

    • Xiao Liu
    • , Jacco A. de Zwart
    •  & Jeff H. Duyn
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The vlPAG in the midbrain is known to suppress REM sleep, but the precise neural correlates are not known. Here, the authors record the activity of vlPAG GABAergic neurons during the sleep–wake cycle and report fast changes at REM sleep transitions and slower changes that correlate with REM sleep pressure.

    • Franz Weber
    • , Johnny Phong Hoang Do
    •  & Yang Dan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Reciprocal connectivity enables tightly coupled information processing across cortical areas. Here the authors develop a visual oculomotor task in mice, identify a small motor area required for it, and demonstrate selective exchange of sensory and motor information between the motor and sensory areas.

    • Takahide Itokazu
    • , Masashi Hasegawa
    •  & Takashi R. Sato
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Population activity of neurons in the prefrontal cortex has been shown to represent cognitive strategy and rules. Here the authors report that when the same rule is repeated on multiple occasions in the task, it is accompanied each time by a new prefrontal firing rate state.

    • Hugo Malagon-Vina
    • , Stephane Ciocchi
    •  & Thomas Klausberger
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Microcircuit tracing reconstructions often rely on statistical labeling that may not detect all inputs and outputs of a microcircuit. Here the authors employ a novel electroporation approach to densely label neurons and demonstrate its ability to identify sparse anatomical features in the olfactory glomerulus.

    • D. Schwarz
    • , M. Kollo
    •  & A. T. Schaefer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Feeding disorders are often comorbid with compulsive behaviours but the underlying neural circuits are not known. Here the authors demonstrate that glutamatergic and GABAergic projections from the LH to the PVH exert antagonistic effects on grooming and feeding via modulation of PVH neuron activity.

    • Leandra R. Mangieri
    • , Yungang Lu
    •  & Qingchun Tong
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Mice exposed to a two-bottle alcohol choice paradigm can be divided into high and low drinking groups. Here, the authors show that stimulating VTA neurons to induce higher phasic activity patterns that are observed in low alcohol drinking mice, suppresses alcohol drinking in mice that are high alcohol drinking.

    • Barbara Juarez
    • , Carole Morel
    •  & Ming-Hu Han
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Previous work has documented a slow form of memory generalization although a rapid one is demanded. Here the authors elucidate the role of the interhemispheric CA1-CA1 projection in a form of rapid generalization of contextual fear memory via gradual potentiation of these synapses over 24 h.

    • Heng Zhou
    • , Gui-Jing Xiong
    •  & Lin Xu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Theta- and gamma-frequency oscillatory synchrony correlates with spatial working memory performance. Here the authors report increases in theta-gamma cross-frequency coupling as a compensatory mechism associated with better working memory performance in models of cognitive dysfunction in mice.

    • Makoto Tamura
    • , Timothy J. Spellman
    •  & Joshua A. Gordon
  • Review Article
    | Open Access

    Advances in multi-neuron recordings and optogenetic manipulation have resulted in an interrogation of the function of specific cortical cell types in auditory cortex during sound processing. Here, the authors review this literature and discuss the merits of integrating computational approaches from dynamic network science.

    • Jennifer M. Blackwell
    •  & Maria N. Geffen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Complex motor behaviors such as birdsong are learned through practice and are thought to depend on specific excitatory connectivity in premotor circuits. Here the authors show that song learning in Bengalese Finches is associated with enrichment of inhibitory network connectivity that can affect specific song features.

    • Mark N. Miller
    • , Chung Yan J. Cheung
    •  & Michael S. Brainard
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Visual input received by photoreceptors is relayed to retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), which have selectivity for inputs of certain orientations. Here, the authors show that gap junction-mediated input onto one type of RGC contributes to its orientation selectivity.

    • Amurta Nath
    •  & Gregory W. Schwartz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Previous studies have shown short-term plasticity in single neurons or local field potentials during brain-machine interface (BMI) training. Here the authors report long-term changes in functional connectivity of motor cortex neuronal ensemble activity as chronically amputated monkeys learn to operate a BMI.

    • Karthikeyan Balasubramanian
    • , Mukta Vaidya
    •  & Nicholas G. Hatsopoulos
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A cognitive map of space must integrate allocentric cues such as head direction (HD) with various egocentric cues. Here the authors report that anterior thalamic (ADn) neurons encode a pure HD signal, while neurons in post-subiculum represent a conjunction of HD and egocentric cues such as body posture with respect to environment boundaries.

    • Adrien Peyrache
    • , Natalie Schieferstein
    •  & Gyorgy Buzsáki
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Cholinergic neurons in the diagonal band of Broca degenerate early in Alzheimer’s disease. Here the authors show that in healthy mice, these cholinergic inputs innervate newborn neurons in the hippocampus, and that loss of this innervation in an Alzheimer’s disease model leads to impairments in spatial memory.

    • Houze Zhu
    • , Huanhuan Yan
    •  & Youming Lu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Supramammillary nucleus (SuM) neurons have been studied in the context of REM sleep but their possible role in mediating wakefulness is not known. Here the authors elucidate the distinct functional contributions of three subpopulations in the SuM on electrographical and behavioral arousal in mice using genetically targeted approaches.

    • Nigel P. Pedersen
    • , Loris Ferrari
    •  & Patrick M. Fuller
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Changes in synchrony of cortical populations are observed across the sleep-wake cycle, however the effect of fluctuations in synchrony during wakefulness is not understood. Here the authors show that visual cortical neurons have improved sensory encoding accuracy as well as improved perceptual performance during periods of local population desynchrony.

    • Charles B. Beaman
    • , Sarah L. Eagleman
    •  & Valentin Dragoi