Neural circuits

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Past outcomes modulate activity in a diverse set of brain regions however their precise influence on decisions is not known. Here the authors show that posterior parietal cortex neurons encode history-related signals between trials and optogenetic inactivation during this epoch disrupts the history dependence of choice.

    • Eun Jung Hwang
    • , Jeffrey E. Dahlen
    •  & Takaki Komiyama
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Visualization of synaptic activity in the living brain is challenging. This study devises a simple and efficient scheme that reports synaptic vesicle recycling in vivo using SynaptoZip, a genetically encoded sensor of past synaptic activities.

    • Mattia Ferro
    • , Jacopo Lamanna
    •  & Antonio Malgaroli
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Input decorrelation, expansion recoding and sparse activity have been proposed to separate overlapping activity patterns in feedforward networks. Here the authors use reduced and detailed spiking models to elucidate how synaptic connectivity affects the contribution of these mechanisms to pattern separation in cerebellar cortex.

    • N. Alex Cayco-Gajic
    • , Claudia Clopath
    •  & R. Angus Silver
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Basal ganglia can both facilitate or inhibit movement through excitatory and inhibitory pathways; however whether these opposing signals are dynamically regulated during behavior is not known. Here the authors use multinucleus LFP recordings and electrical microstimulation in monkeys performing saccade based tasks to show task specific changes in the tonic weighting of these pathways.

    • Jay J. Jantz
    • , Masayuki Watanabe
    •  & Douglas P. Munoz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The major output cell type of the neocortex – pyramidal tract neurons (PTs) – send axonal projections to various subcortical areas. Here the authors combined in vivo recordings, retrograde tracings, and reconstructions of PTs in rat somatosensory cortex to show that PT structure and activity can predict specific subcortical targets.

    • Gerardo Rojas-Piloni
    • , Jason M. Guest
    •  & Marcel Oberlaender
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Perisomatic-inhibitory interneurons (PIIs) contribute to the generation of gamma oscillations in the hippocampus. Here the authors demonstrate distance-dependent inhibition between PIIs in freely moving mice, and use computational analysis to show that distance-dependent inhibition supports the emergence of focal gamma bursts.

    • Michael Strüber
    • , Jonas-Frederic Sauer
    •  & Marlene Bartos
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In addition to circadian and homoeostatic drives, motivational levels influence sleep−wake cycles. Here the authors demonstrate that adenosine receptor-expressing neurons in the nucleus accumbens core that project to the ventral pallidum are inhibited by motivational stimuli and are causally involved in the control of slow-wave sleep.

    • Yo Oishi
    • , Qi Xu
    •  & Michael Lazarus
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Slow oscillations between cortical Up and Down states are a defining feature of deep sleep, but their function is not well understood. Here the authors study Up/Down states in acute slices of entorhinal cortex, and find that Up states promote the weakening of subthreshold synaptic inputs, while suprathreshold inputs are preserved or strengthened.

    • Julian Bartram
    • , Martin C. Kahn
    •  & Edward O. Mann
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Active locomotion requires closed-loop sensorimotor co ordination between perception and action. Here the authors show using behavioural, imaging and modelling approaches that gaze orientation during phototaxis behaviour in larval zebrafish is related to oscillatory dynamics of a neuronal population in the hindbrain.

    • Sébastien Wolf
    • , Alexis M. Dubreuil
    •  & Georges Debrégeas
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) is thought to be involved in making somatomotor decisions. Chandrasekaran et al. investigated the temporal response dynamics of PMd neurons across cortical layers and show stronger and earlier decision-related responses in the superficial layers and more action execution-related signals in the deeper layers.

    • Chandramouli Chandrasekaran
    • , Diogo Peixoto
    •  & Krishna V. Shenoy
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The developmental origin and functional organization of the brainstem breathing circuits are poorly understood. Here using virus-based circuit-mapping approaches in mice, the authors reveal the lineage, neurotransmitter phenotype, and connectivity patterns of phrenic premotor neurons, which are a crucial component of the inspiratory circuit.

    • Jinjin Wu
    • , Paolo Capelli
    •  & Gilles Fortin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How neuronal migration and axon growth coordinate during development is only partially understood. Here the authors use quantitative imaging to characterise the morphogenesis of the zebrafish olfactory placode and report an unexpected phenomenon, whereby axons extend through the passive movement of neuron cell bodies away from tethered axon tips.

    • M. A. Breau
    • , I. Bonnet
    •  & S. Schneider-Maunoury
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Neurons in the retrosplenial cortex (RSC) encode spatial and navigational signals. Here the authors use calcium imaging to show that, similar to the hippocampus, RSC neurons also encode place cell-like activity in a sparse orthogonal representation, partially anchored to the allocentric cues on the linear track.

    • Dun Mao
    • , Steffen Kandler
    •  & Vincent Bonin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) linearly encode whisker position but the precise circuit mechanisms that generate these signals are not well understood. Here the authors use patch clamp recordings to show that selective tuning of granule cell inputs and bidirectional tuning of interneuron inputs are required to generate the kinematic representations in PCs.

    • Susu Chen
    • , George J. Augustine
    •  & Paul Chadderton
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Intra-hippocampal circuits are essential for associating a background context with behaviorally salient stimuli and involve cholinergic modulation at SST+ interneurons. Here the authors show that the salience of the background context memory is modulated through muscarinic activation of NPY+ hilar perforant path associated interneurons and NPY signaling in the dentate gyrus.

    • Syed Ahsan Raza
    • , Anne Albrecht
    •  & Oliver Stork
  • Article
    | Open Access

    During development, synapses are selectively strengthened or eliminated by activity-dependent competition. Here, the authors show that BDNF-TrkB retrograde signaling is a “punishment” signal that leads to elimination of climbing fiber-onto-Purkinje cell synapses in the developing cerebellum.

    • Myeongjeong Choo
    • , Taisuke Miyazaki
    •  & Masanobu Kano
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Proper brain function depends on the correct assembly of excitatory and inhibitory neurons into neural circuits. Here the authors show that during early postnatal development in mice, NMDAR signaling via activity of long-range synaptic inputs onto neurogliaform cells is required for their appropriate integration into the hippocampal circuitry.

    • R. Chittajallu
    • , J. C. Wester
    •  & C. J. McBain
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How a neuron integrates sensory information requires knowledge about its functional presynaptic connections. Here the authors report a new method using non-negative matrix factorization to identify the layout of presynaptic bipolar cell inputs onto retinal ganglion cells and predict their responses to natural stimuli.

    • Jian K. Liu
    • , Helene M. Schreyer
    •  & Tim Gollisch
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Mechanisms of neural processing can only be understood by revealing patterns of connectivity among the cellular components of the circuit. Here the authors report a new genetic toolbox, ‘Optobow’, which enables simultaneous optogenetic activation of single neurons in zebrafish and measuring the activity of downstream neurons in the network.

    • Dominique Förster
    • , Marco Dal Maschio
    •  & Herwig Baier
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The responses of striatal GABAergic interneurons to thalamic inputs are not well characterised. Here, the authors demonstrate that complex intrastriatal circuitry is responsible for thalamic-evoked monosynaptic and disynaptic excitation in NPY-NGF interneurons but a disynaptic inhibition in the NPY-PLTS.

    • Maxime Assous
    • , Jaime Kaminer
    •  & James M. Tepper
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Features of major depressive disorder including lack of motivation, sleep disruption and cognitive deficit have been modelled in rodents. Here, the authors develop a new method to elicit a depression-like state inDrosophila, and uncover separable roles for different serotonin receptors in depression-like behaviour.

    • Ariane-Saskia Ries
    • , Tim Hermanns
    •  & Roland Strauss
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Spatial navigation and memory depend on neural coding of an organism’s location as well as large-scale knowledge of the environment, but how animals organize information in task-relevant spatial segments is not well understood. Here the authors show that, in rats, perirhinal neurons perform integrative operations, globally specifying where, in the task context, an animal is located.

    • Jeroen J. Bos
    • , Martin Vinck
    •  & Cyriel M. A. Pennartz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Hypothalamus is important for regulating feeding behaviour. Here the authors report genetic identification of neurons in the pretecto-hypothalamic circuit, and their causal involvement in prey detection and prey capture, using a combination of functional imaging and ablation studies in freely swimming zebrafish larvae.

    • Akira Muto
    • , Pradeep Lal
    •  & Koichi Kawakami
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding inter-individual differences in stress-susceptibility could lead to novel treatments and preventative strategies for stress-related pathologies. Here the authors provide evidence that increased endocannabinoid signalling is a resilience factor that buffers against adverse consequences of stress.

    • Rebecca J. Bluett
    • , Rita Báldi
    •  & Sachin Patel
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Frontal eye fields (FEF) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) are coactivated during cognitive tasks, but the precise format of their interaction is not known. Here the authors show that phase coupling between ACC -FEF in theta and beta frequency bands better predicts behavioural performance.

    • Sahand Babapoor-Farrokhran
    • , Martin Vinck
    •  & Stefan Everling
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How sensory maps are formed in the brain is only partially understood. Here the authors describe spontaneous calcium waves that propagate across different sensory nuclei in the embryonic thalamus; disrupting the wave pattern triggers thalamic gene expression changes and eventually alters the size of cortical areas.

    • Verónica Moreno-Juan
    • , Anton Filipchuk
    •  & Guillermina López-Bendito
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Alignment or anisotropic organisation within and between cells enables biological function but is challenging to engineer. Here, the authors align collagen fibres in a pre-strained polydimethylsiloxane mould to generate a 3D scaffold that guides hippocampal neuron axon growth to form CA3–CA1 neural circuits.

    • So Hyun Kim
    • , Sun-Kyoung Im
    •  & Eun-Mi Hur
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Transplantation of cells into the central nervous system has developed into a major avenue for replacing neurons lost to neurodegenerative disease. Here the authors develop an approach combining viral-based transynaptic tracing labeling and whole brain imaging to trace synaptic innervation of human neurons transplanted into a mouse background.

    • Jonas Doerr
    • , Martin Karl Schwarz
    •  & Oliver Brüstle
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Sex differences in reward processing are at present poorly understood. Calipari and Juarezet al. report oestrous cycle-dependent fluctuations in firing of VTA dopamine neurons that drive alterations in DAT function expressed in terminals in the NAc. These differences underlie enhanced cocaine reward processing during oestrus.

    • Erin S. Calipari
    • , Barbara Juarez
    •  & Eric J Nestler
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The anterior olfactory nucleus pars medialis (mAON) provides cortical feedback to the olfactory bulb, but the behavioural relevance of these projections is unknown. Here, using opto- and chemogenetic approaches, the authors find the mAON bidirectionally modulates olfactory sensitivity and olfaction-dependent behaviours.

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

    Detection of electric fields, central to chemical and biological processes, has been limited to measurements of current (e.g., electrodes) and secondary reporters (e.g., fluorescent dyes). Here, the authors demonstrate an optical platform capable of imaging electric field dynamics with high spatio-temporal resolution.

    • Jason Horng
    • , Halleh B. Balch
    •  & Feng Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Ventral tegmental area (VTA) is involved in reward behaviours, but the precise contribution of VTA glutamatergic neurons to this process is not known. Here the authors show that phasic but not sustained optogenetic stimulation of VTA glutamatergic neurons is rewarding and involves co-release of GABA.

    • Ji Hoon Yoo
    • , Vivien Zell
    •  & Thomas S. Hnasko
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Neural oscillations have been proposed to process information by generating cyclic integration windows: specific portions of the oscillatory cycle when a post-synaptic neuron is especially sensitive to coincident inputs. Here, the authors demonstrate the existence and mechanism of integration windows in Kenyon cells in the locust olfactory system.

    • Nitin Gupta
    • , Swikriti Saran Singh
    •  & Mark Stopfer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Stimulus orientation in the primary visual cortex of primates and carnivores is mapped into a geometrical mosaic but the functional implications of these maps remain debated. Here the authors reveal an association between the structure of cortical orientation maps in cats, and the functions of local cortical circuits in processing patterns and contours.

    • Erin Koch
    • , Jianzhong Jin
    •  & Qasim Zaidi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In addition to light intensity, changes in pupil diameter are correlated with mental effort, attention and levels of arousal. Reimer et al. report that across behavioural states, fluctuations in pupil diameter are highly correlated with activity of noradrenergic and cholinergic projection neurons.

    • Jacob Reimer
    • , Matthew J McGinley
    •  & Andreas S Tolias
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Sensory cortices represent stimuli through joint activity of competing neuronal assemblies. Here the authors show that a model of visual cortex with plastic feedforward and recurrent synapses, exposed to natural images, spontaneously develops attractor dynamics between groups of similarly tuned neurons.

    • Thomas Miconi
    • , Jeffrey L. McKinstry
    •  & Gerald M. Edelman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Primary visual cortical neurons display mostly a salt and pepper arrangement of orientation preferences along the horizontal cortical axis. Here the authors show that a significant subset of minicolumns, one-cell wide arrays of cells arranged along the vertical axis, show similar orientation tuning preferences.

    • Satoru Kondo
    • , Takashi Yoshida
    •  & Kenichi Ohki
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Dopaminergic neurons are important for regulating energy homeostasis. Here, the authors show the transcription factor FoxO1 negatively regulates tyrosine hydroxylase expression in midbrain dopaminergic neurons, and plays an important role in regulation of glucose homeostasis, energy expenditure, and resistance to diet-induced obesity.

    • Khanh V. Doan
    • , Ann W. Kinyua
    •  & Ki Woo Kim
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Neurodegenerative lesions induce sprouting from surviving axons, but the patterns of re-innervation of these collaterals in relation to existing functional networks remains unclear. Here the authors performed long term in vivoimaging in mice, of sprouts from cerebellar climbing fibers after a lesion, and describe the patterns of connectivity relative to functionally active zones.

    • Matasha Dhar
    • , Joshua M. Brenner
    •  & Hiroshi Nishiyama
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Cortical circuits receive simultaneous inputs from multiple pathways and are able to flexibly select the appropriate inputs for processing. Here the authors propose a network model in which dendritic branch-specific disinhibition established through synaptic plasticity achieves pathway-specific gating.

    • Guangyu Robert Yang
    • , John D. Murray
    •  & Xiao-Jing Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Bitter taste evokes aversive behaviour in animals, but little is known about the central nervous system mechanisms that convey this taste modality. Hückesfeld et al. identify a set of second order neurons in Drosophilathat contain hugin neuropeptide and are responsible for conveying bitter taste to the protocerebrum.

    • Sebastian Hückesfeld
    • , Marc Peters
    •  & Michael J. Pankratz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Sensory cortices receive input from cortical cells and the thalamus, yet it is unknown how these inputs interact to generate synchronous activity. Here authors show that unlike cortical inputs, thalamic inputs are asynchronous, suggesting that cortical synchronization is due to intracortical coupling.

    • Katayun Cohen-Kashi Malina
    • , Boaz Mohar
    •  & Ilan Lampl