1. Short-Term Memory in Networks of Dissociated Cortical Neurons Mark R. Dranias, Han Ju, Ezhilarasan Rajaram, and Antonius M. J. VanDongen ; J Neuroscience 2013 (link)
This looks interesting. I’m not very familiar with the literature on dissociated cortical neural network studies, but it seems like a neat preparation to learn from.
2. Experience-dependent modification of a central amygdala fear circuit Haohong Li, Mario A Penzo, Hiroki Taniguchi, Charles D Kopec, Z Josh Huang & Bo Li ; Nature Neuroscience 2013 (link)
There have been a whole bunch of papers published (such as all four of these Deisseroth affiliated papers all published in Nature: here, here, here, and here) showing optogenetic dissection of this amygdala circuitry and I am always blown away by how well they are able to specifically perturb such small individual targets. It’s really great stuff and I think this paper and the others previously published represent some of the best examples of the power of optogenetics to really tease apart functional circuitry.
3. Remapping of Border Ownership in the Visual Cortex Philip O’Herron and Rudiger von der Heydt ; J Neuroscience 2013 (link)
I love a good vision paper with an interesting/clever paradigm. I think this test of border ownership is really neat.
4. Biphasic Cholinergic Synaptic Transmission Controls Action Potential Activity in Thalamic Reticular Nucleus Neurons Yan-Gang Sun, Juan D. Pita-Almenar, Chia-Shan Wu, John J. Renger, Victor N. Uebele, Hui-Chen Lu, and Michael Beierlein ; J Neuroscience 2013 (link)
5. Adaptation Improves Neural Coding Efficiency Despite Increasing Correlations in Variability Mehdi Adibi, James S. McDonald, Colin W. G. Clifford, and Ehsan Arabzadeh ; J Neuroscience 2013 (link)
I know of Ehsan Arabzadeh via his papers with Matthew Diamond. It looks like he is continuing to produce interesting, detailed work with thoughtful analysis.
6. Top-Down Modulation of Lateral Interactions in Visual Cortex Nirmala Ramalingam, Justin N.J. McManus, Wu Li, and Charles D. Gilbert ; J Neuroscience 2013 (link)
7. Dense and Overlapping Innervation of Pyramidal Neurons by Chandelier Cells Melis Inan, Lidia Bla ́zquez-Llorca, Angel Mercha ́n-Pe ́rez, Stewart A. Anderson, Javier DeFelipe, and Rafael Yuste ; J Neuroscience 2013 (link)
8. Memory, navigation and theta rhythm in the hippocampal-entorhinal system György Buzsáki & Edvard I Moser ; Nature Neuroscience 2013 (link)
I couldn’t be more excited about this review paper! This is wonderful!
9. Genetic identification of C fibres that detect massage-like stroking of hairy skin in vivo Sophia Vrontou, Allan M. Wong, Kristofer K. Rau, H. Richard Koerber & David J. Anderson ; Nature 2013 (link)
This looks like a really great paper that has it all: a really impressive preparation, sophisticated genetic specificity, and behavioral perturbations that demonstrate function. An exciting “general approach to the functional characterization of genetically identified subsets of somatosensory neurons in vivo” – what more can you want? 🙂
These next two papers come from a new online open-access journal that recently arrived called eLIFE !
There’s a new journal in town.
The journal is a “joint initiative of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust” that aims to become a model for a more efficient, open access, all digital publication. I really like the approach they are taking and hopefully they will be successful in shaking things up in the scientific publishing community. You can read about the journal here.
One neat feature that already caught my attention was the (optional) inclusion of the decision letter for the paper after the references. While I don’t see myself reading this for every paper, I think it’s a nice way to increase transparency in the review process.
10. Morphologic diversity of cutaneous sensory afferents revealed by genetically directed sparse labeling Hao Wu1, John Williams, Jeremy Nathans ; eLIFE 2013 (link)
11. Changing the responses of cortical neurons from sub- to suprathreshold using single spikes in vivo Verena Pawlak1, David S Greenberg, Henning Sprekeler, Wulfram Gerstner, Jason ND Kerr ; eLIFE 2013 (link)
12. Reactivation of Neural Ensembles during the Retrieval of Recent and Remote Memory Kaycie K. Tayler, Kazumasa Z. Tanaka, Leon G. Reijmers, and Brian J. Wiltgen ; Current Biology 2013 (link)
I haven’t had a chance to read this and see how it differs from the two big papers I mentioned in #2 of my Highlights of 2012 post but it’s great to see continued progress in the quest to pin down the “engram” and classical Hebbian neural ensembles.
13. Real-Time Visualization of Neuronal Activity during Perception Akira Muto, Masamichi Ohkura, Gembu Abe, Junichi Nakai,and Koichi Kawakami ; Current Biology 2013 (link)
There has already been a small explosion in the “popular press” on the internet talking about how this is the “first footage of thoughts being formed”. Of course this is far from the first time something like this has been done (for example check #3 from my Highlights of 2012 post). However I will say upfront this is some of the best signal and cleanest demonstration of real time imaging of activity I have seen. I mean just look at these two movies here and here. Watching the activity representing the paramecium dance across the retinotopy in the second movie is especially awesome!
14. Virtual Superheroes: Using Superpowers in Virtual Reality to Encourage Prosocial Behavior Robin S. Rosenberg, Shawnee L. Baughman, Jeremy N. Bailenson ; PLoS ONE 2013 (link)
This last paper is a step outside the usual stuff, but I had to include it for two reasons: a) I love comic books and superheroes b) I think sneaky behavioral tests are hilarious. I get a kick out of how after flying around as a superhero in virtual reality, the experimenter “accidentally” knocks over a cup of pens and then secretly measures if the subject helps pick them up. They even report how many pens the subjects pick up 🙂
“After completing the virtual task, the participant was taken out of the HMD and asked to have a seat in a chair nearby while the experimenter put away the virtual reality equipment. While the experimenter fumbled with the equipment, she “accidentally” knocked over a cup of 15 pens sitting on a table approximately four feet in front of the participant’s chair (Stage 2). The trained experimenter then waited five seconds before attempting to pick up the pens, giving the participant time to help. If the participant did not get up to help within those five seconds, the experimenter picked up the pens one at a time, still giving the participant the opportunity to help. See Figure 4A and 4B for photographs of the pens procedure. After the pen task was complete, the experimenter took the participant into a separate room to complete several questionnaires (Stage 3).”
So that’s weird…
My world might be shattered… or it might be more difficult to post the paper list on Friday.. who knows.
So some last minute additions:
15. Circuit mechanisms revealed by spike-timing correlations in macaque area MT Xin Huang and Stephen G. Lisberger; J. Neurophysiology 2013 (link)
16. Updating of the spatial reference frame of head direction cells in response to locomotion in the vertical plane Jeffrey S. Taube, Sarah S. Wang, Stanley Y. Kim, and Russell J. Frohardt ; J. Neurophysiology 2013 (link)
This study looks pretty cool. The behavioral apparatus makes me dizzy just looking at it.
17. Effects of cortical feedback on the spatial properties of relay cells in the lateral geniculate nucleus Ian M. Andolina, Helen E. Jones, and Adam M. Sillito ; J. Neurophysiology 2013 (link)
Alright that should do it. List done.