Monthly Archives: March 2008

A New, Genetic Model for Schizophrenia

A new study points to rare gene duplications and deletions that are believed to play a significant role in the psychological disorder By Nikhil Swaminathanin Scientific American A new study indicates that the genetic culprits behind schizophrenia may be much … Continue reading

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Neural coding: The power of one

Nature Reviews Neuroscience 9, 78. February 2008 A single action potential in a single neuron can induce a behavioral response. Conventional wisdom holds that the brain analyses patterns of activity in multiple cortical neurons in order to interpret incoming stimuli; … Continue reading

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Synaptic plasticity: Learning through continuing potentiation

in Nature Reviews Neuroscience 9, 82 – 83. February 2008 Extended periods of synaptic plasticity involve activation of both NMDA and metabotropic glutamate receptors. One of the main cellular mechanisms assumed to underlie learning is long-term potentiation (LTP), an experimental … Continue reading

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Cell bodies get the shaft

Neuroscience Gateway. February 2008 Researchers physically separate neuron cell bodies and neurites to determine signaling pathways important in process extension. What does it take for one neuron to reach out and touch another? In neuritogenesis, neurons develop the long, thin … Continue reading

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Grid cells

A grid cell is a type of neuron found in the entorhinal cortex (EC) that fires strongly when an animal is in specific locations in an environment. Grid cells were discovered in 2005 and it is hypothesized that a network … Continue reading

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Large-scale thalamocortical model

While the Blue Brain folk want to construct an incredibly detailed model of a single cortical column, a recent paper by Izhikevich and Edelman (Large-scale model of mammalian thalamocortical systems) reports on a less detailed model of the entire human … Continue reading

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How cholinergic modulation changes cortical circuits

Nature: A synaptic memory trace for cortical receptive field plasticity Froemke RC, Merzenich MM, Schreiner CE This is an excellent paper revealing how cholinergic modulation (by stimulating nucleus basalis, or basal forebrain) transiently changes the balance between excitation and inhibition … Continue reading

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