Download the Free Unbound MEDLINE PubMed App to your smartphone or tablet.
Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android.
Annual Review of Neuroscience [journal]
- The neural basis of empathy. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Review]
- Annu Rev Neurosci 2012.:1-23.
Empathy--the ability to share the feelings of others--is fundamental to our emotional and social lives. Previous human imaging studies focusing on empathy for others' pain have consistently shown activations in regions also involved in the direct pain experience, particularly anterior insula and anterior and midcingulate cortex. These findings suggest that empathy is, in part, based on shared representations for firsthand and vicarious experiences of affective states. Empathic responses are not static but can be modulated by person characteristics, such as degree of alexithymia. It has also been shown that contextual appraisal, including perceived fairness or group membership of others, may modulate empathic neuronal activations. Empathy often involves coactivations in further networks associated with social cognition, depending on the specific situation and information available in the environment. Empathy-related insular and cingulate activity may reflect domain-general computations representing and predicting feeling states in self and others, likely guiding adaptive homeostatic responses and goal-directed behavior in dynamic social contexts.
- Functional consequences of mutations in postsynaptic scaffolding proteins and relevance to psychiatric disorders. [Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Review]
- Annu Rev Neurosci 2012.:49-71.
Functional studies on postsynaptic scaffolding proteins at excitatory synapses have revealed a plethora of important roles for synaptic structure and function. In addition, a convergence of recent in vivo functional evidence together with human genetics data strongly suggest that mutations in a variety of these postsynaptic scaffolding proteins may contribute to the etiology of diverse human psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders. Here we review the most recent evidence for several key postsynaptic scaffolding protein families and explore how mouse genetics and human genetics have intersected to advance our knowledge concerning the contributions of these important players to complex brain function and dysfunction.
- Cellular pathways of hereditary spastic paraplegia. [Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural, Review]
- Annu Rev Neurosci 2012.:25-47.
Human voluntary movement is controlled by the pyramidal motor system, a long CNS pathway comprising corticospinal and lower motor neurons. Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are a large, genetically diverse group of inherited neurologic disorders characterized by a length-dependent distal axonopathy of the corticospinal tracts, resulting in lower limb spasticity and weakness. A range of studies are converging on alterations in the shaping of organelles, particularly the endoplasmic reticulum, as well as intracellular membrane trafficking and distribution as primary defects underlying the HSPs, with clear relevance for other long axonopathies affecting peripheral nerves and lower motor neurons.
- Circuits for skilled reaching and grasping. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Review]
- Annu Rev Neurosci 2012.:559-78.
From an evolutionary perspective, it is clear that basic motor functions such as locomotion and posture are largely controlled by neural circuitries residing in the spinal cord and brain-stem. The control of voluntary movements such as skillful reaching and grasping is generally considered to be governed by neural circuitries in the motor cortex that connect directly to motoneurons via the corticomotoneuronal (CM) pathway. The CM pathway may act together with several brain-stem systems that also act directly with motoneurons. This simple view was challenged by work in the cat, which lacks the direct CM system, showing that the motor commands for reaching and grasping could be mediated via spinal interneurons with input from the motor-cortex and brain-stem systems. It was further demonstrated that the spinal interneurons mediating the descending commands for reaching and grasping constitute separate and distinct populations from those involved in locomotion and posture. The aim of this review is to describe populations of spinal interneurons that are involved in the control of skilled reaching and grasping in the cat, monkey, and human.
- Under pressure: cellular and molecular responses during glaucoma, a common neurodegeneration with axonopathy. [Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Review]
- Annu Rev Neurosci 2012.:153-79.
Glaucoma is a complex neurodegenerative disorder that is expected to affect 80 million people by the end of this decade. Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are the most affected cell type and progressively degenerate over the course of the disease. RGC axons exit the eye and enter the optic nerve by passing through the optic nerve head (ONH). The ONH is an important site of initial damage in glaucoma. Higher intraocular pressure (IOP) is an important risk factor for glaucoma, but the molecular links between elevated IOP and axon damage in the ONH are poorly defined. In this review and focusing primarily on the ONH, we discuss recent studies that have contributed to understanding the etiology and pathogenesis of glaucoma. We also identify areas that require further investigation and focus on mechanisms identified in other neurodegenerations that may contribute to RGC dysfunction and demise in glaucoma.
- The attention system of the human brain: 20 years after. [Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Review]
- Annu Rev Neurosci 2012.:73-89.
Here, we update our 1990 Annual Review of Neuroscience article, "The Attention System of the Human Brain." The framework presented in the original article has helped to integrate behavioral, systems, cellular, and molecular approaches to common problems in attention research. Our framework has been both elaborated and expanded in subsequent years. Research on orienting and executive functions has supported the addition of new networks of brain regions. Developmental studies have shown important changes in control systems between infancy and childhood. In some cases, evidence has supported the role of specific genetic variations, often in conjunction with experience, that account for some of the individual differences in the efficiency of attentional networks. The findings have led to increased understanding of aspects of pathology and to some new interventions.
- Social control of the brain. [Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S., Review]
- Annu Rev Neurosci 2012.:133-51.
In the course of evolution, social behavior has been a strikingly potent selective force in shaping brains to control action. Physiological, cellular, and molecular processes reflect this evolutionary force, particularly in the regulation of reproductive behavior and its neural circuitry. Typically, experimental analysis is directed at how the brain controls behavior, but the brain is also changed by behavior over evolution, during development, and through its ongoing function. Understanding how the brain is influenced by behavior offers unusual experimental challenges. General principles governing the social regulation of the brain are most evident in the control of reproductive behavior. This is most likely because reproduction is arguably the most important event in an animal's life and has been a powerful and essential selective force over evolution. Here I describe the mechanisms through which behavior changes the brain in the service of reproduction using a teleost fish model system.
- Multiple functions of endocannabinoid signaling in the brain. [Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Review]
- Annu Rev Neurosci 2012.:529-58.
Despite being regarded as a hippie science for decades, cannabinoid research has finally found its well-deserved position in mainstream neuroscience. A series of groundbreaking discoveries revealed that endocannabinoid molecules are as widespread and important as conventional neurotransmitters such as glutamate or GABA, yet they act in profoundly unconventional ways. We aim to illustrate how uncovering the molecular, anatomical, and physiological characteristics of endocannabinoid signaling has revealed new mechanistic insights into several fundamental phenomena in synaptic physiology. First, we summarize unexpected advances in the molecular complexity of biogenesis and inactivation of the two endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol. Then, we show how these new metabolic routes are integrated into well-known intracellular signaling pathways. These endocannabinoid-producing signalosomes operate in phasic and tonic modes, thereby differentially governing homeostatic, short-term, and long-term synaptic plasticity throughout the brain. Finally, we discuss how cell type- and synapse-specific refinement of endocannabinoid signaling may explain the characteristic behavioral effects of cannabinoids.
- The pathophysiology of fragile X (and what it teaches us about synapses). [Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S., Review]
- Annu Rev Neurosci 2012.:417-43.
Fragile X is the most common known inherited cause of intellectual disability and autism, and it typically results from transcriptional silencing of FMR1 and loss of the encoded protein, FMRP (fragile X mental retardation protein). FMRP is an mRNA-binding protein that functions at many synapses to inhibit local translation stimulated by metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) 1 and 5. Recent studies on the biology of FMRP and the signaling pathways downstream of mGluR1/5 have yielded deeper insight into how synaptic protein synthesis and plasticity are regulated by experience. This new knowledge has also suggested ways that altered signaling and synaptic function can be corrected in fragile X, and human clinical trials based on this information are under way.
- Decision-related activity in sensory neurons: correlations among neurons and with behavior. [Journal Article, Review]
- Annu Rev Neurosci 2012.:463-83.
Neurons in early sensory cortex show weak but systematic correlations with perceptual decisions when trained animals perform at psychophysical threshold. These correlations are observed across repeated presentations of identical stimuli and cannot be explained by variation in external factors. The relationship between the activity of individual sensory neurons and the animal's behavioral choice means that even neurons in early sensory cortex carry information about an upcoming decision. This relationship, termed choice probability, may reflect the effect of fluctuations in neuronal firing rate on the animal's decision, but it can also reflect modulation of sensory responses by cognitive factors, or network properties such as variability that is shared among populations of neurons. Here, we review recent work clarifying the relationship among fluctuations in the responses of individual neurons, correlated variability, and behavior in a variety of tasks and cortical areas. We also discuss the possibility that choice probability may in part reflect the influence of cognitive factors on sensory neurons and explore the situations in which choice probability can be used to make inferences about the role of particular sensory neurons in the decision-making process.