Trends in Neurosciences
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Eating beyond metabolic need: how environmental cues influence feeding behavior.
I consider how learning about environmental cues influences homeostatic and hedonic brain signals, which may lead to increases in the affective taste properties of food and desire to over consume. Understanding these mechanisms may be critical for elucidating the etiology of the obesity epidemic. Co...
Pause and rebound: sensory control of cholinergic signaling in the striatum.
We review recent advances in our understanding of the regulation of cholinergic interneuron activity. We discuss evidence of mechanisms that have been proposed to underlie sensory responses, including antagonistic actions by dopamine, recurrent inhibition via local interneurons, and an intrinsically...
How do the basal ganglia regulate sleep-wake behavior?
We discuss emerging anatomical and molecular mechanisms of sleep-wake regulation at work in the BG. Furthermore, we propose a model whereby adenosine and dopamine receptors in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) are involved in the integration of behavioral processes and the induction of wakefulness through...
A new control center for dopaminergic systems: pulling the VTA by the tail.
The tail of the ventral tegmental area (tVTA), also named the rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg), is a recently defined midbrain structure considered to exert a major inhibitory drive on dopamine systems. In view of its connectivity, tVTA is well placed to convey salient positive...
Are you or aren't you? Challenges associated with physiologically identifying dopamine neurons.
The dopamine system is involved in motivation, reward and learning, and dysfunction in this system has been implicated in several disorders, including Parkinson's disease (PD) and schizophrenia. Key progress in our understanding of its functions has come from extracellular in vivo electrophysiologic...
Mechanisms of top-down attention.
We discuss recent studies that have made progress towards understanding: (i) the brain structures and circuits involved in attentional allocation; (ii) top-down attention pathways, particularly as elucidated by microstimulation and lesion studies; (iii) top-down modulatory influences involving subco...
'Too much good news' - are Alzheimer mouse models trying to tell us how to prevent, not cure, Alzheimer's disease?
We argue that most transgenic mouse 'models of AD' actually simulate the asymptomatic phase of the disease, and the results of interventional studies in these mice should be considered in the context of disease prevention. In addition, recent advances in imaging technology and biomarker discovery sh...
The propagation of prion-like protein inclusions in neurodegenerative diseases
The most common neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, are characterized by the misfolding of a small number of proteins that assemble into ordered aggregates in affected brain cells. For many years, the events leading to aggregate formation were believed...
Air pollution: mechanisms of neuroinflammation and CNS disease.
We summarize recent findings detailing the mechanisms through which air pollution reaches the brain and activates the resident innate immune response to become a chronic source of pro-inflammatory factors and ROS, culminating in CNS disease....