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Social Neuroscience Advances
Understanding ourselves and how we interact
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New Neurons in Adult Brains Remodel Memory

New Neurons in Adult Brains Remodel Memory | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The brain is extremely dynamic, building and pruning connections in milliseconds with many different types of neuroplasticity simultaneously arising in large circuits all over the brain. The holy grail of neuroplasticity has been the creation of new brain cells in adults. Research looking for one cell in a region of the brain is much more difficult than a needle in a haystack. Despite, overwhelming odds, study shows new neurons arising in at least three, and possibly more, places in the adult brain—both humans and other animals.

Recent research shows that new neurons at least in the critical memory center of the hippocampus, are critical to learning and memory and rapidly become part of existing circuits. In fact, they remodel the circuit to take in new material in new ways. A previous post described that more than a thousand different types of neurons exist. Neurogenesis research shows that these new adult born neurons may be completely new types of cells with increased excitability, more widespread connections, a new window of opportunity, and increased neuroplasticity. New neurons in adult brains remodel memory circuits to make information more specific.

Via Miloš Bajčetić, Lynnette Van Dyke
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Rescooped by Jocelyn Stoller from Neuroscience_technics
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Encoded multisite two-photon microscopy

Encoded multisite two-photon microscopy | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

The advent of scanning two-photon microscopy (2PM) has created a fertile new avenue for noninvasive investigation of brain activity in depth. One principal weakness of this method, however, lies with the limit of scanning speed, which makes optical interrogation of action potential-like activity in a neuronal network problematic. Encoded multisite two-photon microscopy (eMS2PM), a scanless method that allows simultaneous imaging of multiple targets in depth with high temporal resolution, addresses this drawback. eMS2PM uses a liquid crystal spatial light modulator to split a high-power femto-laser beam into multiple subbeams. To distinguish them, a digital micromirror device encodes each subbeam with a specific binary amplitude modulation sequence. Fluorescence signals from all independently targeted sites are then collected simultaneously onto a single photodetector and site-specifically decoded. We demonstrate that eMS2PM can be used to image spike-like voltage transients in cultured cells and fluorescence transients (calcium signals in neurons and red blood cells in capillaries from the cortex) in depth in vivo. These results establish eMS2PM as a unique method for simultaneous acquisition of neuronal network activity. (...) - by Ducros M et al., PNAS August 6, 2013 vol. 110 no. 32 13138-13143


Via Julien Hering, PhD
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Brain mapping reveals neurological basis of decision-making in rats

Brain mapping reveals neurological basis of decision-making in rats | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

Scientists at UC San Francisco have discovered how memory recall is linked to decision-making in rats, showing that measurable activity in one part of the brain occurs when rats in a maze are playing out memories that help them decide which way to turn. The more they play out these memories, the more likely they are to find their way correctly to the end of the maze. (...) - by UCSF, ScienceBlog


Via Julien Hering, PhD
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Single-cell axotomy of cultured hippocampal neurons integrated in neuronal circuits

Single-cell axotomy of cultured hippocampal neurons integrated in neuronal circuits | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

An understanding of the molecular mechanisms of axon regeneration after injury is key for the development of potential therapies. Single-cell axotomy of dissociated neurons enables the study of the intrinsic regenerative capacities of injured axons. This protocol describes how to perform single-cell axotomy on dissociated hippocampal neurons containing synapses. Furthermore, to axotomize hippocampal neurons integrated in neuronal circuits, we describe how to set up coculture with a few fluorescently labeled neurons. This approach allows axotomy of single cells in a complex neuronal network and the observation of morphological and molecular changes during axon regeneration. Thus, single-cell axotomy of mature neurons is a valuable tool for gaining insights into cell intrinsic axon regeneration and the plasticity of neuronal polarity of mature neurons. Dissociation of the hippocampus and plating of hippocampal neurons takes ∼2 h. Neurons are then left to grow for 2 weeks, during which time they integrate into neuronal circuits. Subsequent axotomy takes 10 min per neuron and further imaging takes 10 min per neuron. - by Gomis-Rüth S et al., Nature Protocols  9, 1028–1037 (2014) 


Via Julien Hering, PhD
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Very long-term memories may be stored in the pattern of holes in the perineuronal net

Very long-term memories may be stored in the pattern of holes in the perineuronal net | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

A hypothesis and the experiments to test it propose that very long-term memories, such as fear conditioning, are stored as the pattern of holes in the perineuronal net (PNN), a specialized ECM that envelops mature neurons and restricts synapse formation. The 3D intertwining of PNN and synapses would be imaged by serial-section EM. Lifetimes of PNN vs. intrasynaptic components would be compared with pulse-chase 15N labeling in mice and 14C content in human cadaver brains. Genetically encoded indicators and antineoepitope antibodies should improve spatial and temporal resolution of the in vivo activity of proteases that locally erode PNN. Further techniques suggested include genetic KOs, better pharmacological inhibitors, and a genetically encoded snapshot reporter, which will capture the pattern of activity throughout a large ensemble of neurons at a time precisely defined by the triggering illumination, drive expression of effector genes to mark those cells, and allow selective excitation, inhibition, or ablation to test their functional importance. The snapshot reporter should enable more precise inhibition or potentiation of PNN erosion to compare with behavioral consequences. Finally, biosynthesis of PNN components and proteases would be imaged. (...) - By Roger Y. TsienPNAS July 23, 2013 vol. 110 no. 3012456-12461


Via Julien Hering, PhD
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