New Neuronal Code Found in Bats Navigating Extra-Large Spaces, Weizmann Institute Scientists Report

To date, place cells have been studied in mammals in small spaces. How do we navigate large ones? Prof. Nachum Ulanovsky and team studied bats navigating a 200-m-long tunnel – and discovered a novel neuronal code for spatial perception. The work showed that place cells behave completely differently when navigating very large spaces.

Same Difference: Two Halves of The Hippocampus Have Different Gene Activity

DALLAS – May 28, 2021 – A study of gene activity in the brain’s hippocampus, led by UT Southwestern researchers, has identified marked differences between the region’s anterior and posterior portions. The findings, published today in Neuron, could shed light on a variety of brain disorders that involve the hippocampus and may eventually help lead to new, targeted treatments.

Inhibitory Interneurons in Hippocampus Excite the Developing Brain

A new study from the George Washington University, reports that in some critical structures of the developing brain, the inhibitory neurons cause excitation rather than suppression of brain activity. The findings, published in Science Advances, could have implications for the treatment of neonatal seizures.

Neuroimaging links brain region to poor spatial navigation in children affected by prenatal alcohol exposure

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) describe the range of effects associated with prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE). The most severe forms of FASD are fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and partial fetal alcohol syndrome (PFAS), which have adverse effects on learning and memory and result in observable physical abnormalities, including a distinct pattern of facial dysmorphic features, small head circumference, and growth restriction. Identifying the specific brain regions affected is important to fully understand the impact of PAE. Poor spatial skills are common in children with FASD, and tests of navigation in rodents – and more recently, humans – have linked PAE to impairment in ‘place learning’ (the learning of physical positions or locations of objects). Place learning in rodents and humans depends on the hippocampus, a small seahorse-shaped structure in each side of the brain. The hippocampus is particularly sensitive to PAE and is smaller in people (and rodents) exposed to alcohol in

UNH Researchers Find Synchronization of Memory Cells Critical For Learning and Forming Memories

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire found that the neurons involved in Pavlovian learning shift their behavior and become more synchronized when a memory is being formed – a finding that helps better understand memory mechanisms and provides clues for the development of future therapies for memory-related diseases like dementia, autism and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).