Top 7 papers in neuroscience

#1 Neurons complete hippocampus loop

There’s a new, important function for a once-obscure cell population in the brain: CA2 pyramidal neurons, a subset of cells in the hippocampus, form a link between electrical inputs and outputs in the hippocampus.

V. Chevaleye et al., “Strong CA2 pyramidal neuron synapses define a powerful disynaptic cortico-hippocampal loop,” Neuron, 66:560-72, 2010. Eval by Stephen Fitzjohn and Graham Collingridge, MRC Centre for Synaptic Plasticity, UK; Johannes Hell, University of California, Davis.

Neurons in the mouse brain
Image: Wikimedia Commons, Neurolle

#2 Non-overlapping neurons

The medial entorhinal cortex, a hub for memory and navigation in the brain, consists of two tangled but functionally separate networks that have different long-range axonal targets, and thus may be involved in different functions in the brain. The finding offers insights to how neural networks function, and — in conditions like epilepsy — dysfunction.

C. Varga et al., “Target-selective GABAergic control of entorhinal cortex output,” Nat Neurosci, 13:822-4, 2010. Eval by Edvard Moser, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway; Jeff Isaacson, University of California, San Diego.

#3 “We’re going to need a bigger model”

In a detailed mathematical analysis, researchers analyze the capacity of computational models to model neuronal oscillations — the repetitive rise and fall of membrane potentials. They find that current single-cell oscillation models are not adequate, and there is a need for additional computational models to assess this mechanism.
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