Mouse models

Widely used calcium imaging protocol can lead to spurious results, new paper cautions

The technique, which measures calcium currents as a proxy for neuronal firing, sometimes reports unusual and potentially misleading waves of activity in the hippocampus.

By Angie Voyles Askham
19 June 2024 | 0 min watch
Research image of brain activity

Connectivity takes U-turn in people with rare autism-linked mutations

Patterns of brain connectivity shift during puberty in people with deletion of the 22q11.2 chromosomal region.

By Holly Barker
30 May 2024 | 4 min read
A diagram of green neurnons

Cocaine, morphine commandeer neurons normally activated by food, water in mice

Confirming a long-held hypothesis, repeated exposure to the drugs alters neurons in the nucleus accumbens, the brain’s reward center, and curbs an animal’s urge for sustenance.

By Lauren Schenkman
8 May 2024 | 5 min read
Computer-generated illustration of disgusting green food.

‘It must be something I ate’ is hard-wired into the brain

Feeling sick reactivates “novel flavor” neurons, according to a new study in mice, and points to a dedicated circuit for learning to avoid unsafe food.

By Angie Voyles Askham
29 March 2024 | 6 min read
Research image of microglia in mice.

Microglial overreaction to atypical neurons may drive autism

In mice and organoids lacking a neuronal protein, microglia prune synapses to excess.

By Holly Barker
21 March 2024 | 5 min read
Red pencil leans on a stack of white paper

Alzheimer’s scientist to correct two papers because of data inconsistencies

Anonymous commenters raised concerns about the statistical methods that Soyon Hong and her colleagues used in their work.

By Gina Jiménez
8 March 2024 | 4 min read
Photograph of an intimidating lab mouse.
Hypothalamus Microphone

Newly found hypothalamus circuits shape bullying behaviors in mice

Activity in the tiny brain region helps submissive rodents learn to avoid aggressors, and aggressive mice to curb their attacks, according to two recent studies.

By Angie Voyles Askham
5 March 2024 | 6 min listen

Synaptic protein’s shape-shifting skills propel plasticity

SYNGAP supports learning without tapping its eponymous “GAP” enzymatic activity, according to a new study.

By Angie Voyles Askham
29 February 2024 | 0 min watch
Illustration of a yellow brain and a pink brain

Monkey studies throw wrench into decade-old idea about movement’s effect on visual cortex

Movements that boost activity in the visual cortex of mice have the opposite or no effect in marmosets and macaques, prompting questions about whether mice are a suitable model for the primate visual system.

By Angie Voyles Askham
20 February 2024 | 9 min read
Illustrated portrait of André Fenton.
Synaptic Microphone

Being uncomfortable and PKMzeta with André Fenton

The director of the Center for Neural Science shares a ghost story and talks about his collaboration with Todd Sacktor.

By Brady Huggett
1 February 2024 | 80 min listen

Explore more from The Transmitter

Research illustration groups genes by their effects on brain cell types.

Giant analysis reveals how autism-linked genes affect brain cell types

Genes that predispose people to autism account for a large portion of the neuronal and glial cell changes seen in those with the condition.

By Charles Q. Choi
20 June 2024 | 5 min read
Research image of white-matter density in brains of people with deletions or duplications in the 16p11.2 chromosomal region.

Double-empathy problem; dup15q syndrome; myelin loss in aging autistic adults

Here is a roundup of autism-related news and research spotted around the web for the week of 17 June.

By Jill Adams
18 June 2024 | 2 min read
Image of a series of red sticky notes protruding from a stack of white paper.

Faked results lead to retraction of high-profile cancer neuroscience study

An investigation found that the experiments required more animals than the scientists had purchased.

By Dalmeet Singh Chawla
18 June 2024 | 4 min read