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    Neuroscience

    Pictured above: Figure 2 from the article, "Structural organization of the dendritic reticulum linked by gap junctions in layer 4 of the visual cortex." Reconstruction of the gap junction-coupled linkage of PV neurons. All PV neurons shown here are connected to one another through chains of gap junction-coupled dendritic linkage. Different symbols on dendrites indicate sites of gap junctions. Scale bar = 100 μm. (T. Fukuda).

    Established in 1976, Neuroscience is the flagship journal of IBRO and is overseen by the IBRO Publications CommitteeElsevier publishes 28 issues per year. 

    The journal features papers describing the results of original research on any aspect of the scientific study of the nervous system. Any paper, however short, is considered for publication provided that it reports significant, new and carefully confirmed findings with full experimental details.

    READ the current issue of IBRO Neuroscience (vol. 341) published on 26 January 2017. Highlighted findings from this issue include:

    Interaction between DRD2 variation and sound environment on mood and emotion-related brain activity

    (T. Quarto, M.C. Fasano, P. Taurisano, L. Fazio, L.A. Antonucci, B. Gelao, R. Romano, M. Mancini, A. Porcelli, R. Masellis, K.J. Pallesen, A. Bertolino, G. Blasi and E. Brattico)

    Sounds, like music and noise, are capable of reliably affecting individuals’ mood and emotions. However, these effects are highly variable across individuals. A putative source of variability is genetic background. Here we explored the interaction between a functional polymorphism of the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2 rs1076560, G > T, previously associated with the relative expression of D2S/L isoforms) and sound environment on mood and emotion-related brain activity. Thirty-eight healthy subjects were genotyped for DRD2 rs1076560 (G/G = 26; G/T = 12) and underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during performance of an implicit emotion-processing task while listening to music or noise. Individual variation in mood induction was assessed before and after the task. Results showed mood improvement after music exposure in DRD2GG subjects and mood deterioration after noise exposure in GT subjects. Moreover, the music, as opposed to noise environment, decreased the striatal activity of GT subjects as well as the prefrontal activity of GG subjects while processing emotional faces. These findings suggest that genetic variability of dopamine receptors affects sound environment modulations of mood and emotion processing.

    Neural plasticity during motor learning with motor imagery practice: Review and perspectives

    (C. Ruffino, C. Papaxanthis and F. Lebon)

    In the last decade, many studies confirmed the benefits of mental practice with motor imagery. In this review we first aimed to compile data issued from fundamental and clinical investigations and to provide the key-components for the optimization of motor imagery strategy. We focused on transcranial magnetic stimulation studies, supported by brain imaging research, that sustain the current hypothesis of a functional link between cortical reorganization and behavioral improvement. As perspectives, we suggest a model of neural adaptation following mental practice, in which synapse conductivity and inhibitory mechanisms at the spinal level may also play an important role.

    Exploring the neural substrates of attentional control and human intelligence: Diffusion tensor imaging of prefrontal white matter tractography in healthy cognition

    (T. Ohtani, P. G. Nestor,  S. Bouix, D. Newell, E. D. Melonakos, R. W. McCarley, M. E. Shenton and M. Kubicki)

    We combined diffusion tension imaging (DTI) of prefrontal white matter integrity and neuropsychological measures to examine the functional neuroanatomy of human intelligence. Healthy participants completed the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Third Edition (WAIS-III) along with neuropsychological tests of attention and executive control, as measured by Trail Making Test (TMT) and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Stochastic tractography, considered the most effective DTI method, quantified white matter integrity of the medial orbital frontal cortex (mOFC) and rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC) circuitry. Based on prior studies, we hypothesized that posterior mOFC–rACC connections may play a key structural role linking attentional control processes and intelligence. Behavioral results provided strong support for this hypothesis, specifically linking attentional control processes, measured by Trails B and WCST perseverative errors, to intelligent quotient (IQ). Hierarchical regression results indicated left posterior mOFC–rACC fractional anisotropy (FA) and Trails B performance time, but not WCST perseverative errors, each contributed significantly to IQ, accounting for approximately 33.95–51.60% of the variance in IQ scores. These findings suggested that left posterior mOFC–rACC white matter connections may play a key role in supporting the relationship of executive functions of attentional control and general intelligence in healthy cognition.

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