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PLOS Biology is at FENS Forum 2016!

The 10th FENS Forum of Neuroscience started on July 2nd, 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark. PLOS Biology and the rest of the PLOS family are there and enjoying talking to you! Come visit our booth, #80, to pick up some PLOS swag and information on publishing your research in our excellent journals. Look out for Gabriel Gasque, Associate Editor at PLOS Biology, and Renee Hoch, Associate Editor at PLOS ONE, and PLOS Neuro Community editor Giuseppe Gangarossa. Hope to see you there!


PLOS Biology has published some fantastic neuroscience papers; here are some of the editors’ favorites from 2016 so far:


Phagocytosis by microglia is tightly coupled to apoptosis, swiftly removing apoptotic cells and actively maintaining tissue homeostasis. This study shows that the neuronal hyperactivity associated with epilepsy disrupts the ATP gradients that drive phagocytosis, leading to the accumulation of apoptotic cells and inflammation. Abiega O, Beccari S, Diaz-Aparicio I, Nadjar A, Layé S, Leyrolle Q, et al. (2016) Neuronal Hyperactivity Disturbs ATP Microgradients, Impairs Microglial Motility, and Reduces Phagocytic Receptor Expression Triggering Apoptosis/Microglial Phagocytosis Uncoupling. PLoS Biol 14(5): e1002466.

Image Credit:
Stitching together the movie of life. Image Credit: journal.pbio.1002433.g003


Although we experience the world as a seamless flow of percepts, illusions and experiments suggest that perception operates in a discrete manner (see image above). This Unsolved Mystery presents a novel theoretical framework to explain how discrete neural processes create the illusion of a continuous stream of conscious perception. Herzog MH, Kammer T, Scharnowski F (2016) Time Slices: What Is the Duration of a Percept? PLoS Biol 14(4): e1002433.


Although amyloids are usually associated with abnormality and disease, some are functional. A study of the functional amyloid Orb2, which is needed for memory consolidation in flies, shows that despite structural similarities, key features of the kinetics of amyloid formation may underlie this crucial difference. Hervás R, Li L, Majumdar A, Fernández-Ramírez MdC, Unruh JR, Slaughter BD, et al. (2016) Molecular Basis of Orb2 Amyloidogenesis and Blockade of Memory Consolidation. PLoS Biol 14(1): e1002361.


This study reveals NMNAT2 to be a dual-function neuronal maintenance factor that not only generates NAD to protect neurons from excitotoxicity but also moonlights as a chaperone to combat protein toxicity. Ali YO, Allen HM, Yu L, Li-Kroeger D, Bakhshizadehmahmoudi D, Hatcher A, et al. (2016) NMNAT2:HSP90 Complex Mediates Proteostasis in Proteinopathies. PLoS Biol 14(6): e1002472.


Image credit: journal.pbio.1002424.g003
Position of subdural electrodes used to record the effects of tACS. Image credit: journal.pbio.1002424.g003

This research article presents mathematical models that explain the effect of temporally patterned electrical stimulation on cortical oscillations and provides supporting evidence using data recorded directly from human cortex during transcranial electrical stimulation (image, right). Alagapan S, Schmidt SL, Lefebvre J, Hadar E, Shin HW, Frӧhlich F (2016) Modulation of Cortical Oscillations by Low-Frequency Direct Cortical Stimulation Is State-Dependent. PLoS Biol 14(3): e1002424.


This Essay presents a formalism that not only provides a quantitative framework for modelling neural activity but also shows that neuronal dynamics across scales are described by the same principle. Sengupta B, Tozzi A, Cooray GK, Douglas PK, Friston KJ (2016) Towards a Neuronal Gauge Theory. PLoS Biol 14(3): e1002400.


Light can produce either sleep or arousal in mice. This paper reveals that these opposing effects depend upon the wavelength of light and appear to involve separate pathways, both modulated by the photopigment melanopsin. Pilorz V, Tam SKE, Hughes S, Pothecary CA, Jagannath A, Hankins MW, et al. (2016) Melanopsin Regulates Both Sleep-Promoting and Arousal-Promoting Responses to Light. PLoS Biol 14(6): e1002482


This research article shows that in rats, the rhythms of whisking and hippocampal theta become coherent precisely when rats approach and explore a texture; higher coherence enhances the identification of texture. Grion N, Akrami A, Zuo Y, Stella F, Diamond ME (2016) Coherence between Rat Sensorimotor System and Hippocampus Is Enhanced during Tactile Discrimination. PLoS Biol 14(2): e1002384.


This study finds that touch-sensing neurons in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans secrete neuropeptides to suppress olfaction via a specific synapse in the olfactory circuit. Loss of touch releases this suppression, enhancing the sense of smell. Rabinowitch I, Laurent P, Zhao B, Walker D, Beets I, Schoofs L, et al. (2016) Neuropeptide-Driven Cross-Modal Plasticity following Sensory Loss in Caenorhabditis elegans. PLoS Biol 14(1): e1002348.


This paper demonstrates that slow-wave sleep and rapid eye movement sleep are associated with the reactivation and consolidation of a motor skill within distinct brain networks. Cousins JN, El-Deredy W, Parkes LM, Hennies N, Lewis PA (2016) Cued Reactivation of Motor Learning during Sleep Leads to Overnight Changes in Functional Brain Activity and Connectivity.



Featured Image Credit: journal.pbio.1002384.g003

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