Research Roundup: June 2018

Monday, July 9, 2018
By Jennifer Kornbluth

Here are summaries of a selection of the papers published by Duke Neurobiology in June 2018:

Motor Learning:

Miguel Nicolelis' lab showed that primary sensorimotor and premotor cortical areas in primates represent body position and orientation in space during whole-body navigation. This is an unexpected finding given the classical hierarchical model of cortical processing that attributes functional specialization for spatial processing to the hippocampal formation. Read more


Nicolas Brunel and collaborator studied a recurrent network model in which both learning rules and distribution of stored patterns are inferred from distributions of visual responses in the inferior temporal cortex (ITC). Unlike classical attractor neural network models, their model exhibits graded activity in retrieval states, with distributions of firing rates that are close to lognormal. Read more

Novel therapies:

R. Alison Adcock and collaborators tested a novel technique for personalizing cognitive behavioral therapy skills and facilitating their generalization to daily life. They suggest that a single-episode rt-fMRI intervention is a feasible and economical method to enhance the clinical impact of previously-learned cognitive strategies. Read more

Warren Grill was part of a team that identified accurate and efficient modeling of neural stimulating electrodes by quantifying the effects of different electrode representations on activation thresholds for model axons. Read more


Chay Kuo and collaborator review a new study that connects an evolutionarily conserved cellular polarity gene, Pard3, to megalencephaly and ribbon-like subcortical heterotopia. Read more