Research Roundup: March 2018

Monday, April 2, 2018
By Alissa Kocer
brain showing neurons firing

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

Mental Health:

  • Kafui Dzirasa and team discovered that particular patterns of large-scale electrical brain activity provide a biomarker for mice that are susceptible to developing depression-like symptoms following stressful events. The results could shed light on the brain basis for an individual’s vulnerability to mental illnesses like depression. Read more
  • Marc Caron and collaborators investigated the effects of early-life maternal separation stress and adult social defeat stress on a molecular level. Read more

Social Interactions

  • Findings from Miguel Nicolelis and team discovered that the activity of two primates’ brains is synchronized during social encounters, and that the degree of synchronization is influenced by social factors, such as proximity to other animals, social hierarchy and competition for food. Read more


  • Alison Adcock and team investigated the relationships between motivation, exploration and memory formation by studying participants as they explored an art exhibit. Read more


  • Mor Ben-Tov and collaborators discovered similarities in the structure of early visual processing in archerfish versus terrestrial mammals. Archerfish hunt by shooting water at prey that hang on vegetation above the water. Read more
  • Kevin Franks, Kevin Bolding and team developed a computer model to show how temporally-structured odor information in the olfactory bulb is transformed into codes for odor identity and concentration in the primary olfactory cortex. Read more

Neural cell biology:

  • Al LaSpada and his team team revealed a role for the kinase MAP4K3 in the control of autophagy and reveal MAP4K3 as a central node in nutrient-sensing regulation. Read more


  • In this review, the West lab explores the emerging advances in neuroepigenetics, including the period of postmitotic neuronal maturation in the developing brain and thee induction of stimulus-dependent neuronal plasticity in the adult brain. Read more
  • Lindsey Glickfeld reviewed research from the National Eye Institute that shows mice use spatial cues to direct their visual attention. Read more