The Current Opinion journals were developed out of the recognition that it is increasingly difficult for specialists to keep up to date with the expanding volume of information published in their subject. Elsevier’s Current Opinion journals comprise of 16 leading titles in life sciences and adjacent fields.

Current Opinion in Neurobiology

5-Year Impact Factor: 7.549
Issues per year: 6 issues
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Current Opinion in Neurobiology

Current Opinion in Neurobiology contains:
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Ethics in Publishing: General Statement

The Editor(s) and Publisher of this Journal believe that there are fundamental principles underlying scholarly or professional publishing. While this may not amount to a formal 'code of conduct', these fundamental principles with respect to the authors' paper are that the paper should: i) be the authors' own original work, which has not been previously published elsewhere, ii) reflect the authors' own research and analysis and do so in a truthful and complete manner, iii) properly credit the meaningful contributions of co-authors and co-researchers, iv) not be submitted to more than one journal for consideration, and v) be appropriately placed in the context of prior and existing research. Of equal importance are ethical guidelines dealing with research methods and research funding, including issues dealing with informed consent, research subject privacy rights, conflicts of interest, and sources of funding. While it may not be possible to draft a 'code' that applies adequately to all instances and circumstances, we believe it useful to outline our expectations of authors and procedures that the Journal will employ in the event of questions concerning author conduct. With respect to conflicts of interest, the Publisher now requires authors to declare any conflicts of interest that relate to papers accepted for publication in this Journal. A conflict of interest may exist when an author or the author's institution has a financial or other relationship with other people or organizations that may inappropriately influence the author's work. A conflict can be actual or potential and full disclosure to the Journal is the safest course. All submissions to the Journal must include disclosure of all relationships that could be viewed as presenting a potential conflict of interest. The Journal may use such information as a basis for editorial decisions and may publish such disclosures if they are believed to be important to readers in judging the manuscript. A decision may be made by the Journal not to publish on the basis of the declared conflict.

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Best Cited over the last year.

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Beta-band oscillations-signalling the status quo?

In this review, we consider the potential functional role of beta-band oscillations, which at present is not yet well understood. We discuss evidence from recent studies on top-down mechanisms involved in cognitive processing, on the motor system and on the pathophysiology of movement disorders that suggest a unifying hypothesis: beta-band activity seems related to the maintenance of the current sensorimotor or cognitive state. We hypothesize that beta oscillations and/or coupling in the…

Volume 20, Issue 2, 01 April 2010, Pp 156-165
Andreas Karl Engel | Pascal Fries

A synaptic trek to autism

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are diagnosed on the basis of three behavioral features namely deficits in social communication, absence or delay in language, and stereotypy. The susceptibility genes to ASD remain largely unknown, but two major pathways are emerging. Mutations in TSC1/TSC2, NF1, or PTEN activate the mTOR/PI3K pathway and lead to syndromic ASD with tuberous sclerosis, neurofibromatosis, or macrocephaly. Mutations in NLGN3/4, SHANK3, or NRXN1 alter synaptic function and lead to…

Volume 19, Issue 2, 01 April 2009, Pp 231-234
Thomas Bourgeron

Prefrontal control of fear: More than just extinction

Although fear research has largely focused on the amygdala, recent findings highlight cortical control of the amygdala in the service of fear regulation. In rodent models, it is becoming well established that the infralimbic (IL) prefrontal cortex plays a key role in extinction learning, and recent findings are uncovering molecular mechanisms involved in extinction-related plasticity. Furthermore, mounting evidence implicates the prelimbic (PL) prefrontal cortex in the production of fear…

Volume 20, Issue 2, 01 April 2010, Pp 231-235
Francisco Sotres-Bayón | Gregory J. Quirk

Neural computations associated with goal-directed choice

In goal-directed decision-making, animals choose between actions that are associated with different reward outcomes (e.g., foods) and with different costs (e.g., effort). Rapid advances have been made over the past few years in our understanding of the computations associated with goal-directed choices, and of how those computations are implemented in the brain. We review some important findings, with an emphasis on computational models, human fMRI, and monkey neurophysiology studies. © 2010…

Volume 20, Issue 2, 01 April 2010, Pp 262-270
Antonio Rangel | Todd A. Hare

Redox dysregulation, neurodevelopment, and schizophrenia

In schizophrenia, a developmental redox dysregulation constitutes one 'hub' on which converge genetic impairments of glutathione synthesis and environmental vulnerability factors generating oxidative stress. Their timing at critical periods of neurodevelopment could play a decisive role in inducing impairment of neural connectivity and synchronization as observed in schizophrenia. In experimental models, such redox dysregulation induces anomalies strikingly similar to those observed in…

Volume 19, Issue 2, 01 April 2009, Pp 220-230
Kimquang Do | Jan Harry Cabungcal | Anita Frank | Pascal Steullet | Michel R. Cuénod

Measured motion: searching for simplicity in spinal locomotor networks

Spinal interneurons are organized into networks that control the activity and output of the motor system. This review outlines recent progress in defining the rules that govern the assembly and function of spinal motor networks, focusing on three main areas. We first examine how subtle variations in the wiring diagrams and organization of locomotor networks in different vertebrates permits animals to adapt their motor programs to the demands of their physical environment. We discuss how the…

Volume 19, Issue 6, 01 December 2009, Pp 572-586
Sten E. Grillner | Thomas M. Jessell

Astrocyte heterogeneity: An underappreciated topic in neurobiology

Astrocytes, one of the most numerous types of cells in the central nervous system, are crucial for potassium homeostasis, neurotransmitter uptake, synapse formation, regulation of blood-brain-barrier, and the development of the nervous system. Historically, astrocytes have been studied as a homogeneous group of cells. However, evidence has accumulated that suggests heterogeneity of astrocytes across brain regions as well as within the same brain regions. Astrocytes differ in their morphology,…

Volume 20, Issue 5, 01 October 2010, Pp 588-594
Ye Zhang | Ben A. Barres

Calcium channel diversity: multiple roles of calcium channel subunits

Until recently we held the simple view that voltage-gated calcium channels consisted of an α1 subunit, usually associated with auxiliary β subunits and α2δ subunits and that skeletal muscle calcium channels were also associated with a γ subunit. However, as discussed here, there is now evidence that the auxiliary subunits may also perform other roles unrelated to voltage-gated calcium entry. In the past students were taught the simplistic view that second messenger signaling to voltage-gated…

Volume 19, Issue 3, 01 June 2009, Pp 237-244
Annette C. Dolphin

Dendritic spine formation and stabilization

Formation, elimination and remodeling of excitatory synapses on dendritic spines represent a continuous process that shapes the organization of synaptic networks during development. The molecular mechanisms controlling dendritic spine formation and stabilization therefore critically determine the rules of network selectivity. Recent studies have identified new molecules, such as Ephrins and Telencephalin that regulate filopodia motility and their transformation into dendritic spines.…

Volume 19, Issue 2, 01 April 2009, Pp 146-153
Yoshihiro Yoshihara | Mathias De Roo | Dominique Müller

The case for and against muscle synergies

A long standing goal in motor control is to determine the fundamental output controlled by the CNS: does the CNS control the activation of individual motor units, individual muscles, groups of muscles, kinematic or dynamic features of movement, or does it simply care about accomplishing a task? Of course, the output controlled by the CNS might not be exclusive but instead multiple outputs might be controlled in parallel or hierarchically. In this review we examine one particular hypothesized…

Volume 19, Issue 6, 01 December 2009, Pp 601-607
Matthew C. Tresch | Anthony M. Jarc

Expanding the mirror: vicarious activity for actions, emotions, and sensations

We often empathically share the states of others. The discovery of 'mirror neurons' suggested a neural mechanism for monkeys to share the actions of others. Here we expand this view by showing that mirror neurons for actions not only exist in the premotor cortex or in monkeys and that vicarious activity can also be measured for the emotions and sensations of others. Although we still need to empirically explore the function and development of these vicarious activations, we should stop thinking…

Volume 19, Issue 6, 01 December 2009, Pp 666-671
Christian Keysers | Valeria Gazzola

Developmental neurobiology of cognitive control and motivational systems

One form of cognitive control is the ability to resist temptation in favor of long-term goal-oriented behavior. Historically, the development of cognitive control capacity has been described by a linear function from infancy to adulthood. However, the context in which control is required impacts behavioral regulation abilities, such that emotionally charged or rewarding contexts can diminish control. More recently, studies have begun to examine the development of cognitive control in contexts…

Volume 20, Issue 2, 01 April 2010, Pp 271-277
Leah H. Somerville | BJ J. Casey

Re-valuing the amygdala

Recent advances indicate that the amygdala represents valence: a general appetitive/aversive affective characteristic that bears similarity to the neuroeconomic concept of value. Neurophysiological studies show that individual amygdala neurons respond differentially to a range of stimuli with positive or negative affective significance. Meanwhile, increasingly specific lesion/inactivation studies reveal that the amygdala is necessary for processes. -. for example, fear extinction and reinforcer…

Volume 20, Issue 2, 01 April 2010, Pp 221-230
Sara E. Morrison | Carl Daniel Salzman

Understanding the role of TDP-43 and FUS/TLS in ALS and beyond

Dominant mutations in two DNA/RNA binding proteins, TDP-43 and FUS/TLS, are causes of inherited Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). TDP-43 and FUS/TLS have striking structural and functional similarities, implicating alterations in RNA processing as central in ALS. TDP-43 has binding sites within a third of all mouse and human mRNAs in brain and this binding influences the levels and splicing patterns of at least 20% of those mRNAs. Disease modeling in rodents of the first known cause of…

Volume 21, Issue 6, 01 December 2011, Pp 904-919
Sandrine Da Cruz | Don W W. Cleveland

Cell types to order: temporal specification of CNS stem cells

Spatial and temporal specification of neural progenitor cells is integral to their production of a wide variety of central nervous system (CNS) cells. For a given region, cells arise on a precise and predictable temporal schedule, with sub-types of neurons appearing in a defined order, followed by glial cell generation. Single cell studies have shown that the timing of cell generation can be encoded within individual early progenitor cells as a cell-intrinsic program. Environmental cues are…

Volume 19, Issue 2, 01 April 2009, Pp 112-119
Hideyuki Okano | Sally W. Temple

Epigenetic influences on brain development and plasticity

A fine interplay exists between sensory experience and innate genetic programs leading to the sculpting of neuronal circuits during early brain development. Recent evidence suggests that the dynamic regulation of gene expression through epigenetic mechanisms is at the interface between environmental stimuli and long lasting molecular, cellular and complex behavioral phenotypes acquired during periods of developmental plasticity. Understanding these mechanisms may give insight into the formation…

Volume 19, Issue 2, 01 April 2009, Pp 207-212
Michela Fagiolini | Catherine L. Jensen | Frances A. Champagne

Cortical progenitor expansion, self-renewal and neurogenesis-a polarized perspective

Neural stem and progenitor cells giving rise to neurons in developing mammalian neocortex fall into two principal classes with regard to location of mitosis-apical and basal, and into three principal classes in terms of cell polarity during mitosis-bipolar, monopolar, and nonpolar. Insight has been gained into how inheritance of polarized, apical and basal, cell constituents is related to symmetric versus asymmetric divisions of these progenitors, and how this inheritance is linked to their…

Volume 21, Issue 1, 01 February 2011, Pp 23-35
Simone A. Fietz | Wieland B. Huttner

Regulation of AMPA receptor trafficking and synaptic plasticity

AMPA receptors (AMPARs) mediate the majority of fast excitatory synaptic transmission in the brain. Dynamic changes in neuronal synaptic efficacy, termed synaptic plasticity, are thought to underlie information coding and storage in learning and memory. One major mechanism that regulates synaptic strength involves the tightly regulated trafficking of AMPARs into and out of synapses. The life cycle of AMPARs from their biosynthesis, membrane trafficking, and synaptic targeting to their…

Volume 22, Issue 3, 01 June 2012, Pp 461-469
Victor Anggono | Richard Richard Huganir

New photochemical tools for controlling neuronal activity

Neurobiology has entered a new era in which optical methods are challenging electrophysiological techniques for their value in measuring and manipulating neuronal activity. This change is occurring largely because of the development of new photochemical tools, some synthesized by chemists and some provided by nature. This review is focused on the three types of photochemical tools for neuronal control that have emerged in recent years. Caged neurotransmitters, including caged glutamate, are…

Volume 19, Issue 5, 01 October 2009, Pp 544-552
Richard H. Kramer | Doris L. Fortin | Dirk Trauner

Semaphorin function in neural plasticity and disease

The semaphorins, originally discovered as evolutionarily conserved steering molecules for developing axons, also influence neuronal structure and function in the early postnatal and juvenile nervous systems through several refinement processes. Semaphorins control synaptogenesis, axon pruning, and the density and maturation of dendritic spines. In addition, semaphorins and their downstream signaling components regulate synaptic physiology and neuronal excitability in the mature hippocampus, and…

Volume 19, Issue 3, 01 June 2009, Pp 263-274
Ronald Jeroen Pasterkamp | Roman J. Giger

Signaling in adult neurogenesis

Neural stem cells (NSCs) in the adult brain continuously supply new neurons to the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) and the olfactory bulb (OB). Recent studies indicate that the progression from neural precursor cells (NPCs) to mature neurons is tightly controlled by coordinate cell-intrinsic programs and external signals within the neurogenic niche. In this review, we summarize both classes of regulatory factors involved in distinct stages of adult neurogenesis, including proliferation and…

Volume 20, Issue 4, 01 August 2010, Pp 416-423
Yangling Mu | Star W. Lee | Fred H H. Gage

Dynamics of Active Sensing and perceptual selection

Sensory processing is often regarded as a passive process in which biological receptors like photoreceptors and mechanoreceptors transduce physical energy into a neural code. Recent findings, however, suggest that: first, most sensory processing is active, and largely determined by motor/attentional sampling routines; second, owing to rhythmicity in the motor routine, as well as to its entrainment of ambient rhythms in sensory regions, sensory inflow tends to be rhythmic; third, attentional…

Volume 20, Issue 2, 01 April 2010, Pp 172-176
Charles E. Schroeder | Donald A. Wilson | Thomas Radman | Helen E. Scharfman | Peter Lakatos

Neuronal migration mechanisms in development and disease

Neuronal migration is a fundamental process that determines the final allocation of neurons in the nervous system, establishing the basis for the subsequent wiring of neural circuitry. From cell polarization to target identification, neuronal migration integrates multiple cellular and molecular events that enable neuronal precursors to move across the brain to reach their final destination. In this review we summarize novel findings on the key processes that govern the cell biology of migrating…

Volume 20, Issue 1, 01 February 2010, Pp 68-78
Manuel Valiente | Óscar Marín

Multisensory integration: psychophysics, neurophysiology, and computation

Fundamental observations and principles derived from traditional physiological studies of multisensory integration have been difficult to reconcile with computational and psychophysical studies that share the foundation of probabilistic (Bayesian) inference. We review recent work on multisensory integration, focusing on experiments that bridge single-cell electrophysiology, psychophysics, and computational principles. These studies show that multisensory (visual-vestibular) neurons can account…

Volume 19, Issue 4, 01 August 2009, Pp 452-458
Dora E E. Angelaki | Yong Qiang Gu | Gregory C. DeAngelis

Wnt signaling during synaptic development and plasticity

The formation of synaptic connections requires a dialogue between pre and postsynaptic cells to coordinate the assembly of the presynaptic release machinery and the postsynaptic receptive complexes. Signaling molecules of the Wnt family of proteins are central to this trans-synaptic dialogue. At the neuromuscular junction and central synapses, Wnts promote synaptic assembly by signaling to the developing pre and postsynaptic compartments. In addition, new studies reveal that expression of Wnt…

Volume 21, Issue 1, 01 February 2011, Pp 151-159
Vivian Budnik | Patricia C. Salinas