A recent study published in eLife demonstrated that non-human primates (rhesus monkeys) can play the video game Pac-Man with complex heuristic behavioral strategies. This work was performed by researchers in Dr. YANG Tianming’s Lab at CEBSIT. The authors trained two macaque monkeys to use a joystick to play a semi-controlled version of the video game Pac-Man. The novel experimental paradigm allowed the authors to analyze and model the kinds of heuristic behavioral strategies monkeys use to solve complex problems. The results provide insights into higher cognition functions in non-human primates.
A recent study published in Nature Neuroscience reported the first release of the whole-brain projectome of over 6000 single neurons in mouse prefrontal cortex (PFC), the largest database of whole-brain single-neuron projectome of mouse to date. Through comprehensive analysis, this study identified 64 projectome-defined neuron subtypes in the mouse PFC and their spatial organization, the modularity and hierarchy of intra-PFC connectivity, and the correspondence between transcriptome-defined and projectome-defined neuron subtypes. The study established a comprehensive single-neuron projectome of mouse PFC, systematically studied the internal connectivity and the efferent projection patterns of PFC, and proposed a working model of the PFC, thus providing a structural basis for the neural mechanisms of high-level cognitive functions of the PFC. The study also established the pipeline for future studies of whole-brain mesoscopic projectome in model organisms.
Recently, researchers successfully constructed a crab-eating monkey model with early-onset epileptic encephalopathy through single-base editing technology. The model reproduces the typical clinical features of human patients in aspects of genotype, neuron, brain activity (EEG), behavior, and drug interventions. The establishment of this model also provides new tools for subsequent disease mechanism research, intervention exploration, and drug testing. This research was mainly completed by the SUN Qiang’s Group and the LIU Zhen’s Group at CEBSIT, and the Huang Xingxu Group of ShanghaiTech University.
A recent study published in Cell Reports revealed the single-cell transcriptome characteristics of mouse otic neuronal lineage at three different embryonic stages E9.5, E11.5 and E13.5, and discovered a variety of new genes specific for otic precursor and for inner ear ganglion subtypes. The results of this study provide a new theoretical basis for the treatment of balance and auditory dysfunction caused by abnormal inner ear ganglia. This work was performed by researchers in LIU Zhiyong’s lab at CEBSIT, and the research group of WEI Wu at the Shanghai Institute of Nutrition and Health (SINH), CAS.
A recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrated that a brain region in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) predicts upcoming movements in dynamic sensorimotor control. This work was led by Dr. CUI He at CEBSIT. This work has successfully established a novel behavioral paradigm which is capable of decouple the neural encoding of movement from the encoding of the sensory cue that led to the movement. The result will inspire further studies to discriminate the encoding of different highly correlated yet distinct task/behavioral parameters in sensorimotor control.
A recent study published in Neuroscience Bulletin demonstrated that astrocytic gap junctions facilitate the abnormal neuronal synchrony in young autistic model MeCP2 overexpressing mice, revealing the potential role of the astrocyte network in the pathogenesis of autism. This work was performed by researchers in Dr. XU Hua-tai’s lab at CEBSIT, State Key Laboratory of Neuroscience
A recent study by a team of Chinese researchers about how the brain encodes and stores sequences was published in the Science journal on Feb 11. The study was a collaboration between CEBSIT, the Shanghai Center for Brain Science and Brain-Inspired Technology and Peking University's school of life sciences.The study involved training macaques to memorize spatial sequences. Macaques are most similar to humans in terms of brain structure and functions, and therefore are the best subjects for studying complex cognitive functions, according to the team.
A recent study published in Movement Disorders demonstrated that the truncated spastin may damage the corticospinal tracts in hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) patients via an isoform-specific toxic effect. This work was performed by Dr. LIU Jing-Yu’s lab at ION.The LIU’s lab successfully identified the pathogenic gene SPAST in three hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP, SPG4 subtype) families by linkage analysis and Sanger sequencing. Further functional analyses of the mutant proteins by Western blotting and immunofluorescence showed that the truncated SPASTIN encoded by the mutant SPAST can disturb microtubule dynamics through the isoform-specific effects.
Two recent studies published in The Journal of Neuroscience and National Science Review characterized the coding mechanism of multimodal somatosensations in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1), and revealed the neural mechanism of itch perceptual coding in S1. These studies were performed by researchers in Dr. SUN Yangang’s lab and Dr. XU Ninglong’s lab at CEBSIT. These studies have successfully delineated the cortical coding mechanism of itch in free-moving animals, and has paved the way for a deeper understanding of the processing and integration of multimodal somatosensory information in the cortex.
A recent study published in Cell Reports reveals the evolution and the neural correlates of cooperation. This work was performed by researchers in Dr. WANG Zuoren’s Lab at CEBSIT.
A recent study published in Cell Reports found that, compared with synchronous visual and inner ear vestibular stimuli, macaques discriminated self-motion directions more precisely when visual stimuli appeared about 250-500 ms earlier than vestibular stimuli. This result, although surprising at the first glance, suggests that in natural spatial navigation, the brain typically integrates multiple senses in a temporal-dynamics-incongruent way, i.e., integration of visual velocity and vestibular acceleration. This work was performed by researchers in Dr. GU Yong’s lab.
A recent study published in Cell Reports reveals that direct and indirect pathway striatal neurons exhibit temporally distinct activity patterns and differentially modulate basal ganglia output responses. This work was performed by researchers in Dr. YAO Haishan’s Lab.
A recent study published in Cell Reports demonstrated that the deficiency of PRRT2 facilitates the induction of cerebellar spreading depolarization (SD), which mediates paroxysmal movement disorder. This work was performed by Dr. XIONG Zhiqi’s Lab.
A recent study published in Neuroscience Bulletin demonstrated that autism-related intronic mutation of CHD7 affecting neural development. This work was performed by researchers in Dr. QIU Zilong’s Lab and Dr. CHEN Yuejun’s lab at the Institute of Neuroscience, Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Neuroscience, and Dr. DU Yasong at Shanghai Mental Health Center, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
Combining psychophysics in human subjects, neurophysiological recordings in cats and mathematical modelling, a recent study from Dr. WANG Wei’s lab reveals how stimulus size and the receptive-field structure of subcortical ON- and OFF-cells contributes to the parallel asymmetries between neural and perceptual responses to bright vs. dark afterimages.