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Neurons, Circuits and Behavior

Neurons, Circuits and Behavior

Edited by:   Dr. Brian Ackley, University of Kansas, USA
                  Dr. Ho Ko, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China
                  Dr. Louis-Jan Pilaz, Sanford Health, USA


With the current fast-paced advances in understanding the fundamental molecular and cellular constituents of neural systems, and the way they functionally interact to generate diverse and complex behaviors, an integrated view of Neuroscience at all levels becomes paramount. BMC Biology aimed to acknowledge and support the continued growth in this field of research with the ‘Neurons, Circuits and Behavior’ Collection, guest edited by Dr. Brian Ackley, Dr. Ho Ko, and Dr. Louis-Jan Pilaz.

The Collection aimed to cover a broad range of subject areas including:

  • Molecular and Cell Biology of Neurons and Glia
  • Physiology of Synapses and Neurons
  • Development, Plasticity and Repair
  • Learning and Memory
  • Sensorimotor Behavior
  • Circuits and Systems Neuroscience
  • Behavior and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Computational Neuroscience
  • Genetics and Neurobiology of Disease
  • Animal Models
  • Imaging and Tool Development
  • Neural Engineering

Our Guest Editors: 

Brian Ackley

Brian_Ackley_OPT(1)Dr. Ackley received a BA in Chemistry from Virginia Tech and a PhD from Northwestern University. He has been a University of Kansas faculty member since 2007. The lab studies the fundamental mechanisms that facilitate neuronal development using C. elegans as a model system. Work from the lab has demonstrated novel roles for cell adhesion molecules and calcium channels in synaptic development. Recent work has also focused on the differentiation of individual GABAergic motorneurons by a Wnt signaling pathway and Hox transcription factors.

Ho Ko


Dr. Ko holds a Bachelor of Medical Sciences (BMedSc), Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor Surgery (MBChB) from the Chinese University in Hong Kong. He pursued a PhD in neuroscience at University College London in the UK. Ho Ko is a principal investigator at the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, and the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His team’s research focuses on (i) the principles by which neural circuits mediate sensory perception and behavior, (ii) neurovascular and glial dysfunction in neurodegeneration, and (iii) the development of neuroimaging tools.

Louis-Jan Pilaz

Pilaz1Dr. Pilaz received a BA in Cognitive Sciences from University Lumiere and a PhD in Molecular Biology from University Claude Bernard in Lyon, France. After postdoctoral fellowships at Johns Hopkins University and Duke University, he started his own lab in the Pediatrics and Rare Diseases Group at Sanford Research in Sioux Falls, SD. The Pilaz lab uses the mouse model to study the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders caused by defects in embryonic cortical development. Current projects focus on (i) the regulation of neural stem cell proliferation (ii) neuronal migration and (iii) the maintenance and survival of neurons.

  1. To survive and thrive, many animals, including humans, have evolved goal-directed behaviors that can respond to specific physiological needs. An example is thirst, where the physiological need to maintain wate...

    Authors: Li-Ming Hsu, Jen-Tsung Yang, Xuyun Wen, Xia Liang, Leng-Chieh Lin, Yen-Chu Huang and Yuan-Hsiung Tsai
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:255
  2. Sequential effects of environmental stimuli are ubiquitous in most behavioral tasks involving magnitude estimation, memory, decision making, and emotion. The human visual system exploits continuity in the visu...

    Authors: Jongmin Moon and Oh-Sang Kwon
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:247

    The Correction to this article has been published in BMC Biology 2022 20:271

  3. Feature-based attention prioritizes the processing of the attended feature while strongly suppressing the processing of nearby ones. This creates a non-linearity or “attentional suppressive surround” predicted...

    Authors: Sang-Ah Yoo, Julio C. Martinez-Trujillo, Stefan Treue, John K. Tsotsos and Mazyar Fallah
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:220
  4. Perineuronal nets (PNNs) are specialized extracellular matrix structures mainly found around fast-spiking parvalbumin (FS-PV) interneurons. In the adult, their degradation alters FS-PV-driven functions, such a...

    Authors: Matthieu Lépine, Sara Douceau, Gabrielle Devienne, Paul Prunotto, Sophie Lenoir, Caroline Regnauld, Elsa Pouettre, Juliette Piquet, Laurent Lebouvier, Yannick Hommet, Eric Maubert, Véronique Agin, Bertrand Lambolez, Bruno Cauli, Carine Ali and Denis Vivien
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:218
  5. Drosophila melanogaster lipophorin receptors (LpRs), LpR1 and LpR2, are members of the LDLR family known to mediate lipid uptake in a range of organisms from Drosophila to humans. The vertebrate orthologs of LpRs...

    Authors: Francisca Rojo-Cortés, Nicolás Fuenzalida-Uribe, Victoria Tapia-Valladares, Candy B. Roa, Sergio Hidalgo, María-Constanza González-Ramírez, Carlos Oliva, Jorge M. Campusano and María-Paz Marzolo
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:198
  6. Neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia (SZ) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are common, multi-factorial and multi-symptomatic disorders. Ample evidence implicates oxidative stress, deficient rep...

    Authors: Flavia S. Mueller, René Amport, Tina Notter, Sina M. Schalbetter, Han-Yu Lin, Zuzana Garajova, Parisa Amini, Ulrike Weber-Stadlbauer and Enni Markkanen
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:170
  7. In a broad variety of species, muscle contraction is controlled at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), the peripheral synapse composed of a motor nerve terminal, a muscle specialization, and non-myelinating term...

    Authors: Francisca Bermedo-García, Diego Zelada, Esperanza Martínez, Lucía Tabares and Juan Pablo Henríquez
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:158
  8. Current understanding of the molecular basis of memory consolidation points to an important function of amyloid formation by neuronal-specific isoforms of the cytoplasmic polyadenylation element binding (CPEB)...

    Authors: D. Ramírez de Mingo, D. Pantoja-Uceda, R. Hervás, M. Carrión-Vázquez and D. V. Laurents
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:129
  9. Oligodendrocytes are glial cells that support and insulate axons in the central nervous system through the production of myelin. Oligodendrocytes arise throughout embryonic and early postnatal development from...

    Authors: Markus M. Hilscher, Christoffer Mattsson Langseth, Petra Kukanja, Chika Yokota, Mats Nilsson and Gonçalo Castelo-Branco
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:122
  10. Activated Cdk5 regulates a number of processes during nervous system formation, including neuronal differentiation, growth cone stabilization, and axonal growth. Cdk5 phosphorylates its downstream substrates l...

    Authors: Doo Soon Im, Alvin Joselin, Devon Svoboda, Tesuya Takano, Maxime W. C. Rousseaux, Steve Callaghan, Ruth S. Slack, Shin-ichi Hisanaga, Roger J. Davis, David S. Park and Dianbo Qu
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:115
  11. Cannabinoids and their derivatives attract strong interest due to the tremendous potential of their psychoactive effects for treating psychiatric disorders and symptoms. However, their clinical application is ...

    Authors: Meilin Wu, Yuanyuan Di, Zhijun Diao, Chuanting Yan, Qiangqiang Cheng, Huan Huang, Yingxun Liu, Chunling Wei, Qiaohua Zheng, Juan Fan, Jing Han, Zhiqiang Liu, Yingfang Tian, Haijun Duan, Wei Ren and Zongpeng Sun
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:108
  12. In both Drosophila and mammals, the achaete-scute (ASC/ASCL) proneural bHLH transcription factors are expressed in the developing central and peripheral nervous systems, where they function during specificatio...

    Authors: Vasiliki Theodorou, Aikaterini Stefanaki, Minas Drakos, Dafne Triantafyllou and Christos Delidakis
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:107
  13. The dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) is a region known to integrate somatosensory and auditory inputs and is identified as a potential key structure in the generation of phantom sound perception, especially noise...

    Authors: Thawann Malfatti, Barbara Ciralli, Markus M. Hilscher, Richardson N. Leao and Katarina E. Leao
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:102
  14. The structural connectivity of neurons in the brain allows active neurons to impact the physiology of target neuron types with which they are functionally connected. While the structural connectome is at the b...

    Authors: Mahdi Zarei, Dan Xie, Fei Jiang, Adil Bagirov, Bo Huang, Ashish Raj, Srikantan Nagarajan and Su Guo
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:84
  15. Tissue-clearing techniques have recently been developed to make tissues transparent for three-dimensional (3D) imaging at different scales, including single-cell resolution. However, current tissue-clearing wo...

    Authors: Qing-Hong Shan, Xin-Ya Qin, Nan Zhou, Chuan Huang, Yu Wang, Peng Chen and Jiang-Ning Zhou
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:77
  16. Despite recent progress in understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating aging and lifespan, and the pathways involved being conserved in different species, a full understanding of the aging process has no...

    Authors: Yizhou Jiang, Uma Gaur, Zhibai Cao, Sheng-Tao Hou and Wenhua Zheng
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:71
  17. To localize sound sources accurately in a reverberant environment, human binaural hearing strongly favors analyzing the initial wave front of sounds. Behavioral studies of this “precedence effect” have so far ...

    Authors: Kongyan Li, Ryszard Auksztulewicz, Chloe H. K. Chan, Ambika Prasad Mishra and Jan W. H. Schnupp
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:48
  18. The functional understanding of genetic interaction networks and cellular mechanisms governing health and disease requires the dissection, and multifaceted study, of discrete cell subtypes in developing and ad...

    Authors: Savannah J. Lusk, Andrew McKinney, Patrick J. Hunt, Paul G. Fahey, Jay Patel, Andersen Chang, Jenny J. Sun, Vena K. Martinez, Ping Jun Zhu, Jeremy R. Egbert, Genevera Allen, Xiaolong Jiang, Benjamin R. Arenkiel, Andreas S. Tolias, Mauro Costa-Mattioli and Russell S. Ray
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:28
  19. A continued effort in neuroscience aims to understand the way brain circuits consisting of diverse neuronal types generate complex behavior following sensory input. A common feature of vertebrate visual system...

    Authors: Alexander L. Tesmer, Nicholas P. Fields and Estuardo Robles
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:24
  20. Cellular prion protein (PrPC) is a cell surface GPI-anchored protein, usually known for its role in the pathogenesis of human and animal prionopathies. However, increasing knowledge about the participation of PrP

    Authors: A. Matamoros-Angles, A. Hervera, J. Soriano, E. Martí, P. Carulla, F. Llorens, M. Nuvolone, A. Aguzzi, I. Ferrer, A. Gruart, J. M. Delgado-García and J. A. Del Río
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:17
  21. The establishment and maintenance of functional neural connections relies on appropriate distribution and localization of mitochondria in neurites, as these organelles provide essential energy and metabolites....

    Authors: Soyeon Lee, Dongkeun Park, Chunghun Lim, Jae-Ick Kim and Kyung-Tai Min
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:12
  22. Rett syndrome (RTT) is a monogenic X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by loss-of-function mutations in the MECP2 gene, which lead to structural and functional changes in synapse communication, ...

    Authors: Clara Alice Musi, Anna Maria Castaldo, Anna Elisa Valsecchi, Sara Cimini, Noemi Morello, Riccardo Pizzo, Alessandra Renieri, Ilaria Meloni, Maurizio Bonati, Maurizio Giustetto and Tiziana Borsello
    Citation: BMC Biology 2021 19:256
  23. Although electrical stimulation of the peripheral and central nervous systems has attracted much attention owing to its potential therapeutic effects on neuropsychiatric diseases, its non-cell-type-specific ac...

    Authors: Yi Cao, Suwan Pan, Mengying Yan, Chongyang Sun, Jianyu Huang, Cheng Zhong, Liping Wang and Lu Yi
    Citation: BMC Biology 2021 19:252
  24. Dopamine (DA) is a neurotransmitter that plays roles in movement, cognition, attention, and reward responses, and deficient DA signaling is associated with the progression of a number of neurological diseases,...

    Authors: Guiran Xiao, Mengran Zhao, Zhihua Liu, Fan Du and Bing Zhou
    Citation: BMC Biology 2021 19:236
  25. Female reproductive behaviors and physiology change profoundly after mating. The control of pregnancy-associated changes in physiology and behaviors are largely hard-wired into the brain to guarantee reproduct...

    Authors: Mohanakarthik P. Nallasivan, Irmgard U. Haussmann, Alberto Civetta and Matthias Soller
    Citation: BMC Biology 2021 19:226
  26. Niemann-Pick disease, type C (NPC) is a childhood-onset, lethal, neurodegenerative disorder caused by autosomal recessive mutations in the genes NPC1 or NPC2 and characterized by impaired cholesterol homeostasis,...

    Authors: Anika V. Prabhu, Insung Kang, Raffaella De Pace, Christopher A. Wassif, Hideji Fujiwara, Pamela Kell, Xuntian Jiang, Daniel S. Ory, Juan S. Bonifacino, Michael E. Ward and Forbes D. Porter
    Citation: BMC Biology 2021 19:218
  27. Maturation is a process that allows synapses to acquire full functionality, optimizing their activity to diverse neural circuits, and defects in synaptic maturation may contribute to neurodevelopmental disorde...

    Authors: Andonia Petkova-Tuffy, Nina Gödecke, Julio Viotti, Martin Korte and Thomas Dresbach
    Citation: BMC Biology 2021 19:215
  28. Optogenetics allows the experimental manipulation of excitable cells by a light stimulus without the need for technically challenging and invasive procedures. The high degree of spatial, temporal, and intensit...

    Authors: M. Koopman, L. Janssen and E. A. A. Nollen
    Citation: BMC Biology 2021 19:170

    The Publisher Correction to this article has been published in BMC Biology 2021 19:216

  29. Copy number variants (CNVs) linked to genes involved in nervous system development or function are often associated with neuropsychiatric disease. While CNVs involving deletions generally cause severe and high...

    Authors: Kesavan Meganathan, Ramachandran Prakasam, Dustin Baldridge, Paul Gontarz, Bo Zhang, Fumihiko Urano, Azad Bonni, Susan E. Maloney, Tychele N. Turner, James E. Huettner, John N. Constantino and Kristen L. Kroll
    Citation: BMC Biology 2021 19:147
  30. Left-right asymmetries are a common feature of metazoans and can be found in a number of organs including the nervous system. These asymmetries are particularly pronounced in the simple central nervous system ...

    Authors: Matthew J. Kourakis, Michaela Bostwick, Amanda Zabriskie and William C. Smith
    Citation: BMC Biology 2021 19:141
  31. For many animals, chemosensory cues are vital for social and defensive interactions and are primarily detected and processed by the vomeronasal system (VNS). These cues are often inherently associated with eth...

    Authors: Rohini Bansal, Maximilian Nagel, Romana Stopkova, Yizhak Sofer, Tali Kimchi, Pavel Stopka, Marc Spehr and Yoram Ben-Shaul
    Citation: BMC Biology 2021 19:133
  32. Sensorimotor gating is a fundamental pre-attentive process that is defined as the inhibition of a motor response by a sensory event. Sensorimotor gating, commonly measured using the prepulse inhibition (PPI) o...

    Authors: Jose Carlos Cano, Wanyun Huang and Karine Fénelon
    Citation: BMC Biology 2021 19:116