What to Expect

In this volume of Vanderbilt Reviews Neuroscience, the qualifying class of 2009 reviews the literature on topics from the molecular underpinnings of schizophrenia to a characterization of GABAA receptors; from the use of C. elegans as a model system for psychoactive drugs to the use of crocodilians in the study of mechanoreception. For its second volume ever, VRN 2010 stands to be just as strong an issue as last year, and demonstrate the breadth and depth of the Graduate Program as it spans the molecular to the mind.

As can be expected from a strong program, many high-impact papers were published in late 2009 and early 2010. These are highlighted by our exceptional team of writers in the popular “Research Highlights” section. For the second year in a row, Cohen et al. offered an exceptional study in which the team of researchers compared the efficacy of EEG to other, more invasive electrophysiological techniques (p. 5); Treadway et al. demonstrated a role for motivation in rewarding tasks (p. 9); Wu et al. published a study in Nature Neuroscience which identified a group of glial cell precursors that serve as developmental trash-collectors through the expression of two receptors (p. 7).

Neurotoxicity was a big topic at Vanderbilt University this past year, as was the ever-popular dopamine. Williams et al. demonstrated that mutant huntingtin, the notorious protein responsible for Huntington’s Disease, may actually provide a neuroprotective effect against manganese toxicity (p. 8). In the same vein, Stanwood et al. showed that manganese exposure may change the cytoarchitecture of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra, possibly contributing to Parkinsonian symptoms (p. 8). On the systems side, multisensory integration was big (p. 6), as was novelty, detection and recognition (pp. 7-8).

Peruse this volume at your leisure. The Contents (p. 1) should be clear and easy to follow. As always, feel free to contact us with suggestions; we’re always up for making this journal better…

C. M. Ciarleglio
C. A. Doll
M. Eapen