Aging Effects of Neural Processing of Speech in Noise

November 8, 2016

Humans have a remarkable ability to track and understand speech in unfavorable conditions, such as in background noise, but this ability to understand speech in noise deteriorates with age. In this podcast, Editor-in-Chief Bill Yates (University of Pittsburgh), Associate Editor Conny Kopp-Schienpflug (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), and content expert Gregg Recanzone (UC Davis) talk with authors Alessandro Presacco (University of California, Irvine), Jonathan Simon (University of Maryland), and Samira Anderson (University of Maryland) about their investigation into how aging affects midbrain and cortical encoding of speech when presented in quiet and in the presence of a single competing talker. What do the results tells us about the neural mechanisms contributing to impaired speech perception in older adults? Are there pharmacological or other interventions that could help aging-related impairments in speech processing? Listen and find out.

Evidence of degraded representation of speech in noise, in the aging midbrain and cortex
Alessandro Presacco, Jonathan Z. Simon, Samira Anderson
Journal of Neurophysiology, published online August 17, 2016. DOI: 10.1152/jn.00372.2016 .

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The Neural Mechanisms of Decision Making

September 19, 2016

Associate Editors Michele A. Basso (University of California, Los Angeles) and Dan M. Merfeld (Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School) summarize their contributions to our collection of articles on the neural mechanisms related to decision making and discuss the breadth and significance of the topics covered in the collection.

Read our collection of articles on the neural mechanisms of decision making.

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Development of Inhibitory Transmission in Central Circuits

September 1, 2016

Central vagal neurons receive both glycinergic and GABAergic inhibitory inputs at early postnatal timepoints, but adult vagal efferent motoneurons receive only inhibitory GABAergic synaptic inputs. This surely points to the loss of glycinergic inhibitory neurotransmission during postnatal development. But when exactly? Given the prominent role that GABAergic synaptic inputs play in regulating the excitability of vagal efferent motoneurons, this is an important question when considering the potential for developmental dysregulation of inhibitory synapse maturation. In this podcast, Editor-in-Chief Bill Yates (University of Pittsburgh) and content expert David Mendelowitz (George Washington University) talk with authors Caitlin Alannah McMenamin and Kirsteen Browning, both from Penn State College of Medicine, about their efforts to determine the critical timepoints and contributions of GABAergic versus glycinergic transmission to neurons of the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV). Is this developmental transition from glycinergic to GABAergic neurotransmission unique to DMV neurons? What might the clinical significance of this change in inhibitory neurotransmission be? Listen and find out.

Developmental regulation of inhibitory synaptic currents in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus in the rat
Caitlin Alannah McMenamin, Laura Anselmi, R. Alberto Travagli, Kirsteen N. Browning
Journal of Neurophysiology, published online July 20, 2016. DOI: 10.1152/jn.00249.2016 .

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What’s New at the Journal of Neurophysiology?

July 18, 2016

The monthly newsletters for the Journal of Neurophysiology are a great way to discover our latest initiatives and features. You can also find out about upcoming events and meetings. In this podcast, Editor-in-Chief, Bill Yates, discusses some of the newest initiatives of the Journal and highlights some of the more popular topics from past newsletters.

Read the July 2016 newsletter.

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Integration of Transplanted Interneurons

July 14, 2016

Transplanted interneurons have potential therapeutic value for treating a variety of neurological disorders, including epilepsy. Yet, a better understanding of how new interneurons integrate into native neural networks is needed to uncover the therapeutic mechanisms behind interneuron-based cell therapy. Seeking to clarify how transplanted interneurons integrate into the neural circuitry of the recipient brain, Scott Baraban and MacKenzie Howard, both from the University of California, San Francisco, measured excitatory synaptic inputs, intrinsic properties, and inhibitory synaptic outputs of fluorescently labeled interneurons derived from embryonic medial ganglionic eminence progenitor cells that had been transplanted into the brains of recipient mice. Listen as Editor-in-Chief Bill Yates (University of Pittsburgh), content expert Steven Roper (University of Florida), and author MacKenzie Howard discuss the background and intriguing aspects of this work as well as its translational goals.

Synaptic integration of transplanted interneuron progenitor cells into native cortical networks
MacKenzie Allen Howard, Scott C. Baraban
Journal of Neurophysiology, published online May 25, 2016. DOI: 10.1152/jn.00321.2016 .

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Another Look at the Neurophysiology of Tactile Perception

June 27, 2016

"This special issue is a testament to the vibrancy of the field that Steve played a major role in shaping."

Listen as Sliman Bensmaia (University of Chicago) recollects working with Steve Hsiao, summarizes his contribution to our collection of articles on the neurophysiology of tactile perception, and discusses the breadth of the somatosensory research represented in the collection.

Read our collection of articles on the neurophysiology of tactile perception.

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Divergence of Retinal Information to the Brain

June 23, 2016

The mammalian retina conveys the vast majority of information about visual stimuli to two brain regions: the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus and the superior colliculus. However, the degree to which retinal ganglion cells send similar or distinct information to these two areas remains unclear. To resolve this ambiguity, Erika Ellis and colleagues used retrograde-labeling techniques to study retinal ganglion cells labeled from the lateral geniculate nucleus, the superior colliculus, or both. In this podcast, Editor-in-Chief Bill Yates (University of Pittsburgh), and content experts Greg Schwartz (Northwestern University) and Samuel Solomon (University College London) join authors Erika Ellis (Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami) and Gabe Murphy (Allen Institute for Brain Science) in an engaging discussion about strategies to retrogradely label cells in an unbiased, robust, and specific way and several functional differences in the populations of retinal ganglion cells labeled from the two major retinorecipient brains areas. What do these results tell us about the flow of visual information between these areas, and what could these results tells us about human vision in health or disease? Listen and find out.

Shared and distinct retinal input to the mouse superior colliculus and dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus
Erika M. Ellis, Gregory Gauvain, Benjamin Sivyer, Gabe J. Murphy
Journal of Neurophysiology, published online May 11, 2016. DOI: 10.1152/jn.00227.2016.

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Effects of Aging on Amplitude-Modulated Encoding in Primary Auditory Cortex

June 3, 2016

Temporal envelope processing is critical for speech comprehension, which is known to be affected by normal aging. While the macaque is an excellent animal model for human cerebral cortical function, few studies have investigated neural processing in the auditory cortex of aged non-human primates. In this podcast, Editor-in-Chief Bill Yates (University of Pittsburgh), Associate Editor Conny Kopp-Scheinpflug (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), content expert Robert Frisina (University of South Florida) join lead author Jacqueline Overton (UC Davis Center for Neuroscience) in an engaging discussion about age-related changes in the spiking activity of neurons in primary auditory cortex of aged macaque monkeys. What is the role and importance of rate and temporal codes in representing dynamic auditory stimuli? Listen and find out.

Effects of aging on the response of single neurons to amplitude-modulated noise in primary auditory cortex of rhesus macaque
Jacqueline A. Overton, Gregg H. Recanzone
Journal of Neurophysiology, published June 3, 2016. DOI: 10.1152/jn.01098.2015.

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Neurophysiology of Tactile Perception

June 1, 2016

Listen as Jeff Yau (Baylor College of Medicine) describes his experience working with Steve Hsiao at Johns Hopkins University, summarizes his contribution to our collection of articles on the neurophysiology of tactile perception, and discusses the value of this collection for those involved in somatosensory research.

Read our collection of articles on the neurophysiology of tactile perception.

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Visual Ecology and Potassium Conductances of Insect Photoreceptors

May 25, 2016

Important insights into neurobiology are gained through comparisons of neural systems and processes across species. By understanding the differences between the nervous systems of animals in relation to their behavior and environmental challenges, we can ascertain how the nervous system integrates information and generates motor responses. In this podcast, Editor-in-Chief Bill Yates (University of Pittsburgh) and Associate Editor Patsy Dickinson (Bowdoin College) join lead author Roman Frolov (University of Oulu) in an enlightening discussion on the visual ecology and potassium conductances of photoreceptors in 15 species of various orders of insects characterized by highly variable lifestyles. What can the combination of electrophysiology and visual ecology tells us about Kv channel selection in insects? Listen and find out.

Visual ecology and potassium conductances of insect photoreceptors
Roman Frolov, Esa-Ville Immonen, Matti Weckström
Journal of Neurophysiology, published April 1, 2016. DOI: 10.1152/jn.00795.2015.

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