In addition to these parameters—to date mainly explored for the more homogenous population of glutamatergic Cell Cycle inhibitor synapses—one might wonder if the enormous diversity of inhibitory neurons (Klausberger and Somogyi, 2008), and hence their tuning capability for neuronal networks, is reflected in the molecular composition of their synapses. How strongly is the diversity in firing properties of different interneurons mirrored by postsynaptic parameters?
The determination of the density of scaffolds and anchored receptors can provide important information about these issues. Receptor occupation rates can tune the amplitudes of evoked currents and hence profoundly influence the impact of a given synapse on the network (Barberis et al., 2011). The quantitative imaging approach reported by Specht et al. (2013) when combined with state of the art electrophysiology VX-770 price and appropriate pharmacology
will allow scientists to explore exact numbers of molecules and to monitor stochastic as well as plasticity-related processes at individual synapses of different types. To achieve this, two experimental obstacles need to be overcome: the temporal resolution has to be improved for counting large amounts of molecules in the range of seconds and below, and the application of single-molecule science microscopy needs to become applicable to living brain tissue (i.e., cultured or acute brain slices). Solving these technical issues will enable investigators to quantitatively monitor multiple synapses, both excitatory and inhibitory, in parallel and interdependently and to understand their role in functional networks. Recently designed Human Brain Mapping Initiatives will develop a high demand for this type of
quantitative information. “
“The dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), spanning the cingulate gyrus and sulcus from the plane of the anterior commissure to the genu of the corpus callosum (Figure 1), is one of the most heavily studied regions of the brain and yet remains one of the least clearly understood. Although there has recently been an explosion of research on the role of dACC in cognition and behavior, this has led to a proliferation of diverging theories concerning its function. The dACC has been proposed to play a key role in pain processing, performance monitoring, value encoding, decision making, emotion, learning, and motivation. A precise and coherent account of dACC function seems as elusive now as it did in the earliest days of theory development. Two opposing tendencies appear to have slowed progress toward an integrated understanding of dACC function.