In our TICS Review in 2004, we proposed that a sector of the right inferior frontal cortex (rIFC) in humans is critical for inhibiting response tendencies. Here we survey new evidence, discuss ongoing controversies, and provide an updated theory. We propose that the rIFC (along with one or more fronto-basal-ganglia networks) is best characterized as a brake. This brake can be turned on in different modes (totally, to outright suppress a response; or partially, to pause), and in different contexts (externally, by stop or salient signals; or internally, by goals). We affirm inhibition as a central component of executive control that relies upon the rIFC and associated networks, and explain why rIFC disruption could generally underpin response control disorders.
Within the first few days of life, humans are colonized by commensal intestinal microbiota. Here, we review recent findings showing that microbiota are important in normal healthy brain function. We also discuss the relation between stress and microbiota, and how alterations in microbiota influence stress-related behaviors. New studies show that bacteria, including commensal, probiotic, and pathogenic bacteria, in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract can activate neural pathways and central nervous system (CNS) signaling systems. Ongoing and future animal and clinical studies aimed at understanding the microbiota-gut-brain axis may provide novel approaches for prevention and treatment of mental illness, including anxiety and depression.
Ferroptosis is a regulated form of cell death driven by loss of activity of the lipid repair enzyme glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) and subsequent accumulation of lipid -based reactive oxygen species (ROS), particularly lipid hydroperoxides. This form of iron -dependent cell death is genetically, biochemically, and morphologically distinct from other cell death modalities, including apoptosis, unregulated necrosis, and necroptosis. Ferroptosis is regulated by specific pathways and is involved in diverse biological contexts. Here we summarize the discovery of ferroptosis, the mechanism of ferroptosis regulation, and its increasingly appreciated relevance to both normal and pathological physiology.
There is growing interest in diffusion models to represent the cognitive and neural processes of speeded decision making. Sequential-sampling models like the diffusion model have a long history in psychology. They view decision making as a process of noisy accumulation of evidence from a stimulus. The standard model assumes that evidence accumulates at a constant rate during the second or two it takes to make a decision. This process can be linked to the behaviors of populations of neurons and to theories of optimality. Diffusion models have been used successfully in a range of cognitive tasks and as psychometric tools in clinical research to examine individual differences. In this review, we relate the models to both earlier and more recent research in psychology.
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is tremendously important for mammalian immunity and cellular homeostasis. The role of TNF as a master regulator in balancing cell survival, apoptosis and necroptosis has been extensively studied in various cell types and tissues. Although these findings have revealed much about the direct impact of TNF on the regulation of NF-kappa B and JNK, there is now rising interest in understanding the emerging function of TNF as a regulator of the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS). In this review we summarize work aimed at defining the role of TNF in the control of ROS/RNS signaling that influences innate immune cells under both physiological and inflammatory conditions.
There has been a dramatic growth in research on biological invasions over the past 20 years, but a mature understanding of the field has been hampered because invasion biologists concerned with different taxa and different environments have largely adopted different model frameworks for the invasion process, resulting in a confusing range of concepts, terms and definitions. In this review, we propose a unified framework for biological invasions that reconciles and integrates the key features of the most commonly used invasion frameworks into a single conceptual model that can be applied to all human-mediated invasions. The unified framework combines previous stage-based and barrier models, and provides a terminology and categorisation for populations at different points in the invasion process.
Meditation can be conceptualized as a family of complex emotional and attentional regulatory training regimes developed for various ends, including the cultivation of well-being and emotional balance. Among these various practices, there are two styles that are commonly studied. One style, focused attention meditation, entails the voluntary focusing of attention on a chosen object. The other style, open monitoring meditation, involves non-reactive monitoring of the content of experience from moment to moment. The potential regulatory functions of these practices on attention and emotion processes could have a long-term impact on the brain and behavior.
Density-dependent processes play a key role in the spatial structuring of biodiversity. Specifically, interrelated demographic processes, such as gene surfing, high-density blocking, and competitive exclusion, can generate striking geographic contrasts in the distributions of genes and species. Here, we propose that well-studied evolutionary and ecological biogeographic patterns of postglacial recolonization, progressive island colonization, microbial sectoring, and even the 'Out of Africa' pattern of human expansion, are fundamentally similar, underpinned by a 'founder takes all' density-dependent principle. Additionally, we hypothesize that older historic constraints of density-dependent processes are seen today in the dramatic biogeographic shifts that occur in response to human-mediated extinction events, whereby surviving lineages rapidly expand their ranges to replace extinct sister taxa.
The permeability barrier imposed by cellular membranes limits the access of exogenous compounds to the interior of cells. Researchers and patients alike would benefit from efficient methods for intracellular delivery of a wide range of membrane-impermeant molecules, including biochemically active small molecules, imaging agents, peptides, peptide nucleic acids, proteins, RNA, DNA, and nanoparticles. There has been a sustained effort to exploit cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) for the delivery of such useful cargoes in vitro and in vivo because of their biocompatibility, ease of synthesis, and controllable physical chemistry. Here, we discuss the many mechanisms by which CPPs can function, and describe a taxonomy of mechanisms that could be help organize future efforts in the field.
The goal of consciousness research is to reveal the neural basis of phenomenal experience. To study phenomenology, experimenters seem obliged to ask reports from the subjects to ascertain what they experience. However, we argue that the requirement of reports has biased the search for the neural correlates of consciousness over the past decades. More recent studies attempt to dissociate neural activity that gives rise to consciousness from the activity that enables the report; in particular, no-report paradigms have been utilized to study conscious experience in the full absence of any report. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of report-based and no-report paradigms, and ask how these jointly bring us closer to understanding the true neural basis of consciousness.