Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Nature Reviews Neuroscience Research Highlights

Last month I posted a pretty harsh commentary on a mirror neuron-related Research Highlight piece in Nature Reviews Neuroscience. These Highlights pieces are written by the Editors of NRN, and are quite good, which is why I've taken to reading them ever since my free subscription started after our NRN paper appeared. Just in case the nice folks at NRN read my comment on their piece, let me clarify -- for fear they will never consider one of my papers again! :-) -- that the Highlights piece in fact accurately described the original article's position on the role of mirror neurons in complex social behaviors. In other words, the over-interpretation of the mirror-neuron data that was summarized in the NRN piece was not the editor's interpretation but the paper authors' interpretation. By the way, one of the editors at NRN is Katherine Whalley, who worked with us on our paper. She was fantastic to work with. Her editorial comments and suggestions were right on, and really helped pull the paper into shape. I wish she could help tune all of my papers!

This month's Research Highlights section has some interesting tidbits including pieces on the physiological basis of TMS (Allen et al. 2007, Science, 317:1918-21), the demonstration of resting-state neural networks in infants (Fransson, et al. 2007, PNAS, 104:15531-6), and what looks to be a very interesting computational study (Roudi & Latham 2007, PloS Comput. Biol. 3: e141) showing that the number of memories that can be stored in a neural network is smaller than previously thought. This implies that multiple networks must be employed by the brain to store large amounts of information. There's also a new review paper in the current issue by Larry Squire, John Wixted, and Robert Clark arguing that recollection and familiarity are not anatomically separated in the medial temporal lobe. Check it out!

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