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Birds Create Meaningful Calls from Phonemes

June 29, 2015

Birds Create Meaningful Calls from Phonemes

Sabrina Engesser, Jodie Crane, James Savage, Andrew Russell and Simon Townsend find that a social species of bird from the Australian outback possesses the basic capacity to generate words, shedding new light on the origins of word generation in our own species.

Image credit: Ron Knight

06/30/2015

research article and synopsis

Learning with the Spinal Cord

Simultaneous neuroimaging of brain and spinal cord by Shahabeddin Vahdat, Ovidiu Lungu, Julien Doyon and co-workers reveals intrinsic plasticity in the spinal cord during motor sequence learning in humans, independent from that of related sensorimotor structures in the brain. Read the Synopsis.

Image credit: doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1002186.g005

Learning with the Spinal Cord

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Current Issue June 2015

06/30/2015

research article and synopsis

Functional Hubs Predict Vulnerability to Brain Damage

Takahiro Osada, Yasushi Miyashita and colleagues use patterns of whole-brain activity while macaques perform a memory retrieval task to show that the task-specific functional hub in the dynamic cortical network predicts the task-specific consequences of brain damage better than a task-invariant structural hub does. Read the Synopsis.

Image credit: doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1002177.g004

Functional Hubs Predict Vulnerability to Brain Damage

07/02/2015

research article and synopsis

P-Bodies and Plant Salt Stress Response

Alexandra Steffens, Martin Hülskamp and co-authors find that during salt stress in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, the BEACH domain-containing protein SPIRRIG plays a role in the localization of transcripts and formation of mRNA granules, thereby regulating mRNA stability. Read the Synopsis.

Image credit: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002188.g009

P-Bodies and Plant Salt Stress Response

06/22/2015

research article and synopsis

The Brain's Response to Depressing Images

By using images to induce negative emotions in human participants, Luke Chang, Tor Wager and colleagues develop and validate a brain signature of emotion that can predict the magnitude and type of negative affective experience in new individuals. Read the accompanying Synopsis.

The Brain's Response to Depressing Images

Image credit: To Freedom, by Flickr user AndreasS

06/23/2015

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The Theory and Practice of a REALLY Long Experiment

Richard Lenski has been running his iconic long-term evolution experiment for over 27 years. In this interview, ecologist Jeremy Fox asks him how and why he does it.

The Theory and Practice of a REALLY Long Experiment

Image credit: Brian Baer, Michigan State University.

06/22/2015

research article and synopsis

Compartmentalized Plasticity of Spine Calcium Dynamics

Friedrich Johenning, Anne-Kathrin Theis, Dietmar Schmitz and colleagues show how ryanodine receptors (a type of intracellular calcium channel) generate a signalling nanodomain within individual dendritic spines, enabling compartmentalized plasticity of calcium dynamics. Read the Synopsis.

Compartmentalized Plasticity of Spine Calcium Dynamics

Image credit: journal.pbio.1002182.g001

06/19/2015

research article

Unraveling the Transmission Ecology of Polio

A study of the epidemiology of historic poliovirus transmission in the US reveals the millions of silent infections and identifies why polio epidemics are explosive, seasonal, and vary geographically.

Unraveling the Transmission Ecology of Polio

Image credit: Art by John Megahan.

06/18/2015

research article and primer

Representations of Value in the Brain

During a risky choice task, the cortex and its striatal targets make overlapping contributions to the choice process. Read the accompanying Primer

Representations of Value in the Brain

Image credit: Karin Odell

06/10/2015

research article

Climate Change Will Shorten the Plant Growing Period

Changes in climatic conditions over the next century will lead to fewer days when plants can grow, in turn affecting biodiversity and people. Read the Synopsis.

Climate Change Will Shorten the Plant Growing Period

Image credit: Arthur Belala, United States Army Corps of Engineers