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      Multiple signalling modalities mediated by dendritic exocytosis of oxytocin and vasopressin

      1 , 2

      Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

      The Royal Society

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          Synaptic computation.

          Neurons are often considered to be the computational engines of the brain, with synapses acting solely as conveyers of information. But the diverse types of synaptic plasticity and the range of timescales over which they operate suggest that synapses have a more active role in information processing. Long-term changes in the transmission properties of synapses provide a physiological substrate for learning and memory, whereas short-term changes support a variety of computations. By expressing several forms of synaptic plasticity, a single neuron can convey an array of different signals to the neural circuit in which it operates.
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            The challenge of translation in social neuroscience: a review of oxytocin, vasopressin, and affiliative behavior.

             Thomas Insel (2010)
            Social neuroscience is rapidly exploring the complex territory between perception and action where recognition, value, and meaning are instantiated. This review follows the trail of research on oxytocin and vasopressin as an exemplar of one path for exploring the "dark matter" of social neuroscience. Studies across vertebrate species suggest that these neuropeptides are important for social cognition, with gender- and steroid-dependent effects. Comparative research in voles yields a model based on interspecies and intraspecies variation of the geography of oxytocin receptors and vasopressin V1a receptors in the forebrain. Highly affiliative species have receptors in brain circuits related to reward or reinforcement. The neuroanatomical distribution of these receptors may be guided by variations in the regulatory regions of their respective genes. This review describes the promises and problems of extrapolating these findings to human social cognition, with specific reference to the social deficits of autism. (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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              The actin cytoskeleton: integrating form and function at the synapse.

              Synapses are highly specialized intercellular junctions that mediate the transmission of information between axons and target cells. A fundamental property of synapses is their ability to modify the efficacy of synaptic communication through various forms of synaptic plasticity. Recent developments in imaging techniques have revealed that synapses exhibit a high degree of morphological plasticity under basal conditions and also in response to neuronal activity that induces alterations in synaptic strength. The underlying molecular basis for this morphological plasticity has attracted much attention, yet its functional significance to the mechanisms of synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity remains elusive. These morphological changes ultimately require the dynamic actin cytoskeleton, which is the major structural component of synapses. Delineating the physiological roles of the actin cytoskeleton in supporting synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity, therefore, paves the way for gaining molecular insights into when and how synaptic machineries couple synapse form and function.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
                Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B
                The Royal Society
                0962-8436
                1471-2970
                July 05 2015
                July 05 2015
                July 05 2015
                July 05 2015
                : 370
                : 1672
                : 20140182
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Centre for Integrative Physiology, University of Edinburgh, George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9XD, UK
                [2 ]Department of Physiology, Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, GA, USA
                Article
                10.1098/rstb.2014.0182
                © 2015

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