Philosophical Transactions A and B are the Royal Society’s Theme Issue journals, publishing collections of papers on emerging, interdisciplinary topics across the sciences. Take a look at the Theme Issues we published in Philosophical Transactions in September. Publications last month covered various aspects of neuroscience, measurement of the gravitational constant, and localized structures in dissipative media.

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Philosophical Transactions B saw a cluster of neuroscience related themes this month.

Complex network theory and the brain
Editors: David Papo, Javier Buldú, Stefano Boccaletti and Edward Bullmore

In the last 10 years there has been a rapid growth in our capacity to quantify the complex topological pattern of brain connectivity, using mathematical tools. Here we bring together articles and reviews from some of the world’s leading experts in contemporary brain network analysis by graph theory. Read an interview with Guest Editor, David Papo, about the issue.



Brain circuitry outside the synaptic cleft
Editors: Dmitri Rusakov and Alexander Dityatev

A growing body of experimental evidence suggests that astroglia (and microglia) play an important part in regulating synaptic networking of the brain. In this issue, research teams including leading experts on astroglia-neuron communication and on ECM signalling report their recent findings, share their views and discuss future conceptual advances in the field.



The principles of goal-directed decision-making: from neural mechanisms to computation and robotics
Editors: Giovanni Pezzulo, Paul Verschure, Christian Balkenius and Cyriel Pennartz

This issue brings together neuroscientists, psychologists, computational modellers, behavioural ecologists and roboticists to present recent results and theoretical insights in the most relevant research directions in the study of goal-directed choice, including its neuronal underpinnings in the brain of humans, monkeys and rodents, its correct functioning and malfunctioning, its underlying computational principles, and its validity in real-world robotic and ecologic settings.

The Newtonian constant of gravitation, a constant too difficult to measure?
Editors: Terry Quinn and Clive Speake

The Newtonian constant is a central part of the equation that determines gravitational attraction, but the spread of measurements for its value is a thousand times larger than that of any other fundamental constant of physics. Why is this? Is there something about gravity that makes it too difficult to measure? The papers in this issue recount the experimental difficulties of such measurements and propose a way of addressing the problems.


Localized structures in dissipative media: from optics to plant ecology
Editors: Mustapha Tlidi, Kestutis Staliunas, Krassimir Panajotov, Andrei Vladimirov and Marcel Clerc

Localised structures – patterned regions surrounded by a homogeneous steady state – appear in appear in various fields of natural science such as biology, chemistry, plant ecology, optics and laser physics. This issue gathers specialists from these diverse fields in order to stimulate cross-fertilisation of ideas and lead to greater understanding of these structures.

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