New evidence in animals suggests that theories about how the brain processes sight, sound and touch may need updating. Researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and colleagues report their findings in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Using electrodes smaller than a human hair, researchers from Wake Forest Baptist and the University of California at San Francisco recorded individual cell activity in the brains of 31 adult rats. Their goal was to test two conflicting ideas about brain organization.
"One theory is that individual senses have separate areas of the brain dedicated to them," said Mark Wallace, Ph.D., the studys lead investigator. "In this view, information is processed initially on a sense-by-sense basis and doesnt come together until much later. However, this view has recently been challenged by studies showing that processing in the visual area of the brain, for example, can be influenced by hearing and touch."
Robert Conn | EurekAlert!
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