University of California, San Diego neurobiologists have uncovered evidence that sheds light on the long-standing mystery of how the brain makes sense of the information contained in electrical impulses sent to it by millions of neurons from the body.
Image shows individual specialized brain neurons in different colors with brain slice in the background
Photo credit: Massimo Scanziani and Frédéric Pouille, UCSD
In a paper published this week in the early on-line version of the journal Nature, a UCSD team led by Massimo Scanziani explains how neurons, or nerve cells, in the brain sort out information before deciding how to respond. The paper will appear in a forthcoming print issue of Nature.
Light, sound and odors, for example, are transformed by our sensory organs into a code made of series of electrical impulses that travel along neurons from the body to the brain. Information about the onset and the intensity of a stimulus is thought to be sent to the brain by the timing and frequency of these electrical impulses. How information is sorted by the brain has been an open question. The group discovered that different neurons in the brain are dedicated to respond to specific portions of the information.
Sherry Seethaler | UCSD
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