Novel computational neuroscience model offers new areas for experimentation
Our ability to understand speech or decide which fruit in the store is freshest depends on the brains dexterity in integrating information over time. The prefrontal cortex, where working memory resides, plays a critical role in helping us make these countless everyday decisions. A novel computational study by Brandeis researchers in this weeks issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences proposes for the first time a neuronal model for the mechanisms underlying a time-related task in this complex decision-making process.
Essentially, the study shows that neurons in the prefrontal cortex fire with greater or lesser intensity to finely control, or inhibit behavior, based on a neuronal feedback signal, or circuit mechanism. Such integral feedback control is probably at work in many regulatory areas of the body, such as temperature control and feelings of satiety to prevent overeating, but this is the first time this mechanism has been suggested as a role of neuronal firing.
Laura Gardner | EurekAlert!
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