The Cerebellum Stores Data Like an MP3 Music File

Information from sensory organs, such as the eyes or the ears, is passed from nerve cell to nerve cell in the form of electrical impulses. These impulses can have very different repetition rates, occurring between one and one thousand times per second.

At the end of their path, they eventually reach the granule cells in the cerebellum, where particular information is stored. Until now, scientists had assumed that granule cells are a uniform population of neurons that handle these different signals in the same way.

Dr Isabelle Straub from the Carl Ludwig Institute for Physiology investigated the electrical properties of cerebellar granule cells in mice. She discovered that the cells have different properties, enabling them to store more information. Granule cells can detect and transmit electrical impulses with specific frequencies.

“Granule cells function rather like a sieve. They filter out specific information according to frequency,” said Straub. The ability to decompose signals based on their repetition rate is similar to the Fourier transform – the transformation used in the digital compression of music files into MP3s.

The MP3 method makes it possible to store music as a greatly reduced amount of data. And indeed, computer simulations by Straub and her colleagues show that neural circuits with different granule cells have an increased storage capacity.

These latest research findings will help scientists to better understand how our brain processes and stores temporal information.

In a further step, the scientists can now investigate whether the possibility of separating incoming electrical impulses according to frequency, and thus increasing the storage capacity, can also be applied by other regions of the brain.

The Carl Ludwig Institute for Physiology at Leipzig University’s Faculty of Medicine is researching the basic functions of the nervous system.

In particular, its scientists are investigating how nerve cells communicate with each other, the changes that occur during learning, and brain energy metabolism.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Hallermann
T: 0341/9715500

Gradients in the mammalian cerebellar cortex enable Fourier-like transformation and improve storing capacity

Media Contact

Peggy Darius Universität Leipzig

Weitere Informationen:

Alle Nachrichten aus der Kategorie: Life Sciences

Articles and reports from the Life Sciences area deal with applied and basic research into modern biology, chemistry and human medicine.

Valuable information can be found on a range of life sciences fields including bacteriology, biochemistry, bionics, bioinformatics, biophysics, biotechnology, genetics, geobotany, human biology, marine biology, microbiology, molecular biology, cellular biology, zoology, bioinorganic chemistry, microchemistry and environmental chemistry.

Zurück zur Startseite

Kommentare (0)

Schreib Kommentar

Neueste Beiträge

Is it one or two species?

The case of the cluster anemones If you dive in the Mediterranean Sea, the cluster anemone is among the most fascinating and magnificent corals you could see. You can find…

In a field where smaller is better, researchers discover the world’s tiniest antibodies

Researchers at the University of Bath in the UK and biopharma company UCB have found a way to produce miniaturised antibodies, opening the way for a potential new class of treatments for…

Researchers create artificial lung to support pre-term babies in distress

An international team led by current and former McMaster University researchers has developed an artificial lung to support pre-term and other newborn babies in respiratory distress. The group has proven…

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.