Navigation Links
Rhythms in the brain help give a sense of location, study shows
Date:1/10/2013

Research at the University of Edinburgh tracked electrical signals in the part of the brain linked to spatial awareness.

The study could help us understand how, if we know a room, we can go into it with our eyes shut and find our way around. This is closely related to the way we map out how to get from one place to another

Scientists found that brain cells, which code location through increases in electrical activity, do not do so by talking directly to each other. Instead, they can only send each other signals through cells that are known to reduce electrical activity.

This is unexpected as cells that reduce electrical signalling are often thought to simply supress brain activity.

The research also looked at electrical rhythms or waves of brain activity. Previous studies have found that spatial awareness is linked to not only the number and strength of electrical signals but also where on the electrical wave they occur.

The research shows that the indirect communication between nerve cells that are involved in spatial awareness also helps to explain how these electrical waves are generated.

This finding is surprising because its suggests that the same cellular mechanisms allow our brains to work out our location and generate rhythmic waves of activity.

Spatial awareness and the brain's electrical rhythms are known to be affected in conditions such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease, so the scientists' work could help research in these areas.

The study, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Research Council, is published in the journal Neuron. It looked at connections between nerve cells in the brain needed for spatial awareness in mice and then used computer modelling to recreate patterns of neural activity found in the brain.

Matt Nolan, of the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Integrative Physiology, said: "Rhythms in brain activity are very mysterious and the research helps shed some light on this area as well as helping us understand how our brains code spatial information. It is particularly interesting that cells thought to encode location do not signal to each other directly but do so through intermediary cells. This is somewhat like members of a team not talking to each other, but instead sending messages via members of an opposing side."


'/>"/>

Contact: Tara Womersley
44-131-650-9836
University of Edinburgh
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Musical duets lock brains as well as rhythms
2. Brandeis scientists win prestigious prize for circadian rhythms research
3. Circadian rhythms have profound influence on metabolic output, UCI study reveals
4. CHOP and BGI strengthen partnership with agreement on pediatric brain tumor collaboration
5. Big brains are pricey, guppy study shows
6. A new type of nerve cell found in the brain
7. Even the smallest stroke can damage brain tissue and impair cognitive function
8. Countering brain chemical could prevent suicides
9. MicroRNA-218 targets medulloblastoma, most aggressive childhood brain cancer
10. Pan-European organizations call for an advanced understanding of the human brain
11. Does the brain become unglued in autism?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during ... diseases is the primary factor for the growth of ... report: https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4807905/ MARKET INSIGHTS The global ... product, technology, application, and geography. The stem cell market ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... YORK , March 30, 2017 Trends, ... type (physiological and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris ... voice recognition, and others), by end use industry (government ... and immigration, financial and banking, and others), and by ... Europe , Asia Pacific , ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric Vehicle Access ... 15.1% over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 million by ... and forecasts for all the given segments on global as well ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/14/2017)... ... September 14, 2017 , ... Cambridge Semantics , the ... that its Anzo Smart Data Lake has been named a KMWorld Trend-Setting ... that help organizations succeed in surpassing their knowledge management goals. KMWorld searches for ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... ... September 12, 2017 , ... PhysIQ, ... cloud-based platform for ambulatory patient monitoring and clinical trial support, earned DPharm Idol ... conference in Boston. , Launched in 2005, PhysIQ leverages artificial intelligence (AI) ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... CALIF. (PRWEB) , ... September 12, 2017 , ... It ... few months, it has been hot, hot, hot, as Lajollacooks4u has had a record-breaking ... , Guests came from far and wide to celebrate company outings, family get-togethers, ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... VetStem Biopharma, Inc. , announced that a major ... full license to that patent. This patent covers methods for isolating ... this stem cell with matrix materials, and incorporating the stem cells in an implant. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: