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Brain waves encode information as time signals
Date:12/16/2013

encies of oscillations, with excitation from the entorhinal cortex generating theta oscillations and inhibition by local dentate gyrus interneurons generating gamma oscillations. Together, excitation and inhibition provide the rhythmic signals of oscillations. It has been speculated that oscillations may help the dentate gyrus to encode information by acting as reference signals in temporal coding. Perna-Andrade and Jonas now show that granule cell neurons send signals only at specific times in the cycle of oscillations. This so-called "phase locking" is necessary if oscillations are to function as reference signals in temporal coding.

The precise, high-resolution recording from granule cells necessary for these discoveries was possible only through technological innovations by Perna-Andrade and Jonas, as previously no equipment was available to record synaptic signals in active rats in such high resolution. They are the result of a collaboration with the Miba machine shop, IST Austria's electrical and mechanical SSU (Scientific Service Unit). Adapting commercially available equipment and custom-designing tools, Perna-Andrade, Jonas and Todor Asenov, manager of the Miba machine shop, produced the first tools for precise biophysical analysis in active rats. This research is therefore not only a scientific advance but also represents a significant technological and conceptual progress in the quest to understand neuronal behavior under natural conditions.


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Contact: Oliver Lehmann
oliver.lehmann@ist.ac.at
43-022-439-000-1006
Institute of Science and Technology Austria
Source:Eurekalert  

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