Navigation Links
Making sense of sensory connections
Date:1/26/2012

PASADENA, Calif.A key feature of human and animal brains is that they are adaptive; they are able to change their structure and function based on input from the environment and on the potential associations, or consequences, of that input. For example, if a person puts his hand in a fire and gets burned, he learns to avoid flames; the simple sight of a flame has acquired a predictive value, which in this case, is repulsive. To learn more about such neural adaptability, researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have explored the brains of insects and identified a mechanism by which the connections in their brain change to form new and specific memories of smells.

"Although these results were obtained from experiments with insects, the components of the mechanism exist also in vertebrate, including mammalian, brains which means that what we describe may be of wide applicability," says Stijn Cassenaer, a Broad Senior Research Fellow in brain circuitry at Caltech and lead author of a paperpublished in the journal Nature on January 25that outlined the findings. The study focused on insects because their nervous systems are smaller, and thus likely to reveal their secrets sooner than those of their vertebrate counterparts.

To home in on sensory memories, the researchers concentrated on olfaction, or the sense of smell. When a person encounters a favorite food or the perfume of a loved one, she will typically experience a recall, usually positive, based on the memories evoked by those smells. Such a recallto a smell, sound, taste, or any other sensory stimulusis evidence of "associative" learning, says Gilles Laurent, a former professor of biology at Caltech and senior author of the study, as learning often means assigning a value, such as beneficial or not, to inputs that were until then neutral. The original, neutral stimulus acquires significance as a result of being paired, or associated, with a reinforcing re
'/>"/>

Contact: Deborah Williams-Hedges
debwms@caltech.edu
626-395-3227
California Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. The making of Dig It! the Secrets of Soil exhibit
2. Making metabolism more inefficient can reduce obesity
3. Making flies sick reveals new role for growth factors in immunity
4. Scientists present moving theory behind bacterial decision-making
5. Making the ultimate family sacrifice
6. Tips for making a green holiday from the worlds largest scientific society
7. How chromosomes meet in the dark -- Switch that turns on X chromosome matchmaking
8. Process can cut the cost of making cellulosic biofuels
9. U of Minnesota research finds most road salt is making it into the states lakes and rivers
10. MacArthur Foundation awards planning grant to improve decision-making in energy policy
11. It takes a genome: How a clash between our genes and modern life is making us sick
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Making sense of sensory connections
(Date:9/22/2014)... the country selected by the National Institutes of ... a $2 million grant designed to expose ... graduate trainees to career opportunities that go beyond ... , The award funds development of the Rutgers ... It includes courses, seminars, shadowing, mentoring and networking ...
(Date:9/22/2014)... manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, has rapidly advanced ... components strong enough for structural applications. However, developing ... well as quality standards to test the manufactured ... Engineers at the University of Pittsburgh,s Swanson School ... and simulation (M&S) technology and new qualification standards ...
(Date:9/22/2014)... you,re overweight, you may be at greater risk ... disease and cancer, according to a new study ... psychological stress can trigger biological responses similar to ... While normal inflammation is an important part of ... to chronic and life-threatening diseases. , In ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Rutgers receives $2 million grant to prepare biomedical students for roles in industry 2Rutgers receives $2 million grant to prepare biomedical students for roles in industry 3Pitt engineers receive grants to enhance additive manufacturing 2Pitt engineers receive grants to enhance additive manufacturing 3Obesity and stress pack a double hit for health 2
... An Australian bird has been found to produce smaller, ... of other helper birds that provide child-care assistance. ... and breed more often than females without helpers. ... today made the front cover of Science. In ...
... mice, carbon dioxide often means danger - too many ... hungry predator exhaling nearby. Mice have a way of ... shows that a special set of olfactory neurons is ... predicted increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide may affect animal ...
... Berkeley -- Delaying having kids to help raise the ... you want to reproduce, but many African starlings have ... of their savanna habitats, according to a new study ... It appears in the Aug. 21 issue of the ...
Cached Biology News:Mother's little helpers 2Mice use specialized neurons to detect carbon dioxide in the air 2Savanna habitat drives birds, and perhaps others, to cooperative breeding 2Savanna habitat drives birds, and perhaps others, to cooperative breeding 3Savanna habitat drives birds, and perhaps others, to cooperative breeding 4
(Date:9/22/2014)... a mouse model of pancreatic cancer identified distinct patterns ... significant differences from the primary tumor that may contribute ... study reported in the Sept. 25 issue of ... (MGH) Cancer Center identified several different classes of pancreatic ... be targets for improved treatment of the deadly tumor. ...
(Date:9/22/2014)... have discovered a way to create a highly sensitive ... sheets. The imperfections have unique electronic properties that the ... absorbed gas molecules by 300 times. , The study ... Nature Communications . , Amin Salehi- Khojin, asst professor ... Mohammad Asadi, graduate student and Bijandra Kumar, post doc ...
(Date:9/22/2014)... Sept. 22, 2014 US demand to rise ... specialty biocides is forecast to rise 3.9 percent per ... demand is projected to increase 1.3 percent per year ... strong rebound in construction expenditures will support demand for ... markets, while growth in consumer spending and manufacturing output ...
(Date:9/22/2014)... (PRWEB) September 22, 2014 ... desire to stay young has groomed and nurtured ... industry worldwide. Growing emphasis on appearance maintenance is ... is a neurotoxic protein obtained from the bacterium, ... resulting in muscle relaxation. With cosmetic indications for ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Massachusetts General study reveals gene expression patterns in pancreatic CTCs 2Massachusetts General study reveals gene expression patterns in pancreatic CTCs 3Graphene imperfections key to creating hypersensitive 'electronic nose' 2US Biocides Market 2US Biocides Market 3Strong Demand for Non-Invasive Cosmetic Procedures Drives the Global Botulinum Toxin Market, According to New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. 2Strong Demand for Non-Invasive Cosmetic Procedures Drives the Global Botulinum Toxin Market, According to New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. 3
... MMPSense(TM) 750 FAST is Presented at AACR 100th Annual ... leader in fluorescence in vivo imaging from ... new FAST ("Fluorescent Activatible Sensor Technology") imaging ... and drug response in vivo . Newly ...
... (Nasdaq: MYL ) today announced that Matrix ... a 71.2% controlling interest, has been selected by the ... the primary supplier of five antiretroviral (ARV) drugs used ... selected as the primary supplier of seven ARVs used ...
... for the Company Building on Milestones with Recent ... DXL625 monoclonal antibodies appear to ... to attach and deplete NHL in late stage ... Biotechnology Inc. (Toronto Stock Exchange: IXS.V, http://www.ixsbio.com ...
Cached Biology Technology:VisEn Launches Next-Generation Fast ('Fluorescence Activatible Sensor Technology') Agent Platform for Expanded Performance in Imaging Disease Biomarkers In Vivo 2VisEn Launches Next-Generation Fast ('Fluorescence Activatible Sensor Technology') Agent Platform for Expanded Performance in Imaging Disease Biomarkers In Vivo 3VisEn Launches Next-Generation Fast ('Fluorescence Activatible Sensor Technology') Agent Platform for Expanded Performance in Imaging Disease Biomarkers In Vivo 4Mylan's Matrix Selected by the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative and UNITAID as the Primary Supplier of Five Second-Line and Seven Pediatric HIV/AIDS Treatments 2Mylan's Matrix Selected by the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative and UNITAID as the Primary Supplier of Five Second-Line and Seven Pediatric HIV/AIDS Treatments 3AACR 100th Annual Meeting Highlights Superior Ability of InNexus' DXL-Modified Anti-CD20 Antibody to Attach and Kill NHL With Safety Comparable to Approved Antibody Therapies in Preclinical Studies 2AACR 100th Annual Meeting Highlights Superior Ability of InNexus' DXL-Modified Anti-CD20 Antibody to Attach and Kill NHL With Safety Comparable to Approved Antibody Therapies in Preclinical Studies 3