Navigation Links
Researchers uncover cellular mechanisms for attention in the brain
Date:7/26/2013

Hanover, N.H.The ability to pay attention to relevant information while ignoring distractions is a core brain function. Without the ability to focus and filter out "noise," we could not effectively interact with our environment. Despite much study of attention in the brain, the cellular mechanisms responsible for the effects of attention have remained a mystery... until now.

In a study appearing in the journal Nature, researchers from Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine and the University of California Davis studied communications between synaptically connected neurons under conditions where subjects shifted their attention toward or away from visual stimuli that activated the recorded neurons. Using this highly sensitive measure of attention's influence on neuron-to-neuron communication, they were able to demonstrate that attention operates at the level of the synapse to improve sensitivity to incoming signals, sharpen the precision of these signals, and selectively boost the transmission of attention-grabbing information while reducing the level of noisy or attention-disrupting information.

The results point to a novel mechanism by which attention shapes perception by selectively altering presynaptic weights to highlight sensory features among all the noisy sensory input.

"While our findings are consistent with other reported changes in neuronal firing rates with attention, they go far beyond such descriptions, revealing never-before tested mechanisms at the synaptic level," said study co-author Farran Briggs, PhD, assistant professor of Physiology and Neurobiology at the Geisel School of Medicine.

In addition to expanding our understanding of brain, this study could help people with attention deficits resulting from brain injury or disease, possibly leading to improved screening and new treatments.


'/>"/>

Contact: Derik Hertel
kenneth.d.hertel@dartmouth.edu
603-650-1211
The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that bacteria communicate by touch
2. UC Santa Barbara researchers discover genetic link between visual pathways of hydras and humans
3. Researchers attempt to solve problems of antibiotic resistance and bee deaths in one
4. UNH researchers find African farmers need better climate change data to improve farming practices
5. Ottawa researchers to lead world-first clinical trial of stem cell therapy for septic shock
6. Researchers uncover molecular pathway through which common yeast becomes fungal pathogen
7. Researchers print live cells with a standard inkjet printer
8. Columbia Engineering and Penn researchers increase speed of single-molecule measurements
9. Researchers reveal how a single gene mutation leads to uncontrolled obesity
10. Researchers discover novel therapy for Crohns disease
11. New paper by Notre Dame researchers describes method for cleaning up nuclear waste
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/20/2017)... (NYSE: DAL ) customers now can use fingerprints instead of ... Airport (DCA). ... Delta launches biometrics to board aircraft at Reagan Washington National Airport ... Delta,s biometric boarding pass experience that launched in May ... boarding process to allow eligible Delta SkyMiles Members who are enrolled in ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ARMONK, N.Y. and ITHACA, N.Y. ... IBM ) and Cornell University, a leader in dairy ... combined with bioinformatics designed to help reduce the chances ... breaches. With the onset of this dairy project, Cornell ... the Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... first robotic gym for the rehabilitation and functional motor sense evaluation of ... Italy . The first 30 robots will be available from June ... . The technology was developed and patented at the IIT laboratories and ... thanks to a 10 million euro investment from entrepreneur Sergio Dompè. ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... The new and improved Oakton® pocket testers, ... even stand upright with a new cap design that is versatile, functional and leakproof. ... who need to test water quality. , The Oakton pocket testers have many user-friendly ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... Molecular ... partnership with Cytena GmbH to launch the CloneSelect™ Single-Cell Printer™ in North America. ... isolate single cells and provide visual documentation of monoclonality for use in cell ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... , ... September 18, 2017 , ... ... announced the move of the SPIE Digital Library ( http://www.spiedigitallibrary.org ) on 15 ... to create an improved user experience and incorporate a number of enhancements and ...
(Date:9/15/2017)... ... September 15, 2017 , ... ... it calls an ‘Internal Seed B’ round of financing, totaling $600,000. The ... completed using a ‘SAFE’ documentation structure at a company valuation of $10M. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: