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:1/11/2016)... 11, 2016  higi, the leading retail and ... locations, web and mobile, today announced it has ... existing investors. --> ... further innovate higi,s health platform – its network ... – including expanding services and programs to retail ...
(Date:1/7/2016)... This BCC Research report studies the global ... devices, identifying newer markets and exploring the expansion of ... devices. Includes forecast from 2015 to 2020. ... explore the expansion of the present application market for ... biometric technology, determine its current market size, and estimate ...
(Date:1/6/2016)... PLEASANTON, Calif. , Jan. 6, 2016  Varam ... SayPay as their trusted partner to deliver advanced authentication ... other financial services to the poor. A loan of ... in their lives, giving them the ability to purchase ... machine to make clothing, or stock for a local ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... -- - New FDA action date of July ... date of July 22, 2016   --> ... 2016   - Lifitegrast has the potential ... the treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye disease in ... be the only product approved in the U.S. in the past decade indicated for the ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Falls Church, VA (PRWEB) , ... ... ... a first-year cybersecurity conference presented by Bloomsburg University’s Digital Forensics Club, takes ... Bloomsburg, PA. The two-day event features 20+ speakers and activities such as ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... MENLO PARK, Calif. , Feb. 4, 2016 ... the "Company"), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and ... present at the 18 th Annual BIO CEO ... 10:00 a.m. EST in New York, NY ... CEO, will provide an update on the ongoing clinical trial ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016  Spherix Incorporated (Nasdaq: ... the fostering and monetization of intellectual property, today provided ... Uniden in the Northern District of Texas ... forward.  Inter Partes Re-examination ("IPR") ... Patent Office.  The IPR was initiated on only certain ...
Breaking Biology Technology: