HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Brain cell 'chorus' appears as attention increases

The sudden emergence of a brain cell "chorus" from the cacophony of normal brain cell activity may enable the brain to pay close attention to one item in a flood of incoming sensory information, according to a report in this week's "Nature."

The report, based on data acquired from monkeys, suggests that a baseball player tracking a fly ball through a cloud-cluttered sky, a driver reaching into a pocket to feel for keys, and a high-school student seeking a cafeteria dish that smells edible could all have something in common: Some of the nerve cells in the cortex, the sophisticated outer layer of the brain, may be sending messages in unison to allow them to pay attention to a single stream of sensory input.

"Every second, we get millions or hundreds of millions of bits of information coming in from our senses," says Ernst Niebur, assistant professor of neuroscience at the Krieger Mind-Brain Institute at The Johns Hopkins University. "And we have to decide, every second, which part of it is important and which part is not important."

"The nerve cells which represent the important information need a way to stand out from the crowd of other information," says Peter Steinmetz, lead author on the paper and a former postdoctoral scholar at the institute. "Firing synchronously like singers in a chorus -- is one way to stand out from the crowd."

Scientists produced the new finding by re-analyzing data gathered over several years. Institute scientists Ken Johnson and Steve Hsiao had been monitoring brain cell activity in monkeys who were performing simple tasks that required them to focus their attention on visual or tactile stimuli. Tasks included identifying which of three white squares of light o
'"/>

Contact: Michael Purdy
mcp@jhu.edu
410-516-7160
Johns Hopkins University
7-Mar-2000


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Brain has center for detecting sound motion
2. Brains reward circuitry revealed in procrastinating primates
3. Brain serotonin enzyme finding might explain psychiatric disorders
4. Brain development and puberty may be key factors in learning disorders
5. Organization for Human Brain Mapping 2004 Annual Meeting
6. Brain disease research, particle physics meet in the middle (ware)
7. Brain control
8. Brain cells become more discriminating when they work together
9. Brain signal predicts working memory prowess
10. Brain areas identified that decode emotions of others
11. Brain Centre gives Wales a world lead

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/22/2019)... , ... February 21, 2019 , ... Clean label food ... expected when creating natural foods and beverages. It is quite common to spot consumers ... Yet, meat products are not immune to this label scrutiny. , More than ...
(Date:2/19/2019)... ... February 20, 2019 , ... ... that will see Dimensions rolled out across the organization. Dimensions provides in-depth ... across their business, support strategic planning, and understand past and future funding ...
(Date:2/14/2019)... ... February 14, 2019 , ... This year’s conference in ... 80 scientific sessions and 2,100 presentations. Given SOT’s mission to bring together researchers ... OpenLiver™ 3D cell culture model initiative that it recently launched with Biopredic ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/2/2019)... ... ... Stay on top of current hot topics through free webinars presented by leading ... free, so be sure to register today to save your place! Participate in the ... our upcoming webinars, or click below to learn more about each webinar: , CLINICAL ...
(Date:1/30/2019)... ... January 29, 2019 , ... Could a computer detect a ... tricky math problem on an online tutoring program? Could it detect deep reflection ... science assistant professor Erin Solovey is working to develop a system ...
(Date:1/24/2019)... ... ... Controlled Contamination Services is pleased to announce three exciting new additions to ... team members will support its growing operation across the US and will be a ... This addition will enable CCS to widen its reach and provide enterprise wide solutions ...
(Date:1/20/2019)... ... January 16, 2019 , ... On January 15 of ... news article by Asymmetrex director James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. The ... resources like the PGCB and CellTrials.org. Now in its 21st year of operation, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: