HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Neuronal choir hums in unison to rivet brain's attention

In a crowded room of people talking, a few voices singing in unison will quickly drown out the noise. NIMH scientists have discovered that the brain uses a similar principle to enable its neurons engaged in critically important tasks to win out over neurons essentially processing distractions. In the February 23, 2001 Science, Robert Desimone, Ph.D., Pascal Fries, Ph.D., and Laboratory of Neuropsychology (LNP) colleagues, suggest that synchronous neuronal firing may be a fundamental mechanism for boosting the volume of brain signals representing behaviorally relevant stimuli.

Desimone and colleagues pinpointed the responses of brain neurons in monkeys paying attention to a particular stimulus and ignoring nearby distracters. Using electrophysiological recordings, they monitored groups of neurons in the visual processing area at the back of the brain (V4). They discovered that neurons activated by features of the attended stimulus conspicuously synchronized their activity in the gamma (40-90 hz) range, which roughly corresponds to the hum of an electrical power outlet or fluorescent light. Meanwhile, neurons activated by features of the distracters, in effect, continued to speak with disparate voices.

The researchers suggest that such synchronous ensemble firing produces an amplifying effect that telegraphs the oscillating signal representing the attended stimulus to downstream processing areas in the brain. These areas, such as the inferior temporal cortex, will, in turn pass on the signal to brain areas involved in the highest levels of visual cognition and awareness, creating, in effect, a chain reaction through the visual processing pathways.

"Disorders of attention are common components of various mental illnesses," noted Desimone, who serves as both Chief of the LNP and as Director of the NIMH Intramural Research Program. "We're beginning to appreciate that the things that go awry in the brain may have to do with the timing of neur
'"/>

Contact: Jules Asher
jasher@nih.gov
301-443-4536
NIH/National Institute of Mental Health
21-Feb-2001


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. A Versatile Signal In Vertebrate Embryogenesis: Wnt-4 Regulates Kidney Development, Sex Organ Differentiation, Neuronal Survival And Axonal Guidance
2. Vertex Pharmaceuticals/Yale Research Team Uses Gene Knockout Mice To Establish Role Of Caspase-9 In Neuronal Cell Death Pathway
3. Making sense of the brains mind-boggling complexity
4. The brains flashy tale
5. Leptin rewires the brains feeding circuits
6. Estrogen promotes gender differences in brains response to stress
7. Pain and the brain: Sex, hormones & genetics affect brains pain control system
8. Cocaine harms brains pleasure center, addict study finds
9. Alzheimers disease may originate in the brains white matter
10. Johns Hopkins scientists find brains nose plug
11. Researchers light the path of brains feeding circuit in mice

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


(Date:5/9/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... May 09, 2019 , ... ... of its first suite of products based on its microbubble technology. Unlike magnetic-based ... simply float to the surface. Feedback from customers who participated in an early ...
(Date:5/8/2019)... , ... May 08, 2019 , ... ... Real-Time Metrics (“Axiom”), a premier provider of unified eClinical solutions and services that ... trials and observational studies. Axiom is a leading e-clinical technology company that focuses ...
(Date:5/2/2019)... ... April 30, 2019 , ... Philadelphia intellectual property law firm ... Gunes Bender, Ph.D., a registered patent agent, has joined the firm as a ... Bender provides technical support and scientific expertise in the pharmaceutical and biotechnical arts ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2019)... ... May 03, 2019 , ... ... the Diopsys® ffERG/Photopic Negative Response vision test, a new full field ... it is estimated that 6.3 million Americans will have glaucoma, with black Americans ...
(Date:5/2/2019)... ... May 02, 2019 , ... Researchers ... present results documenting discrepancies between U.S. insurer policies for genetic testing and the ... for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC). , Jill S. Dolinsky, ...
(Date:4/18/2019)... Mass. (PRWEB) , ... April 18, 2019 , ... ... fossil fuels, a research team that includes a chemical engineer at Worcester Polytechnic ... exotic microorganism that may make it possible to manufacture isobutanol and other biofuels ...
(Date:4/12/2019)... JUPITER, Fla. (PRWEB) , ... April 12, 2019 ... ... will explore recent developments in neurotechnology and will educate about innovative tools and ... 3Q/2019. Check your local listings for more information. , This segment of Advancements ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: