HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
It's only a game of chance

The validity of a leading theory that has held a glimmer of hope for unraveling the intricacies of the brain has just been called into question. Dr. Ilan Lampl of the Weizmann Institute of Science's Neurobiology Department has produced convincing evidence to the contrary. His findings recently appeared in the journal Neuron.

Cells in the central nervous system tend to communicate with each other via a wave of electrical signals that travel along neurons. The question is: How does the brain translate this information to allow us to perceive and understand the world before us?

It is widely believed that these electrical signals generate spiked patterns that encode different types of cognitive information. According to the theory, the brain is able to discriminate between, say, a chair and a table because each of them will generate a distinct sequence of patterns within the neural system that the brain then interprets. Upon repeated presentation of that object, its pattern is reproduced in a precise and controlled manner. Previous experiments had demonstrated repeating patterns lasting up to one second in duration.

But when Lampl and his colleagues recorded the activity of neurons in the brain region known as the cortex in anaesthetized rats and analyzed the data, they found no difference in the number of patterns produced or the time it takes for various patterns to repeat themselves, compared with data that was randomized. They therefore concluded that the patterns observed could not be due to the deterministically controlled mechanisms posited in the theory, but occur purely by chance.

The consequence of this research is likely to contribute significantly to the ongoing debate on neuronal coding. Lampl: "Since the 1980s, many neuroscientists believed they possessed the key for finally beginning to understand the workings of the brain. But we have provided strong evidence to suggest that the brain may not encode information
'"/>

Contact: Jennifer Manning
jennifer@acwis.org
212-895-7952
American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science
27-Mar-2007


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Complementary therapy for infertile women may reduce chances of pregnancy
2. To sleep, perchance to dream: New insight into melatonin production
3. Aging boosts chances that a family line will be long-lived
4. Heavy smoking cuts womens chance of pregnancy -- even with donated oocytes
5. New dwarf buffalo discovered by chance in the Philippines
6. Study finds that a womans chances of having twins can be modified by diet
7. Conference to give students a chance to shine
8. Minor mutations in avian flu virus increase chances of human infection
9. Americans prefer to leave childs sex to chance, survey finds
10. Fat chance of becoming manic-depressive
11. Alcoholics have a greater chance of infection following cardiac surgery

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


(Date:11/20/2018)... ... November 20, 2018 , ... Like many large breed dogs, Jack, ... he was a year old, his mom, Rebecca, noticed he was slow to get ... her veterinarian and her suspicions were confirmed: Jack had bilateral hip dysplasia, a congenital ...
(Date:11/16/2018)... (PRWEB) , ... November 16, 2018 , ... ... their Best Online Master's in Biomedical Engineering Programs for 2019. They have identified ... of curriculum quality, program flexibility, affordability, and graduate outcomes. , Leveraging an exclusive ...
(Date:11/15/2018)... ... November 14, 2018 , ... Persivia, a provider ... today that Prime Healthcare, a leading operator of over 50 hospitals nationwide, has ... Persivia’s Bundled Payment solution consists of the industry’s only end to end solution ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/31/2018)... ... 30, 2018 , ... Rooam , the premier payment platform for the ... After its acquisition of the Tally payment app, the leading payment platform in Chicago ... will grow its market share and increase the number of restaurant and bar locations ...
(Date:10/31/2018)... LOUIS, Mo. (PRWEB) , ... October 30, 2018 , ... ... Corn Challenge contest. The goal of this global competition is to find new and ... , In 2017, America’s corn farmers produced 14.6 billion bushels of corn and are ...
(Date:10/24/2018)... SAN FRANCISCO (PRWEB) , ... October 22, 2018 ... ... addition of Dr. Philip Bourne, PhD, Director of the Data Science Institute, Stephenson ... UVA, to its Scientific Advisory Board. Joining the board of leading scientists and ...
(Date:10/18/2018)... ... 18, 2018 , ... Predicine, a molecular insights company, announced ... has received accreditation from the College of American Pathologists (CAP) for meeting the ... for its Shanghai facility last month. The current dual CAP accreditation of its ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: