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Buszaki neuroscience research published in current journals 'Science' & 'Nature'

(NEWARK)-- Two recent scientific advances by Rutgers-Newark Neuroscience Professor Gyorgy Buzsaki have been published in the journals Nature, (June 13) and Science (June 14). The research by Buzsaki will lead to a better understanding of how cells communicate (otherwise described as the neuronal code) in the brain's hippocampus, and form human memories. Buzsaki has also won a five-year $1.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for further research into how brain cells talk to each other and form memories.

June 13 Nature article: Deciphering the Neuronal Code

Buzsaki, professor at Rutgers-Newark's Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, said that the research published in the journal Nature, "Spike train dynamics predicts theta-related phase precission in hippocampal pyramidal cells," revealed new aspects of the code by which neurons (brain cells) communicate with each other. Buzsaki's collaborators include Kenneth D. Harris, Darrell A. Henze, Hajime Hirase, Xavier Leinekugel, George Dragoi, and Andras Czurko.

Buzsaki compares the way brain neurons communicate to a talking drum. "Perhaps the most fundamental problem of neuroscience is to decipher the code which the neuron uses to encode its message into a sequence of electrical events," said Buzsaki. His collaborator, Ken Harris, notes that evidence over the last decade "strongly suggests a temporal code is employed, and that the precise rhythm of the neuronal drum beat is also used to convey information."

Buzsaki's research found that the rhythms a neuron may play are not random, "but obey certain rules, which are followed by the whole population of neurons." He said the new findings provide clues to how brain rhythms assist brain cells to represent information in the temporal domain, similar to melodies played on a musical instrument. Timing is of the essence in the brain. Moreover, Buzsaki said researchers "showed that this complex behavior can be expla
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Contact: Helen Paxton
paxton@andromeda.rutgers.edu
973-353-5262
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
14-Jun-2002


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