HOME >> MEDICINE >> NEWS
Specialized neurons allow the brain to focus on novel sounds

A team of Spanish and American neuroscientists has discovered neurons in the mammalian brainstem that focus exclusively on new, novel sounds, helping humans and other animals ignore ongoing, predictable sounds.

These "novelty detector neurons" quickly stop firing if a sound or sound pattern is repeated, but will briefly resume firing whenever some aspect of the sound changes, according to Ellen Covey, one of the authors of the study and a psychology professor at the University of Washington. The neurons can detect changes in the pitch, loudness or duration of a single sound and can even detect changes in the pattern of a complex series of sounds, she said.

Covey and her colleagues, Dr. Manuel Malmierca of the University of Salamanca and doctoral student David Perez-Gonzalez, who is currently a visiting scientist in the UW psychology department, report their findings in the early December issue of the European Journal of Neuroscience.

The neurons are located under the cortex in a part of the brain called the inferior colliculus. Covey said the research implies that these cells can "remember a frequently occurring pattern and perform relatively sophisticated cognitive tasks such as discriminating a novel pattern from a frequently occurring one."

She said that, contrary to popular belief, the new findings suggest that some cognitive processes for sorting and identifying sounds occur very early in the auditory pathway, and that novelty detector neurons could be involved in directing attention to unexpected sounds, possibly evoking rapid reflex responses.

Novelty detector neurons seem to act as gatekeepers, preventing information about unimportant sounds from reaching the cortex, thus allowing people to ignore sounds that do not require attention.

"It is probably a good thing to have this ability because it allows us to tune out background noises like the humming of a car's motor while we are driving or the regular tick-to
'"/>

Contact: Joel Schwarz
joelsl@u.washington.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
1-Dec-2005


Page: 1 2

Related medicine news :

1. MGH named by NHLBI as Specialized Center for Cell-Based Therapy for Heart, Lung and Blood Diseases
2. Study suggests loss of 2 types of neurons -- not just 1 -- triggers Parkinsons symptoms
3. Nanowire arrays can detect signals along individual neurons
4. Different forms of amyloid beta in Alzheimers disease harm neurons in different ways
5. UCLA researchers discover how drug binds to neurons to stop drunken symptoms of alcohol
6. Agent protects Parkinsons neurons from rotenone toxicity
7. Picking apart how neurons learn
8. New neurons take baby steps in the adult brain
9. Louder neurons form more connections, Stanford research shows
10. A pioneering system allows autistic children to communicate with their environment
11. Bronchial thermoplasty may allow severe asthma patients to wean off oral corticosteroids

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


(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever ... Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation ... as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is ... a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the ... one size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now ... and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings ... The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , ... Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , ... our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland ... iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness ... & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... HILLS, Calif. , June 23, 2016 Any ... the many challenges of the current process. Many of them ... because of the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. ... have to offer it at such a high cost that ... afford it. Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  In a startling report released today, National ... by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. ... of how states are tackling the worst drug crisis in recorded ... – Kentucky , New Mexico ... . Of the 28 failing states, three – Michigan ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... to date financial data derived from varied research sources to ... potential impact on the market during the next five years, ... of sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The report ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: