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:12/4/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... December 04, 2016 , ... ... without undergoing major cosmetic surgery can now take advantage of a cosmetic procedure ... advanced skin rejuvenation treatment that reduces the appearance of age spots, fine ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 04, 2016 , ... Responsible dental ... One must brush properly to achieve optimal results. This important necessity inspired an inventor ... need for a way to ensure that people break or avoid bad techniques of ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... Lori ... Greenberg Traurig, LLP’s Atlanta office, will speak at the American Conference Institute’s 21st ... Greenberg Traurig is also a Lead Sponsor of the conference. , Cohen, who chairs ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... DIEGO, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... Event at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego honoring the 2016 MPN Heroes—eight individuals ... myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) by going above and beyond the standard of care, demonstrating leadership ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... Area in Alabama are expected to attend the UNCF Dothan-Wiregrass Mayor’s Luncheon Dec. ... scholarship funds for area students and operating support to UNCF-member institutions, including Miles ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/4/2016)... Dec. 3, 2016 A highly innovative, personalized cell-based treatment for ... through clinical trials. Pediatric oncologists from Children,s Hospital of Philadelphia ... or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The physician-scientists presented findings ... San Diego . ... ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today ... the risk of cardiovascular death in adult patients with ... "Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death ... Jean-Marc Guettier , M.D., C.M., director of the Division ... Drug Evaluation and Research. "Availability of antidiabetes therapies that ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... -- Persistence Market Research (PMR) delivers key ... titled, "Global Market Study on Cardiac Pacemaker: North America Regional ... 2016 and 2024". The global cardiac pacemaker market was valued ... likely to decline to US$ 3923.8 Mn by 2024. ... is anticipated to exhibit a declining CAGR of -0.5% ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: