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:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Serenity Recovery, ... another video highlighting one of the many supplemental program options offered at their ... a 5 th Degree Black Belt in the Shorin-ryu style of Karate that ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... The Horizon Foundation for ... pilot initiative to improve oral health-related awareness, education, prevention and treatment for young ... providers and promote best practices in 10 New Jersey counties where dental health ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... New studies published today by the ... states. The outcomes examined in these studies include recovery of physical health and ... medical care. , “The goal of the studies is to provide information about ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Cheryl Bowker of Bowker ... bestow: the Dick McKenna Good Hands Legacy Award. McKenna ran one of Allstate’s most ... continues to inspire all those who knew him. The award named for him is ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... ... Casa Velas, an adults-only boutique hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, introduces a ... wellness suites . The two 1,350 sq. ft. suites which debuted in late 2015 ... amenities, from a custom soap selection and in-suite exercise kit to a personal wellness ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... May 23, 2016 According ... Share, Development, Growth and Demand Forecast to 2022 ... Other), by Application (Drug Discovery and Development, Proteomics, ... (Pharmaceuticals, Life Science and Biotechnology, Academic and Research ... Research, the global mass spectrometry market ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... -- The World Health Organization (WHO) expanded the Intended Use ... aged 13 years, and above. Effective immediately, the PrePex device, ... adolescent males in the 14 priority countries in Southern and ... male circumcision device to receive WHO Prequalification on 31 May ... said: " The expanded use of PrePex for ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... UAE, May 23, 2016 Experts ... of Precision Medicine and the role of technology ...   The First International Conference of VPS-Penn Medicine ... distinguished patronage and presence of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al ... in Precision Medicine, which helps provide personalized medicine and tailor-made ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: