LA JOLLA – (December 31, 2018) When we see the world around us, some objects appear more than others, depending on what we do. For example, when we see a distance forest, the forest looks like a big green carpet. But when we get closer, we begin to understand the individual trees, and the forest fades into a background. What happens in the heart when our experience changes so drastically?
For decades, scientists have been investigating the visual system that individual cell cells are called called filters. Some neurons prefer preferences for visual acuity and fine details fail, while others do the opposite. All neurons were thought to do their own filtering.
A new study led by Salk Instituite researchers asks this statement. The study showed that the same neurons could prevent such forms from preferring preferential details under different conditions. The work that appeared in a magazine Neuron On December 31, 2018, helping to understand neurological mechanizations can help to understand what we mean by our world.
"We try to investigate under the hood and see how these filters work," says Professor Thomas Albright, director of Salk's Center for Neurobiology of Vision and a senior author of the study.
"The selection of neurons was considered stable, but our work has shown that the filtering properties of neurons are much more flexible than they previously thought", adds student first author Ambarish Pawar, a postdoctoral researcher at Salk.
The team focused on neurons in the visual cortex in an animal model. Animals were shown optical patterns where the researchers changed the contrast between dark and light areas and wiped out the preferences of "neurons" to rough and fine details. The goal was to see how neurons deserve these patterns, specifically in the middle temporal area within the visual cortex. Scientists expected that the neurons were strictly "adapted" to expect rough or beautiful details, but not both. What they found found that an individual neuron could filter both fine and growth-like details, depending on the contrast of the pattern.
By measuring the firing rates of multiple neighbors, activated by the optical stimulus, the researchers have shown that such flexibility was likely to occur, as were all neurons, as well as individual neurons.
"Our results suggest that the previously common description of individual neurons as filters was incorrect," says Sergei Gepshtein, a scientist with the Center for Neurobiology of Vision at Salk and co-author of the new study.
"The preferences of neurons can be altered by a change in the balance of positive (explicit) signals and negative (inhibitory) signals that communicate neurons in the network," adds Pawar.
The researchers suggest that networking of neurons with a great deal of flexibility in their preferences can easily be adjusted and the brain adapted to the changing conditions, just as you can use a radio to get good reception when driving.
"We have discovered a new dimension of adaptation of co-payments," says Gepshtein. "Our results made it clear that we understand that customizable we are discovering which computer units are included. It is the team of connected neurons – the talented neuronal network – that is more than such a unit fits as an individual neuron. "
"This unexpected find can help us ignore the mechanisms that have handled the enormous adaptation to a continuing changing environment," Pawar says.
Albright suggests that "although the study on the visual system is focused, this flexible quality of neuronal networks is likely to be in other parts of it."
As they watch the customizable neuronal networks, researchers will plan to investigate how changes in these networks will affect.
Sergey Savelev of Loughborough University is also an author of this paper.
The work was funded by the National Health National National Institute Institute (NO; R01 EY018613), a NO Core Grant for Vision Research (P30 EY019005), the GemCon Family Foundation and Conrad T. Prebys.
About the Salk Institute for Biological Studies:
Each whole has a starting point. The Salk Institute deserves Jonas Salk's mission to make dreams come true in a reality. The internationally renowned and award-winning scientists are investigating the very foundations of life, seeking new concepts in neurology, genetics, immunology, plant biology and more. The institute is an independent municipal organization and architecturally groundmark: small, selectable, intimidated by nature and skill in every sense of challenge. They become cancerous or Alzheimer's, older or diabetes, Salk is where starting incipients begin. Learn more at: salk.edu.
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