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Latest Place cell Stories

2013-08-05 12:25:20

Using direct human brain recordings, a research team from Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania, UCLA and Thomas Jefferson University has identified a new type of cell in the brain that helps people to keep track of their relative location while navigating an unfamiliar environment. The "grid cell," which derives its name from the triangular grid pattern in which the cell activates during navigation, is distinct among brain cells because its activation represents multiple...

Studying How Brains Work When Bats Are On The Move
2013-04-19 11:11:44

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Two new studies, published this week in Science, examine the mechanisms of animal navigation using bat models. RATS AND BATS The first study is the result of collaboration between University of Maryland (UMD), College Park and Boston University (BU). The findings, based on brain rhythms in bats and rats, challenges a widely-used model — based solely on rodents — of how animals navigate their environment. The study...

Internal GPS Guides Rats To Rewards
2013-04-18 08:48:04

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Scientists at Johns Hopkins University studying rats' ability to navigate familiar territory found that remembered spatial information is used by one particular brain structure to imagine routes that the rats then follow. Understanding why damage to that structure disrupts specific types of memory and learning could have implications for people with Alzheimer's disease and age-related cognitive decline. The model developed for this...

rhesus monkey
2012-11-07 14:49:05

Jedidiah Becker for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online In 2005, Norwegian researchers discovered a previously unknown type of neuron by placing electrodes deep within the cerebral cortex of rats. Dubbed “grid cells,” these specialized neurons were so named because they fire in distinct clusters, each of which constitutes the vertex of a grid-like pattern of equilateral triangles. This recurring triangular, lattice-like firing pattern is what distinguishes grid cells from other...

2011-11-04 12:55:20

A cognitive map enables orientation The cerebellum is far more intensively involved in helping us navigate than previously thought. To move and learn effectively in spatial environments our brain, and particularly our hippocampus, creates a "cognitive" map of the environment. The cerebellum contributes to the creation of this map through altering the chemical communication between its neurones. If this ability is inactivated, the brain is no longer able to create an effective spatial...

2011-08-24 21:34:17

The hippocampus is a brain structure that plays a major role in the process of memory formation. It is not entirely clear how the hippocampus manages to string together events that are part of the same experience but are separated by "empty" periods of time. Now, new research published by Cell Press in the August 25 issue of the journal Neuron finds that there are neurons in the hippocampus that encode every sequential moment in a series of events that compose a discrete experience. "The...

2011-08-08 06:37:22

Animal's brains are only roughly aware of how high-up they are in space, meaning that in terms of altitude the brain's 'map' of space is surprisingly flat, according to new research. In a study published online today in Nature Neuroscience, scientists studied cells in or near a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which forms the brain's map of space, to see whether they were activated when rats climbed upwards. The study, supported by the Wellcome Trust, looked at two types of cells...

2011-04-29 01:27:41

Biologists at UC San Diego have discovered that electrical oscillations in the brain, long thought to play a role in organizing cognitive functions such as memory, are critically important for the brain to store the information that allows us to navigate through our physical environment. The scientists report in the April 29 issue of the journal Science that neurons called "grid cells" that create maps of the external environment in one portion of our brain require precisely timed electrical...

2010-12-23 02:15:23

MIT neuroscientists shed light on how past experiences subconsciously influence behavior Researchers at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory report for the first time how animals' knowledge obtained through past experiences can subconsciously influence their behavior in new situations. The work, which sheds light on how our past experiences inform our future choices, will be reported on Dec. 22 in an advance online publication of Nature. Previous work has shown that when a mouse...

2010-03-22 18:05:35

PHILADELPHIA "“ Psychologists led by the University of Pennsylvania have used implantable electrodes and a first-person driving game to identify the cells of the brain that indicate travel in a clockwise or counterclockwise motion, called "path cells." The study will be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study demonstrated that during navigation, these path cell neurons encode the direction in which a person is traveling. An individual path...


Word of the Day
holluschickie
  • A 'bachelor seal'; a young male seal which is prevented from mating by its herd's older males (mated bulls defending their territory).
This comes from the Russian word for 'bachelors.'
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