Breaking News
November 17, 2018 - new horizon in dental, oral and craniofacial research
November 17, 2018 - How does poor air quality affect your health?
November 17, 2018 - New device can regulate children’s blood glucose more like natural pancreas
November 17, 2018 - Game-Changers in Western Blotting and Protein Analysis
November 17, 2018 - FDA announces new actions to limit sale of e-cigarettes to youth
November 17, 2018 - Warmer winter temperatures related to higher crime rates
November 17, 2018 - MCO places increasing emphasis on helping people find and access healthy food
November 17, 2018 - Group of students aim to improve malaria diagnosis using old smartphones
November 17, 2018 - Transplantation of feces may protect preterm children from deadly bowel disease
November 17, 2018 - Researchers explore whether low-gluten diets can be recommended for people without allergies
November 17, 2018 - New and better marker for assessing patients after cardiac arrest
November 17, 2018 - For 7-year-old with failing bone marrow, a life-saving transplant | News Center
November 17, 2018 - New first-line treatment for peripheral T-cell lymphoma approved by FDA
November 17, 2018 - Artificial intelligence could be valuable tool to help young victims disclose traumatic testimony
November 17, 2018 - Breakthrough in the treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome
November 16, 2018 - FDA Approves Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for the Treatment of Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) Who Have Been Previously Treated with Sorafenib
November 16, 2018 - Eagle Books | Native Diabetes Wellness Program
November 16, 2018 - Patients with common heart failure more likely to have lethal heart rhythms
November 16, 2018 - How AI could help veterinarians code their notes | News Center
November 16, 2018 - Bias-based bullying does more harm to students than generalized bullying
November 16, 2018 - Researchers find first direct evidence that cerebellum plays role in cognitive functions
November 16, 2018 - Non-coding genetic variant plays key role in endothelial function and disease incidence
November 16, 2018 - EMA recommends first all-oral treatment to tackle deadly sleeping sickness
November 16, 2018 - Drug used to treat dizziness may slow down growth of triple-negative breast cancer
November 16, 2018 - AHA: Icosapent Ethyl Cuts CV Risk From Elevated Triglycerides
November 16, 2018 - ‘Orphan’ RNAs make cancer deadlier, but potentially easier to diagnose
November 16, 2018 - Air Cube touches down at hospital | News Center
November 16, 2018 - CRISPR-based tool shown to enhance cell-based immunotherapy
November 16, 2018 - Mechanisms that govern HIV latency differ in the gut and blood, finds study
November 16, 2018 - Researchers unravel mystery of NPM1 protein in acute myeloid leukemia
November 16, 2018 - High school students less likely to select milk, fruit for lunch when fruit juice is available
November 16, 2018 - Football coaches with great emotional competence are more successful
November 16, 2018 - Researchers awarded $10 million grant to address root causes of asthma in Puerto Rico
November 16, 2018 - Health Tip: Manage Morning Sickness
November 16, 2018 - Infant gut microbes altered by mother’s obesity may increase risk for future disease
November 16, 2018 - Immunotherapy combination and chemotherapy show encouraging results in Phase II acute myeloid leukemia study
November 16, 2018 - ACC Latin America Conference brings experts to discuss latest cardiovascular science
November 16, 2018 - Pooled analysis of Intersect ENT’s steroid releasing implants in patients after frontal sinus surgery to be published
November 16, 2018 - Expectations about pain intensity can become self-fulfilling prophecies
November 16, 2018 - NIH awards $3.4 million to UC researchers to study gastrointestinal lymphatic system
November 16, 2018 - Highlighting Advances in Bioengineering and Analytical Technologies with eBooks
November 16, 2018 - Scientist Dr David Taylor of MR Solutions is a finalist in the BMW i UK Tech Founder Awards
November 16, 2018 - Earlier treatment could help reverse autistic-like behavior in tuberous sclerosis
November 16, 2018 - Sucking your baby’s pacifier could improve their health
November 16, 2018 - Vegetables and salad may include bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics
November 16, 2018 - Autism linked to prolonged connection between brain regions
November 16, 2018 - Endocrine Society chooses four Diabetes Caucus leaders as winners of Diabetes Champion Award
November 16, 2018 - Brain and muscle cells found within kidney organoids
November 16, 2018 - Person’s sex hormones may play key role in trauma survival, finds study
November 16, 2018 - PTEN Genetic Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 16, 2018 - Toxic metal pollution linked with development of autism spectrum disorder
November 16, 2018 - Calcified nodules in the retina increase risk for progression to late stages of AMD
November 16, 2018 - ZEISS teams up with arivis AG to offer complete 3D imaging solutions
November 16, 2018 - Georgia State professor receives $1.2 million grant to study how the brain controls eating behavior
November 16, 2018 - Specific bacterial toxins reduce number of cells suppressing immune response
November 16, 2018 - Review by ID physician improves outcomes for outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy
November 16, 2018 - Conditions that produce signs similar to arthritis
November 16, 2018 - New artificial intelligence-based method predicts treatment effectiveness
November 16, 2018 - AHA: Dapagliflozin Noninferior to Placebo for MACE in T2DM
November 16, 2018 - Surgery remains best treatment for appendicitis, Stanford study finds
November 16, 2018 - Non-surgical fistula creation system Ellipsys becomes key focus of attention at CiDA
November 16, 2018 - Researchers find no link between ‘allergy friendly’ dogs and lower risk of asthma
November 16, 2018 - Researchers elucidate new rules of connectivity of neurons in the neocortex
November 16, 2018 - Treating children with ‘bubble baby disease’
November 16, 2018 - Nexus announces availability of Arsenic Trioxide Injection in the US
November 16, 2018 - Researchers find metabolite shuttle between cells in the liver that may combat tissue fibrosis
November 16, 2018 - AHA: PTSD Common Among Those Who Suffer Tear in the Aorta’s Wall
November 16, 2018 - Many RA patients’ pain related to central nervous system
November 16, 2018 - Changes in Himalayan gut microbiomes linked to diet
November 16, 2018 - Inhibition of prostaglandin E2 enhances ability to combat infectious colitis
November 16, 2018 - Chronic dry eye can slow reading rate and disrupt day to day tasks
November 16, 2018 - Researchers develop new drug molecule that inhibits inflammation
November 16, 2018 - Dementia symptoms peak in winter and spring, study finds
November 16, 2018 - Stanford tobacco researcher weighs in on JUUL
November 16, 2018 - Increasing omega-3 fatty acid intake during pregnancy reduces risk of premature birth, review finds
November 16, 2018 - Researchers find no link between infants waking up at night and later developmental problems
November 16, 2018 - Both parents and children agree about confidential medical services
November 16, 2018 - FDA warns against use of unapproved pain medications with implanted pumps
November 16, 2018 - Precision medicine-based approach to slow or reverse biologic drivers of Alzheimer’s disease
November 16, 2018 - Study provides new insight into norovirus outbreaks, may help guide efforts to develop vaccines
Neurons in the brain’s primary visual cortex can reliably detect straight lines

Neurons in the brain’s primary visual cortex can reliably detect straight lines

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Single neurons in the brain’s primary visual cortex can reliably detect straight lines, even though the cellular makeup of the neurons is constantly changing, according to a new study by Carnegie Mellon University neuroscientists, led by Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Sandra Kuhlman. The study’s findings, published in Scientific Reports on Oct. 16, lay the groundwork for future studies into how the sensory system reacts and adapts to changes.

Most of us assume that when we see something regularly, like our house or the building where we work, our brain is responding in a reliable way with the same neurons firing. It would make sense to assume that the same would hold true when we see simple horizontal or vertical lines.

“The building our lab is in has these great stately columns,” said Kuhlman. “The logical assumption is that as we approach the building each day our brains are recognizing the columns, which are essentially straight lines, in the same way. Scientifically, we had no idea if this was true.”

While Kuhlman and other scientists believed that this idea of neuronal reliability is a likely hypothesis, they also had reason to believe it might not be the case. The protein components that constitute the cellular makeup of individual neurons continually change over the course of hours or days, which might alter when they respond to a given stimulus. Neither hypothesis had been proven experimentally.

In the case of vision, researchers did know that when we first encounter a stimulus, a group of neurons in the brain’s primary visual cortex respond to the stimulus’ orientation, determining if the stimulus is horizontal, vertical or tilted at an angle. The neurons pass this information deeper into the brain’s visual cortex to the next stage of processing. But they didn’t know which neurons were responding and if the same ones responded each time.

A new imaging technology called two-photon microscopy allowed neuroscientists in Kuhlman’s lab to visualize between 400-600 neurons at once in the primary visual cortex of a mouse model that expresses a fluorescent protein when a neuron is activated. In the experiment, the mouse was shown a sequence pattern of differentially oriented lines — some horizontal, some vertical, and others at angles. These stimuli activated excitatory neurons and caused them to emit a fluorescent signal, which could be seen using the microscope technique.

Over a two-week period, the mice were exposed to the same visual stimuli and researchers measured the response profile of each of the hundreds of neurons. They found that, throughout the study, about 80 percent of the tracked neurons were reliably activated by the same oriented lines. They also reliably remained silent to the same oriented lines. This indicated that they maintained the same functional role within the brain circuit for days.

The researchers were able to test an extensive range of stimuli, including measuring how the neurons responded to lines of varying thickness. They found that some neurons were unstable in how they responded to thickness, while maintaining their original selectivity to line orientation. Kuhlman noted that this indicated that individual neurons can continually encode particular visual features while still being able to adapt to others.

“It was interesting to see plasticity in one feature, but not another,” said Kuhlman. “This gives us a key insight into how our brains may maintain a stable perception of the world while incorporating new information. For example, you want to be able to recognize your building even if slight updates are made, such as if the columns of your building are cleaned. It appears that we can update one aspect of a stimulus feature without completely altering the functional response property of a given neuron.”

The researchers will use this dataset as a control for their next set of studies that aim to see how these neurons respond when there are changes in the visual system, such as while learning a new visual task or following recovery from ocular occlusion.

Source:

https://www.cmu.edu/mcs/news-events/2018/1023_Kuhlman-Scientific-Reports.html

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles