Neurons are fickle. Electric fields are more reliable for information

Calculate the magnitude of the nerve field in each electric field over a period of 800 milliseconds. Credit: Dimitris Pinotsis.

A new study suggests that electrical fields may represent data stored in active memory, allowing the brain to control the “representational speed,” or imbalance of a number of neurons.

As the brain tries to keep information in mind, such as the list of foods we need to buy at home, a new study shows that the most accurate and reliable representation of this information is not the electrical activity of any neurons in it but. the electric field they generally produce together.

Of course, every time neuroscientists look at how the brain represents data in working memory, they find that from one experiment to the next, even when repeating the same activity, the signatures and functions of a single cell are different ( the issue is called “drift representation”)). In a new study a Photo of NeuroScientists at the Picower Center for Learning and Reminders at MIT and the University of London have discovered that, regardless of the type of neurons involved, the total electrical energy produced, provides a stable signal and the information placed on animals responsible for memory. .

In other words, once the field is established, the field imposes itself on neurons like the conductor of a band in which each neuron is a single composer, says Dimitris Pinotsis, research director and co-author. Even if the musicians change, the conductor adjusts everyone on the chairs to produce the same effect.

“This proves that the brain can still function even when certain organisms are dead,” said Pinotsis, a professor at the University of London and a researcher at the Picower Center at MIT. “The field confirms the nature of the emergence of neurons even if they occur almost after the human parts have changed. The bullarum has no neurons, only the electric field, it remains the same.”

Co-author Earl Miller, Picower Professor of Neuroscience at MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, says that therefore electric fields can give the brain a level of data representation and integration that is much less information than a single individual data set path of neurons or single circles. .

“Computers can use this system to operate at a complete level even if the details are moving,” he said.

Measurement and calculation model

In the study, Pinotsis and Miller tested whether the electric field is strong and if it contains data related to the project. To do this they used a direct correlation of the neural functions performed in animals while performing active memory, and future mathematical studies to isolate and evaluate the electrical fields associated with the function. It is not possible to just measure the electric field directly, Miller said, because the implanted electrical impulses used to measure the activity of different neurons and EEG sensors located outside the skull are named. take a wide and wide range of symbols to consider the specific information represented by a small group of nerves.

“You have to record every detail and then take half the required level by calculation,” Miller said.

During the game the animals are shown dots in one of the six places on the side of the screen that will go blank. After a short pause, or pause, they must turn their gaze from the center of the screen to the point where they can see. During the pause, while the animals must hold the mental direction in mind, Pinotsis and Miller record the electrical activity of the neurons on the surface of the brain.

As expected there was a lot of noise in the signal, even when compared to the round of the game where the position to be remembered was the same. First of all, according to the representation plate, the signatures of individual molecules are different, but also electronic devices take action not only from the neurons involved in the activity but also from the cells that operate on non-active objects. related.

Thus, in order to isolate the mechanism associated with the play between this imbalance of neurons, Pinotsis developed computational techniques for tracking the activity of neurons during the delay. By determining which neurons are working together to perform the function, it can determine their connection and therefore information flows between them. Then, using standard biological principles, he calculated the electric field produced by their functions near the surface of the brain occupied.

As Miller puts it, “Fields are ‘above’ brains, but still ‘my’ brains.”

Importantly, the estimated electrical fields exhibit properties that indicate that they represent the information that animals hold in memory. For example, they are more precise than nerve function when the direction to be remembered is the same. They also vary in different ways but standardized methods depending on what position to remember – rather than nerve functions. And when scientists have developed software called “decoder” to determine which direction the animals hold in mind, the device is more capable of making it electrically powered than it is made. per. nerve functions.

This does not mean that the differences between the two nerves are the same nonsense, Miller said. The thoughts and feelings of humans and animals, even though they repeat the same actions, can change from minute to minute, causing different types of neurons to express themselves differently than they do. The key to achieving the memory function is that the field as a whole is correct in its representation.

“This material we call pain or noise may be the actual calculations made by the brain, but the point is that at this next level of electrical fields, you can eliminate this drift and you just have the signal,” he said. Miller.

Researchers predict that the field even appears as a pathway brain can work to streamline data to ensure the desired results. By activating that a specific field emerges, it directs the activity of incoming neurons.

Indeed, this is one of the next questions that scientists are researching: Can electrical fields be a mechanism for controlling neurons?

“We are now using this function to ask if the information is running from my macroscale level electric field to the level of the lower extremities, “says Pinotsis.” To compare the orchestra, we now use this function to ask if the style of music changes how a member of the orchestra plays its instruments. ”

The ‘walking’ nature of the cerebral cortex can help with memory function

Learn more:
Dimitris A. Pinotsis et al. Photo of Neuro (2022). DOI: 10.1016 / j.neuroimage.2022.119058

hint: Neurons are strong. Electric fields are more reliable for data (2022, March 11) retrieved 11 March 2022 from

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