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your brain is pro-active

April 16, 2009

The study, published in the April 16 issue of the journal Neuron, suggests that information from single brain cells cannot be interpreted differently within a short time period, a finding that is important for understanding both normal cognition and psychiatric disorders.  “We found that neuronal sensitivities were nearly identical during both the direction and depth discrimination tasks; that is, neural activity depended on the visual stimulus and not the task itself,” says Dr. Uka.   “We suggest that task switching is accomplished via the communication of distinct populations of MT neurons into a downstream decision system,” explains Dr. Uka. “We hypothesize that single neurons probably cannot switch outputs in a short period of time, so the brain realizes behavioral flexibility by preparing separate pathways for each task through learning, and then chooses the appropriate pathways, rather than switching outputs, in a given trial.”



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