As novel sights become familiar, different brain rhythms, neurons take over


Sumary of As novel sights become familiar, different brain rhythms, neurons take over:

  • A new study by researchers at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory substantially advances understanding of how a mammalian brain enables this “visual recognition memory.”.
  • Researchers detected a strong pattern of increasing electrical activity in the visual cortex as mice became familiar with an image on a screen..
  • a strengthening of neural connections amid frequent activity, is involved but that this mechanism alone cannot produce visual recognition memory..
  • In the new study led by graduate students Dustin Hayden and Daniel Montgomery, Bear’s lab shows that as novel visual patterns become familiar, the transition is marked by stark changes in the visual cortex..
  • Gamma rhythms give way to lower frequency beta rhythms and the activity of PV neurons dies out in favor of a rise in activity by inhibitory somatostatin (SOM) expressing neurons..
  • PV activity, which initially inhibits the SRP electrical response, eventually itself becomes inhibited by SOM activity..
  • Bear’s lab is working with Boston Children’s Hospital researcher Chuck Nelson to determine if aberrations in SRP, such as this frequency transition, can be used as an early biomarker of autism spectrum disorders..
  • In the new study, the researchers showed mice the same simple image repeatedly over the course of several days….

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