Sumary of Feast or forage: Study finds circuit that helps a brain decide:
- MIT neuroscientists have discovered the elegant architecture of a fundamental decision-making brain circuit that allows a C.
- Capable of integrating multiple streams of sensory information, the circuit employs just a few key neurons to sustain long-lasting behaviors, and yet flexibly switch between them as environmental conditions warrant.
- ” said study senior author Steven Flavell, Lister Brothers Career Development Associate Professor in The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT.
- “We thought that studying how the brain controls this crucial decision-making process could uncover fundamental circuit elements that may be deployed in many animals’ brains.
- ” This approach of studying simple invertebrates to gain basic insights into how the brain functions has a long tradition in neuroscience, Flavell said.
- For example, studies of how a squid nerve propagates electrical impulses led to the key insight explaining how brain cells fire in virtually all animals.
- Though the critical component of brain circuitry identified by Flavell and colleagues may seem simple now that it has been revealed, finding it was anything but easy.
- Lead author Ni Ji, a postdoc in Flavell’s lab, used several advanced technologies, including one of the lab’s own inventions, to figure it out.