Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Brain's 'GPS' Does a Lot More Than Just Navigate

Well, the most important part of our body is nothing than the brain. Often it is termed as the CPU of the body as it helps in taking decisions and thinking. Without the brain, a person is useless. However, the brain does more than just navigating or helping us to learn. The recent study or the report from the scientists have revealed that the region which helps in spatial navigation also help in cognitive navigation. Well, this is indeed a wonderful discovery by the scientists.

THE STUDY

The recent study by the scientists revealed that a region in the brain called the hippocampus becomes active when the rats move around the environment. All that research showed that the cells in the entorhinal cortex fire when the creatures reach a certain specific location. This has led to the discovery that the brain creates a mapping of the outside environment on its own.

 This is like a mental positioning system to help the animal identify where its location is in the environment. The famous researchers in the Princeton has found that the same regions of the brain are active when the brain is roaming in the different kind of environment.

It may also take the sounds into consideration. The experiment was done with the help of the rats. They found that the rats responded to the different sounds after listening to the sounds and it matched with the similar traits when the rodents were roaming in their own backyard.

THE MYSTERY

Well, it is a long mystery in the field of neuroscience that how the part of the brain called hippocampus could relate by mapping the external environment and also in creating memories. If the people have a damaged hippocampus, they are unable to form memories which is a major drawback for the people.

The researchers state that the combination of both hippocampus and the nearby entorhinal cortex help in making maps which are cognitive in nature. They involve tasks like memory and learning.

When the rats were given a different task like reconnoitering, the researchers have found some unusual evidence in the circuit of the hippocampus and the entorhinal cortex. They have chosen as the parameter to experiment.

THE MONITORING

The researchers then monitored the activities of the rats specially the electrical activity of the neurons present inside the brain. They found that the rodents were able to relate the sounds along with the frequency. The rats were trained to do some specific tasks like pulling the lever down bases on the sound frequency. After the performance, the rats knew that they would be rewarded.

This helped them to perform the tasks in the most efficient manner. The observing team found that the patterns of the neuronal triggering along with their behaviour. Slowly they advanced with the frequencies which were similar with the revolving around in the space.

Finally, it was concluded that the hippocampal cells become active when they are in a particular place and the entorhinal cells come into picture when the rodents travel through some specific places or locations.

No comments:

Post a Comment