The more equally attractive two alternatives seem, the harder it can be to choose between them.
A Neuron’s Sense of Timing Encodes Information in the Human Brain
We like to think of brains as computers: A physical system that processes inputs and spits out outputs. But, obviously, what’s between your ears bears little resemblance to your laptop.
Computer scientists know the intimate details of how computers store and process information because they design and build them. But neuroscientists didn’t build brains, which makes them a bit like a piece of alien technology they’ve found and are trying to reverse engineer.
At this point, researchers have catalogued the components fairly well. We know the brain is a vast and intricate network of cells called neurons that communicate by way of electrical and chemical signals. What’s harder to figure out is how this network makes sense of the world.
To do that, scientists try to tie behavior to activity in the brain by listening to the chatter of its neurons firing. If neurons in a region get rowdy when a person is eating chocolate, well, those cells might be processing taste or directing chewing. This method has mostly focused on the frequency at which neurons fire—that is, how often they fire in a given period of time.
But frequency alone is an imprecise measure. For years, research in rats has suggested that when neurons fire relative to their peers—during navigation of spaces in particular—may also encode information. This process, in which the timing of some neurons grows increasingly out of step with their neighbors, is called “phase precession.”....
Toxoplasmosis: Recent Advances in Understanding the Link Between Infection and Host Behavior, Johnson & Johnson 2021
Toxoplasmosis: Recent Advances in Understanding the Link Between Infection and Host Behavior, Johnson & Johnson 2021.
Brain data from natural image viewing categorised by what brain owner was viewing
We spliced brain data from natural image viewing into a deep convolutional network (DCNN) and it categorised the things the owner of the brain was looking at.
Autism and Crime
'Staggeringly high' number of autistic people on UK Prevent scheme
A “staggeringly high” number of autistic people are referred to the government’s anti-radicalisation Prevent programme, a terror laws watchdog will say, calling for discussion about terrorism cases in which the disability features.
Jonathan Hall QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, will say autism and terrorism has not received much public attention due to “a very real and respectable fear that making any sort of link will lead to stigma”.
Autism and Crime
An organism’s survival can depend on its ability to recall and navigate to spatial locations associated with rewards, such as food or a home. Accumulating research has revealed that computations of reward and its prediction occur on multiple levels across a complex set of interacting brain regions, including those that support memory and navigation. However, how the brain coordinates the encoding, recall and use of reward information to guide navigation remains incompletely understood. In this Review, we propose that the brain’s classical navigation centres — the hippocampus and the entorhinal cortex — are ideally suited to coordinate this larger network by representing both physical and mental space as a series of states.
Social Mitochondria produce magnetic fields & communicate with other mitochondria
'Social' Mitochondria, Whispering Between Cells, Influence Health
Mitochondria appear to communicate and cooperate with one another, both within and between cells. Biologists are only just beginning to understand how and why.
Knowing where we are, where we have been, and where we are going is critical to many behaviors, including navigation and memory. One potential neuronal mechanism underlying this ability is phase precession, in which spatially tuned neurons represent sequences of positions by activating at progressively earlier phases of local network theta oscillations. Based on studies in rodents, researchers have hypothesized that phase precession may be a general neural pattern for representing sequential events for learning and memory. By recording human single-neuron activity during spatial navigation, we show that spatially tuned neurons in the human hippocampus and entorhinal cortex exhibit phase precession.