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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Single neurons can detect sequences?

ScienceDaily tells us that

Single Neurons Can Detect Sequences

ScienceDaily (Aug. 13, 2010) — Single neurons in the brain are surprisingly good at distinguishing different sequences of incoming information according to new research by UCL neuroscientists.

The study, published August 12 in Science and carried out by researchers based at the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research at UCL, shows that single neurons, and indeed even single dendrites, the tiny receiving elements of neurons, can very effectively distinguish between different temporal sequences of incoming information.
This challenges the widely held view that this kind of processing in the brain requires large numbers of neurons working together, as well as demonstrating how the basic components of the brain are exceptionally powerful computing devices in their own right.

If this holds up, it might help explain how some people (not all, of course) have come back from serious brain injuries, even at an advanced age, when neuron production may be low.

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