New study Posted in Science Discover a collection of nervous cells Responsible for associating facial perception with long-term memory. The Research He is the first to explain how our brains register the faces of those we love, like our grandmothers.
The retrieval process is deliberately called “grandmother’s neuron”, and the retrieval process has long been pursued. Scientists, who thought it was a single cell and not a group of cells, the study explained.
“When I started in neuroscience, if you wanted to mock someone’s argument, you would dismiss it as just ‘another very neuron’ – a hypothesis that could not exist. Now, in a mysterious and unknown corner of the brain, we find the closest thing to a very neuron. : cells capable of linking facial perception to memory,” says Weinrich Freiwald, professor of neuroscience and behavior at Rockefeller University.
According to Medical Xpress, the idea of a grandfather neuron first emerged in the 1960s and attempted to explain how the brain integrates familiar faces with our long-term memories. The brain cell was considered private and, in theory, would encode specific and complex representations. A specific and complex concept. In this way, each neuron will respond to different information, such as one for the grandmother’s memory, another for the mother’s memory, etc.
Over the years and with progress in Science, many sensory neurons specialized in processing facial information and memory cells dedicated to storing data have been discovered. But the current study suggests that a small area in the brain’s temporal pole region may be involved in facial recognition.
Methods and discovery
With the help of fMRI, the team analyzed the monkeys’ reaction to seeing images of familiar and unknown faces – seen only a few times and in virtual form. The response from the region was fast and highly selective with known faces responding three times more when compared to faces seen infrequently.
“This may indicate the importance of getting to know someone in person. Given the current trend towards virtualisation, it is important to note that the faces we see on screen may not elicit the same neural activity as the faces we encounter in person,” notes neuroscientist Sophia Landi, The author of the article.
The discovery demonstrates the existence of a hybrid cell, not unlike the legendary grandmother’s neuron. Existing cells behave like sensory cells, with reliable and rapid responses to visual stimuli. But they also function as memory cells that respond only to stimuli that the brain has seen before—in this case, familiar individuals.
The difference between these and the old grandmother theory is that they work together, collectively, rather than encrypting one face individually.
“Now we can ask how this area connects to other parts of the brain and what happens when a new face appears,” Freiwald wonders, noting that the study is just the beginning and that the effects may help with clinical conditions such as facetightness, a type of visual agnosia that could potentially help. It arises as a result of brain damage in the areas responsible for attachment.
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