A new model for studying brain learning


The brain is a fabulously complex organic machine with innumerable neuronal entanglements continuously traversed by electrical impulses. Scientists have long struggled to figure it out, test it, and recreate it. However, one question remains essential: How does he learn?

Researchers at the University of Montreal looked at the acquisition faculty that characterizes living things. Published in the journal Nature, the study focuses on pyramidal cells of the neocortex, responsible for the conservation of information.

What is the brain made of?

The brain is made up of 100 billion nerve cells divided into four distinct areas: the parietal lobe, the occipital lobe, the temporal lobe and the frontal lobe. Neurons, by analogy, look like a tree and synapses, the connections between neurons, are like leaves.

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The dynamics of football studied

Synaptic plasticity represents a function of the nervous system that is essential for memorization: it is the ability to do so creating and breaking neural connections. Among other things, it allows the brain to recover from certain injuries and to delay neurodegenerative diseases.

The Canadian research team focused on calcium-based synaptic plasticity. Using the new computer modeling, scientists can now gain a better understanding of the synaptic change caused by the pyramidal cells that make up 80% of the neocortex. The results of the experiments compared with those acquired virtually demonstrate this. However, these stem from a single characteristic: the dynamism of football. It remains today to study the numerous elements of variation of this plasticity.

We do not claim that the available experimental data are sufficient completely constrain the model or validate its predictive power “researchers say. Further experiments would be useful to test the model’s predictions and refine its hypotheses.

The brain, an eternal object of research

Measurements were performed on rodent brain slices in vitro. As the researchers point out, ” Lhas synaptic plasticity critically depends on the dynamics of neurotransmitter release and post-synaptic calcium influxa non-physiological calcium concentration could produce plastic changes that are not representative of true in vivo learning rules ”.

Furthermore, their new modeling would allow the entire scientific community to do soprogress efficiently on the knowledge of the brain. Optimizing the plasticity model is a computationally expensive procedure, beyond the capabilities of a typical workstation. However, re-optimization should not be necessary for most researchers who wish to use the plasticity model in their studies.

The study of the brain remains a vast field of discovery, appealing to eclectic fields of research. Also, very recently, scientists have found a much higher temperature than expected in our organ of thought.


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