The LSD molecule connected to the receptor. The orange stick in the center is the “cover” holding it
To other news. Scientists recently discovered something unusual in the brain. As if ivy, wrapped around a tree, the brain of a mouse hugged a giant neuron. It connected with virtually all areas in both hemispheres, and resembled an electrical grid that feeds the city with electricity. Moreover, two more giant neurons that actively branched out in the brain, originated in the same area as the first.
They started from a site called “fence”, or “claustrum” – a thin sheet of cells , And one of the sites that have the most connections in the brain. It helps us use such cognitive functions as long-term planning. It has already been shown that claustrum is somehow connected with consciousness (stimulation by its electricity led to a sharp inclusion and switching off of consciousness, and its damage correlated with the duration of loss of consciousness). One of the authors of the work in question previously assumed that claustrum works as a conductor in an orchestra, combining all internal and external sensations into a complex perception. If so, these giant neurons can be considered proof of the role that claustrum plays in the mind. The researchers plan to continue marking the neurons coming from the claustrum to see if they all extend to the entire brain, or in different areas they are different. And, although it was very interesting to find neurons that may serve as a powerful switch for conscious behavior, it is worth keeping horses and not producing sensations like “FOUNDATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS OF CONDENSATION !! 1”. It will take a long time before these discoveries can be transferred to people, and decipher the mechanism behind such a miracle as our consciousness.
Giant neurons. Blue – the largest of them
To less existential news. It is found out what exactly are the good comedians from your drunken uncle telling anecdotes about the Chukchi (and me writing this post). Researchers compared experienced comedians-improvizers with beginners to see where the brain contains creativity associated with humor. To do this, the researchers scanned the subjects, while they came up with funny labels for the caricatures of New Yorker. It was found that two parts of the brain are active in this process: the median prefrontal cortex (SPK) and the regions of temporal associative memory. But the level of their activation depended on the experience of the comedian. Experienced jokers have much more actively activated the area of associative memory, participating in the work of memory, semantic knowledge, combining information into complex contextual associations and recognizing the language and visible objects. The newcomers relied more on the SEC, the area responsible for decision-making and planning. It seemed that the experience allows jokers to let go of control and allow free and spontaneous associations to behave, instead of trying to force a joke. The rating of jokes was also higher, the more the memory area was activated. Tried to come up with the final joke, but my temporary associative memory let me down.
And finally, futuristic news. Scientists managed to grow a brain from the dumped skin! Nearly. In fact, they turned skin cells into neural stem cells, from which neurons could grow. And, unlike previous similar experiments, all this was done without genetic manipulation. And this is important because it means that this technology can help fight neurodegenerative diseases (such as “we take a little skin and replace all the dead cells because of Parkinson’s cells”), and that we can now study genetic diseases of the nervous system in vitro – skin cells , Turning into neurons, will carry the same genetic mutation that leads to the disease, therefore, it is not necessary to take real neurons from the person.