Have you ever wondered how you can navigate your bedroom in pitch darkness? Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have found that cells in the brain communicate
with each other in a peculiar way to actívate this "sixth sense."
The study examined mice neurons and identified the connections involved in spatial awareness. The findings were then put in a computer model to show the neural patterns in the brain.
Neurons normally communicate by firing electrical signals to one another, which in turn stimulates the receiving neuron to fire. This causes a chain of electrical signals down to the muscle tissue. However, in the case of spatial awareness, the activated neurons fire and reduce activity in the subsequent cells. The location is coded by where the activity is present and the number and strength of the signals. The indirect communication between cells helps illuminate how the waves are generated.
This research can have wide-ranging applications with mental diseases such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer´s disease, in which spacial perception and proprioception - the sense of one's body in space - are inhibited.
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