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Computer model reveals yields clues to how the brain works

Tags: neuroscience, university of arizona

[Source: ScienceDaily] - There is strength in numbers if you want to get your voice heard. But how to do you get your say if you are in the minority? That's a dilemma faced not only by the citizens of a democracy but also by some neurons in the brain.

Although they only account for a fraction of the synapses in the visual cortex, neurons in the thalamus get their message across loud and clear by coordination -- simultaneously hitting the "send" button -- according to a computer simulation developed by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Their findings, published in the April 2, 2010 issue of the journal Science, hold important clues to how the brain encodes and processes information, which can be applied to a wide variety of applications, from understanding psychiatric disorders to the development of novel pharmaceuticals and new ways of handling information by computers or communication networks.

For more information: All for One and One for All: Computer Model Reveals Neurons Coordinating Their Messaging, Yielding Clues to How the Brain Works