Neuron communication is not a trivial language and it has yet to be fully understood. This so-called “neural code” is certainly not as simple as a single electrical impulse each time a brain cell wants to say “Hi!” to a neighbor. There can be continuous signals, of varying strengths, and with the latest research from Prof. Anthony Zador at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, varying timings.
Understanding how neurons communicate is fundamental to developing neuron-based technologies that will embed and integrate living neural devices into the human system. Of significant importance is the physical structure of the neuron network and how its patterning results in the overall network’s function. But, at a more basic level, it is being realized that the electrical signaling patterns between individual neurons is potentially even more complex with amplitude (signal strength), frequency, and even small-scale variations in frequency all being a critical component in the language… which ultimately guides the behavior of the neuron network and the organism.
“Experiments support alternative theory of information processing in the cortex” :: PhysOrg.org :: October 16, 2008 :: [ READ ]
“Millisecond-scale differences in neural activity in auditory cortex can drive decisions” :: Nature Neuroscience Brief Communication :: October 12, 2008 :: [ READ ]