Despite the fact that the nervous system of humans and other mammals already studied well enough how some of its aspects still remains a mystery. For example, if we compare the structure of the brain of humans and our closest of kin creatures primates, differences are not so much. However, all this does not explain the origin of a man of such unique properties, such as intelligence. And perhaps scientists from MIT came close to understanding what gives us this intelligence.
New research experts from mit were made possible due to the fact that they managed to obtain samples of human excitatory neurons of the deepest parts of the brain of volunteers who had undergone an operation against epilepsy. Each sample was “the size of a fingernail” and, according to scientists, its loss will not affect the functioning of the body. But for scientists is a great way to more fully examine human neurons.
The fact that some time ago while studying the rate of passage of signals through the processes of the neurons it was found that in comparison with cells rats human cells transmit these signals much faster, which led scientists to the idea that the synapses and the cells themselves is a deep analysis of the information (despite the fact that anatomically, the structures look nearly identical). According to lead author Mark Harnett,
“It’s not that people are smart because they have more neurons and a large cerebral cortex. Just neurons behave differently.”
Taking a sample of neurons from the brain of volunteers, the researchers loaded them into the cerebrospinal fluid so that they remain alive, but this time they measured how the signals propagate through the cells.
“This is the most carefully conducted measurements of physiological properties of human neurons to date,” said co-author Mark Harnett Nelson Spruston. “Such experiments are very challenging from a technical point of view, even in mice and rats, so quite amazing that it managed to successfully meet the people.”
The information found out that neurons in the human brain not only transmit signals but also set them, processing the information. In a sense they can be considered as transistors, since they amplify some signals, while blocking others.
“In human neurons, there is more electrical compartmentation (separation of substances and processes in the cell), which allows these units to be a little more independent, and this potentially leads to an increase in computational capabilities of individual neurons.”
According to experts, all this means, that the “same amount”, parts of “more productive”. This is not observed in other mammals and that this may explain the origin of our intelligence.
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