• Follow us

Science

"Clock-like" Neurons Discovered At Last? - Neuroskeptic

The brain is buzzing with gamma oscillations – cycles of neuronal activity with a frequency (around 40-60 Hz) higher than that of other major brain waves.

A longstanding hypothesis is that gamma serves as a kind of ‘clock signal’ that enables the coordination and integration of signals. Gamma has even been proposed as the mechanism by which the brain ‘binds’ information from different brain areas into a unitary consciousness.

However, while the gamma-clock hypothesis is intriguing, direct evidence for it has proved elusive. Many researchers now believe that gamma is merely a non-specific marker of neuronal activity.

Now, in a new paper out in Neuron, researchers Hyeyoung Shin and Christopher I. Moore announce the discovery of a new class of neurons that seem to have clock-like properties, and firing regularly at gamma frequencies. This could help to put the gamma-as-clock theory back on the map.

Using single-cell tetrode recordings from the cortex of mice, Shin and Moore discovered a subset of fast-spiking interneurons that show highly regular firing in the gamma frequency range.

What’s more, these highly regular interneurons did not show any response to sensory stimulation (whisker touching). This supports the idea that they might have a clock-like role, because the purpose of a clock is to provide a consistent signal independent of whatever else is happening.

So Shin and Moore named their discovery with the catchy title of gamma-regular non-sensory Fast Spiking (grnsFS) cells.

Histogram of firing rates (inter-spike interval, ISI) of individual fast-spiking interneurons in mouse barrel cortex. In green, the subpopulation of “gamma-regular” neurons is seen to fire every 20-30 ms, i.e. 33-50 Hz. From Shin & Moore (2019) Neuron

Yet if grnsFS neurons are firing away regardless of sensory input, why is it that many previous studies have shown that gamma amplitude and frequency does vary with stimulation? The strong sensory influence on gamma has in fact been one of the pieces of evidence against gamma-as-clock.

Shin and Moore resolve this dilemma by showing that grnsFS cell firing isn’t correlated with the local field potential (LFP), which is a measure of the firing of many neurons, rather than single cells.

If grnsFS gamma firing isn’t reflected in the LFP, this suggests that previous studies using LFP might have completely overlooked the role of grnsFSs. If this is true of LFPs, I suspect it would also apply to EEG and MEG recordings, which are most commonly used in humans.

In my view, this is a convincing study and it should serve to rekindle interest in gamma, which in recent years has come to be seen as a marker of neural activity but not an interesting phenomeon in its own right.

However, Shin and Moore don’t directly show that grnsFS cells are important in perception or coordinating behavior.

The authors show correlations between grnsFS firing and mouse behaviour (i.e. whether the mouse noticed the whisker stimulation), but the crucial experiment for the future would be to somehow inhibit grnsFS cells and show that this disrupts perception. Until this is done, it remains possible that the grnsFS cells are themselves just some kind of marker of neural activity elsewhere.

Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

All DiscoverMagazine.com

Long-Term Radiation Exposure From Space Travel Harms Memory, 2019-08-05 13:30:45Astronauts traveling to Mars will get hit with long-term, low-dosage radiation. A new study in mice suggests the radiation could cause lasting memory

A Burned City, and a New View of 2019-08-05 13:30:11A digital reconstruction of two inscribed stones from the cities of Witzna and Naranja, one of which contains a phrase indicating that Witzna was burn

50 Million Years Needed for New Zealand's Bird 2019-08-05 12:00:28New Zealand's kiwi birds, a national symbol, are endangered. And scientists say the rest of the island's bird populations have also been hard hit by

"Clock-like" Neurons Discovered At Last? 2019-08-04 04:55:23The brain is buzzing with gamma oscillations - cycles of neuronal activity with a frequency (around 40-60 Hz) higher than that of other major brain wa

NASA Rocket Launch Will Aid Search For Signs 2019-08-02 17:23:57To understand what life-signs astronomers read from a planet, they must first understand the planet’s star. (Credit: NASA/GSFC/C. Meaney/B. Monr

After You Die, These Genes Come to Life 2019-08-02 10:42:51(Credit: Immersion Images/Shutterstock) From the time we see Bambi’s mom bite the dust, we all know what death is. At least, we think we do.

10 billion tons of meltwater poured off Greenland 2019-08-01 22:45:56Comparison of satellite images of the western edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet about 250 miles across, one acquired in 2018 on July 30, and the other o

Saving Endangered Species (Or At Least Their Tissues) 2019-08-01 17:00:34(Credit: Courtesy of San Diego Zoo) (Inside Science) -- In 1975, medical doctor Kurt Benirschke founded the Center for the Reproduction of Endanger

The Best Way to Counteract Obesity Genes? Jogging 2019-08-01 16:30:01A new study of obesity genes and different kinds of exercise finds that jogging is the best way to counteract weight gain. (Credit: By Giuseppe Elio C

How a Contagious Dog Cancer Spread Around the 2019-08-01 16:26:35A type of tumor that can pass between dogs is showing researchers how cancer cells evolve. (Credit: Jess Wealleans/Shutterstock) Thousands of years

Hubble Spots a Football-Shaped Planet Leaking Heavy Metals 2019-08-01 15:30:45WASP-121b is so hot that the planet has puffed up beyond its ability to hold onto its own atmosphere, and is instead streaming it away as it flies aro

Turtle Embryos Choose Their Sex Before Birth 2019-08-01 13:00:28Turtles, tortoises (shown here) and other reptiles change sex inside their eggs depending on the outside temperature. That trait has scientists worrie

Breaking Science News |

Social Contact Earlier in Life Could Play Role 2019-08-06 07:29:22A new study, published in the journal PLoS Medicine, suggests that more frequent social contact during early and midlife may build cognitive reserve,

Scientists Create Global Map of Labor Flow 2019-08-05 13:44:38A team of scientists from Indiana University and the professional network LinkedIn has created the first global map of labor flow. “Our result r

Ultramassive Black Hole Found in Elliptical Galaxy Holmberg 2019-08-05 11:42:51Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) have discovered an enormous black hole at the center of Holmberg 15A, a supergiant elliptical

Study: Dinosaur Feathers Evolved for Sexual Display 2019-08-05 10:37:52New research, published recently in the journal Evolution, shows that some dinosaurs may have taken flight thanks to sex appeal. Modern bird feathers

Hubble Watches Graceful Dance of Interacting Galaxies: UGC 2019-08-05 08:06:15The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured a striking view of UGC 2369, a pair of interacting galaxies. Also known as KPG 82 and Z 0251.2+1446,

Scientists Create Artificial Cells Capable of Sensing and 2019-08-05 04:00:26A team of researchers at Imperial College London, UK, has created micromachines that sense and respond to external chemical signals through activation

Astronomers Discover Milky Way’s Most Iron-Poor Star 2019-08-02 13:46:36SMSS J160540.18-144323.1, an ultra-metal-poor red giant star located in the halo of the Milky Way, on the other side of the Galaxy about 35,000 light-

Researchers Discover Eleven New Species of Rain Frogs 2019-08-02 12:06:27Nadia Paez, a PhD student at the University of British Columbia, and Pontifical Catholic University’s Professor Santiago Ron have discovered ele

Astronomers Create New 3D Map of Milky Way 2019-08-02 10:23:31By measuring the distance from the Sun to thousands of classical Cepheid stars and the associated young stellar populations scattered across the Milky

Smoke from African Fires is Fertilizing Amazon Rainforest, 2019-08-02 07:52:27Smoke from fires in southern Africa is the largest contributor of phosphorus — an important agricultural fertilizer — to the Amazon rainfo

Metal-Rich Gas Seen Streaming from Hot Jupiter WASP-121b 2019-08-01 14:31:28WASP-121b is about two times bigger than Jupiter and 1.2 times more massive. Discovered in 2016, the planet is located 881 light-years away in the con

Scientists Sequence RNA of 14,300-Year-Old Wolf Puppy 2019-08-01 12:36:04An international team of scientists has isolated and sequenced RNA from the permafrost-preserved liver, cartilage and muscle tissue of a 14,300-year-o

Latest Headlines | Science

With nowhere to hide from rising seas, Boston 2019-08-06 06:00:13Boston has armed itself with a science-driven master plan to protect itself from increasingly inevitable storm surges and rising seas.

How the 5 riskiest U.S. cities for coastal 2019-08-06 06:00:13The five U.S. cities most at risk of coastal flooding from rising sea levels are in various stages of preparedness.

Ancient Maya warfare flared up surprisingly early 2019-08-05 11:00:18Extreme conflicts broke out well before the decline of the Maya civilization, researchers say.

A new map is the best view yet 2019-08-05 08:00:10Stitching together data from several satellite missions allowed scientists to create the most comprehensive map of Antarctic ice flow ever.

Decades of dumping acid suggest acid rain may 2019-08-05 06:00:26Acidified soil loses calcium, which can affect trees’ ability to hang on to water.

Satellites are transforming how archaeologists study the past 2019-08-04 08:00:18In ‘Archaeology from Space,’ Sarah Parcak takes readers on a lively tour of the past, and archaeology of the 21st century.

The Arctic is burning and Greenland is melting, 2019-08-02 15:52:55A heat wave is melting Greenland’s ice and fueling blazes across the Arctic that are pumping record amounts of carbon dioxide into the air.

Hospitalizations highlight potential dangers of e-cigs to teens’ 2019-08-02 15:09:55E-cigarette use can harm the lungs, and eight Wisconsin teens who developed severe lung injuries after vaping may be the latest victims.

Public trust that scientists work for the good 2019-08-02 10:45:47More Americans trust the motives of scientists than of journalists or politicians.

Stars may keep spinning fast, long into old 2019-08-02 06:00:16NASA’s TESS telescope has spotted an old star that spins too fast for theory to explain, suggesting that stars may have a magnetic midlife crisi

A 3-D map of stars reveals the Milky 2019-08-01 14:00:19Our galaxy flaunts its curves in a chart of thousands of stars called Cepheids.

There’s more to pufferfish than that goofy spiked 2019-08-01 12:07:35Three odd things about pufferfishes: how they mate, how they bite and what’s up with no fish scales?

Latest Science News --

Opioid use and misuse 3 months after ED 2019-08-07 13:47:22Opioid use at the three-month follow-up in emergency department patients discharged with an opioid prescription for acute pain is relatively low and n

Bermuda's baitfish populations 2019-08-07 13:19:41A new study used DNA markers to characterize the genetic diversity of Bermuda's baitfish populations. The island's baitfish were shown to exist in h

New synthesis method opens up possibilities for organic 2019-08-07 13:19:39Scientists have modified a previous synthesis method to create a new semiconducting polymer with remarkable properties which could be used in organic

Forgotten immune cells protective in mouse model of 2019-08-07 13:19:33A seldom-studied class of immune cells may reduce the friendly fire that drives autoimmune disease, according to a new study. Stimulating these protec

Groundwater resources in Africa resilient to climate change 2019-08-07 13:19:28Groundwater - a vital source of water for drinking and irrigation across sub-Saharan Africa - is resilient to climate variability and change, accordin

A rocky relationship: A history of Earth's continents 2019-08-07 13:19:26A new study of rocks that formed billions of years ago lends fresh insight into how Earth's plate tectonics, or the movement of large pieces of Earth

Key proteins for the repair of nerve fibers 2019-08-07 13:19:22Scientists have identified a group of proteins that help to regenerate damaged nerve cells.

Scientists reveal key insights into emerging water purification 2019-08-07 13:19:20While it holds promise, membrane distillation doesn't work perfectly. A key challenge is designing membranes to purify water efficiently while ensuri

A growth mindset intervention can change students' grades 2019-08-07 13:19:18Boosting academic success does not have to derive from new teachers or curriculum; it can also come from changing students' attitudes about their abi

Climate change likely to increase human exposure to 2019-08-07 13:19:17Researchers developed a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive model that simulates how environmental factors, including increasing sea temperatures and ove

Vast ancient galaxies discovered 2019-08-07 13:19:15Astronomers used the combined power of multiple astronomical observatories around the world and in space to discover a treasure-trove of previously un

Wearable motion sensors could save unborn babies 2019-08-07 13:19:13Researchers have developed a technique that could allow expectant parents to hear their baby's heartbeat continuously at home with a non-invasive and

Science - The Huffington

USDA Scientist Quits, Claims Trump Administration Tried To 2019-08-05 16:37:54Lewis Ziska, a plant physiologist, says officials refused to promote his groundbreaking research on the effects of climate change on rice.

July Was The Hottest Month On Record, New 2019-08-05 15:08:53“July has re-written climate history," said the head of the World Meteorological Organization.

El Paso Terrorism Suspect’s Alleged Manifesto Highlights Eco-Fascism’s 2019-08-04 13:46:10The racist rant inveighs against environmental destruction and calls for mass killings to make the American “way of life” more “sust

Jay Inslee Actually Knows Why He’s Running For 2019-08-04 08:00:05The Washington governor is lagging in the polls. But don't write him off as just another one of the older, straight white male also-rans.

Greenland Loses Staggering Amount Of Ice In July 2019-08-02 16:51:49“This is not science fiction. It is the reality of climate change," one scientist warned.

The Democrats In Detroit Are Still Unclear On 2019-08-01 01:49:30Just an hour's drive from Flint, the presidential hopefuls said little about the growing list of threats to America's drinking water.

Climate Candidate Jay Inslee Spars With Joe Biden: 2019-08-01 01:10:13The Washington governor's climate plan has been called the “gold standard” for a Green New Deal.

Jay Inslee Says Fossil Fuel Execs Are ‘Killing 2019-07-31 14:09:09The Washington governor made the remark a day after Bernie Sanders called out the industry’s “criminality” in the Democratic debate.

Green New Deal Emerges As Wedge Issue On 2019-07-30 23:42:06Low-polling centrists got plenty of airtime to criticize the ambitious plan that polls show is popular with Democrats.

Detroiters March For Green New Deal Ahead Of 2019-07-30 18:37:57The Motor City is tired of its association with the combustion engine, and wants to be the epicenter of a new green industrial policy.

Neil deGrasse Tyson Keeps Museum Post After Sexual 2019-07-29 12:20:54The astrophysicist serves as director of the Hayden Planetarium at New York’s American Museum of Natural History.

Jay Inslee Calls For Banning 'Forever Chemicals' In 2019-07-29 09:57:27The Washington governor's campaign may be lagging, but he keeps building out a massive library of detailed policy ideas.

Les dernières actualités

Le Japon mise un milliard de dollars sur 2019-08-07 12:27:00Confronté à des problèmes démographiques, avec une population vieillissante, le gouvernement japonais lance un vaste appel

Réchauffement climatique : vers 30.000 morts par an 2019-08-07 11:31:55Une étude suggère qu’une augmentation de température de 2 °C à l’échelle de la planète, au l

Un astéroïde de 570 mètres de diamètre rend 2019-08-07 11:14:32Voici 2006 QQ23. Samedi 10 août, ce gros astéroïde d’environ 570 mètres de long passera au plus près de la Terre

Les processeurs Intel concernés par une nouvelle faille 2019-08-07 10:27:31Les derniers processeurs Intel présentent une faille de sécurité « majeure », pouvant affecter le noyau d&r

Le plus grand perroquet du monde mesurait un 2019-08-07 10:02:39Bien que grandement menacé, le kakapo est aujourd’hui le plus grand perroquet vivant. Mais Hercule, ce perroquet que des chercheurs ont i

Une étrange orchidée parasite découverte au Japon 2019-08-07 09:41:10La floraison ? Voilà un concept obscur pour cette nouvelle espèce d'orchidée capable de produire des fruits sans jamais ouvrir s

L'intrication quantique est-elle présente dans les réactions chimiques 2019-08-07 09:24:00Des effets subtils dus à l'intrication quantique pourraient intervenir en biologie, dans le fonctionnement du cerveau et dans le cadre plus g&

La viande transformée associée à un risque plus 2019-08-07 08:30:00Une nouvelle étude parue dans le prestigieux journal The Lancet fait état d'une association entre une consommation faible de viand

Une étoile éjectée par le trou noir de 2019-08-07 07:18:34C’est une fois de plus par hasard que des astronomes américains viennent de repérer, à quelque 30.000 années-lumi&eg

Lune : des tardigrades auraient survécu au crash 2019-08-07 07:05:15En avril dernier, la sonde israélienne Bereshit s’écrasait sur la Lune. À son bord, un millier de tardigrades. À ce

Chimiothérapie : une efficacité supérieure lors de la 2019-08-07 06:01:00Les cellules cancéreuses sont des organites anarchiques qui se répliquent à tout-va. Afin d'endiguer la progression d'une tumeu

La déforestation de l'Amazonie brésilienne en hausse de 2019-08-07 05:28:46Les chiffres de la déforestation en Amazonie sont de nouveau accablants pour le mois de juillet, la partie brésilienne du « poumon

French-technologie

Un navire de recherche chinois rentre à Qingdao 2019-08-06 20:00:00Le navire de recherche chinois Kexue03 a achevé une enquête sur la récente marée verte et est rentré à Qingda

La Chine lance une expédition scientifique en amont 2019-08-03 20:00:00Des scientifiques chinois ont lancé dimanche une expédition scientifique dans la région en amont du fleuve Yangtsé, le plu

La mission lunaire indienne Chandrayaan-2 envoie une première 2019-08-03 20:00:00La seconde mission lunaire de l'Inde, Chandrayaan-2, lancée le 22 juillet, a envoyé ses premières photos de la Terre, a annonc&e

Chine : livraison d'un nouveau navire de recherche 2019-08-01 20:00:00La Chine a vu la livraison d'un nouveau navire de recherche océanique qui a été développé par le pays, a-t-on appr

Le micro-orbiteur lunaire chinois s'écrase sur la Lune 2019-08-01 20:00:00Le micro-orbiteur lunaire chinois Longjiang-2 s'est écrasé sur la Lune sous le contrôle des équipes au sol après av

La Russie lance un vaisseau cargo vers l'ISS 2019-07-31 20:00:00

La Chine envisage de construire un port d'attache 2019-07-31 20:00:00La Chine prévoit de commencer cette année la construction d'un port d'attache pour les lancements de fusées en mer à Yan

Des scientifiques chinois développent une nouvelle méthode de 2019-07-28 20:00:00Des scientifiques chinois ont mis au point une nouvelle méthode de contrôle de la population de moustiques, a rapporté lundi le Sc

Vskit fait vibrer les jeunes africains 2019-07-28 20:00:00Un peu plus d'un an après sa naissance en Afique, Vskit a le vent en poupe parmi les jeunes africains. Cette application "Made in China" de

La Chine teste avec succès la technologie de 2019-07-28 20:00:00La Chine a testé avec succès la technologie permettant de contrôler avec précision le site d'atterrissage des pièce

La Chine lance de nouveaux satellites de télédétection 2019-07-25 20:00:00La Chine a envoyé vendredi avec succès plusieurs satellites de télédétection sur orbite depuis le centre de lanceme

Chine : lancement réussi d'une fusée porteuse commerciale 2019-07-24 20:00:00Une fusée porteuse développée par une société privée chinoise a envoyé avec succès deux satell


Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.