By looking at groups of neurons in the emotional center of the brain, researchers now understand how neural networks in the brain form associations, like those made famous by Ivan Pavlov.
In the decades following the work by physiologist Ivan Pavlov and his famous salivating dogs, scientists have discovered how molecules and cells in the brain learn to associate stimuli, like Pavlov’s bell and the resulting food. What they haven’t been able to study is how whole groups of neurons work together to form that association. Now, Stanford University researchers have observed how large groups of neurons in the brain both learn and unlearn a new association.
“It’s been over 100 years since Pavlov did his amazing work but we still haven’t had a glimpse of how neural ensembles encode a long-term memory,” said Mark Schnitzer, associate professor of biology and applied physics, who led the research. “This was an opportunity to examine that.”
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The team has recorded the activity of a large network of neurons in the amygdala and did that with single cell resolution. Tech Scouts please see the description of "Sensitive Optical System to Record Specific Neuronal Activity in Freely Moving Animals" by using the map below. Click on the red diamond and follow the TechFinder link.
- Caption: Sensitive Optical System to Record Specific Neuronal Activity in Freely Moving Animals.
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