Stitching Thought Together
PSC Powers Harvard’s, Allen Institute’s 3D-Reconstruction of Excitatory Visual Neuron Wiring
March 28, 2016
Why It’s Important:
One of the mysteries of brain function is how we make sense of the jumble of images that confront our eyes. Neuroscientists have discovered that most individual nerve cells in the brain respond to specific elements in the visual environment. For example, a nerve cell may fire in response to vertical lines—another, in response to horizontal or slanted lines. Researchers suspected that the mammalian cortex amplifies this signal by having nerve cells that respond to similar elements excite each other. This mutual excitation may help those elements stand out and prime the network for their further processing. But scientists had no anatomical evidence that this actually happens.