Scientists at Newcastle University have shed new light on how the brain tunes in to relevant information.
Publishing in Neuron, the team reveal the interplay of brain chemicals which help us pay attention in work funded by the Wellcome Trust and BBSRC.
By changing the way neurons respond to external stimuli we improve our perceptual abilities. While these changes can affect the strength of a neuronal response, they can also affect the fidelity of that response.
Lead author Alex Thiele, Professor of Visual Neuroscience explains: “When you communicate with others, you can make yourself better heard by speaking louder or by speaking more clearly. Neurons appear to do similar things when we’re paying attention. They send their message more intensely to their partners, which compares to speaking louder. But more importantly, they also increase the fidelity of their message, which compares to speaking more clearly.
“Our earlier work has shown that attention is able to affect the intensity of responses – in effect the loudness - by means of the brain chemical acetylcholine. Now we have shown that the fidelity of the response is altered by a different brain chemical system.”
In the paper, the team reveal that the quality of the response is altered by means of glutamate coupling to NMDA receptors (a molecular device that mediates communication between neurons). Carried out in a primate model, these studies for the first time isolate different attention mechanisms at the receptor level.
The research builds on the team’s previous studies and has potentially significant implications not only for our understanding of how our brains work but also give an insight into conditions such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and attention deficit disorder, and may aid in the development of treatments for them.
The original story of the little mermaid is that she must kill the prince in order to be human, and in the end, she loves him too much and kills herself instead.
The artwork is too great not to reblog.
Ok, ok - important expansion: she only has to kill the Prince because the deal was if he fell in love with her she could be human forever, and he didn’t. By which I mean, he was a good person and genuinely nice to her, but he didn’t fall in love. He fell in love with someone else, also perfectly nice - not the seawitch in disguise, fu Disney. The Mermaid is told she can only return to the sea now if she kills the Prince. She goes into the room where he and his lover lie sleeping and they look so beautiful and happy together that she can’t do it.
That’s why she kills herself. And because it was a noble act she returns to sea as foam.
One moral of the story was that women shouldn’t fundamentally change who they are for love of a man, and in theory Han Christian Anderson wrote it for a ballerina with whom he fell in love. She was marrying someone else who wouldn’t let her dance.
I want this painted on my wall.
I prefer the original plotline of most Disney movies more than the “child safe” adaptations of them. But as far as accuracy goes they didn’t even try with The Little Mermaid.
No attempt was made.
And I love original Grimms Fairy tales.
Didn’t the author write it for another guy?