According to a new UCLA study, our brain is actually 10 times more active than measured previously. The study will change the perception of scientists about ‘How the brain works’. It could lead to new approaches for the treatment of neurological disorders and for the development of computers that “think” more like humans.
An organ that serves as the center for all vertebrate and invertebrate animals, the brain is the most complex organ in our body.
Physiologically, its function is to exert the centralized control over the other organs of the body. The centralized control is responsible for the reflex actions to the changes in the environment.
The research is focused on the structure and function of Dendrites. The branched projection of a neuron that acts to propagate electrochemical signals received from other neural cells or soma.
Somas generate different electrical pulses called “spikes” in order to connect and communicate with each other in the brain.
Scientists believed that somatic spikes activate Dendrites and passively sending current to other neurons’ somas. But was never tested directly and is the basis of memory formation.
Scientists believed that it was dendrites primary role but the research found, Dendrites are not just passive conduits. They are electrically active in animals, moving around freely, and generating 10 times more somas. This challenged the long-heir belief that soma is the primary way in which the perception, learning, and memory formation occur.
After knowing, the Dendrites are much more active than somas, it will fundamentally change our understanding that how the brain computes information. It will pave the way for understanding and treat neurological disorders, and also for developing brain-like computers.
Scientists believed that Dendrites meekly send the current they receive from the cell’s synapse to the soma and generating an electric impulse.
Our learning and computation depend upon these short electrical bursts. But the new study demonstrated that dendrites generate their own spikes 10 times more often than somas.
Because the dendrites are nearly 100 times larger in volume than the neuronal centers. A large number of dendritic spikes could mean that brain has more than 100 times the computational capacity than previously thought.
Looking at the somas to understand, how the brain work has provided a framework for numerous medical and scientific questions- from diagnosing and treating diseases to how to build computers.
The framework was based on the understanding that the cell body makes the decision, and this is a digital process.