Neuroscience_topics
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Neuroscience: CNS disease, pain, brain research, ion channels, synaptic transmission, channelopathies, neuronal network
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The axon as a unique computational unit in neurons

The axon as a unique computational unit in neurons | Neuroscience_topics | Scoop.it

[Review] In the mammalian cortex, axons are highly ramified and link an enormous number of neurons over large distances. The conventional view assumes that action potentials (APs) are initiated at the axon initial segment in an all-or-none fashion and are then self-propagated orthodromically along axon collaterals without distortion of the AP waveform. By contrast, recent experimental results suggest that the axonal AP waveform can be modified depending on the activation states of the ion channels and receptors on axonal cell membranes. This AP modulation can regulate neurotransmission to postsynaptic neurons. In addition, the latest studies have provided evidence that cortical axons can integrate somatic burst firings and promote activity-dependent ectopic AP generation, which may underlie the oscillogenesis of fast rhythmic network activity. These seminal observations indicate that axons can perform diverse functional operations that extend beyond the prevailing model of axon physiology. (...) - by Sasaki TNeuroscience ResearchVolume 75, Issue 2, February 2013, Pages 83–88

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From Functional Architecture to Functional Connectomics

From Functional Architecture to Functional Connectomics | Neuroscience_topics | Scoop.it

[Review] “Receptive Fields, Binocular Interaction and Functional Architecture in the Cat's Visual Cortex” by Hubel and Wiesel (1962) reported several important discoveries: orientation columns, the distinct structures of simple and complex receptive fields, and binocular integration. But perhaps the paper's greatest influence came from the concept of functional architecture (the complex relationship between in vivo physiology and the spatial arrangement of neurons) and several models of functionally specific connectivity. They thus identified two distinct concepts, topographic specificity and functional specificity, which together with cell-type specificity constitute the major determinants of nonrandom cortical connectivity. Orientation columns are iconic examples of topographic specificity, whereby axons within a column connect with cells of a single orientation preference. Hubel and Wiesel also saw the need for functional specificity at a finer scale in their model of thalamic inputs to simple cells, verified in the 1990s. The difficult but potentially more important question of functional specificity between cortical neurons is only now becoming tractable with new experimental techniques. - by Reid RC, Neuron 75(2), 26 July 2012, Pages 209–217 

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Social Network Size Linked to Brain Size

Social Network Size Linked to Brain Size | Neuroscience_topics | Scoop.it

How and why the volume of the orbital prefrontal cortex is related to the size of social networks.

As humans, we aren't born with formidable armaments or defenses, nor are we the strongest, fastest, or biggest species, yet despite this we are amazingly successful. For a long time it was thought that this success was because our enlarged brains allows each of us to be smarter than our competitors: better at abstract thinking, better with tools and better at adapting our behavior to those of our prey and predators. But are these really the most significant skills our brains provide us with? (...) - by Michael HarréScientific American, August 7, 2012

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Jim Siders's curator insight, February 11, 2013 1:55 PM

how does this apply to Inclusive schools