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Scientist Mapping and Unraveling the Relay Networks of Brain

A group of scientists led by Karl Farrow at NeuroElectronics Research Flanders (NERF, empowered by imec, KU Leuven and VIB) is unraveling how our mind processes visible data. They recognized particular roles for distinct neuronal cell varieties in passing on data from the attention to downstream brain regions that guide behavior. Such data is crucial to understand how sensory information guides our actions and selections.

Details about the world around us to inform our habits. Whereas the fluttering wings of a butterfly or a quickly approaching predator can each catch our consideration, they set off a really completely different behavioral response.

To get from detection to action, visible info is passed from the retina in our eye to totally different downstream brain areas. The nervous system consists of many alternative cells that work collectively in circuits, and understanding how these circuits relay info has puzzled researchers for decades.

“The first stage of visible processing, the transfer of information from the retina, occurs by way of a variety of retinal cell sorts, every with their very own typical shapes and responses,” explains Chen Li, a Ph.D. student in Karl Farrow’s lab at NERF. In comparison with the shape, molecular properties, and visible response of various retinal cells innervating two pathways that go by the superior colliculus.

As such, the researchers deciphered a projection-particular logic where every output pathway from the superior colliculus sampled a definite and restricted set of retinal inputs. These findings recommend a mechanistic basis for the selective triggering of behaviors by the superior colliculus.

Understanding the particular community construction in this context will significantly enhance our capability to create mechanistic models of how sensory information triggers behaviors and informs decision-making.

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