Neuronal Secrets and techniques of Quantity Processing

Neuronal Secrets and techniques of Quantity Processing

Abstract: Researchers developed an revolutionary technique to measure human mind exercise on the mobile degree, unveiling how our mind processes numbers.

Using microelectrodes throughout “awake” mind surgical procedure, the researchers discovered that particular person neurons focus on dealing with particular numbers, turning into particularly energetic when their “most popular” quantity is offered.

This breakthrough brings us a step nearer to understanding the mechanisms of cognitive capabilities. It’s made attainable by sufferers with mind tumors, who participated in research throughout their surgical procedures.

Key Info:

  1. The tactic developed by the group from TUM permits for the detection of human mind exercise on the mobile degree.
  2. Researchers discovered that particular person neurons within the human mind focus on dealing with particular numbers.
  3. The event of the process was attainable because of sufferers with mind tumors who agreed to have sensors implanted and carried out check duties throughout their surgical procedures.

Supply: TUM

Measuring human mind exercise all the way down to the mobile degree: till now, this has been attainable solely to a restricted extent.

With a brand new method developed by researchers on the Technical College of Munich (TUM), it is going to now be a lot simpler. The tactic depends on microelectrodes together with the help of mind tumor sufferers, who take part in research whereas present process “awake” mind surgical procedure.

This enabled the group to establish how our mind processes numbers.

We use numbers every single day. It occurs in a really concrete method once we rely objects. And it occurs abstractly, for instance once we see the image “8” or do complicated calculations.

In a research revealed within the journal Cell Experiencesa group of researchers and clinicians working with Simon Jacob, Professor of Translational Neurotechnology on the Division of Neurosurgery at TUM’s college hospital Klinikum rechts der Isar, was capable of present how the mind processes numbers.

The researchers discovered that particular person neurons within the brains of members had been specialised in dealing with particular numbers. Every one among these neurons was notably energetic when its “most popular” variety of parts in a dot sample was offered to the affected person. To a considerably lesser diploma this was additionally the case when the themes processed quantity symbols.

“We already knew that animals processed numbers of objects on this method,” says Prof. Jacob.

“However till now, it was not attainable to show conclusively the way it works in people. This has introduced us a step nearer to unravelling the mechanisms of cognitive capabilities and creating options when issues go improper with these mind capabilities, for instance.”

Recording particular person neurons is a problem

To get to this end result, Prof. Jacob and his group first needed to resolve a basic drawback.

“The mind capabilities by way of electrical impulses,” says Simon Jacob. “So it’s by detecting these indicators instantly that we are able to study essentially the most about cognition and notion.”

There are, nonetheless, few alternatives for direct measurements of human mind exercise. Neurons can’t be individually recorded by means of the cranium. Some medical groups surgically implant electrodes in epilepsy sufferers.

Nonetheless, these procedures don’t attain the mind area believed to be chargeable for processing numbers.

Progressive development of established approaches

Simon Jacob and an interdisciplinary group due to this fact developed an method that adapts established applied sciences and opens up fully new prospects in neuroscience. On the coronary heart of the process are microelectrode arrays which have undergone intensive testing in animal research.

To make sure that the electrodes would produce dependable knowledge in awake surgical procedures on the human mind, the researchers needed to reconfigure them in shut collaboration with the producer.

The trick was to extend the space between the needle-like sensors used to file {the electrical} actions of a cell.

“In concept, tightly packed electrodes will produce extra knowledge,” says Simon Jacob.

“However in apply the big variety of contacts stuns the implanted mind area, in order that no usable knowledge are recorded.”

Sufferers help analysis

The event of the process was attainable solely as a result of sufferers with mind tumors agreed to help the analysis group. Whereas present process mind surgical procedure, they permitted sensors to be implanted and carried out check duties for the researchers.

In keeping with Simon Jacob, the experimental procedures didn’t negatively have an effect on the work of the surgical group.

A larger variety of medical facilities can conduct research

“Our process has two key benefits,” says Simon Jacob. First, such tumor surgical procedures present entry to a a lot bigger space of the mind.

“And second, with the electrodes we used, which have been standardized and examined in years of animal trials, many extra medical facilities will be capable to measure neuronal exercise sooner or later“ says Jacob.

Whereas epilepsy operations are carried out solely at a small variety of facilities and on comparatively few sufferers, he explains, many extra college hospitals carry out awake operations on sufferers with mind tumors.

“With a considerably bigger variety of research with standardized strategies and sensors, we are able to study much more within the coming years about how the human mind capabilities,” says Simon Jacob.

About this numeric processing and neuroscience analysis information

Creator: Paul Hellmich
Supply: TUM
Contact: Paul Hellmich – TUM
Picture: The picture is credited to Neuroscience Information

Unique Analysis: Open entry.
Human acute microelectrode array recordings with broad cortical access, single-unit resolution, and parallel behavioral monitoring” by Simon Jacob et al. Cell Experiences


Human acute microelectrode array recordings with broad cortical entry, single-unit decision, and parallel behavioral monitoring


  • Microelectrode arrays are implanted in sufferers present process awake mind surgical procedure
  • Open craniotomies grant entry to giant elements of the left-hemispheric cortex
  • Excessive-quality neuronal exercise is obtained at a number of ranges of decision
  • Human parietal cortex neurons are tuned to non-symbolic and symbolic numbers


There are huge gaps in our understanding of the group and operation of the human nervous system on the degree of particular person neurons and their networks.

Right here, we report dependable and sturdy acute multichannel recordings utilizing planar microelectrode arrays (MEAs) implanted intracortically in awake mind surgical procedure with open craniotomies that grant entry to giant elements of the cortical hemisphere.

We obtained high-quality extracellular neuronal exercise on the microcircuit, native area potential degree and on the mobile, single-unit degree.

Recording from the parietal affiliation cortex, a area hardly ever explored in human single-unit research, we show functions on these complementary spatial scales and describe touring waves of oscillatory exercise in addition to single-neuron and neuronal inhabitants responses throughout numerical cognition, together with operations with uniquely human quantity symbols.

Intraoperative MEA recordings are practicable and may be scaled as much as discover mobile and microcircuit mechanisms of a variety of human mind capabilities.

#Neuronal #Secrets and techniques #Quantity #Processing, 1687895868

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