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Videogames being used to map mouse memory


Source: BBC News

From the Article:
With the help of mice scampering through a virtual maze, scientists have taken recordings from inside individual brain cells, or neurons.

In the virtual reality system, the mice were able to run around while their heads were kept relatively still. This enabled the scientists to measure continuously from one neuron.

Describing the wider significance of the work Professor Tank said: "There is still debate about what place cells are.

"Are they a fundamental part of brain circuitry for navigation? Or are they involved in something more general like... the ability to remember a sequence of events."

Professor Tank described how the virtual reality system could give neuroscientists the tools they needed to address these questions.

"One of the things about virtual reality," he said, "is that you can make manipulations that you can't in the real world. You could alter an environment as the mouse is walking through it [and see how the cells respond]."

What isn't covered in the article is how studies like this could be of benefit, but greater understanding of an animal's motor function could provide further progress in understanding degenerative conditions such as Motor Neurone Disease and Parkinson's.

And yes, it is all due to videogames. Damn you and your distracting, pointless nonsense!
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About Sean Daisyone of us since 11:13 AM on 07.16.2009

Formerly CaptainBus.

Commentoider and MassDebate founder/contendor. Has heard a lot of jokes about helmets.


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