Naiyan Chen and how attention helps you remember


October 15, 2012

A new study from MIT neuroscientists sheds light on a neural circuit that makes us likelier to remember what we’re seeing when our brains are in a more attentive state. The team of neuroscientists found that this circuit depends on a type of brain cell long thought to play a supporting role, at most, in neural processing. When the brain is attentive, those cells, called astrocytes, relay messages alerting neurons of the visual cortex that they should respond strongly to whatever visual information they are receiving. Naiyan Chen, Computational & Systems Biology, is a lead author of the corresponding paper, along with research scientist Hiroki Sugihara; the senior author is Mriganka Sur, the Paul E. and Lilah Newton Professor of Neuroscience at MIT.  Read the rest of the article on MIT news.

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