In a recent study MIT neuroscientists have revealed that the human dendrites have electrical properties different from those in other species. Human neurons are substantially larger in numbers than those of other model organism such as mice and rats. However, it’s still vague whether it is just the large size of the cortex and number of the neurons that makes huge difference in brain computational capability. Furthermore, the study reveals that the intensity of electrical signals divide when they flow through dendrites, which leads to high-level of fragmentation. This also means that a small section of the dendrites acts individually from the rest of the neuron.
Therefore, this variance might help in enhancing the computing power of the human brains. Neuroscientist Mark Harnett from MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research also reveals the fact that it is not important that human brains are smarter because we have larger cortex and more neurons. Rather, there is more compartmentalization in neurons which makes these single units to be more capable in terms of their individuals function and capability of the neurons.
A newly published study showcases that in the human dendrites there are various properties which may help in finding out how brain processing system receives information. This study was published in the Journal Cell on 18 October, 2018.
Mark Harnett, the Fred and Carole Middleton Career Development Assistant Professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the MIT stated that the human neurons are very much similar to that of rat’s neurons, but because of the longer signal they have to travel much farther.
Scientists use Advanced Procedures to Record Dendritic Process
The scientists utilized patch-clamp recording to measure direct electric process in the human brains. For the first time, they also recorded the dendritic activity in the human’s living brain tissues. The tissues were obtained from the anterior temporal lobe of epilepsy patients during the brain surgery.
However, this idea is yet to be experimented, but the study also represent the first era of exploring the function of human dendrites.