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  • Anatoly Buchin

What is so special about human cortex?


We did a thing! https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/05/02/312298

Here is the pre-print of our work comparing mouse and human neurons. It might seem that we are very similar with other mammals, we all have 6 layer cortex responsible for our psyche. But if the basic cortical architecture is the same in us and other mammals, what makes us special?

This question is complicated and has many answers. We worked hard to get one of them. In this work we looked into the single neuron properties of mouse and human cortical neurons. We found that human neurons in layer 2/3 of the cortex have much more h-current than mouse. In simple terms this current makes the neurons behave more like oscillators, as if they would be metronomes. Specifically it might be responsible for transferring the particular oscillatory frequencies to the neuron when it is listening to his peers in the network in the human brain.

What is it for we do not know yet, but it is definitely there. We got some theories, but more research is needed to better understand this difference between mouse and human neurons and its relevance for neural function. Popular science publication on medium and biomolecula is to come, for now enjoy what we have.


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