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+ - 'Giant' Neuron Modulates 50,000 Other Neurons-> 1

Submitted by Scottingham
Scottingham (2036128) writes "PhsyOrg describes this discovery better than I could: A single "giant", non-spiking, GABAergic interneuron forms an all-to-all negative feedback loop with a population of about 50,000 Kenyon cells, principal neurons of the mushroom bodies, a structure involved in olfactory memory in the insect brain. This normalizing feedback loop serves to ensure relatively constant sparseness of mushroom body output across varying input strengths. Sparseness is an important feature of sensory representations in areas involved in memory formation."
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'Giant' Neuron Modulates 50,000 Other Neurons

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  • Great article, bad headline. "Neuromodulation" [wikipedia.org] should have been the word used rather than modulation; [wikipedia.org] for most of us here in this electronics-centered place, modulation is carrying one electrical signal inside another, mixing a radio frequency signal with (for example) an audio frequency signal so it can be transmitted over the air.

    Using the term "modulation" will lead some of the sci-fi crowd to here think that brains somehow work like computers or radios, when they don't. From what I gather from wikipedia

We don't know who it was that discovered water, but we're pretty sure that it wasn't a fish. -- Marshall McLuhan

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