Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pay attention: How we focus and concentrate

Date:
May 23, 2013
Source:
Newcastle University
Summary:
Scientists have shed new light on how the brain tunes in to relevant information.

Scientists at Newcastle University have shed new light on how the brain tunes in to relevant information.

Related Articles


Publishing in Neuron, the team reveal the interplay of brain chemicals which help us pay attention in work funded by the Wellcome Trust and BBSRC.

By changing the way neurons respond to external stimuli we improve our perceptual abilities. While these changes can affect the strength of a neuronal response, they can also affect the fidelity of that response.

Lead author Alex Thiele, Professor of Visual Neuroscience explains: "When you communicate with others, you can make yourself better heard by speaking louder or by speaking more clearly. Neurons appear to do similar things when we're paying attention. They send their message more intensely to their partners, which compares to speaking louder. But more importantly, they also increase the fidelity of their message, which compares to speaking more clearly.

"Our earlier work has shown that attention is able to affect the intensity of responses -- in effect the loudness -- by means of the brain chemical acetylcholine. Now we have shown that the fidelity of the response is altered by a different brain chemical system."

In the paper, the team reveal that the quality of the response is altered by means of glutamate coupling to NMDA receptors (a molecular device that mediates communication between neurons). Carried out in a primate model, these studies for the first time isolate different attention mechanisms at the receptor level.

The research builds on the team's previous studies and has potentially significant implications not only for our understanding of how our brains work but also give an insight into conditions such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease and attention deficit disorder, and may aid in the development of treatments for them.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Newcastle University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jose L. Herrero, Marc A. Gieselmann, Mehdi Sanayei, Alexander Thiele. Attention-Induced Variance and Noise Correlation Reduction in Macaque V1 Is Mediated by NMDA Receptors. Neuron, 2013; 78 (4): 729 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.03.029

Cite This Page:

Newcastle University. "Pay attention: How we focus and concentrate." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130523093319.htm>.
Newcastle University. (2013, May 23). Pay attention: How we focus and concentrate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130523093319.htm
Newcastle University. "Pay attention: How we focus and concentrate." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130523093319.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 3, 2015) — Super Bowl champions Sidney Rice and Steve Weatherford donate their brains, post-mortem, to scientific research into repetitive brain trauma. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Newsy (Mar. 3, 2015) — Researchers found an abnormal protein associated with Alzheimer&apos;s disease in the brains of 20-year-olds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) — Researchers gave lidocaine to 112 patients, and about 88 percent of the subjects said they needed less migraine-relief medicine the next day. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) — Margaret Duffy of the University of Missouri talks about her study on the social network and the envy and depression that Facebook use can cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins