MAR 19, 2017 5:02 PM PDT

Neurons may aid Understanding of Cellular Basis of Consciousness

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Research led by Christof Koch, president of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, Washington, is striving to reveal more about how the nerve cells of the brain construct consciousness. Koch has suggested that the seat of consciousness in mice and humans is the claustrum, a small sheet of cells. It was a massive undertaking, but Koch's team found the path of three large neurons, tracing them from the claustrum.

In the video you can get a look at the interesting images created by the researchers, digital reconstructions that illustrate how the neurons encircle the brain. The researchers have suggested it pays a crucial role in the brain, acting as a sort of conductor of functions. However, there is a lot more work to be done before any real conclusions about the claustrum could be made.

Rafael Yuste, a neurobiologist at Columbia University in New York City, commented to Nature that this work, while "quite admirable," was hardly definitive. "It's like trying to decipher language if we don't understand what the alphabet is," he said.
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