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HIH News

HIH researchers identify four different neuronal cell types based on their activity pattern in the cortex

Nerve cells communicate with each other by means of electrical signals. Notably, these electrical signals, so called action potentials, seem to differ characteristically between distinct types of neurons. Researchers led by Professor Dr. Markus Siegel used fine microelectrodes to measure neuronal activity in different areas of the cerebral cortex. They found out that action potentials showed very distinct shapes. Based on these shapes, the scientists succeeded in classifying neurons into four different groups. These groups of neurons differed in their activity patterns and in the information that they encoded. “This opens a new window to study cell type-specific mechanisms and functions of neuronal circuits in the cerebral cortex,” explains Siegel. The study has been published in the current issue of the journal Current Biology.

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