VIRAL VIDEO: Scientists Show Off New Way to Display Firing Brain Neurons

By Brian Shields

Wed Jul 30th, 2014 12:18pm America/Los_Angeles

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ASHBURN, Virginia (KRON) — As you read this story, some of the neurons in your brain are firing as you recognize the words and patterns.

Now scientists in Virgina say they have developed new technology to map the firing of neurons in a way that may help them better understand how the brain works when its exposed to outside stimulus.

The video shows 80% of the neurons emitting energy when a baby zebrafish is exposed to unexpected stimuli.

“There must be fundamental principles about how large populations of neurons represent information and guide behavior,” neuroscientist Jeremy Freeman of Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia tells Wired. “In this system where we record from the whole brain, we might start to understand what those rules are.”

In the video, at first the fish is at rest and just a few neurons fire. Then the scientists simulate motion by sliding bars in front of its eyes. The zebrafish begins to swim faster to catch up and you start to see more neurons flashing throughout the brain.

Scientists say they can use the video to figure out what parts of the brain are involved in specific actions.

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