In a new study, an international team of specialists has discovered a previously unknown method of data exchange between cells in the human brain tissue. Apparently, this indicates that the human brain has much more computing power than previously thought. The study was published in Science.
A team of scientists from research centers in Greece and Germany have discovered a new way to transmit data in the outer cortical cells of the brain. This is a special “graded” signal, which transmits a different method for some neurons to perform their functions.
During experiments on the study of electrical activity of tissue fragments removed surgically in people with epilepsy, specialists using fluorescent microscopy found that some cortical cells can use not only sodium ions, but also calcium. Its positively charged ions produced voltage waves that scientists had never recorded before. The new mechanism was called calcium-mediated dendritic action potential, or dCaAP.
The researchers now plan to further study the discovered mechanism in order to study how it works in a living organism. In addition, it remains to be seen whether this phenomenon is unique to humans, or whether similar processes occur in the brains of other living creatures.