Of the Neuroscientists from the University of Queensland (UQ), in collaboration with those from Mater Hospital and the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, investigated how the human brain works. They could prove it exceptional processing power, allowing us to be more creative and intelligent than other mammals. This achievement could be explained by differences in the structure and function of our neurons.
Cognition is primarily controlled the level of neocortex, mainly composed of pyramidal neurons. However, the overall structure of the human neocortex is similar to that of other mammals. American researchers have suggested that the power of the human brain is explained by changes in the structure and function of our neurons.
They explain this in an article in the magazine Cell reports that this neuronal peculiarity is at the origin of the increased processing capacity of the human brain.
A comparative study of the human brain with that of rodents
the Professor Stephen Williams from the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) and his team studied the electrical properties of pyramidal neurons in the human and rodent brains. These pyramidal neurons play an essential role in neural communication. Thanks to one highly developed dendritic network.
Neuroscientists have then records compared electric at the cell bodies and dendrites of these nerve cells. They could observe slices of living tissue from small pieces of human neocortex from patients who have undergone brain surgery. The latter were treated for a refractory epilepsyor before brain tumors.
Human neurons are the most developed
Based on the data collected, the researchers were able to conclude that the pyramidal neurons of humans and rodents share the same properties the same basic biophysical properties. However, the computational capacity of human pyramidal neurons is much more advanced. L’architecture of their dendritic trees is larger and more complex than those of other mammals.
This way we better understand why people are smarter. This discovery opens the way to a better understanding of how the electrical activity of the human brain is disrupted in disease. This would help the functional changes that occur in conditions such as epilepsy and to improve treatment.