The discovery of a novel signal in the brain is certainly an exciting development for neuroscientists and has the potential to deepen our understanding of how the brain works. However, it is important to note that the comparison between the brain and a computer is a metaphorical one and should not be taken too far. While both the brain and a computer process information, the brain is a vastly more complex and sophisticated system, with many different types of cells and signaling pathways.
That being said, the discovery of this new signal in the brain is significant because it suggests that there may be more ways for cells in the brain to communicate than we previously thought. This could have implications for our understanding of how the brain processes information and how disruptions to these signaling pathways could lead to neurological disorders.
It is also worth noting that this study was published in January 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic, and there may have been further developments or follow-up research since then. As a language model, I don’t have access to current news or unpublished research, but it is always important to stay up-to-date with the latest scientific findings and advancements.
In the cortex, sodium is typically used by individual cells to activate. However, during the study of several epilepsy patients’ brains, scientists discovered that neurons also fired using calcium in addition to sodium, leading to a new type of action known as calcium-mediated dendritic action potentials (dCaAPs).
These dCaAPs produced a novel brain signal that had never been seen before, leaving researchers thrilled. The dendrites, which are influenced by the aforementioned actions, determine the computational power of individual neurons in the brain.
Dendrites can be thought of as traffic signals in the brain. If an action potential is significant enough, it can transmit messages between different cells, or the cells can completely block it. This discovery highlights the complexity of the human brain, which has always been a source of fascination.
The researchers also examined the brains of individuals without epilepsy to ensure that the novel brain signal was not exclusively associated with epilepsy. They discovered that it was present in other human brains as well. However, it did not function the same way in the animal brains they studied. This discovery demonstrates just how complex our brains are when they function properly.