Neuroscientists found that astrocytes may be responsible for the rapid improvement in mood in depressed patients after acute sleep deprivation. This study identified how astrocytes can regulate a neurotransmitter involved in sleep.
Researchers discovered a new group of nerve cells that regulate processes of learning and memory. These cells act as gatekeepers and carry a receptor for nicotine, which can help explain our ability to remember and sort information. The newly discovered gatekeeper nerve cells, also called OLM-alpha2 cells, provide an explanation to how the flow of information is controlled in the hippocampus.
UCLA researchers have for the first time measured the activity of a brain region known to be involved in learning, memory and Alzheimer's disease during sleep. They discovered that the entorhinal cortex behaves as if it's remembering something, even under anesthesia, a finding that counters conventional theories about memory consolidation during sleep.
Frequently, as many as one thousand signals rain down on a single neuron simultaneously. To ensure that precise signals are delivered, the brain possesses a sophisticated inhibitory system. Scientists have now illuminated how this system works.