Thursday, April 15, 2021
Home Lead Story Report: How Brain Distinguishes Speech From Noise

Report: How Brain Distinguishes Speech From Noise

Modulatory circuits have a profound effect on neurons in the sound localization circuitry, at the very low foundational level of the auditory system

Scientists have given physiological evidence that a pervasive neuromodulation system – a group of neurons that regulate the functioning of more specialized neurons – strongly influences sound processing in an important auditory region of the brain. The neuromodulator — acetylcholine — may even help the main auditory brain circuitry distinguish speech from noise.

“While the phenomenon of these modulators’ influence has been studied at the level of the neocortex, where the brain’s most complex computations occur, it has rarely been studied at the more fundamental levels of the brain,” said study author R Michael Burger from the Lehigh University in the US.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter to stay updated about the World news.

The study, published in the JNeurosci: The Journal of Neuroscience, will likely bring new attention in the field to the ways in which circuits like this, widely considered a ‘simple’ one, are in fact highly complex and subject to modulatory influence like higher regions of the brain.

The team conducted electrophysiological experiments and data analysis to demonstrate that the input of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a pervasive neuromodulator in the brain, influences the encoding of acoustic information by the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB), the most prominent source of inhibition to several key nuclei in the lower auditory system.

brain
The most prominent source of inhibition to several key nuclei in the lower auditory system. Pixabay

MNTB neurons have previously been considered computationally simple, driven by a single large excitatory synapse and influenced by local inhibitory inputs. The team demonstrated that in addition to these inputs, acetylcholine modulation enhances neural discrimination of tones from noise stimuli, which may contribute to processing important acoustic signals such as speech.

Additionally, they describe novel anatomical projections that provide acetylcholine input to the MNTB. Burger studies the circuit of neurons that are “wired together” in order to carry out the specialized function of computing the locations from which sounds emanate in space. He described neuromodulators as broader, less specific circuits that overlay the more highly-specialized ones.

ALSO READ: Sudden Lockdown Resulted In Increased Conflicts Between Parents And Kids

“This modulation appears to help these neurons detect faint signals in noise. You can think of this modulation as akin to shifting an antenna’s position to eliminate static for your favorite radio station,” Burger said.

“In this paper, we show that modulatory circuits have a profound effect on neurons in the sound localization circuitry, at the very low foundational level of the auditory system,” the authors wrote. (IANS)

STAY CONNECTED

19,517FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,773FollowersFollow

Most Popular

A Few Tips To Keep Yourself Anxiety-Free During The Pandemic Scare

Anxiety is our body's natural response to stress. It's a feeling of fear or apprehension about what's to come. On the first day of...

Pandemic Made Us Realize The Importance Of Going Digital

For 28-year-old Pratyush Ranjan, the Covid-hit 2020 taught him hard lessons in embracing a digital life, not only for shopping clothes or shoes but...

Study: Obese Or Overweight Patients At Higher Risk Of Severe COVID

Patients who are overweight or obese are likely to have more severe Covid-19 and are highly likely to require invasive respiratory support, a new...

Explore The Range Of Dates For The Holy Month

Muslims across the world break their Ramadan fast with a date as it was guided by the Prophet. Although dates are loaded with a...

Second COVID Wave Super Dangerous For Kids: Health Experts

In what should worry Indian parents the most, an increasing number of children are now being infected with Covid-19 along with serious symptoms in...

Facebook: India Ranked 49th In World Internet Inclusion

Despite the cheapest data plans and nearly 700 million internet users, India is at a dismal 49th spot globally when it comes to internet...

Hindko: ‘The Language Of Hind’

By- Khushi Bisht "Hindko" is a Pashto (an eastern Iranian language) word that was originally translated as the 'language of Hind.' Hindko, which many people...

Oral hygiene Can Prevent Heart infection Risk Caused By Bacteria Around The Teeth

Maintaining good oral health is more important than use of antibiotics in dental procedures, according to a new American Heart Association (AHA) scientific statement. Oral...

Recent Comments