We could finally explain the origin of consciousness as scientists just discovered a gigantic neuron wrapped around the entire brain. This single neuron is tidally connected with both hemispheres and generate the bioelectrochemical signals.

The neuroscientific team from Seattle’s Allen Institute discovered neuron in the mouse brain with using of one of the most advanced brain image techniques. They represented findings on the meeting of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies.

A digital reconstruction of a neuron that encircles the mouse brain. Image Credit: Allen Institute for Brain Science

The team discovered three neurons which are the part of so called group “crown of thorns” network. One of these three neurons originates from a cluster of cells called the claustrum, which is considered as the core of consciousness. And particularly this neuron wraps around brains entire outer layer. They injected fluorescent dye neurons into the mouse brain samples, previously fed by the specific drug ( wich activates genes in claustrum ) and traced out the illuminated paths. When they zoom these paths, with the 3 D computer rendering they manage to identify three new neurons. This is the first time noticed in a mammal’s brain especially in the area of the brain, that is challenging for several reasons.

Referred as a grand central station, claustrum has a remarkable anatomy with densely connected structure and control the processing of sensory information and behavior. It also communicates with almost all regions of cortex and thus is also referred as a conductor of consciousness. The event from the last year, when woman which suffers from epilepsy, has the stimulation of claustrum via electrodes and results showed that it acts as an on-off switch for consciousness just added more weight into this beliefs.

The claustrum is hidden between the inner surface of the neocortex and connected to all regions of the cortex

Lead researcher Christof Koch is convinced that this finding is a key evidence that claustrum coordinating inputs and outputs across the brain to create consciousness. Still, his hypothesis has to wait for more proving as these neurons have only been detected in mouse so far. The neuroscientists will certainly proceed with an examination of most enigmatic part of the brain.

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