Fast-speed neurons are the brain’s electricity-generating hub and are often activated by light. However, researchers have not been able to fully decipher how these neurons are activated and to what extent they are sensitive to light itself.
Neuroscientists from the CNIO, the French National Institute for Innovation in Biology and Developmental Biology, have now managed to address this gap and reveal a mechanism behind why fast-memory neurons are sensitive to light, and in turn endow them with the speed needed for navigating quickly in unexpected locations. This is the conclusion of a study, led by researchers from the Biomedicine, Psychology and Neuroscience classes of the Institute of Biology and the CNIO, published in the journal Nature Communications and led by Nicolas Malliot, the Neatalian research group leader of the Nature Neuroscience group.
The researchers believed their studies could contribute to understanding the neurobiology of learning, particularly memory recall, and could help in the development of light therapy, a new form of therapy for neurological and neurodegenerative disorders.