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For the first time, researchers have shown that it's possible to reverse the behavior of an animal by flipping a switch in neuronal communication. The research provides a new approach for studying the neural circuits that govern behavior and has important implications for how scientists think about neural connectomes.
The neuronal roadmap, or connectome, however, doesn't include information about the activity of neurons or the signals they transmit. How stable are these neural circuits in the brain? Does their wiring constrain the flow of information or the behaviors they control? The complexity of the human brain makes it almost impossible to address these questions.
"Our studies indicate that switching the sign of a synapse not only provides a novel synthetic mechanism to flip behavioral output but could even be an evolutionary mechanism to change behavior," said Alkema. "As we start to unravel the complexity and design of the neural network, it holds great promise as a novel mechanism to test circuit function or even design new neural circuits in vivo."
originally posted by: DeepImpactX
a reply to: eisegesis
Then keep walking it buddy, you're good at it.
The potential applications for this are mind-blowing.
My first thought was, instead of the incarceration of criminals, re-route the applicable neurons so they don't repeat that behavior.
If I were king that is certainly what I would use it for.
originally posted by: eisegesis
If that doesn't cook your noodle, the path that a neural process can take in the brain is approximately 4 million miles long or close to the length of all roads in the United States combined. By directly affecting the synapses along those pathways, scientists have shown they can directly control an animal's behavior by switching specific neurons on or off.