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TagBrain (mouse)

White laboratory mouse (Mus musculus ) crawling on a clay pot. Uttarakhand India

Mice Can’t Do Calculus But Their Brains Can

Neuroimaging and mathematics showed that a simple Stop! signal in the brain would not allow a mouse to stop as quickly as it in fact did

Science writer Kevin Hartnett tells us that, based on experiments with mice, the brain sharpens control of precise maneuvers by using comparisons between control signals rather than the signals themselves: [The research] explores a simple question: How does the brain — in mice, humans and other mammals — work quickly enough to stop us on a dime? The new work reveals that the brain is not wired to transmit a sharp “stop” command in the most direct or intuitive way. Instead, it employs a more complicated signaling system based on principles of calculus. This arrangement may sound overly complicated, but it’s a surprisingly clever way to control behaviors that need to be more precise than the commands from the brain Read More ›