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Signaling Across Brain Regions

  • Published25 Jul 2016
  • Reviewed25 Jul 2016
  • Author Rahul Patel
  • Source BrainFacts/SfN

In this picture of a mouse brain, neurons (yellow) from the brain’s movement area (motor cortex) extend their long axons to a portion of the brain responsible for hearing called the auditory cortex.

Nelson, et al. The Journal of Neuroscience, 2013.

While different regions of the brain are specialized for functions like language or movement, they don’t work in isolation. These regions talk to each other constantly to control our behavior, and scientists are beginning to understand how they influence one another.

In this picture of a mouse brain, neurons (yellow) from the brain’s movement area (motor cortex) extend their long axons to a portion of the brain responsible for hearing called the auditory cortex. Researchers believe that, when we speak, these neurons turn off the cells in the auditory cortex, which may increase awareness of our own voice. By understanding how different brain areas interact with one another, scientists can learn how  the human brain is organized and how it gives rise to complex behaviors.

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