Each of our brain cells is like a mini-computer

Oct 31, 2018, 8:49 AM EDT
(Source: lifex2011/flickr)
(Source: lifex2011/flickr)

Mark Harnett, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, peered into a human neuron, recording its electrical activity at a super-fine level of detail. Harnett observed that each neuron in the brain is like a tiny organic computer, which makes this complex machine a house of around 100 billion mini-computers working in tandem.

Conventionally, rodent neurons have been the subject of such studies, but this is one of the rare occasions where electrical activity inside human neurons is being probed and that too beyond the main “trunk” of their structure to catch the live action in the fine branches, called dendrites, writes New Scientist.

The researchers deciphered a structural difference between human and mouse neurons, which may explain humans’ stronger computer powers and hence intelligence.