Nature of Conscious Thought May Be Rhythmic

Nature of Conscious Thought May Be Rhythmic

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One of the biggest puzzles in neuroscience is how our brains encode thoughts, such as perceptions and memories, at the cellular level. Some evidence suggests that ensembles of neurons represent each unique piece of information, but no one knows just what these ensembles look like, or how they form.

A new study from researchers at MIT and Boston University sheds light on how neural ensembles form thoughts and support the flexibility to change one’s mind. The research team, led by Earl Miller, identified groups of neurons that encode specific behavioral rules by oscillating in synchrony with each other. The results suggest that the nature of conscious thought may be rhythmic, according to the researchers, who published their findings in the journal Neuron.

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