Cedars-Sinai Medical Center researchers found that the neural connection between the amygdala and
For their experiment, scientists attracted 13patients with epilepsy. Each of them had special electrodes installed in their brains that tracked epileptic foci. These sensors made it possible to record the activity of individual neurons.
The researchers showed participants a group of images that included the faces of humans, primates, as well as third-party objects such as flowers, cars, and geometric shapes.
In the second part of the experiment, participants were shown only human faces, some of which they had seen before. The scientists asked the subjects to remember if they had seen these faces before.
Throughout the experiment, information about the activity of the brain and the direction of the patient's gaze was recorded.
Scientists have found that every time you lookthe subject stopped on a human face, certain neurons in the amygdala were activated. Scientists call them "facial cells." Activation of these cells affected theta waves in the hippocampus.
“We believe this connection shows us howthe amygdala prepares the hippocampus to receive new socially relevant information, says Uli Rutishauser, professor of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai and one of the co-authors of the study. “It could be argued that faces are one of the most important things we look at. We make a lot of decisions by looking at faces, including deciding whether we trust a person, what emotions he feels, whether we have seen him before.
Researchers have shown that the rate of activation"facial cells" affects memorization. The higher the activity of neurons, the more likely the subject will be able to recognize the person. Decreased activity of these cells was also observed when the patient was shown familiar faces. Scientists attribute this to the fact that the information is already stored in memory and the hippocampus does not require additional stimulation.
“The results of our study show thatpeople who have difficulty remembering and recognizing people's faces are more likely to have amygdala dysfunction,” says Rutishauser. “Understanding memory processes opens up possibilities for treating such disorders.”
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