100% courtesy of NeuroscienceNews.com’s article: http://neurosciencenews.com/author/neurosciencenew/
Summary: Neurons found to be abnormal in psychosis play an important role in our ability to distinguish between what is real and what is perceived, researchers say.
Source: University of Western Ontario.
New Western University research shows that neurons in the part of the brain found to be abnormal in psychosis are also important in helping people distinguish between reality and imagination.
The researchers, Dr. Julio Martinez-Trujillo, principal investigator and professor at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and Dr. Diego Mendoza-Halliday, postdoctoral researcher at M.I.T., investigated how the brain codes visual information in reality versus abstract information in our working memory and how those differences are distributed across neurons in the lateral prefrontal cortex region of the brain. The results were published today in Nature Communications.
“You can look at my shirt, and then if I move out of your vision, even with your eyes open you can still see the colour of my shirt in your mind,” explained Martinez-Trujillo, based at the Brain and Mind Institute and Robarts Research Institute at Western University. “That is what we call working memory representations or short-term memory representations – they are abstract, they are imaginary and they don’t exist in reality, but in our minds. Real objects in our visual field, we call perceptual representations. We are trying to determine whether there are neurons in the brain that can signal to a person whether a representation is real or imaginary.”