A group of researchers from Queensland University has discovered the key mechanism in the brain that may underlie the ability to rapidly focus attention.
According to the Professor Stephen Williams of the Queensland Brain Institute at UQ, “If we want to give our full concentration, something happens in the brain to enable us to focus and filter out distractions.Still research are going on to found the actual mechanism. ”
The laboratory studies shown that the electrical activity of the neocortex of the brain changes, when we focus our attention. Neurons stop signalling in sync with one another and start firing out of sync.
It’s known that the cholinergic system in the brain plays an important role in triggering this de-synchronisation. The cholinergic system consists of clusters of special neurons that synthesise and release a signalling molecule called acetylcholine, William added, and these clusters make far reaching connections throughout the brain.
The cholinergic system act as the master switch in the brain,identifying the sensory inputs.Thus, the destruction of the cholinergic system in animals degrades the cognitive skills in humans the end resullt would be diseases like Alzhimer’s.
Williams and researcher Lee Fletcher wondered if layer 5 B-pyramidal neurons, the ‘output’ neurons of the neocortex, might be involved, because they are intimately involved in how we perceive the world.When the output neurons were not active there will not be anything special, but when those neurons receive an excitatory input to their dendrites,the alignment of the cholinergic system increase their functionality.