Researchers at the University of Amsterdam have discovered a new type of neuron that plays an important role in widespread navigation. Experts called the neuron in the perirhinal cortex “neighborhood cell”.
The cell works in conjunction with “hippocampal cells” that provide space-based information, Futurism informs.
Researchers discovered the new cell by monitoring the neuronal activity of four areas in the brain of the mice (perirhinal cortex, hippocampus and two sensory areas), while the animals navigated inside a maze that overlaps in the middle. They found that while the hippocampus area was activated according to the area of the larynx where the mouse was located, the perirhinal cortex activity was much subtle.
According to specialists, the discovery could help people with Alzheimer’s. They claim that treatments for this area of the brain affected by the disease could be developed in the future.