What is a thought? First of all, it is a firework of neuronal activity produced by the neurons, the building blocks of the brain, which encode and transmit information as electrical impulses. Brain researchers are hoping to explain how, for example, a goalkeeper uses his eyes, arms and legs as well as his intuition to save a penalty. However, when we think or remember something there is not always a direct input from the environment.
“But it does not suffice that the brain is simply active,” said Rotter adding that, “The activity pattern must somehow be connected with meaning.” When we remember, our brain has to make associations and has to produce meaningful behaviour. Rotter and his colleagues at the Bernstein Centre will now investigate how meaningful patterns arise in the ocean of neuronal network activity. Their new network model has provided a promising starting point for such a study.
Original publication: Arvind Kumar, Sven Schrader, Ad Aertsen & Stefan Rotter. The High-Conductance State of Cortical Networks. Neural Computation, 20(1): 1-43