November 7


How do brains tune in to one neural signal out of billions?

By Peter Julian

A human brain can send billions of neural signals each second. The brain must effectively tune in to specific signals out of the billions it is sending. The brain can use what is called a match-filter to tune into what is important and ignore background noise. Other nerve fibers around the nerve fiber trying to send a signal in the brain synchronize together, making it easier for the brain to hear a specific signal amongst the background noise. The ability for neural fibers to synch together can help provide a pathway to noninvasive treatments for many neurological disorders.

Key Takeaways:

  • Our brain signals are able to shut out the chatter of others an focus on the one person we’re talking to.
  • If our brain signals were satellite signals, then they would have pretty poor reception.
  • For us, the signals we are able to focus on are good enough for us to understand.

“How does the human brain do it, distinguishing among billions of ongoing “conversations” within itself and locking on to a specific signal for delivery?”

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