A genetically modified mouse makes it possible to specifically study a certain type of nerve cell
What is it about?
We show that a genetically modified mouse have a molecule that can be used to turn on and off genes in about 90% of a specific type of nerve cell. We use this to show that this nerve cell is waked-up by acetylcholine acting on both muscarinergic (as in fly agaric mushroom) and nicotinergic (as in tobacco) acetylcholine receptors. This could be important for switching the brain activity from internally generated (day-dreaming) to sensory driven (attentive) states.
Why is it important?
The function of this specific type of nerve cell is presently unknown. Our experiments show that it might have a role in attention. Attention is important for allocating the limited processing power of the brain to tasks that are important.
The following have contributed to this page: Dr Sarah H Lindstrom, Dr Björn Granseth, and Gonzalo Sanchez
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