First-Ever Incredible Footage of a Thought Being Formed
Jared Sperli stashed this in science
team of Japanese researchers has achieved something incredible: they've captured, for the first time ever, a movie which shows how thoughts form in the brain. OK, so it's a thought forming in the brain of a zebrafish. And OK, its the fish's reaction to seeing food, so it's probably along the lines of "HUNGRY!". But we shouldn't not play this down: this is a fundamental leap forward in our understanding of how brains work.
Here's a gif of the fish brain:
Also, here's a clarification of what we're seeing.
The scientists were able to observe the visual mapping of the real world onto the optic tectum.
It has nothing to do with a "thought being formed".
The video summary on http://www.cell.com/current-biology/retrieve/pii/S096098221300002X has a much more detailed explanation.
I found this explanation from Redditor oilbird on the Reddit thread:
Neuroscience PhD student here, this is a very very stupid and misleading article.
You are not looking at a fish thought or anything even remotely like that.
What is being shown here is the activity of neurons in the main visual center in the brain, the optic tectum, as a prey moves true the fish visual field. Now, don't get me wrong, it is a very impressive technique, and it is a novelty because allows to visualize the activity of neurons of in real time, in a live, free moving animal, in response to a real prey (a paramecium in this case).
The optic tectum receive projections directly from the retina in a topographic manner, this is a point to point projections so that the retina (and therefore the visual field of one eye) is mapped over the optic tectum. Cells in the optic tectum are particularly responsive to moving objects and therefore as the paramecium moves true the visual field of the fish, lets say from left to right, cells in the optic tectum response at each position of the paramecium, from left to right. (this is not completely true as the map is rotated, and the prey probably activates neurons from the anterior part of the OT to the posterior of something like that).
Here you can see a visual representation of this, the paramecium makes a arch like trajectory in front of the fish (the doted line to the right) and a arch like row of cells lights up in the optic tectum (the green line over the two grey bloobs which are the optic tectum).
But this is the very first place in the brain where there is activity related to this paramecium moving trough the visual field, there is a very long and complex way to go until the fish reacts and decides to do something about this paramecium. All this with out even getting in to the stupidity of talking about the fish having a "though", but I have no time for that. I hope this helps. sorry if there is some bad grammar English not my first language and I'm being lazy.
damn the internet fooling me again! ahahha thank you adam for the update and correction
You're very welcome. Still fascinating!