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University of Basel

17 June 2015

How the Brain Learns to Distinguish Between What Is Important and What Is not

Overwhelmed in the traffic: filtering visual information in the brain. (Image: University of Basel, Biozentrum)
Overwhelmed in the traffic: filtering visual information in the brain. (Image: University of Basel, Biozentrum)

Traffic lights, neon-lit advertisements, a jungle of road signs. When learning to drive, it is often very difficult to distinguish between important and irrelevant information. How the brain learns the importance of certain images over others is being investigated by Prof. Sonja Hofer at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel. In a recently published study in “Neuron”, the neuroscientist and her team show that learning the relevance of images considerably modifies neuronal networks in the brain. These changes might help our brain to process and classify the overload of stimuli in our environment more effectively.

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