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HomeDigit NewsCells found in the human brain that function as a "compass"

Cells found in the human brain that function as a “compass”



The human brain has cells that function as a navigator and cells that function like a compass, according to a study published Nov. 17 in Communications Biology. At the same time, the neural mechanisms that are responsible for transmitting a signal about the direction of movement in reality (physical environment) are also used by the brain for orientation in thoughts and ideas.

A team of scientists from the Center for the Study of Mind and Brain (CIMeC) at the University of Trento has used magnetic resonance imaging to find that special brain cells are involved in abstract thinking. They are located for the most part in the medial parietal cortex and signal the direction of movement, like neurons for the direction of the head, although this movement occurs only mentally, and not in the physical plane.

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