Do you know that you are probable of walking around your home even with closed eyes? Yes, this is a fact as you can easily manage to navigate your path at your home without even watching.
How Inner GPS Improve Brain Health?
Now you may be wondering that how does it happen? How do brains know about navigating us from one place to another without the use of eyes? Well, this was the thing which was discovered by the O’Keefe in the year 1970, and he called them the “the place cells”.
These are the neurons that are present in the hippocampus, and they signify just a single spot in the surroundings. They are often studied by the researcher, and there are so many names for them. First, the place cells, grid cells, the brain navigational system, or the GPS.
What are the place cells?
At first, you need to understand that how these studies are done. So, the thing is that the researcher inserted microelectrode in the hippocampus of the rat through the help of surgery. When the rat got recovered from this surgery procedure, then the rat was set free to run around in the room, and they were able to keep track of the location of the rat. Along with recording the rat’s location, they also measured the activities of the brain cells of that rat.
So, the place cells are basically the neuron which is active when the rat was at the specific spot in the surrounding. For the other sites surrounding the place, the cell was calm, but for that one spot, it was very active. There are a lot of questions which pops up in the mind of the people, but right now the best thing which you can understand is that the place cells are the one which shows one action in the given surrounding.
How are grid cells different from place cells?
The thing is that the place cells only triggers at one spot in the surrounding. At the same time, the grid cells are the ones which provoked periodically when you move around your surroundings. The interesting fact is that when this brain activity is recorded, then it forms a triangular pattern. The one thing which was notices in this study was that concerning the place cells, the grid cells act as their coordinates. In this way, you can easily specify that where are you with the GPS.
This triangular grid genuinely makes a different sort of coordinate system in the brain which signals about the location to your brain. There are a lot of studies that are calling this mechanism of the network the inner GPS of the brain. Well, if we think about this thing, then it can be concluded that these cells help tell you that where you are in the surrounding and every place cells also tell you about the specific location, which says yes, you are at this position or not. On the other hand, the grid cells are telling you about your place or where you are in the surrounding in a different method. It’s like the coordinate system of the brain.
How exactly the inner GPS improves the health of the brain?
The researcher has discovered that the brain cells, including place cells, head direction cells, and grid cells, help guide your navigation. The place cells and the grid cells are basically the important part of your inner GPS of the brain. This mechanism can help in improving the understanding of the thing that how the brain processes all the spatial information and the memory, which may help in improving the diagnosis for it. They can be treated in a better way.
As you know that the people who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease have the chance of memory loss because of degeneration of the hippocampus. This is the part that receives the direct information and input from the grid cells. The behavior of wandering can help in the deterioration of the entorhinal cortex. This is the area of the brain in which the grid cells are found. So, in this way, the proper medications can be targeted for the entorhinal cortex in order to alleviate the wandering behavior.