Like humans, mice also like to scratch

Jakarta, CNN Indonesia

The talkative nature of scratching isn’t just found in man. Mouse even the blind can be lazy to do the same thing.

By launching Science Alert, the ability to scratch does not involve visual processes in the brain. This means that when a mouse scratches its head, the closest mouse would do the same.

At first glance it seems to involve supernatural powers. But even in humans there is a circuit that makes us “see” and respond to visual stimuli when the visual cortex, which processes visual information, is damaged.


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This phenomenon is known as blind vision. Recent research suggests that the phenomenon is based on subcortical pathways that carry information from the eye to other parts of the brain as it actually passes through the visual cortex.

In short, it is a neural shortcut that allows a completely blind person to walk around avoiding obstacles they are unaware of.

Well, the same process can also occur in mice that see other mice scratching themselves. The recording of human brain cell activity involves “scratch contagion” from the photosensitive cells in the retina.

These cells are called ipRGCs (intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells). These cells are connected directly to a small part of the brain responsible for scratching movements, called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN).

In the past, scientists have speculated that ipRGC plays an important role in blind vision. Although it has not yet been determined.

ipRGC contributes to vision in several ways. In common sense, ipRGC cells play a minor role in providing visual images. However, recent research on mice suggests otherwise.

During the experiment, the experts prevented ipRGC from sending signals. As a result, the animals were no longer prone to scratching, even when experts kept their visual systems active.

Zhou Feng Chen of the University of Washington in St. Louis said that infectious itching in mice is essential for survival. “We humans also experience contagion, but we have found that in mice the act of scratching is controlled through an unknown way of ‘seeing’ something. This means that this imitative act has been around for a long time, a protective attitude.” Chen said.

“Therefore, we propose that ipRGC-SCN-PVT generates previously unknown visual pathways, which can be altered for visual movement, by encoding obvious signals from the environment and by having animals mimic similar behaviors as an anticipatory mechanism for coping with adverse conditions,” he said. stated Dr. experts in journals published in Cellular reports.

(lesimo / lesimo)

[Gambas:Video CNN]

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