Featured in the Year’s Biggest Breakthroughs in Biology

Our collaborative study with the lab of Matthew Larkum that was published earlier this year  in Science Magazine has made into the Year’s Biggest Breakthroughs in Biology by Quanta Magazine.

In a nutshell: Dr. Albert Gidon in the Larkum Lab (add link to the Larkum lab) discovered that L2/3 neurons in the human brain have a new type of dendritic spike, with a peculiar feature: as the stimulus intensity increases, the amplitude of this dendritic spike decreases. Using biophysical modelling, Dr. Papoutsi in our lab demonstrated that this special type of dendritic spike allows a single human neuron to solve the XOR problem, a complex computation that requires networks of artificial neurons to be solved. This work shows that human neurons -and in fact their dendrites- are capable of solving difficult computational problems, previously thought impossible to solve at the single cell or dendrite level.