Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Awesome Amygdala, in Your #Brain, Could Have "Eye Cells"!

You gotta love how there is always new things being learned about fasinating brains!

Recent buzz is around the stimulation triggered by making eye-contact with someone. Whether that person is special to you or not, the activity does trigger a feeling that something special is happening right? In a recent study of monkeys, it was discovered that there are neurons that are only triggered not only when one looks into the eyes of another but also when that gaze is returned.

What is the amygdala (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amygdala)? It lives deep near the center of our brains and manages the processing of our emotions and social interactions.

The discovery of these "eye cells" were made by University of Arizona neurophysiologist Katalin Gothard (Her profile can be viewed here: http://www3.physiology.arizona.edu/articles/43) and her team when they were studying the amygdala in the brain of Rhesus macaque monkeys (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhesus_macaque).

Gothard gave a presentation on her discovery at the Society of Neuroscience conference this week. Here's a link to the SfN press release including Gothard's summary (http://www.sfn.org/am2012/pdf/press/Faces.pdf).

For more information on this new discovery, you can also visit the article by New Scientist "Eye-contact detector found in the brain"

What kind of sensations do you feel when you make eye-contact with someone? Leave a comment here.

I look forward to turning this discovery into a painting! Would you like to see how that would come about? Email me at info@hunterart.com and I will keep you posted with in progress pictures and commentary.

Michelle Hunter

Contemporary Artist
Tel: (646) 504-5034

The Brain Series of Paintings: http://hunterart.blogspot.com/p/brain-paintings.html

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