Barlow (2009, p. 320) claims that grandmother cells exist and “can now be recorded from and studied reliably.” Bowers (2009) has also claimed that the brain uses grandmother cells to code for objects and concepts.
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Is the grandmother cell real?

The grandmother cell, sometimes called the “Jennifer Aniston neuron”, is a hypothetical neuron that represents a complex but specific concept or object. A similar concept, that of the gnostic neuron, was proposed two years later by Jerzy Konorski. …

Why is the grandmother cell theory thought not to be correct?

There are many neurons in the brain, but not enough for each object and name that you know. An even deeper reason to be skeptical of the grandmother cell hypothesis is that the function of a sensory neuron is only partially determined by its response to sensory inputs.

What does a grandmother cell respond to?

The idea of grandmother cells describes a hypothetical neuron which encodes and responds to a highly specific but complex stimulus, such as one’s grandmother (Barlow, 2009). Current neuroscience has not disproved but mainly forgotten about this idea, yet it occasionally resurfaces in popular science.

What is one of the criticisms of the grandmother cell theory?

First, critics of grandmother cells often fail to distinguish between the selectivity and sparseness of neural firing and, as a result, predict (incorrectly) that one and only one neuron should fire in response to a given input.

What is a grandmother cell psychology?

A “grandmother cell” is a hypothetical neuron that responds only to a highly complex, specific, and meaningful stimulus, such as the image of one’s grandmother. The term originated in a parable Jerry Lettvin told in 1967.

What is temporal coding?

a type of neural plotting of the precise timing of the points of maximum intensity (spikes) between action potentials. It can provide valuable additional detail to information obtained through simple rate coding.

What are population codes?

Population coding is the quantitative study of which algorithms or representations are used by the brain to combine together and evaluate the messages carried by different neurons.

Are concept cells selective?

Concept cells are highly selective neurons that seem to represent the meaning of a given stimulus in a manner that is invariant to different representations of that stimulus.

Where are place cells found?

Place cells are spatially modulated neurons found in the hippocampus that underlie spatial memory and navigation: how these neurons represent 3D space is crucial for a full understanding of spatial cognition.

Why are they called Jennifer Aniston neurons?

A few years ago, a UCLA neurosurgeon named Itzhak Fried, while operating on patients who suffer from debilitating epileptic seizures, discovered what he now calls the “Jennifer Aniston Neuron.”

What are Gnostic units?

The units in a gnostic set act as pattern detectors for category-specific features from across the visual field or over time for sounds and odors. These units are most active when they recognize their input as belonging to their category.

How is a specific person's face represented by the nervous system?

A specific person’s face is represented in the nervous system by the firing of: a group of neurons each responding to a number of different faces.

Are mirror neurons?

Mirror neurons represent a distinctive class of neurons that discharge both when an individual executes a motor act and when he observes another individual performing the same or a similar motor act. These neurons were first discovered in monkey’s brain.

What is the function of granular cells?

Granule cells in the dorsal cochlear nucleus play a role in the perception and response to sounds in our environment. Inhibition generated by granule cells, the most common GABAergic cell type in the olfactory bulb, plays a critical role in shaping the output of the olfactory bulb.

What is meant by temporal coding of neurons?

The temporal coding is a type of neural coding which relies on precise timing of action potentials or inter-spike intervals. … For example, if a neuron is capable of firing at a maximum rate of 100 spikes per second, then a stimulus <10ms would likely elicit only a single spike.