June 30, 2020

The Jennifer Aniston Neuron: Insights into Human Concept Cells

What is it that sets humans apart from all other species on earth? We explore this question with Dr. Rodrigo Quian Quiroga through his extensive research on a concept now dubbed the “Concept Cells”. Dr. Quiroga explains how the same set of neurons in the hippocampus can recognize different pictures of the same person, such as Jennifer Aniston, through conceptual processing. This ability and feature of our neural network is currently thought to be unique to humans. Some theorize this is the reason why our intelligence differs so greatly from our closest related species, chimpanzees, and bonobos. Dr. Quiroga is the Director of the Center of Systems Neuroscience at the University of Leicester.

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