New study identifies human neural compass New study identifies human neural compass

New study identifies human neural compass

New study identifies human neural compass

A recent British study has located the internal neural compass in humans, which the human brain uses to orient itself, making it possible to determine the right direction.

Researchers from the University of Birmingham in Britain and Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich conducted the study, which was published in early May in the journal Nature Human Behaviour and written by EurekAlert.

Although measuring neural activity during movement is difficult because most of the available techniques require participants to stay as static as possible, the researchers in this study overcame this challenge by using motion capture techniques and portable electroencephalography devices.

The researchers were able to record accurate signals within the brain that determine the direction the head would travel, consistent with the results of previous studies of neural codes.

The study will have a significant impact on the study of diseases that affect mobility and perception of trends such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

The study involved 52 healthy people who underwent a series of motion-tracking experiments where their brain activity was recorded using scalp electroencephalography technology, enabling the researchers to observe brain signals as participants moved their heads to orient themselves towards the signals displayed on different computer screens in front of them.

After purifying the EEG recordings from distractions that may occur due to muscle movement or posture of the participant, the researchers were able to clearly and accurately show the direction signal, which was taken before the participants' actual physical response in moving the head.

First author Dr Benjamin Griffiths says, "Isolating these signals enables us to really focus on how the human brain processes directional sensing information and how these signals work in tandem with other neural signals such as visual signals. "Our approach has opened up new avenues for exploring these features in the brain, with many implications in the study of neurodegenerative diseases, and these findings may contribute to the development of trend-sensing technologies in artificial intelligence and robotics."

Neurodegenerative diseases
According to the Cleveland Clinic website, they are conditions that gradually damage and destroy parts of the nervous system in the human body, especially areas of the brain. These conditions usually develop slowly, and their symptoms and effects often appear later in life.

Types of neurodegenerative diseases
Degenerative brain diseases include many neurological conditions, the most famous of which are the following:

1- Dementia-type diseases: cause gradual damage to different areas of the brain, leading to the death of nerve cells in several areas. It can result in a wide range of symptoms depending on the affected areas of the brain, such as confusion, memory loss, difficulty thinking or concentrating, and behavior changes. These include many conditions, such as Alzheimer's, frontotemporal dementia and others.

2- Parkinson's disease: They occur due to damage to nerve cells that help coordinate muscle movements, and this includes Parkinson's disease. Symptoms often include slowing the patient's movement, trembling when concentrating, balance problems and confusion in the direction of steps.

What causes neurodegenerative diseases?
Research suggests that multiple factors may contribute to neurodegenerative diseases. Sometimes it can be difficult for medical providers to determine the cause, which can cause frustration for the person with one of these conditions or their loved ones.

However, several possible causes or risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases have been identified, including:

1- Age
It is the main factor in the development of neurodegenerative diseases, as the chances of developing these diseases increase with age, although there are some rare conditions that affect people at an early age.

2- Heredity
It plays an important role in neurodegenerative diseases, as the likelihood of developing these diseases increases if a family member has previously had them.

3- Environment
Exposure to pollution, chemicals and toxins may play a role in developing neurodegenerative diseases.

4- Medical history
Medical history can contribute to the development of neurodegenerative diseases, and some medical conditions may worsen to cause these diseases such as certain types of infections, head injuries, etc.

5- Habits
These include the quality of daily food, the extent of physical activity, whether or not a person uses tobacco products and other routine factors.


  1. These include the quality of daily food, the extent of physical activity, whether or not a person uses tobacco products and other routine factors.

  2. The discovery of the human neural compass by researchers from the University of Birmingham offers insights into brain function, potentially aiding in understanding and treating neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

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