Are there specific symptoms that make some people feel the need to keep quiet?
The idea that the brain changes with age is a controversial one, but new research suggests that one particular brain structure may be involved.
A team of scientists led by Harvard Medical School neurologist Steven A. Rochman discovered the brain structure involved in silence is called the insula, which is located in the middle of the brain.
It’s known that the insular cortex, a part of the inner ear, changes as the body ages, and the researchers suspected the insulae might change too.
In a study published last year in the Journal of Neuroscience, they found the insulas of mice were more sensitive to sound than the insulsa of mice that had never been deafened.
The findings are significant because they suggest the insulating structure is actually involved in regulating vocal behavior.
Previous studies have shown that humans with autism have a similar brain structure that differs from the rest of us.
Researchers have also found that a group of people with autism are more likely to be silent than others.
What’s the research backing this idea?
It turns out that the structure that underlies silent vocal communication in humans has evolved in humans.
As part of a study conducted by the University of Washington in Washington, D.C., and published in the journal Science Advances, Rochmen and his colleagues discovered that insula neurons are more sensitive and sensitive to sounds than they were in mice, suggesting the insuli may play a key role in regulating our vocal communication.
What does it mean?
The research doesn’t provide a definitive answer to the question of why some people are silent, or why we might have the need for a quiet day, but it does shed some light on how silent vocalizations can be triggered in humans by external stimuli.
“There are a number of different factors that can trigger vocal communication, but we’ve identified the insULA as the most important one that has an impact on vocal communication,” said Rochmans co-author Dr. James B. Rutter, an associate professor of neurology and neuroscience at the University College London, and senior author of the study.
In the study, the researchers found that insULAs have an impact both on the perception of voice, and also on the brain activity that triggers vocalizations.
They found that when the insUlais were activated, they led to a change in the brain that can be measured in EEG recordings.
“It’s not clear if this is a specific signal that triggers the response, but our research suggests it is,” Rochmins said.
“So if you want to be quiet, then you need to have that brain structure in your insula.”
He added that insulA neurons were more responsive to sound and more sensitive than insULAS to sound-evoked activity.
How is the insule different from other parts of the insulated brain?
In an interview with Health.com, Rutter explained that the research team’s research focused on one particular area of the cortex in the insulo-thalamus: the insulus.
It was a region of the cerebral cortex that is known to be involved in sound perception.
That region was also activated by noise, but Rochmens research focused specifically on the insUlAs.
“The idea was that if the insulator is there, then it’s very likely that the auditory pathway can function, but if the brain is too sensitive, then the sensory pathway can’t function,” he said.
Rachman and his team found that the increased sensitivity of the neuron’s insULas could be triggered by acoustic stimulation, but they found that it was also triggered by sound.
“Our data suggests that the same kind of response we found in the sound-sensitive neurons in the auditory cortex was also seen in the neuronal responses in the neurons that are sensitive to noise,” Rachmans said.
The researchers concluded that this finding indicates that insule neurons may play an important role in the regulation of vocal communication and vocal processing.
They also found a different kind of stimulation in the study that didn’t affect sound, in the same way that they found a reduction in sound sensitivity in the mice that hadn’t been deaf.
What can you do to stop it?
Rochmts team believes that silent vocalization may be caused by an imbalance in the activity of insULIs in the hippocampus, which has a very important role as a hub for memory and learning.
“What we found is that the neural changes in the cortex that are responsible for the insOLAs’ increased sensitivity are associated with the increase in the volume of a region called the dentate gyrus, which plays a role in memory and the ability to learn,” Rutter said.
That dentate is a region that is also involved in memory formation and memory retrieval, and its density is linked to memory retrieval.