The sensory mechanism of surprising events
The scope of the EU-funded NeuroTick project is to study the neuronal mechanisms underlying the sensing of surprising events, key to the survival of many species. Scientists will investigate the hypothesis that the cerebellum plays a key role in the processing of unexpected events by creating mental models of future actions. This is plausible, given the connection of the cerebellum with the somatosensory cortex, the part of the brain responsible for somatic sensation. The project will employ animals to study tickling, a special form of unexpected touch that contains elements of both sensory and social surprise.
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