Small Circuits for Large Tasks: High-Speed Decision-Making in Archerfish

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Science  04 Jan 2008:
Vol. 319, Issue 5859, pp. 104-106
DOI: 10.1126/science.1149265

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The enormous progress made in functional magnetic resonance imaging technology allows us to watch our brains engage in complex cognitive and social tasks. However, our understanding of what actually is computed in the underlying cellular networks is hindered by the vast numbers of neurons involved. Here, we describe a vertebrate system, shaped for top speed, in which a complex and plastic decision is performed by surprisingly small circuitry that can be studied at cellular resolution.

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