Your Brain Has a Neuron Just for Tom Cruise

...and another for every celeb you recognize, study finds
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2009 11:47 AM CDT
Your Brain Has a Neuron Just for Tom Cruise
You have a neuron devoted to both Jon and Kate. Sorry.   (AP Photo/TLC, Karen Alquist, File)

(Newser) – You have a neuron in your brain devoted entirely to recognizing Tom Cruise. Another specializes in Barack Obama, yet another LeBron James, and, yes, Jon and Kate are taking up two. By studying a decade worth of brain activity, researchers have discovered a series of cells that act like celebrity groupies, the Wall Street Journal reports. Each pulls together all the sensory data on a personality to create a mental image.

The findings suggest that it takes only the simplest circuit of neurons to hold even complex ideas. The celebrity neurons aren’t memorizing specific images of celebrities; they use their distilled experience with a celebrity, allowing them to recognize him or her in any context. “The neuron is responding to a concept, not a picture,” one researcher explained. (Read more brain stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.

X