Does neuroglia play an essential role for intelligence?

The supportive functions of neuroglia are well-known. They keep the nervous system chemically balanced, clean and firing fast. That’s the very first thing anyone will learn about these types of cells. But does their importance reach beyond just a janitorial system for the CNS?

There is in fact lots of evidence that suggests nervous system function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks as opposed to the much more wide-held belief of purely neural networks. This summary on NCBI is a good introduction to the way astrocytes influence the transmission of information in the nervous system:

Curious: has anybody gone so far to theorize and/or model neuron-glia networks?

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Great topic and thanks for sharing. I believe glias also demonstrate “wireless” properties. Possibly through oscillations.

That would be wonderful. I need to know more.

I think astrocytes have been sidelined, yet play a very important role in large NN like the brain. Glad you brought this up! I will follow a bit more closely than before.
I have posted a few times on Twitter about glial cells. Let’s move forward! Most interesting indeed.

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Consideration of Neuro-glia networks is giving me Neuralgia! :stuck_out_tongue: (I just had to make that joke, don’t ask why (please))

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I appreciated it

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Indeed. I think something is happening in L1 of the cortical column with the glia. The density of astrocytes there is really high (for the supposed support function) [1].

[1] F. Clascá, P. Rubio-Garrido, and D. Jabaudon, “Unveiling the diversity of thalamocortical neuron subtypes,” Eur. J. Neurosci., vol. 35, no. 10, pp. 1524–1532, 2012.

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9/2020 on microglia.
(Why do science writers called these “immune cells?”)

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Hello @BazookamanPH. Welcome to the forum. Thanks for posting about this paper.

I had never heard this, but it is mentioned in the article:

This article in the Journal of Neurochemistry discusses it in detail.