Date Published: September 24, 2004
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Partial Text: People are unpredictable. One night you may crave Italian food, but another only Thai will do. One day you might finish a crossword puzzle in record time, and the next not a single clue prompts an answer. Such behavioral variation has been found in laboratory studies, too: a person’s ability to find a faint image on a screen varies widely from one viewing to the next. Similarly, when an animal repeatedly receives the same stimulus—for example, a faint image—a neuron in a region of the animal’s visual brain might be very active upon one presentation and relatively quiet the next.