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Additional info for Nature (Vol. 435, No. 7045, 23 June 2005)

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Rare recordings from single neurons in the human brain provide a fresh perspective on the question. ‘Grandmother cell’ is a term coined by J. Y. Lettvin to parody the simplistic notion that the brain has a separate neuron to detect and represent every object (including one’s grandmother)1. The phrase has become a shorthand for invoking all of the overwhelming practical arguments against a one-to-one object coding scheme2. No one wants to be accused of believing in grandmother cells. 3 describe a neuron in the human brain that looks for all the world like a ‘Jennifer Aniston’ cell.

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