Chewing, breathing, and other regular bodily functions that we undertake "without thinking" actually do require the involvement of our brain, but the question of how the brain programs such regular functions intrigues scientists. Arlette Kolta, a professor at the University of Montreal's Faculty of Dentistry, has shown that astrocytes play a key role. Astrocytes are star-shaped glial cells in our brain. Glial cells are not neurons - they play a supporting role. Kolta's finding in fact challenges some of the beliefs scientists have about the way our brain works. Here, astrocytes are shown in red and neurons in white.