Navigation Links
Brain's wiring: More network than pyramid?
Date:8/9/2010

The brain has been mapped to the smallest fold for at least a century, but still no one knows how all the parts talk to each other.

A study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences answers that question for a small area of the rat brain and in so doing takes a big step toward revealing the brain's wiring.

The network of brain connections was thought too complex to describe, but molecular biology and computing methods have improved to the point that the National Institutes of Health have announced a $30 million plan to map the human "connectome."

The study shows the power of a new method for tracing brain circuits.

University of Southern California neuroscientists Richard H. Thompson and Larry W. Swanson used the method to trace circuits running through a "hedonic hot spot" related to food enjoyment.

The circuits showed up as patterns of circular loops, suggesting that at least in this part of the rat brain, the wiring diagram looks like a distributed network.

Neuroscientists are split between a traditional view that the brain is organized as a hierarchy, with most regions feeding into the "higher" centers of conscious thought, and a more recent model of the brain as a flat network similar to the Internet.

"We started in one place and looked at the connections. It led into a very complicated series of loops and circuits. It's not an organizational chart. There's no top and bottom to it," Swanson said.

The circuit tracing method allows the study of incoming and outgoing signals from any two brain centers. It was invented and refined by Thompson over eight years.

Most other tracing studies at present focus only on one signal, in one direction, at one location.

"[We] can look at up to four links in a circuit, in the same animal at the same time. That was our technical innovation," Swanson said.

The Internet model would explain the brain's ability to overcome much local damage, Swanson said.

"You can knock out almost any single part of the Internet and the rest of it works."

Likewise, Swanson said, "There are usually alternate pathways through the nervous system. It's very hard to say that any one part is absolutely essential."

Swanson first argued for the distributed model of the brain in his acclaimed book "Brain Architecture: Understanding the Basic Plan" (Oxford University Press, 2003).

The PNAS study appears to support his view.

"There is an alternate model. It's not proven, but let's rethink the traditional way of regarding how the brain works," he said.

"The part of the brain you think with, the cortex, is very important, but it's certainly not the only part of the nervous system that determines our behavior."


'/>"/>

Contact: Carl Marziali
marziali@usc.edu
213-740-4751
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Pro Athletes Brains React at Olympic Speed
2. iPhone Memory Aid for Scatterbrains, Aging Baby Boomers and Busy, Forgetful People
3. MessageSolution First in the Market to Offer All-in-One, Integrated Cloud-Based Archiving for Email, File Systems and SharePoint at Novell BrainShare 2010
4. Scientists Tweak Subjects Brains to Alter Their Moral Choices
5. SharpBrains Launches First Brain Fitness Innovation Awards to Recognize Neuroplasticity Pioneers
6. Morphine May Protect Brains of People With HIV
7. SKyPRO Releases Public Beta of GWTalk at BrainShare
8. Blood flows differently through the brains of schizophrenic patients
9. Adolescent brains biologically wired to engage in risky behavior, study finds
10. Gay mens bilateral brains better at remembering faces: York U study
11. Tool manipulation is represented similarly in the brains of the blind and the sighted
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... 28, 2017 , ... Silicon Valley Hair Institute, the San Francisco Bay Area ... about women’s hair loss. Although hair transplant procedures can be seen as more of ... genetics can be two reasons a woman may see her hair thinning. , “We ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... MO (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 , ... ... of job satisfaction in their profession as their value increases in the healthcare ... that provides resources such as job boards, career fairs, and candidate leads to ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ... March 27, 2017 , ... New patients who have sleep apnea ... treatment, with or without a referral. Sleep apnea is often left untreated because patients ... morning headaches and chronic snoring. , Dr. Braasch seeks to raise awareness of ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... Ohio (PRWEB) , ... March 27, 2017 , ... New ... OH to replace their missing teeth can now have them placed by Dr. Manju ... the latest i-CAT® Cone Beam technology to increase the accuracy of each dental implant ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ... 2017 , ... This is the second major release since ... 2014. It is the culmination of collaborative efforts by members of the OSEHRA ... Member Zato Health co-funded the ONC certification and provided key technical support throughout ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/28/2017)... Mass. , March 28, 2017 ... company developing innovative therapeutics that address significant unmet ... a patent from the Japan Patent Office (JPO) ... connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) for the treatment ... limited to skin fibrosis and proliferative retinopathy (Japanese ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... Taiwan , March 28, 2017  Medeon ... medical device company, is pleased to announce that ... A investment of Panther Orthopedics, Inc., a ... innovative dynamic fixation solutions for orthopedic extremity applications.  ... continues to expand rapidly, primarily due to procedure ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017 ... to better understand Bayer and its partnering interests and activities ... 2010 report provides an in-depth insight into the partnering activity ... On demand company reports are prepared upon purchase to ... company data. The report will be delivered in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: