Navigation Links
Mathematicians help to unlock brain function
Date:5/3/2013

Mathematicians from Queen Mary, University of London will bring researchers one-step closer to understanding how the structure of the brain relates to its function in two recently published studies.

Publishing in Physical Review Letters the researchers from the Complex Networks group at Queen Mary's School of Mathematics describe how different areas in the brain can have an association despite a lack of direct interaction.

The team, in collaboration with researchers in Barcelona, Pamplona and Paris, combined two different human brain networks - one that maps all the physical connections among brain areas known as the backbone network, and another that reports the activity of different regions as blood flow changes, known as the functional network. They showed that the presence of symmetrical neurons within the backbone network might be responsible for the synchronised activity of physically distant brain regions.

Lead author Vincenzo Nicosia, said "We don't fully understand how the human brain works. So far the focus has been more on the analysis of the function of single, localised regions. However, there isn't a complete model that brings the whole functionality of the brain together. Hopefully, our research will help neuroscientists to develop a more accurate map of the brain and investigate its functioning beyond single areas."

The research adds to the recent findings published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in which the QM researchers along with the Department of Psychiatry at University of Cambridge analysed the development of the brain of a small worm called Caenorhabditis elegans. In this paper, the team examined the number of links formed in the brain during the worm's lifespan, and observed an unexpected abrupt change in the pattern of growth, corresponding with the time of egg hatching.

"The research is important as it's the first time that a sharp transition in the growth of a neural network has ever been observed," added Dr Nicosia.

"Although we don't know which biological factors are responsible for the change in the growth pattern, we were able to reproduce the pattern using a simple economical model of synaptic formation. This result can pave the way to a deeper understanding of how neural networks grow in more complex organisms."

The Complex Networks group at Queen Mary is headed by Professor Vito Latora. Aside from theoretical research about the structure and function of complex networks, the group is working on the characterisation of multi-layer brain networks, aimed at reconciling and integrating different brain signals to produce a more informative picture of the human brain.


'/>"/>

Contact: Neha Okhandiar
n.okhandiar@qmul.ac.uk
020-788-27927
Queen Mary, University of London
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Mathematicians find solution to biological building block puzzle
2. Mathematicians tackle global issues
3. UC Riverside mathematicians recognized by American Mathematical Society
4. Artificial womb unlocks secrets of early embryo development
5. UCLA life scientists unlock mystery of how handedness arises
6. Rensselaer scientists unlock some key secrets of photosynthesis
7. Citizen science helps unlock European genetic heritage
8. Speed and power of X-ray laser helps unlock molecular mysteries
9. UC Santa Barbara scientists learn how to unlock the destiny of a cell: A gift for the tin man?
10. Could chloroplast breakthrough unlock key to controlling fruit ripening in crops?
11. Biologists unlocking the secrets of plant defenses, 1 piece at a time
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2016)... DUBLIN , April 27, 2016 ... of the  "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report ... ) , The analysts forecast ... a CAGR of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... a number of sectors such as the healthcare, ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... -- A new partnership announced today will help life ... a fraction of the time it takes today, ... insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient and ... rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and higi,s ... pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at local ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... 2016 BioCatch ™, the ... announced the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger as ... Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a time of ... deployment of its platform at several of the world,s ... discerns unique cognitive and physiological factors, is a winner ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks , a ... engineering, was today awarded as one of the ... the world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is ... the real world in the nutrition, health and ... directly with customers including Fortune 500 companies to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed ... pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving ... signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" ... commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors ... such as WDR5 represent an exciting class of ... precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 new Young ... cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a pool of ... More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: