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:8/22/2017)... ... ... Star Glass is new to the Texas market, but is proudly managed by widely recognized ... and models, in Grand Prairie, TX, located in the center of the DFW Metroplex, the ... business for the past 40 years with 32 convenient locations in Texas, Nevada and California ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... August 22, 2017 , ... “Covert Awakening”: ... creation of published author, Julianne Hale, a consultant for the Intelligence Community. ... expert focusing on the Near East region. Julianne has written hundreds of ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... “Call Of Spiritual Duty”: a revelation in an era ... C.S. Lizarde. Growing up on the streets of North Visalia, California, Carlos Lizarde ... apply the Biblical keys to his life, he noticed immediately that opportunities and blessings ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... August 22, 2017 , ... The ... as a 2017-2018 inductee into its VIP Woman of the Year Circle. She ... nation’s leading networking organization exclusively for professional women, boasting more than 850,000 members, ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... , ... August 21, 2017 , ... Five chefs from ... awareness for Alzheimer’s Family Center. , Guests will be able to vote for ... Plaza, Braised Lamb Shank with Fennel Dill Salad, Feta Cheese Sauce & Garlic Pita ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/14/2017)... Israel , Aug. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... of adult stem cell technologies for neurodegenerative diseases, announced ... 2017. "We are ... Phase 3 trial to investigate NurOwn ® in ... Executive Officer of BrainStorm. "We have agreements with Mass. ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... , Aug. 10, 2017  Physical Rehabilitation Network (PRN), acquired ... Lakewood, Colorado . The reputable clinic will ... , PT, DPT with his staff of four clinicians. Lipkin ... Pittsburgh and brings over 10 years of experience with a ... Belmar PT marks the 10th PRN clinic in and around ...
(Date:8/8/2017)...   Second-quarter 2017 revenues of ... share from continuing operations ... to $110 million Second-quarter ... million Second-quarter 2017 adjusted ... 8 percent to $0.93 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: