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Friday, April 10, 2015

We really DO have the internet on the brain: Researchers find neural 'wiring' is similar to structure of online networks

"Researchers sketching out a 'wiring diagram' for rat brains have discovered its structure is organized like the Internet." reports Mark Prigg For

Photo: Daily Mail

They say the animal's cerebral cortex is 'like a mini-Internet'.

The first comprehensive picture of how neurons connect to one another found local networks of neurons layered like the shells in a Russian nesting doll. 

University Professor Larry Swanson, Appleman Professor of Biological Sciences, Neurology and Psychology. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.
'The cerebral cortex is like a mini-Internet,' said Larry Swanson, professor at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and corresponding author of a paper on the discovery. 

'The Internet has countless local area networks that then connect with larger, regional networks and ultimately with the backbone of the Internet. 

'The brain operates in a similar way.'

The study was published on April 6 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

For years, scientists looking for clues to brain function through its structure focused on what could be seen — the brain's lobes, grooves and folds. 

Two local networks — one governing vision and learning, and another tapped into bodily concerns like muscle and organ function — make up the inner shell of the rat's cerebral cortex. 

Source: Daily Mail