Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Magnetic resonance imaging deconstructs brain’s complex network

05.01.2005


A team headed by scientists at Northwestern University, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), has shown how to visualize the human brain as a massive, interacting, complex network governed by a few underlying dynamic principles.



The research opens fascinating possibilities for future basic and applied studies to investigate the dynamics of brain states, particularly in cases of dysfunction -- such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and chronic pain -- without requiring external markers.

Dante R. Chialvo, research associate professor of physiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, led the study, which appeared in the Dec. 31 online issue of the journal Physical Review Letters. The research group included scientists from the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, N.Y., and the University of Islas Baleares, Mallorca, Spain.


Chialvo and colleagues described how fMRIs from healthy individuals showed that tens of thousands of discrete brain regions form a network that has the same qualitative features as other complex networks, such as the Internet (technological), friendships (social) and metabolic (biochemical) networks.

The fMRI technology provided, in each recording session, hundreds of consecutive images of brain activity discretized in thousands of tiny cubes (voxels). The image intensity at each cube usually indicates the amount of brain activity at that site.

The investigators then calculated the degree of correlation between the activities among the tens of thousands of brain regions. Through their computations, the group discovered which brain regions were momentarily "linked" in a "network."

When they further analyzed the structure of these networks, they saw a familiar picture: Brain networks share the features of other complex networks, such as the Internet -- very few "jumps" were necessary for connecting any two nodes. "This so-called ’small world’ property allows for the most efficient connectivity," Chialvo said.

The second common characteristic the researchers found was a strong "in-homogeneity" -- many nodes had few connections and a very few nodes connected with many others. These "super-connected" nodes act as hubs, providing the networks with fast transmission of information.

"Overall, our initial results indicate that the brain networks share these two fundamental properties, implying that the underlying properties can be understood using the theoretical framework already advanced in the study of other, disparate, networks," Chialvo said.

Elizabeth Crown | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.northwestern.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New gene catalog of ocean microbiome reveals surprises

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Astrophysicists explain the mysterious behavior of cosmic rays

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device

18.08.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>