Brain netwroks
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Is cortical connectivity optimized for storing information?

Is cortical connectivity optimized for storing information? | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it

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Neuroscientists Find New Brain Network

Neuroscientists Find New Brain Network | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it

Humans abound with remarkable skills: we write novels, build bridges, compose symphonies, and even navigate Boston traffic. But despite our mental prowess, we share a surprising deficit: our working memory can track only four items at one time.

“Would you buy a computer with a RAM capacity of 4?” asks David Somers, professor and chair of the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences. “Not 4 MB or GB or 4K—just 4. So how the heck do humans do all this stuff?”

“There’s so much information out there, and our brains are very limited in what we’re able to process,” adds Samantha Michalka, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Computational Neuroscience & Neural Technology. “We desperately need attention to function in the world.”

Michalka is lead author and Somers is senior author of a new study that sheds light on this enduring mystery of neuroscience: how humans achieve so much with such limited attention. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the work identifies a previously unknown attention network in the brain. It also reveals that our working memory for space and time can recruit our extraordinary visual and auditory processing networks when needed. The research appeared on August 19, 2015, in the journal Neuron.

Prior to this work, scientists believed that visual information from the eyes and auditory information from the ears merged before reaching the frontal lobes, where abstract thought occurs. The team of BU scientists, which also included Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory Director Barbara Shinn-Cunningham, performed functional MRI experiments to test the conventional wisdom. The experiments revealed that what was thought to be one large attention network in the frontal lobe is actually two interleaved attention networks, one supporting vision and one supporting hearing. “So instead of talking about a single attention network,” says Somers, “we now need to talk about a visual attention network and an auditory attention network that work together.”


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Nicole Wynne's comment, September 9, 2015 8:08 PM
I found this article rather interesting and reading how the vision and auditory systems work together. It also talks about how the auditory systems are dominate in some situations and vice versa. This article provides us with a picture of the brain and where these new found brain networks are. I would recommend this to someone who enjoys learning how the brain works and how it affects us.
Madison Carson's comment, September 16, 2015 11:59 PM
I found this article interesting because of the way humans can think about different things at one time but only have 4 functions. We don't really fully understand how our brains work but they are very complex. Maybe this study will help uplater on in the future
Scott Timmins's curator insight, September 8, 7:29 AM

an auditory attention network along with a visual attention network!

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This is Your Brain on Art

This is Your Brain on Art | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it
“Researchers take their study out of the lab and into the real world to see what happens in the brain as people observe artwork.”
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Fast and slow thinking -- of networks: The complementary 'elite' and 'wisdom of crowds' of amino acid, neuronal and social networks

Fast and slow thinking -- of networks: The complementary 'elite' and 'wisdom of crowds' of amino acid, neuronal and social networks | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it

Complex systems may have billion components making consensus formation slow and difficult. Recently several overlapping stories emerged from various disciplines, including protein structures, neuroscience and social networks, showing that fast responses to known stimuli involve a network core of few, strongly connected nodes. In unexpected situations the core may fail to provide a coherent response, thus the stimulus propagates to the periphery of the network. Here the final response is determined by a large number of weakly connected nodes mobilizing the collective memory and opinion, i.e. the slow democracy exercising the 'wisdom of crowds'. This mechanism resembles to Kahneman's "Thinking, Fast and Slow" discriminating fast, pattern-based and slow, contemplative decision making. The generality of the response also shows that democracy is neither only a moral stance nor only a decision making technique, but a very efficient general learning strategy developed by complex systems during evolution. The duality of fast core and slow majority may increase our understanding of metabolic, signaling, ecosystem, swarming or market processes, as well as may help to construct novel methods to explore unusual network responses, deep-learning neural network structures and core-periphery targeting drug design strategies.

(Illustrative videos can be downloaded from here:this http URL)

Fast and slow thinking -- of networks: The complementary 'elite' and 'wisdom of crowds' of amino acid, neuronal and social networks Peter Csermely

http://arxiv.org/abs/1511.01238 ;


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Complexity Digest's curator insight, November 18, 2015 6:13 PM

See Also: http://networkdecisions.linkgroup.hu 

António F Fonseca's curator insight, November 23, 2015 3:30 AM

Interesting  paper about fast cores and slow periphery,  conflict in the elite vs democratic consensus.

Marcelo Errera's curator insight, November 24, 2015 11:32 AM

Yes, there must be few fasts and many slows.  It's been predicted by CL in many instances.

 

http://www.researchgate.net/publication/273527384_Constructal_Law_Optimization_as_Design_Evolution

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Spectral Signatures of Reorganised Brain Networks in Disorders of Consciousness

Spectral Signatures of Reorganised Brain Networks in Disorders of Consciousness | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it
PLOS Computational Biology is an open-access
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Study reveals striking differences in brain connectivity between men and women

Study reveals striking differences in brain connectivity between men and women | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it
“ A new brain connectivity study from Penn Medicine published today in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences found striking differences in the neural wiring of men and women that's lending credence to some commonly-held beliefs about their...”
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Haiden Jacob-Byrd's curator insight, September 21, 2:30 PM

A brain study from Penn Medicine explain how male brains and female brains differentiate and how they connect.

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Brain's activity map makes stable 'fingerprint' - BBC News

Brain's activity map makes stable 'fingerprint' - BBC News | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it
“Neuroscientists have found that they can identify individuals based on a coarse map of which brain regions "pair up" in scans of brain activity. The map is stable enough that the researchers could pick one person's pattern from a set of 126, by matching it to a scan taken on another day. This was possible even if the person was "at rest" during one scan, and busy doing a task in the other. Furthermore, aspects of the map can predict certain cognitive abilities. Presented in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the findings demonstrate a surprising stability in this "functional fingerprint" of the brain. "The exciting thing... is not that we can identify people by putting them in an MRI machine - because we can identify people just by looking at them," said Emily Finn, a PhD student at Yale University who co-wrote the study with her colleague Dr Xilin Shen. "What was most exciting to me was that these profiles are so stable and reliable, in the same person, no matter if it's today or tomorrow and no matter what your brain is doing when we're scanning you." Predicting intelligence Crucially, this fingerprint is based on brain activity - not the organ's physical structure. In the the myriad links between our billions of brain cells, and even at the level of a normal MRI scan, we are all physically unique. But Ms Finn and her colleagues drew a map of each brain purely on the basis of which regions, in each individual, tended to leap into action at the same time. They used data from functional MRI (fMRI), which records subtle ups and downs in the busyness of the brain. Because it is relatively imprecise, fMRI has not typically been used to compare individual brains. Instead, scientists tend to record from several subjects and average the results. "We were interested in flipping the traditional fMRI analysis on its head, and not asking what are the commonalities - how do all brains look the same, doing the same task - but rather, does the same brain look the same, regardless of what it's doing?" Ms Finn explained.”
Via Wildcat2030, Miloš Bajčetić, Lynnette Van Dyke, Jocelyn Stoller
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Neuroscience: Connectomes make the map

Neuroscience: Connectomes make the map | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it

The subjects studied by connectome researchers range from living people to the preserved brains of tiny animals such as worms and flies. The investigative technologies range from MRI scanners to light microscopes and electron microscopes. Irrespective of the specifics, scientists — with the aid of computers — painstakingly chart connections to build an atlas. The map-makers hope that revealing the connectome's structure will help neuroscientists to navigate as they work out how different parts of the brain function together.

Neuroscience: Connectomes make the mapAmber DanceNature 526, 147–149 (01 October 2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/526147a


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Visual objects are represented by a distributed network in the human brain

Visual objects are represented by a distributed network in the human brain | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it
“LSU Psychology Professor Megan H. Papesh was part of a research team whose study appeared in the online-first edition of the Journal of Neuroscience on Wednesday, April 1.”
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Reading Fiction Improves Brain Connectivity and Function

Reading Fiction Improves Brain Connectivity and Function | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it
“Reading a novel has the power to reshape your brain and improve theory of mind.”
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Eva Rider's curator insight, April 14, 2015 5:17 AM

Interesting article on the positive effects of reading fiction on the brain. In an age, when we are inundated with information and escape into the worlds of imagination maybe the most effective remedy for mental overwhelm.

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Comparing Brain Networks of Different Size and Connectivity Density Using Graph Theory

Comparing Brain Networks of Different Size and Connectivity Density Using Graph Theory | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it
Graph theory is a valuable framework to study the organization of functional and anatomical connections in the brain. Its use for comparing network topologies, however, is not without difficulties. Graph measures may be influenced by the number of nodes (N) and the average degree (k) of the network. The explicit form of that influence depends on the type of network topology, which is usually unknown for experimental data. Direct comparisons of graph measures between empirical networks with different N and/or k can therefore yield spurious results. We list benefits and pitfalls of various approaches that intend to overcome these difficulties. We discuss the initial graph definition of unweighted graphs via fixed thresholds, average degrees or edge densities, and the use of weighted graphs. For instance, choosing a threshold to fix N and k does eliminate size and density effects but may lead to modifications of the network by enforcing (ignoring) non-significant (significant) connections. Opposed to fixing N and k, graph measures are often normalized via random surrogates but, in fact, this may even increase the sensitivity to differences in N and k for the commonly used clustering coefficient and small-world index. To avoid such a bias we tried to estimate the N,k-dependence for empirical networks, which can serve to correct for size effects, if successful. We also add a number of methods used in social sciences that build on statistics of local network structures including exponential random graph models and motif counting. We show that none of the here-investigated methods allows for a reliable and fully unbiased comparison, but some perform better than others.
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visualconnectome - VisualConnectome - A Matlab Toolbox for Brain Connectivity Analysis and Visualization. - Google Project Hosting

visualconnectome - VisualConnectome - A Matlab Toolbox for Brain Connectivity Analysis and Visualization. - Google Project Hosting | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it

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Frontiers | Cortical Connectivity Maps Reveal Anatomically Distinct Areas in the Parietal Cortex of the Rat | Frontiers in Neural Circuits

“ A central feature of theories of spatial navigation involves the representation of spatial relationships between objects in complex environments. The parietal cortex has long been linked to the processing of spatial visual information and recent evidence from single unit recording in rodents suggests a role for this region in encoding egocentric and world-centered frames. The rat parietal cortex can be subdivided into up to four distinct rostral-caudal and medial-lateral regions, which includes a zone previously characterized as secondary visual cortex. At present, very little is known regarding the relative connectivity of these parietal subdivisions. Thus, we set out to map the connectivity of the entire anterior-posterior and medial-lateral span of this region. To do this we used anterograde and retrograde tracers in conjunction with open source neuronal segmentation and tracer detection tools to generate whole brain connectivity maps of parietal inputs and outputs. Our present results show that inputs to the parietal cortex varied significantly along the medial-lateral, but not the rostral-caudal axis. Specifically, retrosplenial connectivity is greater medially, but connectivity with visual cortex, though generally sparse, is more significant laterally. Finally, based on connection density, the connectivity between parietal cortex and hippocampus is indirect and likely achieved largely via dysgranular retrosplenial cortex. Thus, similar to primates, the parietal cortex of rats exhibits a difference in connectivity along the medial-lateral axis, which may represent functionally distinct areas.”
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Study reveals striking differences in brain connectivity between men and women

Study reveals striking differences in brain connectivity between men and women | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it
“ A new brain connectivity study from Penn Medicine published today in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences found striking differences in the neural wiring of men and women that's lending credence to some commonly-held beliefs about their...”
Via Sandeep Gautam
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Haiden Jacob-Byrd's curator insight, September 21, 2:30 PM

A brain study from Penn Medicine explain how male brains and female brains differentiate and how they connect.

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Brain activity is as unique – and identifying – as a fingerprint

Brain activity is as unique – and identifying – as a fingerprint | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it

is as unique as fingerprijntnTypically, researchers pool a bunch of brain scans to figure out the average way brains handle certain tasks. Instead, could they pick out individual brain profiles from a stack of 126 people's scans?


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Sandeep Gautam's curator insight, October 13, 2015 12:52 PM

More on the 'brain activity is as unique as a fingerprint' study from on e of the authors herself. 

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Can’t be bothered to read on? It might be due looser connections in your brain

Can’t be bothered to read on? It might be due looser connections in your brain | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it
“ A new study reports on a neurobiological basis for apathy.”

Brain Structure May Be the Root of Apathy


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Mapping the Connectome issue, NeuroImage

Mapping the Connectome issue, NeuroImage | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it

This special issue on "Mapping the Connectome" is a review of the major issues and current projects relating to connectomics and is timely, as the field is experiencing rapid growth, but is also maturing, as indicated by the Human Connectome Project.


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How psychedelics alter functional networks? "Homological scaffolds of brain functional networks."

How psychedelics alter functional networks? "Homological scaffolds of brain functional networks." | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it

homological structure of the brain's functional patterns undergoes a dramatic change post-psilocybin, characterized by the appearance of many transient structures of low stability and of a small number of persistent ones that are not observed in the case of placebo.


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Neuroscientists Find New Brain Network

Neuroscientists Find New Brain Network | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it

Humans abound with remarkable skills: we write novels, build bridges, compose symphonies, and even navigate Boston traffic. But despite our mental prowess, we share a surprising deficit: our working memory can track only four items at one time.

“Would you buy a computer with a RAM capacity of 4?” asks David Somers, professor and chair of the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences. “Not 4 MB or GB or 4K—just 4. So how the heck do humans do all this stuff?”

“There’s so much information out there, and our brains are very limited in what we’re able to process,” adds Samantha Michalka, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Computational Neuroscience & Neural Technology. “We desperately need attention to function in the world.”

Michalka is lead author and Somers is senior author of a new study that sheds light on this enduring mystery of neuroscience: how humans achieve so much with such limited attention. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the work identifies a previously unknown attention network in the brain. It also reveals that our working memory for space and time can recruit our extraordinary visual and auditory processing networks when needed. The research appeared on August 19, 2015, in the journal Neuron.

Prior to this work, scientists believed that visual information from the eyes and auditory information from the ears merged before reaching the frontal lobes, where abstract thought occurs. The team of BU scientists, which also included Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory Director Barbara Shinn-Cunningham, performed functional MRI experiments to test the conventional wisdom. The experiments revealed that what was thought to be one large attention network in the frontal lobe is actually two interleaved attention networks, one supporting vision and one supporting hearing. “So instead of talking about a single attention network,” says Somers, “we now need to talk about a visual attention network and an auditory attention network that work together.”


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald, Sandeep Gautam
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Nicole Wynne's comment, September 9, 2015 8:08 PM
I found this article rather interesting and reading how the vision and auditory systems work together. It also talks about how the auditory systems are dominate in some situations and vice versa. This article provides us with a picture of the brain and where these new found brain networks are. I would recommend this to someone who enjoys learning how the brain works and how it affects us.
Madison Carson's comment, September 16, 2015 11:59 PM
I found this article interesting because of the way humans can think about different things at one time but only have 4 functions. We don't really fully understand how our brains work but they are very complex. Maybe this study will help uplater on in the future
Scott Timmins's curator insight, September 8, 7:29 AM

an auditory attention network along with a visual attention network!

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Neuroscience: Connectomes make the map : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

Neuroscience: Connectomes make the map : Nature : Nature Publishing Group | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it
“ Working at a variety of scales and with disparate organisms and technologies, researchers are mapping how parts of the brain connect.”
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Brain Organization into Resting State Networks Emerges at Criticality on a Model of the Human Connectome

The relation between large-scale brain structure and function is an outstanding open problem in neuroscience. We approach this problem by studying the dynamical regime under which realistic spatiotemporal patterns of brain activity emerge from the empirically derived network of human brain neuroanatomical connections. The results show that critical dynamics unfolding on the structural connectivity of the human brain allow the recovery of many key experimental findings obtained from functional magnetic resonance imaging, such as divergence of the correlation length, the anomalous scaling of correlation fluctuations, and the emergence of large-scale resting state networks.

Brain Organization into Resting State Networks Emerges at Criticality on a Model of the Human ConnectomeAriel Haimovici, Enzo Tagliazucchi, Pablo Balenzuela, and Dante R. ChialvoPhys. Rev. Lett. 110, 178101 (2013)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.178101


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Study reveals Internet-style ‘local area networks’ in cerebral cortex of rats

Study reveals Internet-style ‘local area networks’ in cerebral cortex of rats | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it
“Researchers sketching out a wiring diagram for rat brains — a field known as “connectomics” — have discovered that its structure is organized like the Internet.”
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Technique visualizes networks processing theory of mind

Technique visualizes networks processing theory of mind | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it
Pairing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with simple videos that mimic social interactions helps researchers visualize brain regions involved in the ability to infer others’ desires, beliefs and feelings, called the theory of mind.
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Graph Theory and Network Science: The Basics | Architects Zone

Graph Theory and Network Science: The Basics | Architects Zone | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it
"In the domain of network science, researchers don’t study networks in the abstract, but instead, they study numerous real-world representations in order to understand the universal properties of networks. Examples of such networks include social networks, transportation networks, gene regulatory networks, knowledge networks, scholarly networks, etc. Network science is a relatively new discipline that has only been able to blossom because of computer technologies. " Comment: a new topic on these pages. Networked learning has got to do with networks. Graph theory or network theory studies networks in the abstract, not just learning networks. Its terminology comes in handy, but its results may be very useful when designing learning networks. This is a very elementary first plunge in graph theory. For example, when designing support systems for learning networks, we should reaiize that they should no contravene the natural scale-free character of such network (see picture) (peter sloep, @pbsloep)
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Brain Connectivity Study Reveals Striking Differences Between Men and Women

Brain Connectivity Study Reveals Striking Differences Between Men and Women | Brain netwroks | Scoop.it
A new brain connectivity study from Penn Medicine published today in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciencesfound striking differences in the neural wiring of men and women that’s lending credence to some commonly-held beliefs about their behavior. In one of the largest studies looking at the “connectomes” of the sexes, Ragini Verma, PhD, an associate professor in the department of Radiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues found greater neural connectivity from front to back and within one hemisphere in males, suggesting their brains are structured to facilitate connectivity between perception and coordinated action. In contrast, in females, the wiring goes between the left and right hemispheres, suggesting that they facilitate communication between the analytical and intuition. “These maps show us a stark difference--and complementarity--in the architecture of the human brain that helps provide a potential neural basis as to why men excel at certain tasks, and women at others,” said Verma. For instance, on average, men are more likely better at learning and performing a single task at hand, like cycling or navigating directions, whereas women have superior memory and social cognition skills, making them more equipped for multitasking and creating solutions that work for a group. They have a mentalistic approach, so to speak.
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