Brain worms and computers have the same structure


24/04/2010

An international team of scientists has discovered striking similarities between the human brain and nervous system of worms and computer chip. News of the discovery was published in PloS Computational Biology.

"The brain is often compared to a computer, but other than the fact that both process information using a complex system of connections in a physical space, it remains unclear whether such a comparison is considered anything more than a metaphor," - said Danielle Bassett (Danielle Bassett), author of the article on the opening of the Department of Physics of the University of Santa Barbara.

A team of scientists from countries such as the U.S., UK and Germany have discovered previously unknown quantitative organizational principles that underlie the network organizations of the human brain, chip high-performance computers and the nervous system of worms known as nematodes C. elegans. Using the data that were available in the public domain: Magnetic resonance imaging of the human brain, the nervous system of nematodes card and a standard computer chip, the researchers looked at how disparate elements interact with each other in each of the systems.

To their surprise, they found that all three systems were combined between the two major properties. First, the human brain, the nervous system of nematodes and computer chips in its architecture resembled doll: the structure is repeated over and over again on a different scale.

Second, all three fall under the so-called scaling Renta (born Rent’s scaling), - a rule that describes the relationship between the number of elements in this region of space and the number of connections between them.

In fact, each system has a system of compounds which is rigidly fixed in the physical space, just like the railroad rigidly fixed on the ground, forming a transport path in a rigidly locked position. For example, a computer chip in the beginning of the development is an abstract model of connections that can perform specific functions. In the second step, developing two dimensional map connections on the chip surface. Mapping - a key operation, as it affects the final length of the wires, which account for the lion’s share price of the chip.

"Similarly, the brain has fine-tuned connections that allow the body to function, the length of which is limited only expediency of their work in relation to the consumed energy is spent on the creation and maintenance of long ’wires’ or neurons," - said Bassett. She explained that as the limitations of the brain and the chips are similar, it can be said that both evolution and technological advances developed identical optimal solutions creating a system of connections.

This work suggests that the progress of humanity and the natural selection independently found an identical trade-off between cost and complexity of developing networks of information processing two types of brain and computer chips.

Bassett worked closely with Edward Bullmore (Edward Bullmore), a professor of psychiatry at the University of Cambridge, who explained: "The striking similarity of the principles of the structure of the brain and the computer can be explained by the fact that they represent the most efficient way to organize a complex network in a confined physical space - be it three-dimensional human brain or a two-dimensional computer chip. " Popular news articles of science and technology only on our website.


Set a world record for the magnetic field strength
Tiny helicopters in service aircraft
The first building with a green algae sufficient in energy self-
Soon we will go on biofuel from a tropical plant?
Superfluid light