Net heads: it’s a small world in there (maybe)

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Synchronisation – see article for explanation
(Credit: Bassett)

“Small-world networks have a distinctive structure: There’s a cluster of nodes, each connected to its immediate neighbors, with a few that connect to distant nodes. This structure enhances the power and efficiency of these systems…

… Researchers are now devising models grounded in the small-world effect to explain how the human brain works. These scientists are looking for small-world setups within the brain’s massive, interconnected cell networks and for moment-to-moment electrical manipulations that, they suspect, foster thinking and learning. Their efforts are a sharp departure from popular brain-imaging efforts to pinpoint neural niches that specialize in particular mental capabilities.”

This a fairly lengthy, but easy to read, article about how some neuroscientists are increasingly confident that communication among the brain’s 100 billion neurones requires surprisingly few steps. It may well be a small world in there after all.