Aug 22, 2023

Researchers identify mathematical rule behind the distribution of neurons in our brains

Posted by in categories: mathematics, neuroscience

Human Brain Project (HBP) researchers from Forschungszentrum Jülich and the University of Cologne (Germany) have uncovered how neuron densities are distributed across and within cortical areas in the mammalian brain. They have unveiled a fundamental organizational principle of cortical cytoarchitecture: the ubiquitous lognormal distribution of neuron densities.

Numbers of neurons and their play a crucial role in shaping the ’s structure and function. Yet, despite the wealth of available cytoarchitectonic data, the statistical distributions of neuron densities remain largely undescribed. The new HBP study, published in Cerebral Cortex, advances our understanding of the organization of mammalian brains.

The team based their investigations on nine publicly available datasets of seven species: mouse, marmoset, macaque, galago, owl monkey, baboon and human. After analyzing the cortical areas of each, they found that neuron densities within these areas follow a consistent pattern—a lognormal distribution. This suggests a fundamental organizational principle underlying the densities of neurons in the .

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