How the wrinkles of the brain impact its function: Study

By, Delhi
Jun 01, 2023 06:51 PM IST

From understanding how the brain functions to the comparisons between the cerebral surface and the connectome, here's what you need to know.

The shape of the brain and its wrinkles that contribute to the walnut appearance of the brain impacts the way it works. In a study titled 'Geometric constraints on human brain function,’ the researchers compared the two main components of the brain's structure – the outer folds of the cerebral cortex and the web of nerves that connect the significant regions of the cerebral cortex. Speaking to a publication, James Pang, co-author of the article and physicist at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia said that they used concepts from physics and engineering to explore how anatomy impact function. The study further explored that the shape of the cerebral cortex had more impact than the connectome.

How the wrinkles of the brain impact its function: Study(Unsplash)
How the wrinkles of the brain impact its function: Study(Unsplash)

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Understanding how the brain functions

In order to understand how the brain works when the neurons are excited, the researchers tried to include mathematical theory of waves. According to neuroscientists who have studied the mechanism of neurons and their ways of sending messages to the brain through decades – the neurons, when excited can send messages to other neurons. The neurons in the cerebral cortex can communicate their state of excitement to their neighboring regions. However. Each neuron has a long filament called axon that also helps in sending messages to distant brain cells.

The study of vibration

The brain's neuronal excitement can come in waves and spread to various parts of the brain, and travel back in periodic oscillations. The researchers studied the modes by which the brainwaves propagate at the cortical surface and at the connectome. Then they studied the information gathered from MRI that images the activity of the brain supported by blood flow. The researchers further analysed the information and came to the conclusion that the brainwave modes were better explained by the surface geometry than by the connectome. For the study, the authors used an ideal brain structure – however, the walnut-shaped convulsions of the cortex are known to vary in shape and size from person to person.


    Tapatrisha is Content Producer with Hindustan Times. She covers stories related to health, relationships, and fashion.

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