For over 100 years, scientists have agreed that discrete collections of brain cells fire off signals to other brain areas through a series of interconnected fibers. In a new study, researchers applied a mathematical model to brain activity and found that brain function may have more to do with shape than connectivity.
First appearing in the early 1970s, neural field theory (NFT) combines an understanding of brain anatomy and physiology with math to model large-scale brain activity. Previous predictions using NFT have suggested that the shape of the brain may be more fundamental to its functioning than the neuronal connections between regions. Now, researchers from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, have tested those predictions to see whether they’re true.