Cutting-edge research suggests that the shape of the human brain, including its size, curves, and grooves, may have a profound impact on our thoughts, emotions, and behavior, surpassing the significance of neuron connections. The study, published in the journal Nature, challenges the long-held belief that brain function is primarily determined by the intricate network of interconnected neurons.
Scientists from Australia conducted MRI scans of 255 individuals' brains while they engaged in tasks such as finger tapping and recalling sequences of images. They analyzed over 10,000 brain activity maps from more than 1,000 experiments worldwide, investigating the role of brain shape in these activities. Using a computer model, they simulated the effect of brain size and shape on electrical brain waves, comparing it to a conventional model based on neuron connectivity.
The results revealed that the new model, emphasizing brain shape, more accurately reconstructed the brain activity observed in the MRI scans and brain activity maps than the previous model. Lead author James Pang, a research fellow at Monash University, likened the influence of brain shape to a pebble causing ripples in a pond. The geometry of the brain guides the appearance of brain waves, which correlates with specific activity patterns during different tasks.
Understanding brain shape opens up new avenues for research, as it is easier to measure than brain wiring. Pang suggests that exploring the impact of brain shape on psychiatric and neurological diseases could yield valuable insights. The ongoing exploration of this phenomenon has the potential to reshape our understanding of the brain and its impact on thoughts and behavior.
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