Introducing the brain: brain growth by pattern (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Sunday, March 15, 2020, 15:22 (119 days ago) @ dhw

The neurons are organized in a pattern that allows new oerganization:

"Life is rife with patterns. It's common for living things to create a repeating series of similar features as they grow: think of feathers that vary slightly in length on a bird's wing or shorter and longer petals on a rose.

"It turns out the brain is no different. By employing advanced microscopy and mathematical modeling, Stanford researchers have discovered a pattern that governs the growth of brain cells or neurons. Similar rules could guide the development of other cells within the body,

"Their study, published in Nature Physics, builds on the fact that the brain contains many different types of neurons and that it takes several types working in concert to perform any tasks. The researchers wanted to uncover the invisible growth patterns that enable the right kinds of neurons to arrange themselves into the right positions to build a brain.


"What they found was that each neuron is surrounded by roughly a dozen neighbors similar to itself, but that interspersed among them are other kinds of neurons. This unique arrangement means that no single neuron sits flush against its twin, while still allowing different types of complementary neurons to be close enough to work together to complete tasks.

"The researchers found that this pattern repeats over and over across the entire flatworm brain to form a continuous neural network. Study co-authors Jian Qin, an assistant professor of chemical engineering, and postdoctoral scholar Xian Kong developed a computational model to show that this complex network of functional neighborhoods stems from the tendency of neurons to pack together as closely as possible without being too close to other neurons of the same type.

Comment: Simple. Patterns require design. Life is filled with patterns. There is a designer. See the next comment about patterns.

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