The latest research by the Washington University in St. Louis confirms a long-standing theory that our brain can act as excitable as possible without causing any kind of harm. The research paper is now featuring in an online journal Neuron. It states that this condition is also applicable to most of the free behaving animals.
Keith Hengen, the lead author of the paper says that when the neurons in our brain combine, they are actively trying to seek out a critical regime. This new research reaffirms much of the theoretical curiosity in criticality. The study also shows that criticality is a trademark of the regular functioning of networks.
A Set Point in the Neural Systems
An important piece of evidence that supports the theory is that criticality is, in fact, a inherent point instead of being a just inevitable characteristic of the neural systems. Criticality is a computational regime that optimizes the process of information processing. It is generally regulated by a large number of inhibitory neurons.
It has been a running theory by the theoretical physicists that brains may be critical. This theory initially faced some controversy. This was due to the broadly theoretical nature of the study and initial findings. Also, simply the theoretical measurement of basic laws of power that may occur due to random noise was the only sign of criticality.
With the ability to track the neural systems and the ability to record neural activity, the research team could achieve positive results. The study states that the criticality of brains is in connection with the network dynamics in the visual cortex.
The researchers believe that this confirmation of the criticality theory will help in future research and development activities. It will help in the treatment of neural conditions such as Rett Syndrome, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease.