Study suggests shape of brain influences thinking

A new study suggests that the shape of the brain, rather than the interactions between different regions, plays a crucial role in our thinking, emotions, and behavior. This discovery could potentially lead to advancements in the treatment of dementia and stroke.

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Traditionally, it has been believed that the complex network of connections between brain regions determines our experiences and thoughts. However, researchers at Australia’s Monash University have examined thousands of maps of brain activity and found that the overall shape of the brain has a greater impact on cognition and behavior than its intricate neuronal connections.

This study, published in the journal Nature, challenges the century-old notion and reveals a previously overlooked relationship between brain shape and activity. Understanding the effects of diseases like dementia and stroke may become simpler by focusing on brain shape models, which are easier to work with than models of the brain’s full connectivity. The research team utilized magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study eigenmodes, which are natural patterns of vibration or excitation in a system. By comparing the eigenmodes derived from brain shape models to those obtained from models of brain connectivity, the researchers found that brain shape could effectively account for different activity patterns.

These findings hold the potential to predict brain function based on its shape, providing new avenues to explore the role of the brain in individual behavior and the development of psychiatric and neurological diseases.


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