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Understanding the Diversity of Brain Rhythms

Scientists from the East China Normal University and Hong Kong Baptist University published a paper discussing the new chimera state of the brain network.

Not much is known of the specific features and mechanisms that maintain brain function. To shed light in this area a team of researchers revealed that the real brain network has a new chimera state—-spatial multi-scaled chimera state, and its formation is closely related the local symmetry of connections.

Considering a real network of cerebral cortex and allowing each node be represented by a neural mass model describing the mean field activity of a neuronal population. The researchers analysed two brain networks of different sizes and discovered that the brain network has a unique behaviour. It was also revealed that it is possible to display chimera states on both global and local levels, leading to the name spatial multi-scaled chimera state.

To understand the mechanism of spatial multi-scaled chimera state, the team further studied the topological symmetry of each cortical region and found that there is a positive correlation between the degree of symmetry and synchronization, particularly the regions with higher symmetry take the role of relay nodes.

They also studied both the structural and functional bifurcation trees of clusters and discovered the close relationship between network structure and functions. For different network status, no matter whether it is normal or abnormal, the activation of different clusters or their combinations can result in different dynamical brain modes and thus implement the different rhythms.

The discovery of spatial multi-scaled chimera state may be used to explain the experiments of brain rhythms. Diversity of chimera states may be used to explain the cognitive patterns of brain network. Thus, studying the formation of dynamical patterns from symmetry may provide a new understanding to the mechanism of brain functions. [APBN]