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TagGyörgy Buzsáki

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3D human brain

Even Neurons Have Rich Clubs and Poor Clubs

Both — doing different jobs — are essential to the brain’s functioning

New York University School of Medicine neuroscientist György Buzsáki offers a long essay at Scientific American, explaining how he came to adopt an “inside-out,” rather than an “outside-in” perspective on how the brain works. The brain, in his view, is primarily preoccupied with self-organization and it incorporates outside information in order to help with that project. Along the way, he entertainingly describes two different types of neurons and what they do: Most neurons are only weakly connected to others, whereas a smaller subset retains robust links. The strongly connected minority is always on the alert. It fires rapidly, shares information readily within its own group, and stubbornly resists any modifications to the neurons’ circuitry. Because of the multitude of connections…