Crumpled balls of paper not only look like our brain and they turn out very similar.
For years, scientists believed that the degree of broadcasti our brain is somehow connected with the number of neurons in it.
However, a recent study published in the journal "Science", claims that the folding of our brains has nothing to do with the number of neurons, but closely connected with the thickness and surface area of cerebral cortex. The team from University of Rio de Janeiro has carried out a large comparative study of the total number of neurons in the brains of representatives of different types of animals, as well as many other indicators – such as the surface area of the cortex, the total brain volume and so on. They managed to bring a specific mathematical equation that describes the shape of the brain of all mammals. It shows that in the greater thickness of the cerebral cortex the brain has fewer furrows, but with a thin crust, the number of folds increases.
The researchers also noted that this equation is very similar to that which describes paper folding. Study co-author Suzana Herculano-Houzel conducted many experiments and found that (as the living brain) the paper is thick if it to crumple, will have less folds than thin paper with a larger surface area.
But although most folding of the brain is not correlated with a large number of neurons, it has its advantages. The striations are cortex of our brain reduces transmission of nerve impulses, which leads to an acceleration of its work.
"The larger the brain, the longer it takes the exchange of information in it," says Herculano-Houzel. "Therefore the brain is very beneficial to stay as compact as possible, and folding allows you to achieve it."
But why did all the animals on our planet do not have ridged brains with a large number of grooves? Mainly responsible Hausel because they don't need it. Until the brain is able to solve the required tasks the animal, its structure has no special significance.
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