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Scientists discover spiral-shaped signals that organize brain activity

Published in Brain/Neurology.

Multiple interacting spirals organize brain activity flow. Credit: Gong et al.

University of Sydney and Fudan University scientists have discovered human brain signals traveling across the outer layer of neural tissue that naturally arrange themselves to resemble swirling spirals.

The research, published today in Nature Human Behaviour, indicates these ubiquitous spirals, which are brain signals observed on the cortex during both resting and cognitive states, help organize brain activity and cognitive processing.

Senior author Associate Professor Pulin Gong, from the School of Physics in the Faculty of Science, said the discovery could have the potential to advance powerful computing machines inspired by the intricate workings of the human brain.

The discovery opens up new avenues for understanding how the brain works and provides valuable insights into the fundamental functions of the human brain. It could help medical researchers understand the effects of brain diseases, such as dementia, by examining the role they play.