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Biotech

Rodent Neural Activity Has a Geometric Structure (forbes.com) 27

TheAlexKnapp writes: In a recent paper (abstract), a team used techniques from computational topology to look at the neural activity in the rat hippocampus as it solved a maze. Mathematician Kevin Knudson explains the findings: "This is the first time geometric structure has been found intrinsically in neural data. Certainly such a structure is to be expected since the rat's place cells keep track of the geometry of the environment, but this result is confirmation that it can be detected using only the pattern of correlations among the neurons. And it suggests that such geometric structure is a property of the underlying place cell network and not a result of the spatial structure of the input cells."
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Rodent Neural Activity Has a Geometric Structure

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  • Rodents Of Unusual Size? (Rous)

    • I don't believe they exist.
    • Rodents Of Unusual Size? (Rous)

      Also known as lawyers.

      It would be interesting to drop a few lawyers in a maze, and take a peak at their hippocampi . . .

    • Given that we're talking about geometric structures, maybe they're rodents of unusual shape...

      • by FreeUser ( 11483 )

        Given that we're talking about geometric structures, maybe they're rodents of unusual shape...

        The many angled ones. They live at the bottom of the Mandelbrot set. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  • by AndyKron ( 937105 ) on Friday December 11, 2015 @12:33PM (#51101009)
    Proof of God's design! How could that structure just evolve from random mutations? If you saw a geometric pattern in the sand by the beach you would know it was designed by someone. If you saw a Boeing 747 you would know it wasn't made by a tornado in a scrap yard. Checkmate atheist evolutionist, neo-Darwinist liberal Nazi fascists with slight leanings toward Maoism! /s
    • it pays good and it also involves 72 virgins.

    • You laugh, but I reckon the best argument against the bullshit is just to teach and show them how a fertilized egg develops into an organism. This is the same change in complexity that you see over evolutionary time: where single celled organisms eventually turned into amazing macroscopic things like ducks, trees, and elephants. However, with development you can watch the changes happen in real time and the final result is often obtained in a matter of weeks. Best of all, we're learning a heck of a lot abou
  • I thought we already knew that. Grid Cells. [wikipedia.org] I first learned about them in a 2007 Scientific American Mind issue. [scientificamerican.com]

    I think the new thing in the article is this particular way of searching for their signature, or something.

  • Pray tell, where was the rest of the rat?

    Surgically extracting a portion of a brain, giving it senses and mobility, and teaching it to navigate a maze is much more impressive than just discovering that its neural activation is symmetrical.

  • The structure resembled a rat trap-ezoid.

"Here's something to think about: How come you never see a headline like `Psychic Wins Lottery.'" -- Comedian Jay Leno

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