Understanding the smallest brain circuits: Researchers reveal how anatomically distinct microcircuit brain networks suppress each other, compete and collaborate -- ScienceDaily
"We observe that when some neurons speed up, others slow down-and they do this in a coordinated fashion over several seconds," Galán said.
"What we are discovering here, revealing for the first time, is a mode of operation of the brain circuits that shows you cannot have all of your networks operating at once," he said.
Galán and his team explain those two anatomically distinct and competing networks in the smallest of the brain's microcircuits, calling them "anti-correlated cortical networks," in a recent issue of Scientific Reports.
Co-authors include biology Professor Hillel Chiel and undergraduate students Nathan Kodama (first author), Tianyi Feng, James Ullett and Siddharth Sivakumar. Galán said the discovery was especially gratifying because it culminates the testing of a mathematical model he developed a decade ago.
"That was a theoretical prediction-the idea that the wiring of brain circuits could be inferred from their spontaneous activity," he said. "When we were finally able to test this idea experimentally, we discovered the competing neural networks; it all came together in this study."