ESHEL BEN-JACOB School of Physics and Astronomy, Tel Aviv University


The holographic brain

New evidences from epileptic brain activity hint that our brain might be able to generate holograms in a high dimension space of associative links - much like a recent view of the universe as a hologram projected from hidden dimensions beyond space and time.
The advantage of the 'holographic principle' is that when you cut hologram into half you will have two smaller whole images from each half. This "whole in every part" nature of holograms provides the brain with an entirely new way of coding and decoding of information. For example, to produce in parallel multiple copies of the same memory for associative information processing. Inspired by the above, we present a new functional holography approach for analyzing multi-channel recordings such as ECoG (electrocorticograph) recordings of cortical brain activity and of individual neuron dynamics in cultured networks. The common approach is to evaluate the matrix of correlations between the recorded activities (inter-channels correlations). Ordinarily such matrices are mapped onto a connectivity network between the channel positions in real space (their locations in the cortex).
In our functional holography, the correlations are normalized by the correlation distances - Euclidian distances between the matrix columns. Then, we project the N-dimensional (for N channels) space spanned by the matrix of the normalized correlations, or correlation affinities, onto a corresponding 4-D manifold (3-D Cartesian space constructed by the 3 leading principal vectors of the principal component algorithm + time ordering of the activity). The neurons are located by their principal eigenvalues and linked by their original (not-normalized) correlations. By looking at these holograms hidden causal motifs are revealed like the co-existence of functional sub-networks in the space of affinities that might be connected with initiation of seizure.
Studies of coupled cultured networks hint that the neuro-glia fabric provide the 'photographic film' for the holograms and that their generation and retrieval is sustained by chemical waves generated by the glia cells when act as excitable media.

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