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IBM Researchers Create the Most Detailed Brain Map Yet

• Clay Dillow via PopSci
Researchers at IBM have created the most complex neurological map ever seen, detailing the comprehensive long-distance network that makes up the macaque monkey brain in unprecedented detail. Such a roadmap through the brain's complex networking processes could have major implications for attempts at reverse-engineering neural networks and creating cognitive computer chips that "think" as powerfully and efficiently as the biological brain.
Focusing on a long-distance network connecting 383 brain regions and 6,602 long-distance connections that function like highways to connect disparate regions of the brain. Shorter, more localized connections were found to carry signals within regions.
But most importantly, they found what they describe in a paper published in PNAS as a "tightly integrated core" that might be they key to cognition in higher-thinking biological creatures. That core might be what gives us consciousness (we won't get into the philosophical implications there). Further, the core isn't located in one, or even two regions. The researchers found it stretches through the premotor cortex, prefrontal cortex, temporal lobe, thalamus, visual cortex and a handful of other regions.

Another surprising find: the prefrontal cortex, though at the front of the brain, might actually serve as its central information hub that distributes information throughout the brain.

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