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September 18, 2018 Tuesday 12:33:19 PM IST

Secret Behind “Great-Minds-Think-Alike” Explained

Teacher Insights

Though humans are endowed with different mental abilities, the mechanisms of learning adopted by the brains reveal an origin of strong and weak links that are common to all brains, concludes a study by researchers of Bar-Ilan University. Results of the study are published in the journal Scientific Reports.

It is well-known that brain is a complex network containing many billions of neurons, where each neuron is connected to thousands of others via synapses, which can be strong or weak. A strong link indicates a significant influence between connecting neurons unlike a weak link, which could be tens of thousands of times weaker than a strong one. One of the main challenges in neuroscience is to understand the origin of the very wide spectrum of link strengths which is common in all brains.

The new study reveals that the learning process within the brain leads to universal wide spectrum of links. The road maps of brain reveals narrow streets as well as super highways, all of them defining paths of direct the information flow within the brain.

"A byproduct of dendritic learning is the wide spectrum of link strengths. The dendritic learning enables us to offer an explanation for an additional universal phenomenon observed in all brains and indicates its important role," said Prof. Kanter, a member of the research team.


The underlying mechanism is a fast response of a neuron to its strong entry compared to a slow response to a weak one. "The mechanism is similar to a pool filled through a wide pipe or through a narrow one. The wide pipe fills the pool faster," explained the research team.

This discovery is expected to open new horizons for advanced deep learning algorithms and artificial intelligence-based applications.

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-31523-1


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