How chaos drives the brain

July 27, 2009

It might seem precarious to have a brain that plunges randomly into periods of instability, but the disorder is actually essential to the brain's ability to transmit information and solve problems.


If the brain was in a more stable state, [neuronal] avalanches would die out before the message had been transmitted. If it was chaotic, each avalanche could swamp the brain.

At the critical point, however, you get maximum transmission with minimum risk of descending into chaos.

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