We have a lot of injury attorneys on our show from time to time. They all indicate that the damaged brain is unpredictable. But what about a normal brain? Recently a Finnish study research group found that human brain performance fluctuates in time scales, from seconds to minute. There was an inconsistency in the dynamics of the brain with indexing by neuronal scaling laws predicted in individual behavioral variability and conscious detection of extremely weak stimuli. The indication is that individual neuronal dynamics underlie the individual variability in human cognition and performance. The data shows this can lead to a better understanding of the neuronal mechanism of neuropsychiatric diseases, where behavioral dynamics are abnormal.
The neural dynamics in the behavioral unpredictability has been unknown, but the study found that human performance cognitive tasks vary from moment to moment, in a way that the similar behavioral performance is found to be clustered into streaks.Power-law and scale-free distribution is observed in natural systems, such as earth quakes, gene regulation, sand piles and brain activity, this is referred to as “avalanche dynamics.” What has been unknown is the functional significance of neuronal scale-free behavior and whether it is epiphenomena without having further importance.
Researcher Matias Palva the projected leader in the Finland Neuroscience Center of the University of Helsinki stated, they investigated the individual variability in scaling-laws of visual and auditory stimuli presented in the entry of detection, which could be predicted by inconsistency in the neuronal scaling laws.
Individual Neuron Dynamics
A magneto and electroencephalography was used in recording non-invasive human brain activity, during task performance. Researchers found both behavioral and neuronal dynamics were exemplified by scale-free dynamics. Individual unpredictability in neuronal scaling laws helped in predicting the individual scaling laws in behavioral performance.
The Finnish study research leader Stau Palva said, “the results show that the individual behavorial and psychophysical inconsistency in task performance.” This is a result of the inherent variability of individual neuronal dynamics. So as more and more is learned about the gray matter we call brains, we all understand that even a healthy brain is variable.