Neurons are grouped into clusters

From 7½ Lessons
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A note for Lesson no. 2, "Your Brain Is a Network," in Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context from page 34 is:

...neurons are grouped into clusters...

A graph is a mathematical structure that models the relationships between things (such as airports, people, or clusters of neurons). A graph is made up of points (called nodes, or in math language, vertices) and the connections that link the nodes, called edges. In neuroscience, graph theory depicts the brain as a network.[1]

In lesson no. 2, I referred to a group of neurons as a cluster (to avoid unnecessary jargon), but typically we refer to a group of neurons as a "node." A node that has many dense connections with other nodes is called a "hub." Hubs that are densely interconnected to other hubs are called "rich club hubs" and are thought to be the backbone of communication in the brain.[2][3][4][5]


  1. Sporns, Olaf. 2011. Networks of the Brain. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  2. van den Heuvel, Martijn P, and Olaf Sporns. 2011. "Rich-club organization of the human connectome." The Journal of Neuroscience 31 (44): 15775–15786.
  3. van den Heuvel, Martijn P, and Olaf Sporns. 2013. "An Anatomical Substrate for Integration Among Functional Networks in Human Cortex."  The Journal of Neuroscience 33 (36): 14489–14500.
  4. Zhang, Jiahe, Lianne H. Scholtens, Yongbin Wei, Martijn P. van den Heuvel, Lorena Chanes, and Lisa Feldman Barrett. 2020. "Topography Impacts Topology: Anatomically Central Areas Exhibit a 'Higher-Level Connector' Profile in Human Cortex." Cerebral Cortex 30 (3): 1357–1365
  5. Griffa, Alessandra, and Martijn P. Van den Heuvel. 2018. "Rich-Club Neurocircuitry: Function, Evolution, and Vulnerability." Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience 20 (2): 121.