The multidimensional brain

 

Highlights

 

Big data and novel computational tools have led to a growing interest for multidimensional approaches to brain activity.

Assessing brain connectome's dynamics in higher dimensions allows us to achieve more information about elusive mental activities.

Recent data point towards the real presence in our brain of hidden, further dimensions where nervous activity might take place.

 

Abstract

Brain activity takes place in three spatial-plus time dimensions. This rather obvious claim has been recently questioned by papers that, taking into account the big data outburst and novel available computational tools, are starting to unveil a more intricate state of affairs. Indeed, various brain activities and their correlated mental functions can be assessed in terms of trajectories embedded in phase spaces of dimensions higher than the canonical ones. In this review, I show how further dimensions may not just represent a convenient methodological tool that allows a better mathematical treatment of otherwise elusive cortical activities, but may also reflect genuine functional or anatomical relationships among real nervous functions. I then describe how to extract hidden multidimensional information from real or artificial neurodata series, and make clear how our mind dilutes, rather than concentrates as currently believed, inputs coming from the environment. Finally, I argue that the principle “the higher the dimension, the greater the information” may explain the occurrence of mental activities and elucidate the mechanisms of human diseases associated with dimensionality reduction.

 

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