From KurzweilAI: ‘Rain Man’-like brains mapped with network analysis:
“Agenesis of the corpus callosum can arise if individuals are born missing DNA from chromosome 16 and often leads to autism.
Scientists have long puzzled over what the link is between this disorder and the autistic brain, said co-senior author of the paper Elliott Sherr, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and genetics especially since not all people with this malformation develop autism.
Doctors believe this is because the brain has a rich capacity for rewiring in alternative ways.
Pursuing this question, Mukherjee and Sherr turned to MRI and the mathematical technique of network analysis, which has long supported fields like civil engineering, helping urban planners optimize the timing of traffic lights to speed traffic. This is the first time network analysis has been applied to brain mapping for a genetic cause of autism.
The brain offers a significantly complicated challenge for analysis because, unlike the streets of a given city, the brain has hundreds of billions of neurons, many of which make tens of thousands of connections to each other, making its level of connectivity highly complex.”