Scaling brain size, keeping timing: evolutionary preservation of brain rhythms

Neuron. 2013 Oct 30;80(3):751-64. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.10.002.


Despite the several-thousand-fold increase of brain volume during the course of mammalian evolution, the hierarchy of brain oscillations remains remarkably preserved, allowing for multiple-time-scale communication within and across neuronal networks at approximately the same speed, irrespective of brain size. Deployment of large-diameter axons of long-range neurons could be a key factor in the preserved time management in growing brains. We discuss the consequences of such preserved network constellation in mental disease, drug discovery, and interventional therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Brain Waves* / genetics
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological
  • Nerve Fibers / ultrastructure
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neural Pathways / ultrastructure
  • Organ Size
  • Periodicity*