Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Chaos rules," by Rachel Nowak. New Scientist, 25 August 2001, page 7.

This brief article discusses a new mathematical model developed to investigatewhether and how chaotic patterns of neural activity develop in the brain. Theresearchers built a mathematical model of the cortex, which contains billionsof neurons. They found that the model produced not only chaos, but also apattern very similar to the "alpha rhythm" that appears in the brain when onecloses one's eyes and relaxes. But, the article notes, it is still an openquestion whether chaos is a major dynamical feature of the nervous system.

--- Allyn Jackson