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Matt Caywood
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Hi Jarrett -- I'm a neuroscientist with some familiarity with transit geometry. Unfortunately this example isn't a good analogy for transit. The wires aren't making any connections with each other! They're "fibers of passage" going from one suburban area on the outside of the brain (cortex) to another suburban area, and only connecting at the terminals. There is one major connected grid system in the brain. It's in the cerebellum, the convoluted area at the back of the brain that's specialized for learning movement. There, parallel fibers and Purkinje cell dendrites connect at each intersection point, as shown in this schematic: Note that the two axes of the grid don't have the same dimension -- it's roughly like a city where west-east routes are all 10 miles long, but north-south routes are only a mile long. Overall, I think resource transport (blood vessels) and information transport both have some analogies to transit -- but which one is appropriate depends on geometry of the city, features of the network, and the physics of the vehicles.
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Aug 7, 2012