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By Arturo Tozzi, James F. Peters, Norbert JauĊĦovec

Posted 31 Aug 2016
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/072538 (published DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2017.05.051)

The modular function j, central in the assessment of abstract mathematical problems, describes elliptic, intertwined trajectories that move in the planes of both real and complex numbers. Recent clues suggest that the j-function might display a physical counterpart, equipped with a quantifiable real component and a hidden imaginary one, currently undetectable by our senses and instruments. Here we evaluate whether the real part of the modular function can be spotted in the electric activity of the human brain. We assessed EEGs from five healthy males, eyes-closed and resting state, and superimposed the electric traces with the bidimensional curves predicted by the j-function. We found that the two trajectories matched in more than 85% of cases, independent from the subtending electric rhythm and the electrode location. Therefore, the real part of the j-function's peculiar wave is ubiquitously endowed all over normal EEGs paths. We discuss the implications of such correlation in neuroscience and neurology, highlighting how the j-function might stand for the one of the basic oscillations of the brain, and how the still unexplored imaginary part might underlie several physiological and pathological nervous features.

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