Recurrent fractal neural networks: A strategy for the exchange of local and global information processing in the brain

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36 Scopus citations


The regulation of biological networks relies significantly on convergent feedback signaling loops that render a global output locally accessible. Ideally, the recurrent connectivity within these systems is self-organized by a time-dependent phase-locking mechanism. This study analyzes recurrent fractal neural networks (RFNNs), which utilize a self-similar or fractal branching structure of dendrites and downstream networks for phase-locking of reciprocal feedback loops: output from outer branch nodes of the network tree enters inner branch nodes of the dendritic tree in single neurons. This structural organization enables RFNNs to amplify re-entrant input by over-the-threshold signal summation from feedback loops with equivalent signal traveling times. The columnar organization of pyramidal neurons in the neocortical layers V and III is discussed as the structural substrate for this network architecture. RFNNs self-organize spike trains and render the entire neural network output accessible to the dendritic tree of each neuron within this network. As the result of a contraction mapping operation, the local dendritic input pattern contains a downscaled version of the network output coding structure. RFNNs perform robust, fractal data compression, thus coping with a limited number of feedback loops for signal transport in convergent neural networks. This property is discussed as a significant step toward the solution of a fundamental problem in neuroscience: how is neuronal computation in separate neurons and remote brain areas unified as an instance of experience in consciousness? RFNNs are promising candidates for engaging neural networks into a coherent activity and provide a strategy for the exchange of global and local information processing in the human brain, thereby ensuring the completeness of a transformation from neuronal computation into conscious experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-164
Number of pages20
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2002


  • Brain
  • Consciousness
  • Fractal
  • Mind
  • Networks
  • Neuron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Applied Mathematics


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