Defining criteria for quantitative analysis of the neural network responsible for the cardiovascular function control by means of a microcomputer system
Software designed to deal with information from pathways connecting nuclei of the central nervous system was used to study the neural network related to the cardiovascular control in high vertebrates. The 39 most-cited nuclei in the literature and 123 links between pairs of nuclei were considered. Four anatomical indexes were tested as quantitative parameters of the network. The power index, which is the product of the inputs and outputs of a nucleus, was the best in selecting a small set of structures of this network. This set turned to be the major cluster of nuclei involved in the neural control of the cardiovascular function as described in the literature. This index was also an estimator of the nucleus participation in nuclei. These results suggest a close relationship between anatomical properties and physiological function of the nuclei involved in this network.