Fractals in the neurosciences, part II: Clinical applications and future perspectives

Antonio Di Ieva*, Francisco J. Esteban, Fabio Grizzi, Wlodzimierz Klonowski, Miguel Martín-Landrove

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

130 Citations (Scopus)


It has been ascertained that the human brain is a complex system studied at multiple scales, from neurons and microcircuits to macronetworks. The brain is characterized by a hierarchical organization that gives rise to its highly topological and functional complexity. Over the last decades, fractal geometry has been shown as a universal tool for the analysis and quantification of the geometric complexity of natural objects, including the brain. The fractal dimension has been identified as a quantitative parameter for the evaluation of the roughness of neural structures, the estimation of time series, and the description of patterns, thus able to discriminate different states of the brain in its entire physiopathological spectrum. Fractal-based computational analyses have been applied to the neurosciences, particularly in the field of clinical neurosciences including neuroimaging and neuroradiology, neurology and neurosurgery, psychiatry and psychology, and neuro-oncology and neuropathology. After a review of the basic concepts of fractal analysis and its main applications to the basic neurosciences in part I of this series, here, we review the main applications of fractals to the clinical neurosciences for a holistic approach towards a fractal geometry model of the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-43
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • brain
  • electroencephalography
  • fractal analysis
  • fractal geometry
  • neuroanatomy
  • neuroimaging
  • self-similarity
  • tumors


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