I was wondering if axons sometimes connect like this:

enter image description here

Note that I'm not referring to situations where the path of that network is curved and the 3rd / 4th neuron is just as close to the 1st neuron as the 2nd is, I'm talking about situations where the 3rd / 4th neuron is physically 2-3x as far from the first than the second neuron, or more. This is relevant to neural simulation.

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    $\begingroup$ Yes, all the time, but there isn't much meaning to the conceptualization of "1st, 2nd, 3rd" neuron. Real, biological neurons in the CNS aren't connected in simple feedforward loops, recurrent connections are common, and individual cells can have both local and distant projections. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Feb 14 '17 at 22:15
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause You answered my question but I'd point out that I wasn't suggesting that the system is as simple as a 1-2-3-4 feed forward connection, I'm just referring to the physical location of 4 specific neurons in a much more complex network. $\endgroup$ – Viziionary Feb 14 '17 at 22:17
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    $\begingroup$ Got it - you might be surprised that many people who come at neuroscience from a background in artificial neural networks take all sorts of biologically goofy assumptions away from it. I will say that in the neocortex, where most of my expertise is, the pure number of contacts between cells is definitely a function of distance, falling off over 200-400um, but there are also projections that go for many mm, even in a small brain like a rodent. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Feb 14 '17 at 22:22
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause interesting. This may be too complex for a comment question, but I'll try: Could localization (axon "length" limit) to some extent be beneficial to a neural system, or would a system likely benefit from infinite axon length potential? $\endgroup$ – Viziionary Feb 14 '17 at 23:05
  • $\begingroup$ I would search for some literature on "small world networks" if I were you - I think this will interest you a lot. Doesn't directly answer the questions you are answering but it will tell you a bit about the types of optimization that are possible. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Feb 15 '17 at 7:50

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