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The universe is similar to a huge human brain, scientists have found.
A new study investigated the differences and similarities between two of the most complex systems in existence, though at entirely difference scales: the cosmos and its galaxies and the brain and its neuronal cells.
They found that while the scale is clearly different, the structure is remarkably similar. In some cases, the two systems seemed more similar to each other than they did to the parts that make them up.
There is a whole universe in your brain, but did you ever think that your brain could be a reflection of the vast universe out there?
The network of neurons in the brain and network of galaxies in the cosmos might actually be reflections of each other. This is what you get when you put the minds of an astrophysicist and a neurosurgeon together. Besides being two of the most complex systems in nature, the number of neurons in your brain is eerily close to the number of galaxies in the observable universe. Neurons form in long filaments or nodes between filaments, just like galaxies, and there is mass or energy that has seemingly passive role in both—water in the brain versus dark energy in the void of space.
Scientists have used a powerful radio telescope in the interior of British Columbia, Canada to gain incredible new insights about one of the universe’s most perplexing and brilliant phenomena: Fast radio bursts (FRBs), which are unexplained signals from space. Sometimes they’re one-offs, and sometimes they mysteriously repeat in regular intervals, beating out a cosmic pattern.
The collaboration behind the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), which scans the deep cosmos from the Okanagan region of BC, announced exciting new results during a press conference on Wednesday at the 238th American Astronomical Society. According to researchers, a new batch of FRB detections has for the first time correlated to the contours of the “cosmic web”; an unimaginably large structure connecting the universe that scientists are only starting to learn about.
Although the relevant physical interactions in the above two systems are completely different, their observation through microscopic and telescopic techniques have captured a tantalizing similar morphology, to the point that it has often been noted that the cosmic web and the web of neurons look alike.
“We calculated the spectral density of both systems,” said co-author Dr. Franco Vazza, an astrophysicist at the University of Bologna.
“This is a technique often employed in cosmology for studying the spatial distribution of galaxies.”
“Our analysis showed that the distribution of the fluctuation within the cerebellum neuronal network on a scale from 1 micrometer to 0.1 mm follows the same progression of the distribution of matter in the cosmic web but, of course, on a larger scale that goes from 5 million to 500 million light-years.”
Dr. Vazza and his colleague, University of Verona neurosurgeon Alberto Feletti, also calculated some parameters characterizing both the neuronal network and the cosmic web: the average number of connections in each node and the tendency of clustering several connections in relevant central nodes within the network.
“Once again, structural parameters have identified unexpected agreement levels,” Dr. Feletti said.
“Probably, the connectivity within the two networks evolves following similar physical principles, despite the striking and obvious difference between the physical powers regulating galaxies and neurons.”
“These two complex networks show more similarities than those shared between the cosmic web and a galaxy or a neuronal network and the inside of a neuronal body.’
A team of researchers at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa have made a major breakthrough in the field of biomedical engineering. According to a release published on Medical Express, for the first time ever, researchers have devised a way of connecting the human brain to the internet in real time. It’s been dubbed the “Brainternet” project, and it essentially turns the brain “…into an Internet of Things (IoT) node on the World Wide Web.”