The human brain is the most complex thing in the cosmos, with scientists stating that they know more about the Universe than they do the organ inside our heads. But new research has found that the two are not dissimilar. The new study found that neural networks in the brain are similar in structure to the way the observable Universe is made up.
While the scale is obviously massively different, the structures are very similar and interact with each other in the same way.
The study from University of Bologna astrophysicist Franco Vazza and University of Verona neurosurgeon Alberto Feletti stated that there are nearly 70 billion neurons in the network which makes up the brain.
In the observable Universe, there are at least 100 billion galaxies.
In both cases, galaxies and neurons account for about 30 percent of the actual mass of the brain and the Universe.
Universe is like a massive human brain new study finds
The brain and the Universe are similar
Each system is assembled in a complex web, or network, which spread out in long strips and filaments.
The remaining mass of galaxies is 70 percent dark energy, while the brain is 70 percent water.
Mr Vazza said: “We calculated the spectral density of both systems.
“This is a technique often employed in cosmology for studying the spatial distribution of galaxies.
A neural network resembles a web 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 millimetres follows the same progression of the distribution of matter in the cosmic web but, of course, on a larger scale that goes from five million to 500 million light-years”.
The pair also looked at how the respective webs of neurons and galaxies connect.
Mr Feletti said: “Once again, structural parameters have identified unexpected agreement levels.
“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.
Universe: Each system is assembled in a complex web, or network, which spread out in long strips and filaments
“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”.
The results of the study were published in the journal Frontiers of Physics.
The team hope that their findings will help those in neurology and cosmology paint a better picture on the evolution and futures of brains and the Universe.
Other experts believe consciousness iin the brain pervades through the cosmos.
Hubble in numbers
It is a theory known as panpsychism, and philosopher Dr Philip Goff believes it is a way to define consciousness and include it in the scientific world.
The deputy director of philosophy at Durham University, who has authored the new book Galileo’s Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness, told Scientific American: “The basic commitment is that the fundamental constituents of reality — perhaps electrons and quarks — have incredibly simple forms of experience.
“It’s at least coherent to suppose that this continuum of consciousness fading while never quite turning off carries on into inorganic matter, with fundamental particles having almost unimaginably simple forms of experience to reflect their incredibly simple nature. That’s what panpsychists believe.
“What this offers us is a beautifully simple, elegant way of integrating consciousness into our scientific worldview of marrying what we know about ourselves from the inside and what science tells us about matter from the outside.”