First Published in August 2017
Neuronal and galaxy networks are remarkably similar, according to an astrophysicist and neuroscientist team. Both structures are also more alike to each other than either one is to the interior of a neuronal body or the interior of a galaxy, respectively.
Franco Vazza and Alberto Feletti describe the similarities in a recent article on Nautilus, which include:
In comparing these two structures, the researchers faced a number of challenges, such as:
The researchers also found that the power spectra of the cosmic web and the human brain are not fractal. Fractal patterns show up in other complex systems, such as tree branches, clouds and water turbulence. The non-fractal nature of the cosmic web and brain suggests that they may be “scale-dependent, self-organized structures.”
But does this imply something more profound about the nature of these emergent networks? Given the small number of samples and the different measurements required for the cosmic web versus the brain, the researches are hesitant to speculate further.
To understand more, a dynamic analysis of these systems would be needed — this would show how information flows across both spatial scales and time. This type of analysis is already available for the cosmic web, but more sophisticated computer simulations of the brain are needed.
Efforts like these, write the researchers “will help us fill in some of these details and understand whether the universe is even more surprising than we thought.”
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