The universe is like a huge human brain, scientists find

A new study examines the differences and similarities between the two complex systems in existence, although the scales of complete differences are: the ocean and its galaxies and the brain and its neuronal cells.

They found that the scale was clearly different, the structure was remarkably similar. In some cases, the two systems seemed to be much more similar to each other than their parts.

This suggests that a wide variety of physical processes can lead to very similar complex and organized structures.

For example, the human brain works because about 70 billion neurons make it together. The universe is thought to contain at least 100 billion galaxies.

In each system these are grouped together into a complex web or network, scattered across long filaments and nodes that connect them. These scattered nodes are familiar with images of both the universe and the brain and have found some surface similarities in the images.

In each system, however, these threads make up about 30 percent of the mass. In each, about 70 percent of the mass is made up of actual parts that seem to be passive: brain water and the dark energy of the universe.

To further dig into these similarities, researchers compared the way those galactic networks form with parts of the brain. They wanted to understand how the issue spread to two very different networks.

“Our analysis shows that fluctuations in the cerebellum neuronal network on a scale of 1 micrometer to 0.1 millimeter follow 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.”

They also examine the way neutrons and galaxy webs connect – again finding striking similarities, with systems showing more similarities to each other than parts of their components. To do this they compare the average number of connections between each node and how they cluster.

“Again, structural parameters have identified unexpected contractual levels. Perhaps, despite significant and obvious differences in the physical energy controlling galaxies and neurons, the connection between the two networks has evolved following the same physical principles,” Alberto Felletti said.

“These two complex networks show more similarities than the divisions between the cosmic web and a galaxy or neuronal network and the interior of the neuronal body.”

A paper analyzing the quantitative comparison between neuronal networks and the cosmic web has been published in the journal The frontiers of physics.

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