Many scientists had been puzzled by the fact that the neuronal network from the human brain looks strikingly similar to the bonding of galaxies from the Cosmos. This huge resemblance led to many speculations claiming that humans themselves are ‘little Universes’, but obviously a lot more research was needed.
The truth is, there might not be any limit in size throughout our physical reality. An object could theoretically be infinitely bigger just like a particle could be infinitely small. Therefore, there’s a theoretical chance that the human brain could hide a ‘little Universe’ inside, where small beings similar to us humans could be asking themselves various questions about the reality they embrace every day. Behold the incredible resemblance between the neuronal network from the human brain (left) and a network of galaxies (right):
One thing’s for sure, though: both structures are incredibly complex, and humanity has a lot more to learn about them.
An astrophysicist and a neurosurgeon are providing answers
Astrophysicist Franco Vazza of the University of Bologna and neurosurgeon Alberto Feletti of the University of Verona (both Italy) had used quantitative analysis for the resemblance between the two afore-mentioned structures and searched for relevant answers during the last several years. They explained the following:
“Galaxies can group into enormous structures (called clusters, superclusters, and filaments) that stretch for hundreds of millions of light-years. The boundary between these structures and neighboring stretches of empty space called cosmic voids can be extremely complex.
“Gravity accelerates matter at these boundaries to speeds of thousands of kilometers per second, creating shock waves and turbulence in intergalactic gases.”
But are these cosmic megastructures actually more complex than the human brain?
The neuronal network from the human brain could be as complex as its competitor
The scientists admit that the physical processes that lead to the structure of the Universe and the structure of the human brain are tremendously different. But even so, they can be the outcome of similar levels of complexity, as the researchers claim.
The two structures feature some incredible similarities. While the cerebellum has about 69 billion neurons, the cosmic web that we can observe with powerful telescopes has almost as many galaxies: 100 billion. The brain is 77 percent water. The Universe, on the other hand, is around 72 percent dark energy, the mysterious structure that accelerates the expansion of the Cosmos itself.
The two scientists obtained slices of the human cerebellum and cortex, and compared them to simulations of the cosmic web. While they were looking for similarities in the matter density fluctuations between the cosmic web and the brain, they found that even the relative distribution of fluctuations from the two systems was amazingly similar.
Franco Vazza declared:
“We calculated the spectral density of both systems. This is a technique often employed in cosmology for studying the spatial distribution of galaxies,”
He also added:
“Our analysis showed that the distribution of the fluctuation within the cerebellum neuronal network on a scale from 1 micrometer to 0.1 millimeters 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.”
Time seems to be on our side for the quest of figuring out the big mystery fully, as there’s no clue of a giant asteroid hitting us in the near future. And if the Universe turns itself against us in the far future, we can be optimistic that scientists will possess the right technology to deal with pretty much any threat.
The new research had brought a larger analysis, and it was published in Frontiers in Physics here: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphy.2020.525731/full#B6