Human Brain and Cosmos Are Fractals and Look Alike

December 16, 2020

Both cosmic web of galaxies in the observable universe and web of neurons in the human brain have the same fractal structure and look alike.

A pair of Italian scientists – an astrophysicist and a neurosurgeon – in a new study have documented the striking similarities between the network of neuronal cells in the human brain, and the cosmic network of galaxies in the observable universe. The human brain and the cosmos are fractals – mathematical structures that look the same regardless of how close or far away you observe them.

In a paper published on November 16, 2020 and entitled “The Quantitative Comparison Between the Neuronal Network and the Cosmic Web” Franco Vazza (an astrophysicist at the University of Bologna) and Alberto Feletti (a neurosurgeon at the University of Verona) presented a detailed comparison between the neuronal web and the cosmic web, two of the most fascinating and complex networks in Nature, with the goal of assessing the level of similarity between these two physical systems in an objective way.

Study says: “Central to our vision of Nature are two fascinating systems: the network of neurons in the human brain and the cosmic web of galaxies. 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.”

Scientists explored “the structural, morphological, network properties and the memory capacity of these two fascinating systems … The tantalizing degree of similaritythat our analysis exposes seems to suggest that the self-organization of both complex systems is likely being shaped by similar principles of network dynamics, despite the radically different scales and processes at play.” …

… “It can be noticed that the two systems are organized in well defined networks” and that “both galaxies and neurons have a typical scale radius, which is only a very small fraction of the typical length of filaments they are connected to. Moreover, available data suggest that the flow of information and energy in the two networks is mostly confined to ≤25% of the mass/energy content of each system”… “Strikingly, in both cases ∼75% of the mass/energy distribution is made of an apparently passive material, that permeates both systems and has an only indirect role in their internal structure: water in the case of the brain, and dark energy in cosmology, which to a large extent does not affect the internal dynamics of cosmic structures.”

Despite being aware that “this approach has several limitations”, the pair of scientists exposed the tendency of cosmic network of galaxies and neural network of brain cells to cluster together in relevant central nodes.

“We calculated the spectral density of both systems. This is a technique often employed in cosmology for studying the spatial distribution of galaxies,” Vazza said in a statement. “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.”

“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,” declared Alberto Feletti. “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”.

Full Study “The Quantitative Comparison Between the Neuronal Network and the Cosmic Web”