A new study explores the differences and similarities between two different complex systems, albeit on completely different scales: the universe and its galaxies and the brain and its neurons.
Although the size was clearly different, they found that the structure was significantly similar. In some cases, the two systems appeared to be more similar to each other than the areas that make them up.
It suggests that very different bodily processes lead to very similar complex and organized structures.
For example, the human brain works because it is made up of a network of nearly 70 billion neurons. It is estimated that there are at least 100 billion galaxies in the universe.
In each system, they are assembled into a complex web or network, spread over long strands and ends. The diffuse nodes are also familiar to images of both the universe and the brain, leading to some superficial similarities in the images.
But in each system, those texts make up only 30 percent of the mass. In each, 70 percent of the mass is made up of areas that actually seem inactive: the water of the brain and the dark energy of the universe.
To further dig into that similarity, the researchers compared the way those galaxy networks formed with sections of the brain. They looked to understand how the matter spread across two very different networks.
“We calculated the spectral densities of the two systems. .
“Our analysis shows that the distribution of fluctuations within the cerebral neural network in the range of 1 micrometer to 0.1 millimeter follows the same pattern as the distribution of matter in the cosmic web, but, of course, in the range of 5 to 500 million light-years.”
They also explored ways in which the webs of neutrons and galaxies could connect – again finding significant similarities, with systems seeming more similar to each other than their component parts. To do so, they compare the average number of connections between each node and how they cluster.
“Again, structural parameters have identified unpredictable contract states. Probably, the connection between the two networks follows similar physical principles, despite the significant and obvious differences between the physical forces controlling galaxies and neurons,” Alberto Felletti said.
“These two complex networks show more similarities than those shared between the cosmic web and the interior of a galaxy or a neural network and a neural body.”
An article describing the findings was published in the journal ‘Quantitative Comparison between the Neural Network and the Cosmic Web’ Boundaries of Physics.