According to two researchers – an astrophysicist and neurosurgeon from the Universities of Bologna and Verona – while it is obvious that the scale is different when comparing the universe to the human brain, there are actually striking similarities between the two.
The universe is made up of galaxies, while the brain is made up of neuronal cells. In both cases, there are many tens of billions of each and they are connected together by long filaments and nodes to form a vast, complex web or network.
In addition, these threads make up only around 30% of the mass in each case – with the other 70% being made up of water in the brain and dark energy in the cosmos.
“We calculated the spectral density of both systems,” said astrophysicist Franco Vazza from the University of Bologna. “This is a technique often employed in cosmology for studying the spatial distribution of galaxies.”
“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.”
So if the universe really does have a similar structure to the human brain, could that tell us something about the nature of consciousness ? Could the universe itself be conscious in some way ?
“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,” said study co-author and neurosurgeon Alberto Feletti.