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Your brain is organized like a city

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A big city might seem chaotic, but somehow everything gets where it needs to go and the whole thing manages to function on most days, even if it all seems a little worse for the wear at the end of the day. Sound a bit like your brain?

Neurobiologist Mark Changizi sees strikingly real similarities between the two.

Changizi and colleagues propose that cities and brains are organized similarly, and that the invisible hand of evolution has shaped the brain just as people have indirectly shaped cities. It's all driven by the need for organization and efficiency, the researchers say.



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Wow...an awesome read...thanks for posting Owlscrying. :tu:

To draw a crude analogy, you don't just take small-town streets and build a city out of them. You need wider streets, more stoplights, and so on.

Or as Changizi puts it, you can't string three Seattles together to get a Chicago; there would be too many highways with too few exits and lanes that are too narrow.

In doing the math, the researchers found common "scaling laws" for brains and cities on several measures. For example, as the surface area of a brain or city grows, the number of connectors (neurons or highways) increased at a similar rate for each.

Likewise, a bigger city needs more highway exits in the same proportion as a bigger brain needs more synapses, the things that connect neurons.

"When scaling up in size and function, both cities and brains seem to follow similar empirical laws," Changizi said. "They have to efficiently maintain a fixed level of connectedness, independent of the physical size of the brain or city, in order to work properly."

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My brain is more like Detroit... :)

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Admiral Danger

i always saw a brain as a computer :huh:

your 'hard drive' contains memories, web cam in your eyes :P , you have 'anti-virus' in your blood

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