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Dark matter and the multiverse help scientists decode mysteries of the brain

Manwon Lender

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Quantum particles exist and don't exist. Space is likely a moldable fabric. Dark matter is invisible, yet it binds the entire universe. And our universe, created from an explosion 13.8 billion years ago, is infinitely expanding into something. Or, maybe nothing. According to new research, published Monday in the journal npj Science of Learning, physicists' brains grapple with counterintuitive theories by automatically categorizing things as either "measurable" or "immeasurable." 

To study exactly how physicists' brains work, Just and fellow researchers gave 10 Carnegie Mellon physics faculty members -- with differing specialties and language backgrounds -- a ledger of physics concepts. Then, they used fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) scans to examine the subjects' brain activity as the individuals went down the list. 

Turns out, each physicist's brain organizes concepts within the field into two groups. The researchers were just left to figure out how to label each group. The average person might lump Schumacher's descriptions on the latter end of the spectrum as mind-bending and inexplicable, but the most important connecting factor, he realized, is that they're immeasurable. 

Dark matter and the multiverse help scientists decode mysteries of the brain (msn.com)

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