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Nolan Butler

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Does what we "know" of the universe relate to what we "know" of consciousness and the human brain?

I have often wondered if everything we have come to understand about the "known" universe, can be relative to our progress in understanding consciousness and the brain. For instance, If a tiny speck in space represents our known universe, can the same be said regarding all that we know of the brain? I only ask since I am very intrigued by studies of consciousness and being, and when I'm looking at images of the vast universe of neurons, synapses, axons, and dendrites, one cannot help but notice a resemblance to images of the cosmos. As of late, the rise of the Glia have only served to heighten my curiosity.

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    Sep 21 2012: Hi Nolan,

    You have to remember that our brain is such that, wherever we look, we find patterns (or we invent them if they are not there), and it is innate the tendency to anthropomorphize what we observe

    And there will always be a way to find some "matching" pairs, I can take your example of glia and say that it serves a function somewhat "similar" to the function of dark matter in keeping galaxies together. But I would be ignoring many functions of the glia that have to do only with the physiology of a brain and i would also be ignoring the fact that dark matter is not something we know, but a placeholder term for some "stuff" or "force" or "something" that acts as a giant invisible mass around every galaxy

    The way I see it, these are both vast open fields for research and both offer promises of wonderful advance in our collective understanding.

    But our brain and the study of consciousness is still centered in the human experience (which in terms of the full spectrum of physical experience is a very narrow band)

    But hey! I can always be proven wrong! I keep watching for advances in both fronts anxiously

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      Sep 21 2012: I like your perspective. I like the analogy regarding dark matter and the universe as well. Cheers!
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    Sep 20 2012: As I am not a scientist, I looked this up a little, paying attention only to reliable scientific sources.

    The description in the attached, which is a report from LiveScience written from an article in the journal Science (which is highly reputable), makes it seem the structures of the brain and universe, as far as we understand them, are not analogous.

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    Sep 21 2012: I LOVE what is happening in the study of consciousness (mind). I think everything's related.