Chaos and brain

08/11/2013 08:00

Disorderly Genius

David Robson - New Scientist, 27 June 2009

The 1980s idea that chaos, in the technical sense of chaos theory, plays a role in brain function has seen a revival as a result of studies performed since 2006. Chaos theory demonstrates that tiny changes in a system can amplify up into very large divergences, as in the classic example of the flight of a butterfly in China leading to a later storm in America. Robson uses some less complex examples to draw an analogy with conditions in the brain, such as an extra grain of sand added to a sand pile causing an avalanche. However, when models of the brain based on chaos theory were attempted, the results did not resemble real brains. [Read more] ...