From Hannah Osborne at Newsweek:
Scientists studying the brain have discovered that the organ operates on up to 11 different dimensions, creating multiverse-like structures that are “a world we had never imagined.”
Henry Markram, director of Blue Brain Project, said the findings could help explain why the brain is so hard to understand. “The mathematics usually applied to study networks cannot detect the high-dimensional structures and spaces that we now see clearly,” he said.
“We found a world that we had never imagined. There are tens of millions of these objects even in a small speck of the brain, up through seven dimensions. In some networks, we even found structures with up to eleven dimensions.” More.
The structures are not “multiverse-like,” they are just much more complex than pop science imagines. Dragging in the multiverse will not save pop science.
Here’s the paper the story is based on:
Abstract: The lack of a formal link between neural network structure and its emergent function has hampered our understanding of how the brain processes information. We have now come closer to describing such a link by taking the direction of synaptic transmission into account, constructing graphs of a network that reflect the direction of information flow, and analyzing these directed graphs using algebraic topology. Applying this approach to a local network of neurons in the neocortex revealed a remarkably intricate and previously unseen topology of synaptic connectivity. The synaptic network contains an abundance of cliques of neurons bound into cavities that guide the emergence of correlated activity. In response to stimuli, correlated activity binds synaptically connected neurons into functional cliques and cavities that evolve in a stereotypical sequence toward peak complexity. We propose that the brain processes stimuli by forming increasingly complex functional cliques and cavities. (public access) – Michael W. Reimann et al, Cliques of Neurons Bound into Cavities Provide a Missing Link between Structure and Function, Comput. Neurosci., 12 June 2017 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fncom.2017.00048
See also: Neuroscientist: Consciousness is theology, not neurology