The connectome— the white matter of long axons of neurons—has turned out to be surprisingly important and unexpected:
The surprise? The brain is quite orderly, not the haphazard accumulations of aeons of evolution that the researchers expected:
“LONDON’S STREETS ARE a mess. Roads bend sharply, end abruptly, and meet each other at unlikely angles. Intuitively, you might think that the cells of our brain are arranged in a similarly haphazard pattern, forming connections in random places and angles. But a new study suggests that our mental circuitry is more like Manhattan’s organised grid than London’s chaotic tangle. It consists of sheets of fibres that intersect at right angles, with no diagonals anywhere to be seen.”
“Van Wedeen from Massachusetts General Hospital, who led the study, says that his results came as a complete shock. “I was expecting it to be a pure mess,” he says. Instead, he found a regular criss-cross pattern like the interlocking fibres of a piece of cloth. …” – Ed Yong, “The Brain is Full of Manhattan-like Grids” At National Geographic (March 29, 2012)News, “The human brain has given researchers a big surprise” at Mind Matters News
Funny that the brain would be organized just as if it were the work of a skilled programmer or something …
Why the brain can’t be understood simply in terms of particles For the same reasons as a basketball cannot be understood wholly as a “sphere,” the brain is more than particle physics in action.
Why the mind can’t just be the brain Thinking it through carefully, the idea doesn’t even make sense. (Michael Egnor)
Why the mind cannot just emerge from the brain: The mind cannot emerge from the brain if the two have no qualities in common