Neural Avalanches

A couple of years old, this New Scientist article on how brain activity is on “the edge of chaos”, in a state of “self-organized-criticality”. Neatly joins up two adages, of life being just complicated enough and the sweet spot being at the edge of chaos.

Hat tip to Johnnie Moore for his link via this Transversalinflections blog, which picks up on the analogue (in the original article) to the firing of neurones being akin to the periodic avalanches on a progressively growing sand-pile. Designing to meta-stability being an art. A question of scalable efficiency in massively granular & connected systems …. maximum effect for the smallest input …. a whole world in a grain of sand. (The tennis player returning the unreturnably fast service, the mis-timed leg-breaker in football, the control systems of unstable aircraft, etc …)

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