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The Organic Infinite Positive Feedback Circuit Loop, Version 97

The Brain is a miracle = brain + wonder in a perfect positive loop sync

Soft loops + Feedback loops in the brain (E & P Theory) + Brain + Wonder (Mirari, a definition of miracle is to wonder) + Chimps (true Alpha behavior) + Quantum Mechanics with Perception in perfect positive symmetry (Noether’s Symmetry Physics Theorem) with Law of Reflection + Wonder (Art and Science in Vesica Piscis)

The great wonder and strangeness of the human brain

A dazzling exhibition in Lisbon celebrates the most complex of human organs with art that makes the brain sing – as well as revealing how chimps can outsmart us

Cérebro – Mais vasto que o céu/Brain – Wider than the sky, Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal, to 10 June

A FEW steps inside the Gulbenkian Foundation’s latest exhibition, a crowd of visitors halts, entranced. There is a faint collective “Wow” as they look up. In a twilight space, an enormous video screen shows a slice of human brain, but with its long, looping pathways and layers of nerve cells shimmering in gold.

Colours change, the viewpoint slowly shifts and zooms, explores fine tangles of dendrites and the curves of axons before returning slowly to the big view.

It takes a minute to see that this isn’t a real brain slice; it is a video of a hyper-real, microetched representation of the brain, computer-generated by neuroscientist Greg Dunn and physicist Brian Edwards. They call the work Self Reflected. In its idealised perfection we see what a wonder the brain is, and how astonishing it is that these soft loops and tangles are what creates the feeling of being “me”.

The exhibition, Cérebro (Brain), is off to an extraordinary start. Its curator, Rui Oliveira, a neurobiologist at Portugal’s Gulbenkian Science Institute, tells me that he wanted to bring arts and science together to create an “emotional, sensorial and intimate environment that would make people feel amazed and instantly engaged”. He has succeeded, because what follows is an exhibition that continually renews our wonder at what science reveals.

“The viewers’ brainwaves become a collective ‘brain orchestra’, which creates a wonderful musical piece”

Laid out in elegant diagrams on pale grey surfaces in an intimately lit space, there is plenty to read on three big themes: the brain’s origins and complexity; the emergence of the mind; and the future of the brain in AI and robotics. But the wonder comes from the many exhibits that “enable people to experience their own brain in action”, as Oliveira puts it.

For example, I play a game of telekinetic Mindball against a stranger. We sit at opposite ends of a long table, wearing brainwave monitors. A tiny ball sits on the table, its movements driven by magnets controlled by our brainwaves. The goal is to roll the ball towards your opponent. I focus hard, but my adversary radiates peace. The ball rolls to me and it is over. I learn too late that “to win you must be calmer than your opponent”. Perhaps meditators have found their sport.

At the exhibition’s heart is the chance to see your brain working creatively. Electroencephalogram headsets let you see your multiple brain rhythms in coloured bars and within a rotating schematic of your brain on a giant screen. Simultaneously, all the viewers’ brainwaves are translated into a soundscape mixed into a music base, so that the collective “brain orchestra” creates an emergent musical piece. It is wonderful.

We learn, too, that our short-term memory isn’t so great when we come up against Ayumu, a chimp living at the Primate Research Institute in Japan’s Kyoto University. I could recall the locations of five digits on a screen easily. Seven was tough; at nine, Ayumu’s skills were far superior.

The show occupied me for 3 hours: it had plenty to teach about the brain and even more about keeping our brains amazed. Sadly, the exhibition’s organisers say there are no plans to tour.

Brain is a Miracle

Whole is greater than the sum of its parts syncs with Brain + Miraculous + Universe = Perfect Symmetry with Brain and Galaxy

“A miracle is when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. A miracle is when one plus one equals a thousand.” ― Frederick Buechner, The Alphabet of Grace

Clearly, the brain is a phenomenon in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and its product, the mind or subjective sense of self, is radically different qualitatively from its parts—an emergent property.

Term ‘alpha male’ being used incorrectly, says expert who helped populate concept

‘Alpha chimpanzees are impressive leaders, but the majority are also generous and kind to others because they know respect’

But his research in chimpanzees shows that leadership is more nuanced than that.


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