Even the most progressive frontier scientists struggle to explain so many of our cognitive feats, such as where memories or stored, or how our brains access information beyond the senses and, most particularly, how our thoughts can affect things and people outside of ourselves.
Any of those things completely violates the standard view of the brain as essentially a supercomputer. But now we may have the first glimpse of an answer from the Blue Brain Project: our brain has the ability to go into 11 dimensions.
The Blue Brain Project, founded by the Brain and Mind Institute of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, uses highly detailed digital reconstructions and simulations to attempt to identify the fundamental principles of brain structure and its function.
And they have discovered turns all of brain science on its head: a tiny universe of essentially multi-dimensional geometrical spaces and structures with the standard networks of the brain.
Most interesting of all, the Project has discovered that these structures develop when a batch of neurons forms a ‘clique,’ in which the neurons connect to every other one through a precise geometric formation; the higher the number of neurons, the higher the dimension.
A universe of multidimension
Henry Markram, a neuroscientist and professor of the EPFL and also the director of the project, described the shock of his team at finding this bizarre little universe. ‘We found a world that he had never imagined,’ he remarked. ‘There are tens of millions of these objects even in a small speck of the brain.’
Although the Blue Brain Project worked with ‘virtual brain tissue’ and algebraic topology, a type of mathematics that can describe systems with multiple dimensions, the team went on to study true brain tissue in the lab and found the same structures.
Their research showed that the brain is constantly rewiring and forming more cliques as it develops, so that eventually the network has as many of these high-level multidimensional structures as possible.
The team also discovered that these cliques were enclosing multi-dimensional holes, or ‘cavities,’ as they referred to them, moving through the dimensions in a highly organized manner.
‘The progression of the activity through the brain resembles a multi-dimensional sandcastle that materializes out of the sand and then disintegrates,’ says Markram.
That the brain is able to navigate through 11 dimensions – far more than the three-dimensional space that we inhabit – may explain some of our most powerful abilities to tap into information we should not be able to gain access to, given the conventional view of the brain.
The key to the brain’s mysteries
The scientists themselves believe that this tiny multidimensional universe could hold the key to many of the mysteries of the brain, such as where exactly memories are stored.
Back in the 1950s, Drs Karl Pribram and Karl Lashley performed a series of gruesome experiments on rats, in which they systematically burned off larger and larger chunks of the rats’ brains (this was definitely in the days before animal rights). This mutilation certainly affected the rats’ motor skills, but no matter how much brain matter the scientists destroyed, the animals’ memories remained intact.
Pribram and Lashley had to conclude that there was no precise neural address for memory. In later life, Pribram grew to believe that all of our memories were actually stored ‘out there’ – in the quantum energy Field.
The Swiss scientists now offer evidence supporting that view; the brain spirals into a different dimension when it pulls up some bit of information from the past – much like a miniature time machine.
And that could also be the case with intention: whenever we intend for something, our thought travels through to a different universe – a place where anything is still possible, where things and events are still malleable, where we have the power to co-create it.