Elements of Thought

Throbbing aches
Of a newly formed notion
Coaxed out of tranquility;
Conjured from wispy thin air-
Forced to materialize,
to be made aware

Retaliating
Lashing out
Coiling spindly fingers throughout

Leaving us with no choice but
To live in perpetual fetters to inescapable contemplation
In transient delusions of liberation

Tied to aphoristic observations
Significance in the inane
Adherence to the insane

Thought
Remains

Picked up the 9 February issue of the New Scientist from the library and the title caught my eye: Mind Maths: Elements of Thought- Can mathematics help us find elegant order behind the apparent pandemonium of our minds?

Quirkily coincidental because I wrote the poem above at around the same time; a little uncanny but perhaps able to be attributed to the fact that we see what we want to see.

If you stretched out all the nerve fibers in the brain, they would wrap four times around the globe.

A visual image of a dauntingly convoluted mess of tangled paths strikes the mind; but apparently our brains are similarly interconnected just as humans are: the ‘six degrees of separation’. The article is very brief and doesn’t dive deep into the ideas; but then again I think they are too complex for me to understand. What it gives an inkling of, however, is that to a certain extent, the brain is governed by mathematical principles.

Our brains teeter on the edge of chaos as neurons send signals and triggering a neuronal avalanche as other cells also fire signals in response- resulting in a seizure. The ‘power law’ distribution, which dictates that bigger earthquakes or forest fires happen less often than smaller ones according to strict mathematical ratio, also applies to our brain.

Interesting, no?

Our brain relies very much on prediction and on Bayesian statistics- yet another mathematical law that rules the brain.

The competing activity between brain regions resembles the perpetual fight between predator and prey.

Sorry for the sporadic and incoherent splutters; such incomprehensible mutters are entirely due to the mathematical overload of the day’s work.

A hundred billion neurons in the brain. Such an immense, detached number.

Hard to think that finding the sum to infinity of a convergent geometric series would require that many, huh.

Time for some more maths, and a tall glass of hot chocolate to get me through the night.

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