Photo: Rainbow Brain. Nottingham University

Brain Waves

Seeing the patterns that link subatomic particles and the brain

A mathematician and scientist has described how “brain waves pattern themselves after the rhythms of nature”. Jack Cowan’s research highlights the similarities in the way the brain behaves and the reactions of everyday molecules.
His findings show that the same mathematical tools that physicists use to describe the behaviour of subatomic particles and the dynamics of liquids and solids can now be applied to understanding how the brain generates its various rhythms.

Cowan has also investigated other patterns in the brain, beginning to explain visual hallucinations and even how the visual cortex obtained its stripy appearance.
Explore your own personal patterns and rituals at an upcoming PATTERNITY event