To err is human, to learn, divine

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New research describes a new model for how the brain interprets patterns in complex networks. They found that the ability to detect patterns stems in part from the brain’s desire to represent things in the simplest way possible and that the brain is constantly weighing the pressures of complexity and simplicity when making decisions.

The human brain is a highly advanced information processor composed of more than 86 billion neurons. Humans are adept at recognizing patterns from complex networks, such as languages, without any formal instruction. Previously, cognitive scientists tried to explain this ability by depicting the brain as a highly optimized computer, but there is now discussion among neuroscientists that this model might not accurately reflect how the brain works.