Neural Networks in Nature

One of my favorite times to be in the woods is after a storm. The dampness and the fog create a surreal atmosphere that surrounds you in a way that is both familiar and peaceful, yet somehow unsettling. Near the end of Autumn, just before the weather turns cold permanently as winter sets in, there is a calm that only lasts a day or two.

It was during this time I noticed something that once you see it, you can't unsee it. The bare trees silhouetted against the fog and an overcast sky reflected in the lake reminded me of images of the brain. Specifically the neurons and the networks they form. In every direction the trees touch the sky and connect it to the earth.

Image from Harvard University Arts & Sciences blog

Image from Harvard University Arts & Sciences blog

The reflections create a symmetry similar to diagrams of synapses firing in different lobes of the brain. There are other human elements revealed in the abstractions as well. The image at the top of this post forms a circle, but turn it sideways and it becomes an abstract diagram of the lungs and bronchial tubes.


Other captures could be used as diagrams for the circulatory and reproductive systems. Check out the gallery set below for more images from this set and come back to see the progress of the project in future posts.



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