Six Degrees of Separation — in the Human Brain – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
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Six Degrees of Separation — in the Human Brain

In his blog on Psychology Today, Associate Professor of Psychological Science Daniel Graham details the social media-like connections made within the human brain.

“You are probably familiar with the idea that anyone on earth is just six degrees of separation from anyone else on the planet. Each degree corresponds to one friendship link in the web of a social network,” writes Associate Professor of Psychological Science Daniel Graham.

In a new post on his blog, published by Psychology Today, Graham details the parallels between the functions of social media and the human brain, which “is capable of tremendously varied communication within itself, and this is part of why it possesses great power.”

“As with social networks, the brain achieves this connectivity through a mix of local connections and longer-distance links. No part of the brain is connected to every other part, like a telephone switchboard. Most of a brain region’s connections are local, while a few are longer-range. In addition, some regions appear to be hubs of exchange, much like your jet-set friends with contacts around the world,” Graham writes in “6 Degrees of Your Brain.”

He explains that the human brain mirrors the “interplay of ideas from a wide social network,” enabling individuals to “match together thoughts, personal memories, knowledge of the world, imagery, and emotions that are distributed all across the brain.”

Read the full article.

Graham’s Your Internet Brain blog offers previews of his new book, An Internet in Your Head (Columbia University Press), which is available now on Amazon.

Graham’s research spans computational and theoretical studies of natural vision coding in the retina and visual cortex, network science approaches to understanding dynamic activity on the connectome and human visual aesthetics and art-making from a statistical/computational perspective. A member of the HWS faculty since 2012, he holds an M.S. in physics and a Ph.D. in psychology from Cornell University and a B.A in physics from Middlebury College.

Learn more about Graham’s work @BrainAsInternet.