illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)
Functional analysis of the brain had shown different 'regions' dealing with different stimuli, hereby suggesting our brain is a bundle of functionally-specialised components rather than a single entity…
However, after years of research, the Connectome project has now shown that the wiring of the brain does not support such 'view' of disparate elements loosely connected. In fact, the wiring of the brain is like a 3D regular structure of stacked parallel sheets of wire with orthogonal intersections (thus connecting all left to all right, all front to all back, all top to all bottom). The brain is again seen as a "single, unified, whole."
The two views are scientifically un-attackable, so now how does one conceptualise a brain both as a unified whole and as a bundle of specialised areas?
From the #Buddhism perspective, the unified consciousness of the Self and the analysis as the 5 aggregates are not contradicting one another, but none may be 'reduced' to the other; it is striking that the structure of the brain points to a similar duality. That this is also similar to the dual nature of matter (corpuscule & wave) supports that 'emptiness' really is the nature of every dhamma!
[animated rotation of the image:
Brain wiring a no-brainer?]
[3-minutes commentary by Dr. Van Wedeen:
New Discoveries in Brain Structure and Connectivity]
[Human Connectome project (the 'gallery' section is highly recommended):