Nature Science Update
Do minds play dice?
Unpredictability may be built into our brains.
Making life-or-death decisions on the toss of a coin is hardly advisable,
but it happens all the time in our brain's subconscious, according to new
research. Neurophysiologists have found that clusters of nerve cells
respond to the same stimulus differently each time, as randomly as heads or
"It seems that the brain has a gratuitous randomizer, a sort of cerebral
roulette wheel," said Roger Carpenter of the University of Cambridge, UK,
at the British Association for the Advancement of Science's annual meeting
in Glasgow on Friday.
Randomness could be a valuable aid to survival in a complex world,