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The Brain Rules

Small variations in the initial configuration of the squares can lead to large changes in the resulting patterns. But small variations in the underlying rules can lead to even more dramatic changes.

This page uses rules very similar to the Seeds rules. As with Seeds: If a square is on, it turns off. If a square is off, it turns on if exactly two neighboring squares are on. But there is one small twist: When a square turns off, it can't turn on in the very next iteration. Squares in this in-between state are colored red.

This set of rules is known as Brian's Brain. Click Start to see what happens to a random configuration of squares. (Click Setup to get a new random configuration.)

With the Brian's Brain rules, there are many more gliders -- and many more types of gliders -- than with the Life rules. In fact, almost everything ends up as a glider. Glider guns are also very common, and they themselves are gliders. And if you watch carefully, you might even find a glider-gun gun.

Go to the previous page or the next page or the contents page.

Mitchel Resnick and Brian Silverman
Epistemology and Learning Group
MIT Media Laboratory

Last modified: 2/4/96