Brian's Brain

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Brian's Brain
Brian's Brain rule
Rulestring /2/3
B2/S/C3
B2/S/G3
Character Chaotic

Brian's Brain (also called BB, or simply Brain) is a cellular automaton and one of the best-known Generations rules. It is similar to Seeds, but with an additional state; dead cells get born if they have exactly two live neighbors, and live cells never survive, but instead of dying immediately, they advance to a third state, not considered "live" for the purpose of cell birth, before dying. The rule was first considered by Brian Silverman in the mid-1990s.

Brian's Brain can be thought of as emulating a neural network, with state 0 representing "ready", state 1 representing "firing", and state 2 representing "refractory"; the rule can then be stated as "only a cell in the ready state may fire and it will only do so if exactly 2 of its neighbors are firing. After firing for one step, a cell spends a step in the refractory state before regaining readiness".


Patterns

x = 4, y = 4, rule = /2/3 2.A$A2B$.2BA$.A! #C [[ GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 THUMBLAUNCH AUTOSTART GPS 3 THUMBSIZE 2 ]]
A period-3 oscillator (click to open LifeViewer)

Most patterns in Brian's Brain are spaceships; the first oscillators were discovered by Michael Sweney in December 1999. No period-2 oscillators exist (as in any Generations rule with more than two states); an example of a period-3 oscillator is shown to the right. Rakes, breeders, puffers, periodic agars and wicks have been constructed in Brian's Brain.

External links