We have all heard about our wondrous brain and its complexity. Scientific findings related to the workings of the brain that are reported in the general media are often those that are quirky, unusual, and funny. For example we hear about how the brain of liberals and conservatives are different and about the difference between those that are “left-brained” and those that are “right-brained”. We also frequently hear that we do not know very much about the human brain, that it is mysterious and difficult to study.
Old myths are still going strong, such as the one that we only use about 10% of our brain. Yet that myth is easy to dispel. We know for example that very small brain lesions in strategic places can have devastating effects. A well known example, among many, is Kevin who was described by Elkhonon Goldberg (1). Kevin fell from his horse and sustained a relatively small lesion in an area called the ventral tegmental area. This resulted in profound changes in his personality and behavior in general. This should not have been the case if we could do without most of the brain tissue that we actually have inside our skull.
So, when you think about it how much do you really know about your brain and the way it functions? Are you aware that you can actually do quite a bit in order to keep your brain healthy as you age? Do you know that the brain can repair itself to some degree? Are you aware that there is a particular area in the brain that perceives motion?
The goal of this blog is, as its name implies, to inform you about the many marvels of the brain. We will not only tell you about the quirky bits but also about the more mundane things that touch us all in our everyday lives. Our sources will be scientific journals in neuropsychology, neurosciences and related field, books as well as our own clinical experience.
(1) Goldberg, E. (2009). The New Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes in a Complex World. New York: Oxford University Press.