Welcome To Your Brain

One of the traits that I admire in people the most is their capability for research or respect for it. Betizuka is reading Angels and Demons and besides cracking up at the joke by Barry “Here’s a spoiler: The Angels did it. And the Demons.” it reminds me a lot about how sometimes science and aspects of our life clash. I don’t think it is just religion that is at odds with science, I think many facets of our life really contradict what science knows or has already proven.

One of the most surprising things I heard during a medical interpreting seminar I attended was how young internal medical science really is. Until not too long ago, a hospital was somewhere you went to die. We all like to think of computers being the field that has changed the most thanks to the microchip, but science as a whole has moved forward quite a bit. So we “know” a lot more than what we did 100 years ago, well some people do.

I recently started reading a book called “Welcome To Your Brain.” I have been amazed at the wealth of information that has been presented in such a simple format. It also has killed many myths that I myself use to believe. The format reminds me of the dummy books, but it is actually a lot more in depth about what is talking about than those. It has also been nice to read that some of the things I thought about were correct, well at least correct from a neurosurgeon’s point of view.

The first myth that was blown out of the water was the “We only use a small % of our brain.” I used to think that there was some unlocked potential there, and while it does seem that some people do turn off logic sometimes, most people use 100% of their brains. You can read about six other myths here and the book goes into great detail about how the myths came about, and what the science behind it is.

The book has a blog, and a lot of the topics in the book have been discussed. Some of the coolest things I have learned (or reaffirmed) after reading the book are the following.

Drinking does not kill brain cells.
Will power improves as we accomplish things, even small ones.
We react before we think. (I learned this from Blink)
Homosexuality has a very strong neurological component to it.
We retrieve memories, erase them and then record them again.
You cannot tickle yourself.
Woman have a disadvantage when it comes to math.
Video games improve brain function.
Love is a drug.

I recommend you read this book. Even if you just go to specific chapters, it is really a good resource for information.

Related Links
Will Power
50 Myths and Truths (in Spanish)
10 Amazing Facts about your brain.

9 Responses to Welcome To Your Brain

  1. Nice, this got my attention! Especially the part about us using 100% of our brain. I always thought it was like 10%. You should start a “logtars book of the month club”. Oprah would be so jealous!

  2. Nice review of an interesting topic. Your examples were outstanding! I like knowing I can always drink more, well if it didn’t kill me in other ways. I’ll have to find time to look into it a little more.

  3. “Drinking does not kill brain cells.”

    YES! ::fist pump::

    “We retrieve memories, erase them and then record them again.”

    I don’t understand this. I think I might need to get the book in order to read more about it.

  4. Faith,

    This is the reasons why some people’s stories get better and better after each time they are told… or more importantly, why some people remember things that never actually happened. It is also why “eye witness” accounts are really not very accurate.

  5. the whole american retail industry is based on the fact that women can’t count, that’s why you get deals like 2 for $4, or 10% off sales, because women (majority of shoppers) can’t figure out how much money that is.
    I am pretty sure I can tickle myself, I won’t die laughing but still feel it.

  6. Agreed. I agree that I am pretty sure I can tickle myself. I can also sneeze with my eyes open, which is supposed to be impossible. In any case, sounds like an interesting read, I will look for it.

  7. Then both of you should go get your cerebellum checked, because it is supposed to prevent you from tickling yourselves because it can distinguish expected sensations from unexpected sensations.

  8. Well then apparently they need to redefine a tickle then as it is obviously not an unexpected sensation. Ha! I expect to feel a tickle when I do so. I don’t see what the difference is if somebody else does it versus doing it yourself. If that were the case, masturbation would be useless. ;-)

  9. I like those myth-buster type of books/shows, so I may have to check this out. I can attest to the tickle one — Ted just has to move his finger toward me and I start laughing but I have yet to tickle myself.

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