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posted by martyb on Monday June 11, @02:38AM   Printer-friendly
from the zombie-snack dept.

Even though you use your brain to do a lot of thinking, you probably don't think about your brain that often.

It's an incredibly complex, incredibly precious organ. It's also incredibly squishy, as you can see in an amazing teaching video that demonstrates a freshly removed brain straight from autopsy.

As the neuroanatomist handles the vulnerable blob with the utmost care, it's awe-inspiring to realise that each one of us has a squishy brain just like it - and it contains all our memories and thoughts.

[...] And that's actually one of the purposes of the video - apart from being a teaching material, the university wanted "to stress the vulnerability of the brain to highlight the importance of wearing helmets, seat belts, and taking care of this very precious tissue."

https://www.sciencealert.com/what-human-brain-really-looks-like-video-incredible


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  • (Score: 2, Funny) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday June 11, @02:48AM

    Fortunately nobody can currently see what's in that particular porn stash except the owner, so you don't need to set up a dead man's script to wipe it when you croak.

    --
    Cobra Kai
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @03:05AM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @03:05AM (#691271)

    [the brain] contains all our memories and thoughts.

    Thats like saying your computer contains the internet, and its specifically localized to the network card since removing/damaging it prevents access.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @03:40AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @03:40AM (#691277)

      Perhaps.

      My interpretation is that it does, in fact, contain all the memories, personality, skills, etc of a person. That does not rule out some conscious observer who inhabits the experience of that person yet is independent of it and not destroyed when the brain disappears. However, when inhabiting an experience as a person from birth to death, the observer is generally unable to recall observations of other people it's already observed.

      How could we design an experiment to distinguish your monad from my monad? Well, I suppose we should begin by designing an experiment to prove the existence of monads. At least something like that seems like a compelling possibility when faced with the inability to imagine that one's existence is as constrained in time as it is in space. If constrained in space, why shouldn't it be constrained in time? Perhaps only because the time dimension is the only one we experience linearly and at a constant rate?

      At the very least, I find Occam's razor unsatisfying in this case. I gather that I am not remotely close to being alone in that.

      (I assume that's what you were talking about...?)

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by pvanhoof on Monday June 11, @09:04AM (6 children)

      by pvanhoof (4638) on Monday June 11, @09:04AM (#691322) Homepage

      And it might not be true. We have in our intestins a autonomous nervous system. "The ENS is also called the second brain."

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enteric_nervous_system [wikipedia.org]

      The enteric nervous system has been described as a "second brain" for several reasons. The enteric nervous system can operate autonomously. It normally communicates with the central nervous system (CNS) through the parasympathetic (e.g., via the vagus nerve) and sympathetic (e.g., via the prevertebral ganglia) nervous systems. However, vertebrate studies show that when the vagus nerve is severed, the enteric nervous system continues to function.[15]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @11:06AM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @11:06AM (#691346)

        Yea, I'd say with 100% certainty that the claim "*all* memories are stored in the brain" is wrong. Unless you want to start doing stuff like using a circular definition of memory.

        • (Score: 2) by pvanhoof on Monday June 11, @12:34PM (4 children)

          by pvanhoof (4638) on Monday June 11, @12:34PM (#691367) Homepage

          It's for example possible that when you ate something wrong, and you felt terrible because of it, that in future your body reminds you of the past experience not merely using the memory of the brain in your skull but also using its enteric nervous system.

          Implying, basically, that 'my stomach is trying to tell me something' should probably say 'my enteric nervous system' is trying to tell me something. That would probably be exact or correct indeed. So your intestins are talking to your brain, basically.

          • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @04:02PM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @04:02PM (#691451)

            There are some studies that indicate that microbes can influence your gut to influence your brain: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-gut-bacteria-tell-their-hosts-what-to-eat/ [scientificamerican.com]

            There are also some correlations between gut microbes and behavior but the cause-effect direction is unclear:
            http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/gut-microbes-strongly-influence-emotional-behaviors/ [iflscience.com]

            • (Score: 3, Funny) by Snow on Monday June 11, @04:13PM (1 child)

              by Snow (1601) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @04:13PM (#691458) Journal

              That's where the truth lies, right down here in the gut. Do you know you have more nerve endings in your gut than you have in your head? You can look it up. I know some of you are going to say "I did look it up, and that's not true." That's 'cause you looked it up in a book. Next time, look it up in your gut. I did. My gut tells me that's how our nervous system works.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @06:49PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @06:49PM (#691537)

              I was just about to say this, but yeah, I have heard about fecal transplants changing the behavior of people (primarily the food they crave), and it is hypothesized that the gut bacteria is telling your brain what to eat. So if you wipe out your micro-biome and replace it with a new one, your gut will tell you to eat differently.

              So, perhaps people aren't totally wrong when they say they have a "gut reaction."

    • (Score: 2) by linkdude64 on Wednesday June 13, @01:08AM

      by linkdude64 (5482) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 13, @01:08AM (#692182)

      What, and memories exist independent of your nervous system like Plato's Forms? Do you really believe the human memory to be that objective? People create memories all the time.

  • (Score: 0, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @03:49AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @03:49AM (#691279)

    This website is going whack.

    Fuck you, I guess? Are you editors thinking?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @10:17AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @10:17AM (#691334)

      This, followed by NK adjacent Real Estate? Mike Pence, is that you?

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @04:12AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @04:12AM (#691283)

    I am sure the emaciated Jews in the concentration camps were "strangely beautiful."

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @07:15AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @07:15AM (#691306)

    I was being Palmer then, and Norris, and dog. I gathered around with the other biomass and watched as Copper cut me open and pulled out my insides. I watched as he dislodged something from behind my eyes: an organ of some kind.

    It was malformed and incomplete, but its essentials were clear enough. It looked like a great wrinkled tumor, like cellular competition gone wild—as though the very processes that defined life had somehow turned against it instead. It was obscenely vascularised; it must have consumed oxygen and nutrients far out of proportion to its mass. I could not see how anything like that could even exist, how it could have reached that size without being outcompeted by more efficient morphologies.

    Nor could I imagine what it did. But then I began to look with new eyes at these offshoots, these biped shapes my own cells had so scrupulously and unthinkingly copied when they reshaped me for this world. Unused to inventory—why catalog body parts that only turn into other things at the slightest provocation?—I really saw, for the first time, that swollen structure atop each body. So much larger than it should be: a bony hemisphere into which a million ganglionic interfaces could fit with room to spare. Every offshoot had one. Each piece of biomass carried one of these huge twisted clots of tissue.

    I realized something else, too: the eyes, the ears of my dead skin had fed into this thing before Copper pulled it free. A massive bundle of fibers ran along the skin's longitudinal axis, right up the middle of the endoskeleton, directly into the dark sticky cavity where the growth had rested. That misshapen structure had been wired into the whole skin, like some kind of somatocognitive interface but vastly more massive. It was almost as if...

    No.

    That was how it worked. That was how these empty skins moved of their own volition, why I'd found no other network to integrate. There it was: not distributed throughout the body but balled up into itself, dark and dense and encysted. I had found the ghost in these machines.

    I felt sick.

    I shared my flesh with thinking cancer.

    Peter Watts, The Things [clarkesworldmagazine.com]

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @04:05PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @04:05PM (#691453)

    ... and see how many people reply 'Eugh! What's that?'

  • (Score: 2) by linkdude64 on Wednesday June 13, @01:10AM

    by linkdude64 (5482) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 13, @01:10AM (#692183)

    Cerebro-spinal fluid also cleans and refreshes your brain, but does so most effectively during its increased circulatory period when you're asleep. Please get enough sleep, everyone.

    Now, I must be off to get my second 2.5 hour nap for the past 24 hour period...

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