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What Our Brains Can Teach Us

February 24, 2013

So it goes with the brain. We are the aliens in that landscape, and the brain is an even more complicated cipher. It is composed of 100 billion electrically active cells called neurons, each connected to many thousands of its neighbors. Each neuron relays information in the form of miniature voltage spikes, which are then converted into chemical signals that bridge the gap to other neurons. Most neurons send these signals many times per second; if each signaling event were to make a sound as loud as a pin dropping, the cacophony from a single human head would blow out all the windows. The complexity of such a system bankrupts our language; observing the brain with our current technologies, we mostly detect an enigmatic uproar.

Looking at the brain from a distance isn’t much use, nor is zooming in to a single neuron. A new kind of science is required, one that can track and analyze the activity of billions of neurons simultaneously.

Excerpt from an article written by DAVID EAGLEMAN, NYT. Continue HERE

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