Science as Exploration/Story Telling and
The Brain as a Scientist/Explorer/Story Teller

The Brain: Basics

The Brain - is wider than the Sky -
For - put them side by side -
The one the other will contain
With ease - and You - beside-

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Even though its common knowledge these days, it never ceases to amaze me that all the richness of our mental life - all our feelings, our emotions, our thoughts, our ambitions, our love life, our religious sentiments and even what each of us regards as his own intimate private self - is simply the activity of these little specks of jelly in your head, in your brain. There is nothing else.

Vilayanur Ramachandran, 2003

Brain = Behavior ... a true story? a good story? Because of ...
  • personal observations?
  • observations made by others (personally verified or not)?
  • social stories (heard from others)?
  • usefulness?
Let's tell some stories, make some observations, revise the stories, explore usefulness ...
Neurons and Neuronal Signalling

The trend of the evidence re brain=behavior

The current story ...

  If behavior/experiences are different then assemblies of neurons are different
  • Everyone has a somewhat different assembly of neurons, influenced by genes, experiences, culture, randomness
    • Enormous diversity inherent in variety of possible assemblies
    • Diversity rather than disability
  • Everyone's assembly of neurons is continually changing
    • No one is "stuck" with what they have
  • What we need to better understand is the architecture of the nervous system and its ongoing capacity for architectural change

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