Talk:Brain

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Good article Brain has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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GA Reassessment[edit]

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:Brain/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.
Kept--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 20:37, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
I am reviewing this article as part of GA Sweeps. This article needs to be edited to meet the current standards of WP:WIAGA. I am about to outline a partial list of issues that need to be addressed. After I post this listing, I will give concerned and interested editors a week before I reevaluate the article's quality rating. I will be following along with the progress of the article and may make additional comments as it is appropriate.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 02:24, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
Notified: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Neuroscience, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine/Neurology task force, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Anatomy, OldakQuill (talk · contribs), Vsmith (talk · contribs), BorgQueen (talk · contribs), and Hordaland (talk · contribs); Looie496 (talk · contribs) not notified due to his prompt response here before completion of the review.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 03:05, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Could you combine the two hatnotes into a one line hatnote.
    Done. (Had to be written by hand, the usual templates automatically give separate lines.) Looie496 (talk) 02:58, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
  • The images are all licensed properly, however, according to the alt checker they need WP:ALT text.
    Fixed. This is my first time adding alt text, I would appreciate it if someone could review these. Thanks, Oldak Quill 19:40, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
    Looks good.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 20:46, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
  • according to the link checker the article has a couple of deadlinks.
    Fixed. --Oldak Quill 19:52, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
  • according to the dablink checker the article has an unresolved dab link.
    Fixed. Looie496 (talk) 03:14, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
  • the article includes numerous entire paragraphs that are entirely uncited. Assuming that the article is properly structured with paragraphs connoting distinct ideas, each paragrpaph should have at least one citation.
  • the article has several "citation needed" tags.
    Unless I missed something, I think I have provided cites for all of the tagged places. --Tryptofish (talk) 01:14, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
  • What is the system used to place the portal templates? They just seem strewn about.
    We've been trying to put the WPNEURO template near the top of neuroscience articles so that it would be visible -- unfortunately Wikipedia's layout functionality makes this very difficult. As for the other template -- Mind and Brain -- it's in a reasonable place as far as I can see. Looie496 (talk) 03:06, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
    It wasn't clear to me that the first one was carefully placed, but I have no better suggestion.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 03:20, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
  • See WP:CAPTION#Wording as it relates to the use of periods.
    Fixed, if I understood what you were getting at. Looie496 (talk) 03:10, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
    Not really. There continue to be two captions with two periods but not two complete sentences.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 03:19, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
    I took a shot at those two. Please see what you think. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:54, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

After I notify all related projects and a few of the prominent editors of this page, I will monitor the progress on addressing these concerns. I will reevaluate the article after a week.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 02:55, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Just to fill you in on developments, I did a total rewrite of this article last year. It was already rated GA at the time but really shouldn't have been -- it was way below the mark in my opinion. I feel that it is at least nearly a GA now except that I've put off fixing the format on a couple of refs that people have added. I sent it to FA last October but it didn't pass -- a number of people chipped in to make improvements though. Not trying to sway the reassessment but I thought it might help you to know the history. Looie496 (talk) 02:46, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
This article has improved tremendously. The following concerns remain:
  1. Numerous paragraphs remain uncited, including one that represents an entire uncited section.
  2. I think some of the bullet pointed and enumerated lists could be converted to prose. If left as is each fact or bullet should have a citation.
I hope to see these remaining issues addressed in the next few days.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 02:36, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
I think that has now been done. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:43, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
The article could still be improved if the inline citations were to specific pages rather than entire works, but this is sufficient for now. In the future, those refs will need to be made more specific.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 20:37, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

missing illustration?[edit]

The last paragraph of the section Microscopic structure refers to an "illustration on the right" which seems to have gone missing. Either the image should be re-added, or the reference to it should be removed. - Hordaland (talk) 00:36, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Yeeks, you are right! I've looked back through the page history, and it wasn't deleted by mistake any time recently. I'll correct the text. Thanks for finding that! --Tryptofish (talk) 00:56, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

unclear sentence?[edit]

In the section Brain energy consumption, I find the sentence below to be difficult to understand. Perhaps the topic can be better explained?

  • The demands of the brain limit its size in some species, such as bats.[78]

- Hordaland (talk) 11:04, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Done. The source cited seems to be talking about limiting body weight in order to fly. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:00, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Brain in a vat[edit]

For fear of edit warring, I want to explain here why I disagree with another editor about putting a cartoon of the Brain in a vat hypothesis here. First, the image is really cartoonish and the figure legend is amateurish in that it has spelling mistakes (which of course could be corrected if there were no other issues). More substantively, the scenario depicted is purely hypothetical (and, if taken literally, physiologically impossible, although I realize that it is not intended to be taken literally). Looking at the main page from which it is taken, it does not strike me as notable enough to be included in a general article about the brain, at least not as a figure without explanation in the text. Putting it here seems to me to go against WP:UNDUE. I probably would not object to a sourced sentence of text within the section, but the figure seems inappropriate to me. What do other editors think? --Tryptofish (talk) 18:59, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

I don't have terribly strong feelings but I sort of like it, actually, and it's certainly a concept that has been widely discussed. The figure legend would of course have to be fixed, but that's no problem. What I like is that it makes a key point about the relationship between brain and mind come through very vividly. What would you think about asking for an "independent opinion" from the GA reviewer, or perhaps at the WikiProject Neuroscience talk page? Regards, Looie496 (talk) 19:08, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Woops, now I have to take back what I just said on your talk page (just kidding!). Yes, more opinions would be the way to go. That's why I started this thread, after all. But might it be better, instead, to just put a sentence into the text, blue-linked to the main page on the topic? --Tryptofish (talk) 19:17, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Wording of two sentences[edit]

Can we discuss the wording of a couple of sentences? One that used to say "The most important biological function of the brain is to generate behaviors that promote the welfare of an animal" was changed to "The most important biological function of the brain is to manage and control the functions and actions of an animal". I dislike this new wording because (1) "manage and control" is redundant, (2) "function .. is to manage and control ... functions" is awkward, (3) "functions and actions" is vague, (4) the new wording leaves out the crucial point that the brain's output is useful to the animal. What is the problem with the previous version? The same issues arise with the other edit involved here. Looie496 (talk) 02:22, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

I agree that the wording in your points 1 & 2 is not good at all. "Functions and actions" may need to be vague to avoid a long list which would never be complete?
But the specific point "the brain's output is useful to the animal" is why I'm reacting. It is not true in many cases where an animal's functions and actions benefit its group or the species, rather than the individual. Example: some mothers fight to the death to protect their offspring, which is not beneficial to the mother. - Hordaland (talk) 14:26, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
First of all, I want to emphasize again that I actually do not feel at all strongly about the issue. My thinking at the time diff was that "welfare" and "genetic fitness" were a bit dubious, welfare because it seems to me to connote animal welfare, and genetic fitness because it sounds rather eugenic, and both of these do lead to the issue that Hordaland just described. Thinking about it more, I realize that the bigger issue for me (relatively speaking, not that it's all that big!) is the use of the word "promotes": I don't really think the brain (or the behavior that it generates) is in the business of promoting anything (although I realize as I type this that we could have quite a philosophical debate about that). On the other hand, I take Looie's point about the similarity between functions and actions (although I suppose the former can refer to autonomic functions while the latter can refer to voluntary actions), and I agree that "manage and control" is completely unnecessary. Bottom line: maybe we have found that both wordings leave something to be desired. Would it perhaps be preferable to find a worthy quote or two from an RS, and quote it directly instead of synthesizing something? --Tryptofish (talk) 19:06, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
A nice quote would be great if somebody can find one. In the meantime, how about, "the biological function of the brain is to control the muscles and internal organs of the body"? Looie496 (talk) 19:35, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, fine, go for it! --Tryptofish (talk) 19:46, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, I found when I tried it that it didn't quite work in that form, so I revised it a bit, and then I found I had to make a few changes in the rest of the paragraph to make it flow. Anyway, I hope it is acceptable now. Looie496 (talk) 23:29, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I tweaked it a little more, no big deal. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:43, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Maybe close to FA?[edit]

I am thinking that this article is getting close to a level that might justify an FA nom. There are a few possible areas of improvement -- the ones that occur to me are: (1) adding a bit more material about the relationship between brain and mind, including a paragraph in the lead, (2) reducing the "How it is studied" section by moving some material into the Neuroscience article, and (3) filling in the missing zone of the History section. Does anybody else have opinions on this? Looie496 (talk) 17:47, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Although I know that an article such as "brain" is really hard to take to FA I still feel that it is quite far from being ready. Most information now in the article is in very good shape, but there is a lot of information still left. Some of them are:
  • The development section talks in a general way about migration of neurons but does not talk at all about how the brain develops: its stages, its parts... It should be important at least to summarize brain development in mammals.
  • There is no comment on how neurons communicate
  • I am not sure if the "functions section" has complete sense: The neurotransmitter system is not properly a system but a general property of the brain. Maybe it could be moved to a specific section on neuronal transmission which includes basic properties of synapses and neurotransmitters.
  • Brain energy consumption is neither a function: I do not know where it could fit, but not really here
  • The superior cognitive functions such as the executive system or language are not mentioned in the functions section. Maybe an specific subsection could be created for them. Even if they (or mostly) only appear in humans their importance deserves mention.
  • The arousal system should talk about more than sleep-awake cycle. No mention is done about attention.
  • I agree that how it is studied should be summarized.
I hope that at some point this great article becomes a FA, but I believe its time has not come yet.--Garrondo (talk) 08:36, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! It has been extraordinarily difficult all through this to get feedback based on content as opposed to form, and that's very helpful. I am inclined to think that the superior cognitive functions should stay in human brain for reasons of space if nothing else, but the other points make a lot of sense and seem addressable. The general concept behind that "Functions" section was that it would correspond to "Physiology" -- that word seems a bit jargony, but I wonder if it should be used anyway. Looie496 (talk) 16:27, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
I would say phisiology is a better title. Maybe a solution is to write an introductory line to the section with a link to phisiology. Although I do not collaborate in the writing of the article I follow its development quite closely. If at some point you feel that you need a second opinion again you can count on me. Regards.--Garrondo (talk) 11:25, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
the Brain-mind problem is not addressed sufficiently and the embodied mind is not discussed in any length. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.227.87.240 (talk) 06:00, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Opening photo[edit]

Why not to replace the chimp's brain photo with a human one? The chimp's one is too shocking to my opinion.--Gilisa (talk) 08:37, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Because that would belong nicely on the human brain page. Personally I don't find a photo of either shocking, but why is a chimp's brain more shocking than a human one? GyroMagician (talk) 14:46, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Because it didn't contribute it willingly to science, you can guess how it was taken out.--Gilisa (talk) 08:28, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I see. I don't really want to get into a discussion of the ethics of animal testing (as talk pages are not meant as general discussion pages), but if we are to remove the brain image, we should also remove most of the detail from this article for the same reason. I think removing the image while using results based heavily on animal-based studies would be dishonest, no? GyroMagician (talk) 10:23, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
You made a point. But the fact is that the article focus is on human brain (i.e., the large part is on human brain), right? I think that human brain would not only better fit to the article (and it's not the first reason for which I posted here) but it would also be of better taste (and while we have no good alternative to animal models, we do have good alternatives to this photo..). You don't must agree on it, it's just a proposal. Best--Gilisa (talk) 10:38, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
But it doesn't focus on the human brain - as stated in the first line of the article, which points readers to the human brain page, if that is what they're looking for. This article tries very hard to be as general as possible, covering insects to humans. GyroMagician (talk) 11:14, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I believe the opening photo is a very interesting one, aesthethically (from my point of view) is much better than most pictures depicting a brain, and the fact that it is from a chimpanze for me is a plus: The truth is that most of what we know is thanks to animal experimentation. I would leave as it is now.--Garrondo (talk) 11:29, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Much of the knowledge come from animal experiments -however, much come from humans as well (including single cel recordings in vivo and in vitro). As for non human primate models-most research is on Macaque monlies, whose brain is not very aesthethic, if the reason is experimental importance we should use rat or cat or Macaque brain. If it's aesthethics we should human or dolphin brain.--Gilisa (talk) 11:50, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't really mind what sort of brain it is, except human, for the reasons described above. I also think it is important not to shy away from showing an animal brain, as most of our knowledge comes from animal experiments. Beyond that, cat/rat/macaque - all are fine. But I agree with Garrondo that the chimp brain is aesthetically a very good image. I don't see any reason to change it, unless you have something better. GyroMagician (talk) 12:10, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree with GyroMagician and Garrondo. I think that a reader coming to a page about "brain" would reasonably expect to find an image of a brain, and not be upset by it, and this image is not particularly graphic as these things go. In fact, I think the way it appears, in an old-fashioned museum-style display, makes it look a bit historical, thereby mitigating the impression that current science might have done something lurid. (Personally, I think the graphic image problem is currently much worse at pages about the animal rights movement and groups that belong to it.) --Tryptofish (talk) 14:30, 23 November 2009 (UTC)


Let me just add a note that the existing image was the result of a back-and-forth during the last FA review. I don't really have strong feelings about it; it's hard to find a better picture in Commons. What I would really like is to have a picture like this -- the article did once upon a time, but it was deleted due to licensing concerns. Looie496 (talk) 17:07, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Now that's a cool picture! GyroMagician (talk) 17:45, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Now, that's a much better photo (and apparently present at any neuroscience lab I seen), if we just can get it (or similar) licenced I guess that it could make a good alternative. Anyway, aesthethicly the picture we have now (which I suggested to replace) is very beautiful, no argue on that.--Gilisa (talk) 09:13, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
That is a great image, but even if it was correctly licensed I think I would use it in the mammals subsection of the macroscopic structure section. Lead images from my point of view have to be catching more than informative, and the one we have probably is.--Garrondo (talk) 09:33, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
OK.--Gilisa (talk) 15:54, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

typical neuron picture[edit]

Why does it have Schwann cells instead of oligodendrocytes? Isn't that some PNS neuron type you're depicting? Narayanese (talk) 14:13, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

That's a very good point. It really should be changed to oligodendrocyte. --Tryptofish (talk) 15:32, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, except that the way the nucleus is drawn doesn't represent what an oligo looks like. I suppose this was intended to be a somatic motor neuron; maybe it would be best to say that explicitly. Looie496 (talk) 18:26, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, I guess so. Too bad, since this is Brain. Saying that explicitly seems like the best thing until a better image becomes available. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:38, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Baboshed's contributions[edit]

The brain (or better encephalon) is the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate, and most invertebrate, animals.
...
The most straightforward scientific evidence that there is a strong relationship between the physical brain matter and the mind is the impact physical alterations to the brain have on the mind, such as with traumatic brain injury and psychoactive drug use. Actually that appears non sure in many cases, where the mind's problems are not reducible to brain.

I undid these. They may be valuable, but need explanation and citations. Anthony (talk) 10:52, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree that Anthony's edit was appropriate. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:04, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Brain Type[edit]

The brain is a vertabrate and an invertabrate. It is mostly invertabrate. The brain is the center of the nervous system. Please add more to this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 199.72.192.194 (talk) 19:45, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't understand what you are saying. Looie496 (talk) 03:26, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Grossly misleading / incomplete paragraph in intro[edit]

"Methods of observation such as EEG recording and functional brain imaging tell us that brain operations are highly organized, but these methods do not have the resolution to reveal the activity of individual neurons.[7]"

True enough, but failing to mention single unit recording is grossly misleading. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 64.253.210.29 (talk) 22:51, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree with you. I've removed the sentence as a temporary fix, but it really needs more work. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:48, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
On second thought, I expanded the sentence to include single units, but it could probably still use some more work. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:55, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, the reason I wrote it that way is that single unit recording doesn't really tell us how brain operations are organized, because it only shows us one unit at a time. We don't really have good techniques for showing the relationships between individual neurons. (I'm aware of multi-single-unit recording, in fact most of my own work has used it, but it has major limitations.) Anyway, I accept that the passage needed work, just wanted to explain the thinking. This is a quick response; I'll take another look at the sentence. Regards, Looie496 (talk) 00:23, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Does the brain get tired?[edit]

Not really clear from article, I see glucose is needed for energy, but apart from that does the brain get fatigued like a muscle?—Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.85.14.106 (talkcontribs) 22:11, 24 April 2010

I've seen research on the effects of low blood glucose on brain function, but I'm not really up to speed on the story. I can tell you that the brain clearly doesn't get fatigued in the same way a muscle does, because it uses glucose and ATP in a much more indirect way -- but that's about all I feel able to say. Looie496 (talk) 01:32, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
I can't resist commenting facetiously that mine does, when I make too many edits to Wikipedia! OK, seriously, the way I would think about the question is, in part, in terms of glucose/energy depletion, and, in part, in terms of sleep. As for glucose, I agree with what Looie said, and I would add that I am unaware of any evidence that heavy "use" of the brain, like thinking hard for a long time and so forth, leads to any measurable depletion of the available glucose supply. There's normally always enough glucose to maintain prolonged brain activity, and glucose availability is unlikely to be rate-limiting, except in instances of starvation or malnutrition. So, in that sense, the brain does not so much get tired as get hungry. As for the second point, sleep, it clearly is the case that (with some comparative species caveats) sleep is periodically required for healthy brain function, and sleep deprivation is harmful (reversibly) to human brain functionality. But is that the brain getting tired, or the person getting tired? "Getting tired" is a phrase we use to describe a human experience, and it's philosophically problematic to attribute the experience to just the organ that mediates it: mediating an experience is not quite the same thing as experiencing it. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:41, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

interaction brain mind[edit]

The duality of brain and mind, and the interaction between them, can be described correctly only when the observer knows the truth about the law of the duality applicable to his external and internal worlds. In its application to the human observer the law manifests itself as two space times and the interaction between them. The two are the material and the immaterial worlds. Brains are in the material space time and minds are in the immaterial world. Each of the two components is again a duality. Brain is a static unit of matter acting as the container of the dynamism of electromagnetism. Individual cells in the brain are pre-programmed to receive variable electromagnetic impulses coming from the outside. Excess of the energy is distributed to the logically connected cells to form a field which acts as a symbol. Mind is the immaterial container of memory and of the static unit of ‘self’ of the observer who is called the ‘soul’. The ‘self’ is motivated by the lack of equilibrium. It can change its position within the memory by bringing into the consciousness in the ‘now’ the ‘truths’, which describe the observed unit. The ‘self’ cannot observe individual truths of the description because it can limit only one unit at a time. To be able to observe the description, called the ‘meaning’, the observer gives a ‘name’ to the synthesis of the description. The ‘name’, is a material or immaterial ‘symbol’ acting as the key which opens access to the description of the observed truth. The description of the symbol is not observed. Contact between the material and the immaterial space times, is through the electromagnetic field which acts as the material symbol motivating the ‘self’ through emotion. At the border between the material and the immaterial spaces velocity of rotation of gravitons is static as seen from the centre of observation. The gravitons can be motivated from either side of the border by different velocities of rotation of the adjoining gravitons. The velocity of rotation can increase or decrease with the result that rotation is transferred from one medium to the other. The direction of motivating energy is reversed when ‘meaning’ creates electromagnetic symbol in the brain. KK (92.24.108.65 (talk) 11:00, 16 May 2010 (UTC))

Material on the talk page should be directed toward improving the article, and material can only be used in the article if it has previously been published in a reputable source such as an academic journal. In other words, the paragraph above does not really belong here. Regards, Looie496 (talk) 16:11, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Dear Looie496...would you be able to write a new article if you were allowed to use only that which alreasdy exists in your computer? KK (89.243.217.254 (talk) 10:51, 17 May 2010 (UTC))
Sorry, but those are the rules. This is an encyclopedia which by definition try to summarize existing knowledge, not the place to create new knowledege. As Looie says your ideas would have to be published in other place, reach the point when they are considered notable, and only then they will have a place here. Bests.--Garrondo (talk) 12:27, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

I have just responded on your Talk page. You can answer me there, if you like, I've put your talk page on my Wikipedia watch list. Anthony (talk) 12:58, 17 May 2010 (UTC)


Schwann cells do not exist in the brain[edit]

In the Brain article under "Microscopic Structure" there is an illustration showing Schwann cells as the cells forming myelin along the axons. As I understand, in the brain, it's oligodendrocytes that form the myelin. Schwann cells are the glia that form the myelin for the rest of the body. If this is correct, I wonder if this illustration might be deleted and/or changed?

Tigers2B14.226.156.205 (talk) 16:15, 7 July 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 4.226.156.205 (talk) 16:14, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Second that. "Unlike peripheral nerves, they have no Schwann cells to guide and support them" Anthony (talk) 17:34, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, this has come up before. It would be a shame to delete the image (actually an image map), but changing it would make other articles that use it inaccurate. Maybe the right solution is to make a second "brain neuron" template that substitutes oligodendrocyte for Schwann cell. That would be pretty easy to do. Looie496 (talk) 17:37, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
Do you know how to do it Looie496? I'm hopeless at this stuff. Or is there some project full of helpful image editors? I encountered this guy the other day who obviously has the ability but I've already extracted one favor. Anthony (talk) 17:58, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I can do it in a couple of minutes. I hold back only because I generally don't like duplicating things to make small changes, but if we agree that's what we want, I'll be happy to do it. Looie496 (talk) 18:38, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
We agree. Anthony (talk) 18:41, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
Nuts -- I created Template:Brain neuron map, but then I remembered the real problem, which is that those cells actually don't look like oligos. An oligo has its cell body away from the axon and generates multiple myelin sheaths that arise from filaments. Not sure what to do about that now. Looie496 (talk) 19:47, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

I've left a request here Maybe someone there will be able to concoct something for us. Meanwhile, should we delete that Schwann cell illustration from the article? Anthony (talk) 08:12, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Neuron with oligodendrocyte and myelin sheath.svg

Andrew c has kindly adapted a Schwann cell/myelin sheath image for us here. I think he needs to erase

  1. both instances of "(Schwann cell)"
  2. "Nucleus", and
  3. the little yellow Schwann cell soma

leaving everything else, including "Myelin Sheath". Anything else? Anthony (talk) 10:39, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks Anthony for getting this underway. I agree with you that this is an improvement. I also agree about deleting "Schwann cell". I don't really care either way about the nucleus, and that nucleus is the only thing I see that is yellow. However, I would add another point: the oligodendrocyte (now magenta) should be the same blue color as the myelin, since that is the cell from which the myelin extends. I'll make a comment there myself; I hope you don't mind. Thanks again. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:13, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Agreed about the color. Anthony (talk) 18:19, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Woops, I was wrong and you were right about the yellow. The nuclei are in the cell body, not in multiples in each myelin wrap. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:23, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Is that picture alright up there while we discuss it? Anthony (talk) 19:24, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to see the cell body too. This is the image Andrew is working off. Should we ask him to include the cell body? Anthony (talk) 19:58, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Hmm, I'm not sure. The image on the page now does emphasize the neuron, rather than the myelinated axon. I guess it depends on what we want to emphasize. There would be questions as to how much nuclear detail to include, and also, about how much to show of the axon terminal and synapse at the other end. If we do go that way, we might want to omit the pale gray neurons in the background. Alternatively, we might use the picture the way it is, along with one or more other images for the other parts. Do we already have a good image of the cell body? --Tryptofish (talk) 20:31, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

I was thinking: the changes Andrew and Narayanese (see below) have made; the changes we have proposed; and include the cell body. That gives us a complete CNS neuron. Anthony (talk) 21:28, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Complete neuron cell diagram en.svg

Above is LadyofHats' original that Andrew and Narayanese are working from

Neuron with oligodendrocyte and myelin sheath-2.svg

Above is Narayanese's version

I changed it a bit (File:Neuron with oligodendrocyte and myelin sheath-2.svg). It's hard to enough 'arms' for the oligodendrocyte. Narayanese (talk) 22:02, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Thank you! Anthony (talk) 22:32, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes, thanks! I think I like this version too. I'm not sure, however, how much detail we need about the intracellular organelles. I think a case can be made that it would be helpful to make it less busy, and many of the organelles are not neuron-specific. Also, as per earlier discussion, we would have to get rid of "Schwann cells", perhaps just changing them to "Oligodendrocyte". --Tryptofish (talk) 23:42, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
It is busy. We can do without the synapse inset; and most of the detail in the cell body probably doesn't need labeling. I like Narayanese's color change, but I'd prefer the oligodendtocyte to be more obviously wrapped around the neuron's axon - though that is plain from the inset, I guess. Anthony (talk) 06:47, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Neuron with oligodendrocyte and myelin sheath.svg

I know you told me to wait for further discussion, but I couldn't help myself. I took a number of suggestions into consideration, and made alterations to my first draft, such as color, labels, cropping, and making the sheath look like it is wrapping more. -Andrew c [talk] 17:27, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Nice. Thank you Andrew c. We're still waiting for a couple of other editors to chime in. This is such an improvement. Anthony (talk) 17:38, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I like it too. I'm still not sure what to think about the neuron cell body in the version above that shows it. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:35, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually, responding to my own question!, the section of the page this would illustrate is really mostly about the interaction between neurons and glia, rather than about the fine structure of neurons themselves. That being the case, it might be best to use Andrew's newest version, appropriately captioned, and not include the neuronal soma in the image. In addition, if we want to better illustrate neuronal shapes, we could use something like File:Pyramidal hippocampal neuron 40x.jpg or File:Mouse cingulate cortex neurons.jpg. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:47, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm inclining to your view. Would really like to hear Looie496's thoughts before we settle, though. Anthony (talk) 07:31, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, absolutely, I'd want to hear from him too. --Tryptofish (talk) 14:35, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Should we go ahead now? Are you OK with Andrew's last version? I'd like to see the little yellow nuclei in each myelen sheath gone, as per Narayanese's version, and the red strands in the bottom left corner are a bit disracting. Any thoughts about a caption? Anthony (talk) 15:51, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I would say go for it! I agree exactly with the corrections you described here, and with that, it should be fine. And thanks so much to both Andrew and Narayanese!! As for captioning, it should (of course) replace the image currently in the "Microscopic structure" section, and should be formatted as a thumbnail, as it is, without any text at the top, unlike the top-labeling of the image that is there now. We can work on the thumbnail caption when it's on the page, but I would think it would be something like "Oligodendrocytes are glial cells that form myelin sheaths around the axons of brain neurons." or something like that. I'd be happy to add a second image from among the two I listed just above—any preferences between them? --Tryptofish (talk) 17:24, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
I've passed that to the illustration workshop. And I think I prefer the hippocampal neuron, but either is fine with me. Anthony (talk) 21:06, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
All good! Thanks! --Tryptofish (talk) 21:11, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

I've made the few minor edits mentioned above (sorry I didn't do it sooner, was out of town). If this is a final version that users are going to use, I can move it to a different filename if you want on Commons. -Andrew c [talk] 15:18, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

I've asked Andrew to choose an appropriate file name and let us know here. Anthony (talk) 17:13, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I enthusiastically second what Anthony said at the Graphics Lab page: brilliant! When we get that image on this page, it will really be an outstanding improvement. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:21, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
File:Neuron with oligodendrocyte and myelin sheath.svg is the file name, I just merged my drafts together into one location. I just realized now, that's going to mess up the discussion above a little bit, but hopefully that isn't an issue. I thought the first file name was descriptive and adequate. Hope you do as well. Any more concerns or changes, feel free to contact me. -Andrew c [talk] 21:41, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

I've added it to the page. Thanks everyone! --Tryptofish (talk) 15:38, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Primate brain[edit]

Actually, it is pretty well established, based on single-unit studies that show visual responsiveness, that more than half the primate neocortex (not brain) is dedicated to vision. See, for example:

Sereno, M.I., A.M. Dale, J.B. Reppas, K.K. Kwong, J.W. Belliveau, T.J. Brady, B.R. Rosen, and R.B.H. Tootell (1995) Borders of multiple visual areas in human revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging. Science 268:889-893. [1]

Where they state "Over half of the neocortex in non-human primates is occupied by visual areas. At least 25 visual areas beyond the primary visual cortex (V1) have been identified with a combination of microelectrode mapping, tracer injections, histological stains, and functional studies (1)." Their references for this claim are:

M.I. Sereno and J.M. Allman, in The Neural Basis of Visual Function, A.G. Leventhal Ed.(Macmillan, London, 1991), pp. 160-172
J.H. Kaas and L.A. Krubitzer, Neuroanatomy of Visual Pathways and their Retinotopic Organization, B. Dreher and S.R. Robinson Eds. (Macmillan, London, 1991), pp. 302-359
D.J. Felleman and D.C. Van Essen, Cereb. Cortex 1, 1 (1991)
M.G.P. Rosa, J.G. Soares, M. Fiorani Jr, R. Gattass, Vis. Neurosci. 10, 827 (1993).

In humans, due to the increase in the size of the parietal and pre-frontal cortex, this number is probably lower than in our primate cousins. See, for example, for the cross-species comparisons

Van Essen, D.C. Lewis, J.W,. Drury, H.A., Hadjikhani, N., Tootell, R.B., Bakircioglu, M. and Miller, M.I. (2001) Mapping visual cortex in monkeys and humans using surface-based atlases. Vision Research 41: 1359-1378. [2]

Cheers, Edhubbard (talk) 20:34, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for that, much better now. There's a big difference between half of the brain and half of the neocortex. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:10, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Sure no problem... I'm renaming this section because it's worth mentioning that the references here, especially by people like Sereno, Felleman, Kaas, etc. are also good refs for the differential expansion of the frontal cortex in humans, relative to our other great ape/primate ancestors. I was going to add the Van Essen paper that I've cited above for the frontal cortex expansion, but there are probably other citations that would be good too (also, I think my ref format was incorrect for this page, but a badly formatted ref is better than none at all). Others who would be relevant to look at here are Patricia Goldman-Rakic, Joaquin Fuster (see his book: The Prefrontal Cortex 978-0123736444) and others who study the function of the pre-frontal cortex.
There is some debate about the degree to which human frontal cortex differs from other great apes (see, Semendeferi, K., Lu, A., Schenker, N., and H. Damasio. 2002. Humans and great apes share a large frontal cortex. Nature Neuroscience. 5:272-276.) but there is little doubt that human frontal cortex is larger than in macaques. Another good, general source for these types of things would be Georg F. Striedter and his book Streidter, G.F. (2005). Principles of Brain Evolution Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA. ISBN 978-0878938209. Cheers, Edhubbard (talk) 21:36, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

Cooking with brains[edit]

This article should mention the use of brains as a food (e.g. fried lambs' brains), the cultures/cuisines in which this is done, and the pros and cons (pros: good source of nutrition; cons: risk of prion diseases), etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.176.168.39 (talk) 06:21, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

We have a separate article for that, brain (food). Looie496 (talk) 06:24, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
There is no link from this article to brain (food) article. Someone should add one. --124.176.168.39 (talk) 22:54, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
It is linked to from Brain (disambiguation), which is linked at the top of this article. We could add a special direct link in the same place, but my feeling is that interest in that article wouldn't be broad enough to justify it. Currently the brain article gets over 1000 times the viewership of the brain (food) article. Looie496 (talk) 23:07, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Brain fat[edit]

Maybe I overlooked it in my quick perusal of the article but does it say what percentage of the brain is made out of fat and cholesterol? I seem to recall reading somewhere that it has been recently found that the brain manufactures its own food or something to that effect so it doesn't rely only on the nutrients that can pass through the blood-brain barrier. Is that true and should it be included in the article? Lambanog (talk) 08:29, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

This is not an area I know a lot about, but my understanding is that the brain derives energy from glucose, not fat. There is a lot of fat and cholesterol in the brain (as our brain (food) article spells out), but I don't believe it is used as an energy source. Most of it belongs to the myelin sheaths that electrically insulate neurons and axons. Looie496 (talk) 16:17, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that's basically true. In fact, the reliance of the brain on glucose derives from the inability of many other nutrients/precursors to cross the blood-brain barrier, and brain lipids really do not play a major role in energy metabolism. The brain does have a higher lipid concentration than other tissues in the body, and this is why fat-soluble compounds tend to accumulate in the brain. Thus, almost all drugs that are directed to the central nervous system are fat-soluble.
In terms of adding something to the page, I think Brain#Brain energy consumption is probably the place to do it. We could broaden it a bit, to begin with some description of chemical content and the significance of that content. Should we? --Tryptofish (talk) 22:26, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Okay it doesn't manufacture its own energy but does manufacture its own cholesterol. Thanks for clarifying that for me. As for the article...this is all brain surgery to me. Face-smile.svg Lambanog (talk) 19:51, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Face-smile.svg Actually, I'm not entirely sure as to whether glucose can be converted to cholesterol. I tried to dance around that in my answer above. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:58, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

New article- please link into this one[edit]

I've started Evolution of the brain. I don't have permission to edit this article- can someone link it in for me? It's still a WIP, and I plan to add things over the next few days. Thanks. Vermillion trade (talk) 00:37, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Great, I think that will be a very useful article. Perhaps it should progress a little further before adding links to it, though. Once your account has existed for 10 days and made a total of 10 edits, you will be "autoconfirmed" and able to edit the brain article yourself. Note that this article, as well as the nervous system, human brain, and brain size articles, already say a bit about evolution, though there is certainly a great deal more to be said. If your focus remains where it currently is, you might want to eventually retitle your article evolution of the human brain or something of that sort. Anyway, have fun! Looie496 (talk) 01:14, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

RESEARCH: A person is mistaken if He/She thinks that Brain is the ultimate storing house of the information[edit]

Hello Everyone, I have some really interesting research-work to share here. Please have a look the this URl here < Soulmates and Consciousness>. Please have a look at the Consciousness section over there. The research-work of Jody A. Long & Berkovich, concludes: "the brain is more of an accessing unit much like a radio receiver. The actual storage place is somewhere else, and NDEs would strongly suggest that place is the consciousness that survives the body." <reference: http://www.near-death.com/experiences/experts101.html & Ornstein, R. (1991) The Evolution of Consciousness, The Origins of the Way We Think, Simon & Schuster, New York NY > Thanks! Sincerely: Abstruce (talk) 19:38, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. However, I don't really think we should add it to the page, per WP:RS and WP:UNDUE. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:17, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
Hello Tryptofish, seems You are not interested to see the information in the Research section of the article. Well, Are You sure that the research-work following scientists are not reliable:
  • Simon Berkovich: He's a faculty at the Engineering and Applied Science department of the George Washington University. I request You to please atleast once have a look at the links mentioned below to be aware of His research work. I think You may not have visisted them, I just guess!
  1. http://www.nderf.org/Berkovich.htm
  2. http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0111093
  3. http://www.seas.gwu.edu/~berkov/Theory.htm
  4. http://www.seas.gwu.edu/~berkov/Experiment.htm
It's a pleasure to be in touch with You, and I request You to please take this discussion in a healthy manner. I think My query is quite reasonable. Thanks! Sincerely: Abstruce (Talk) 18:17, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Robert Ornstein is undoubtedly a reputable source, although many of his views are controversial, but he isn't the source for the statements above. Neither Long nor Berkovich would be considered strong sources for a Wikipedia article about the brain. Basically you are advocating a discussion of substance dualism. I don't see this article as the proper place for that, although the fact that many people believe in it might justify giving some sort of pointer to a more closely related article such as Philosophy of mind. Looie496 (talk) 23:10, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

Sources[edit]

Hi. I started adding citations to unsourced claims, but it is dawning on me that a lot of these claims are based on sources earlier in the same paragraph. There are a number of sources I can't access but, from their titles, it seems highly likely some of the claims following the citation are also attributable to them. If you know of any instances of this, can I suggest moving such citations to the end of the text they support? I've done it for a couple that I could access. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 09:30, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

You're right, but unfortunately I have found that the approach you suggest doesn't work. The only way to make it totally obvious that all sentences are sourced is to put a ref on every sentence -- something I am very reluctant to do. Looie496 (talk) 14:41, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
I always assume if there's one citation after a string of sentences, it's the source for all assertions after the last citation, and if a paragraph has one citation at the end, it's the source for all the assertions in the paragraph. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 15:05, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
I would be happy with that, but when I used to do it that way people complained, so I'd like to have some evidence that other editors feel the same way that you do. Looie496 (talk) 15:53, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
We've made it pretty clear at FAC. Let's see what they have to say. I reckon, when you hover your mouse over a footnote marker ([23]), it should highlight the text it supports. That must be doable. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 16:02, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
I was just thinking about this issue. It is such a large article and so many sentences are missing citations, even for rather simple material, it seems like there must be a better way to do the citations. Citing ever line would take a lifetime but certainly more information should be clearly cited for reference. It is really easy to get inaccurate information when claims aren't cited properly. After all, the article is supposed to be informative, and if it becomes inaccurate through misunderstandings or misinformation it does little good. I might try to find a current textbook to fill in some of the basic information. Cmulick (talk) 00:07, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Page shouldn't link here[edit]

Volume transmission (synapses) redirects here. This article does not mention this topic. I think volume transmission should redirect to the page Neuromodulation. I don't know how to change this so perhaps someone else could. John 92.236.103.241 (talk) 17:32, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

Done. [3] --Anthonyhcole (talk) 17:49, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

Nothing about the left-right hemisphere reason/logic-creative functions?[edit]

Nothing about the left-right hemisphere reason/logic-creative functions here? 84.215.39.183 (talk) 14:06, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

The great bulk of information about that is specific to humans, so it is covered in the human brain article. Looie496 (talk) 22:07, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Midbrain[edit]

I noticed that in the section on vertebrate anatomy, the midbrain appears as part of the text, but in the bulleted list immediately following with the bolded items, the only corresponding structure that appears is the optic tectum. Is there any particular reason for that? 68.55.112.31 (talk) 20:36, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

I guess it's because the third paragraph of the text discusses it, as the mesencephalon. The bulleted list only includes specific structures, as opposed to brain regions. On the other hand, I guess a case could be made for breaking out prosencephalon, mesencephalon, rhombencephalon, etc., as bullet points, either in that list or in a separate list. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:51, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Human Intelligence/Conciousness not enough emphasis[edit]

What sets the human brain apart is the ability for conciousness, intelligence, and the existence of the mind.

One of the important goals of this article should be: How does the anatomy of the human brain allow these things? Right now science has yet to fully come up with an explanation, but that doesn't excuse avoidance of the question in this article! Knowledge of the primal/animal aspects of homeostasis, motor control, perception etc, are all well and good but they hardly set us apart in the animal kingdom. For the most part humans are losers when it comes to comparative physiology.

However, what makes this deserving of its own article is where we win, which is OUR brains capacity for conciousness, intelligence, and the existence of the mind. Components powerful enough to allow dominance of the human species despite inferiority in our anatomy comparatively to other species, and in truth should be the main focus here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.249.29.0 (talkcontribs) 19:39, June 14, 2012‎

You raise an issue that, of course, does indeed interest neuroscientists. However, there's a limit to how much we really could implement the changes to this article that you propose. There's little point in a boastful paragraph about how great the human species is. It wouldn't really be encyclopedic. We have to follow WP:NOR. That means that we have to have source material about scientific research that would actually address where consciousness and intelligence come from in the human brain. And that source material does not exist, because nobody really knows the answer. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:49, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Can anyone provide additional sources verifying that the mind is a component of the brain?[edit]

It's not an uncontroversial subject among laypersons. Everything Is Numbers (talk) 02:41, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

It depends what you're looking for. (I'm speaking as a non-layperson.) On the one hand, it's kind of common sense that it's not, for example, in the gall bladder. On the other hand, I don't mean to make light of the question, because it's certainly been a serious subject of philosophical debate for centuries. The problem, from a neuroscientific point of view, is that you aren't going to find scientific studies saying: here is the place in the brain where the mind exists. It's just not the kind of thing that scientists have a way of defining. There's a ton of evidence, though, that various specific things we associate with "mindfulness" go away when brain function goes away. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:15, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
The article dualism (philosophy of mind) is where that issue is dealt with most comprehensively. Looie496 (talk) 21:02, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
That's a good pointer. (I was trying to think what the best page would be, and I didn't come up with it.) I've added a link to it, at the top of the "Functions" section. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:13, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
I regret that I didn't specify this earlier. I was referring to the third paragraph of the introduction, where the brain-mind relationship is addressed. The crucial point is “However, after early scientists conducted experiments it was determined that the mind was a component of a functioning brain...” One source is cited, but I was hoping that additional sources could be added to back up the statement. Everything Is Numbers (talk) 03:18, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
    How can mind and brain be the identity if mind is in the immaterial space time and brain is in the material space time? You will never know until you know the correct cosmology. (178.43.110.119 (talk) 10:13, 18 August 2012 (UTC))

Whom was it “determined” by “that the mind is a component of a functioning brain”?[edit]

The statement quoted in the title is made in the third paragraph of the introduction. I made practically the same statement in another article (Consciousness after death), and the part where it says “determined” has now been challenged with a “by whom” tag specifying, “Does this mean it was ‘proved’. If so, by whom?” What I'm wondering is whether it would be equally appropriate to do the same in this article. If I'm not violating any policies, I'll wait at least half an hour, post the “by whom” tag and see whither it will go from there. Everything Is Numbers (talk) 08:54, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Let me just say that although I wrote most of this article, I did not write that sentence, and I don't like it, and I don't really think it adds anything to the paragraph. I left it alone after it was added because I don't want to give the appearance of "own"ing this article, but I would be happy if something was done with it. Looie496 (talk) 15:42, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
Now I understand much better what the issues are, specifically with respect to this page. I don't have immediate access to the source cited for that sentence, unfortunately. But how about editing the undefined aspects out of that paragraph (and we can blame the edits on me, rather than on Looie!)? In the sentence before it, we could change (I'm not sure how...) the part about "In the early part of psychology,...". Early "part"? Blech! I'd like the sentence to read something like "Previously, the mind was thought to be separate from the brain.", or "Prior to modern-day neuroscience, the mind was thought to be separate from the brain.", or maybe best "Prior to [date], the mind was thought to be separate from the brain." Can we come up with a time period (example: prior to the twentieth century), that is supported by sources? If so, I think we could do that, and then delete the sentence right after it, which is the sentence that we have been discussing. I think the paragraph would flow just fine that way (does everyone else agree?), and I'd just as soon delete the unprovable parts. Thoughts? --Tryptofish (talk) 20:53, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
I made a bold edit. Is that an improvement? --Tryptofish (talk) 20:19, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, to me at least -- I like it a lot better that way. Looie496 (talk) 22:31, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, this eases it up somewhat, though it still says, “[T]he brain . . . forms the physical structure that generates the mind,” implying that it has been determined. I asked first because I didn't want to make it look as if I'm meddling with the article. I mean, this is a very good article as it is, so I don't want to change anything. I'll leave it to the specialists. I see that the two of you are quite active on this page, and Looie496, if you wrote this article, then I must remark, you sir or madam did an excellent job! Everything Is Numbers (talk) 04:18, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
There are of course plenty of people who think that the mind is independent of the brain, but that is what Wikipedia calls a "fringe theory". I'm male, for what it's worth; and thanks for the compliment. Looie496 (talk) 06:24, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
+1 about Looie's excellent work on this page. About the first sentence of the paragraph, the one that still says "forms the physical structure that generates the mind", my hope is that the sentence does not stand in isolation, but can be better understood in terms of nuance by reading the (revised) paragraph in its entirety. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:00, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
That's it. Ignorance. It's the vice of the simple people and the problem with populist democracy. I will not trust your word if you tell me you haven't noticed the sheer multitude of people subscribing to the Democritean idea of the heart as the source of emotion. Some of them go as far as to say that supposed personality changes after heart transplanation prove their point! With this rant I'm diverting from discussion of the article itself, so I'll stop now. Everything Is Numbers (talk) 16:22, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm unsure what you mean by that, but I trust we are OK with the page content. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:09, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Absolutely. :) Everything Is Numbers (talk) 15:59, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Flies don't have brains[edit]

Technically, flies don't have brains. In a broad term they may be described as such, but a real brain is only present with Cephalochordata and further, more complex organisms. Anything below this group - including the fruit fly - has a collection of cerebral ganglia. This does not constitute a brain, which is an incredibly complex organ with differentiated areas which bears a basic structure resemblance compared to our, more complex brain. Granted, there has been some more differentiation between the Cephalochordata and the mammals, and some structures have become more dominant, but we can still find analogies between both. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.241.220.26 (talk) 22:14, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Admittedly, we are in the realm of terminology here, as opposed to unassailable fact, but here are my 2 cents. Arthropods do have heads, and some sort of ganglia/brain structure at the anterior end of the spinal cord, within the head. It's clearly the anterior end of a central nervous system. There seem to be sources that treat insect "brains" as brains, and I don't think this page misleads anyone into thinking that those structures are the same as in vertebrates. So I think we have enough sourcing to treat the material the way that this page does. Should we add something to indicate the alternative point of view? --Tryptofish (talk) 22:35, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I'd like to see a good recent source for that alternative point of view first. I could list boatloads of papers that refer to the "brain"s of insects, and in fact there is a pretty strong case that the brains of insects and vertebrates are homologous; see for example PMID 15770230. Looie496 (talk) 23:09, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Evolution[edit]

There needs to be a detailed section on how the brain evolved - from single-celled organisms with no brain, through primitive bilaterians with mere enlarged ganglions, to complex vertebrates with proper brains. Yes, there are scant explanations peppered throughout the article (e.g. in the "generic bilaterian nervous system" section, in the "vertebrates" section, etc), there is even a separate stub article on evolution of the brain... but, as with the article on eye, for example, we need a separate section on how the brain came to be, and, thereon in, on how it evolved. Please, someone with the knowledge on that, begin such a section. (same goes for liver - also needs an 'evolution' section) Thanks! BigSteve (talk) 12:37, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for drawing attention to that! Your comment made me realize that, although we actually have a dedicated page on Evolution of the brain, that wasn't obvious at this page. Consequently, I added a hatnote link where I think it first comes up. Given the link, I think we can just rely on the existing WP:Summary style here, instead of spinning out a longer section. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:34, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
Nice! I was actualy re-reading it and made a small but significant addition. This also allows for the Anatomy section to be expanded (maybe it can even be moved to the Physiology section, as it feels as if it belongs there better?) See what you think, revert it if you think I've gone too far. Thanks! BigSteve (talk) 19:54, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
All good. Even though "anatomy and physiology" often go well together as a combined subject, I decided to take a different approach, by keeping all those sub-sections where they have historically been, under the Anatomy header, but by having them grouped under Evolution, co-equally with the cellular material. In a sense, the material is written as the evolution of the anatomy, specifically. I also think that brain anatomy is, broadly speaking, a more important subject for this page than evolution is. But now, I think the arrangement is very logical, and it's easy to follow the link to the evolution of the brain page. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:49, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
Nifty! Looks good from where I'm standing, buddy :-) BigSteve (talk) 23:52, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! I think it's a good evolution of the page. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:24, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
I agree. Thank you! Lova Falk talk 17:30, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

The bilaterian tube-worm is an unwarranted abstraction. Lowest brained forms are pretty much just bilateralized cnidarians with the sense organs shifted to one side to form a head end, with no anus, and segmentation is minimal. Flatworms seem to have evolved from such intermediate forms. They are bilaterian, but not tube-like. So brains go back a bit further than the article claims. 69.121.117.192 (talk) 13:49, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

The now created information on Brain evolution is great, but due to its size relative to the overall article, perhaps it should be WP:SPLIT and replace the rather meager content at Evolution of the brain. --Animalparty-- (talk) 01:01, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

  "There needs to be a detailed section on how the brain evolved - from single-celled organisms with no brain, through primitive bilaterians with mere enlarged ganglions, to complex vertebrates with proper brains".

The problem with that is that there was no one evolutionary history of "the brain". There is the evolutionary history of, say, mammal brains, ant brains, etc. They are all going to be different. In particular, the last commpn ancestor of insects and mammals (jellyfish-like animals) would have had neurons, but no neuronal structures (ie, brains), therefore any resemblance between the brains of modern insects and modern mammals would have to be by convergent evolution. 80.6.141.160 (talk) 14:22, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Name[edit]

hi everybody I am a newbie so I am sorry for any mistakes alternative name for brain

the brain or encephalon the same for wikipedia.org/human_brain cite http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/encephalon http://education.yahoo.com/reference/gray/subjects/subject/186 and many other sourses thnaks — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zenhabit (talkcontribs) 22:02, April 3, 2013‎

Please see[edit]

There is a related discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Neuroscience#Brain size and Human brain size. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:03, 8 September 2014 (UTC)