Talk:Human brain

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...kudos for whoever wrote the final paragraph: "The computational power of the human brain is hard to measure [...] it writes the equation." It's powerful

I just read the last paragraph. I came to this discussion page to create a congratulation section, and found someone had beaten me to it.
This is a beautifully written, powerful, evocative exposition. It captures the idea in a wonderful visceral way, easily providing the reader with true insight.
Whoever you are, I say, "Great job. Keep up the good work."
Nwbeeson 13:54, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Although I do agree that it is well written, I also think that it is biased. The description of what a human is doing is lengthy and complex (and very good!), whilst the description of what the calculator/desktop computer is doing is just "...accomplished in a fraction of a second...", which isn't a very fair assessment of the process. It hasn't described how the calculator chip performs the function, nor does it describe the functions a modern desktop computer constantly performs to maintain itself. I agree that the speed of a brain is hard to measure in terms of raw processing power, but it's actually quite easy to measure how fast the brain is at performing specific functions. What is difficult is comparing relevant functions. For example, a calculator is designed to (wait for it...) calculate (!), and so it performs that function very well, whilst a human is not evolved to perform this function at the same speed. Although I've never done the experiment, I postulate that there's no great selection pressure for fast arithmetic in humans. On the other hand, a human brain function, such as recognising an emotion in a face, is under selective pressure (genes have been located from mutations in people with certain disorders). A human will perform this function much faster than a computer and will be much more subtle in its assessment of range. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:49, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Neocortex size[edit]

The human brain does not have the largest neocortex, as the article states. If we are only talking about primates, that's one thing.. but, elephants and dolphins have a larger neocortex. Before I change anything.. I'll get some academic references to back it up.

MrSandman 02:16, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

According to Dr. W.H. Calvin, in his book The River That Flows Uphill, the squirrel monkey has a larger brain to body ratio (1 to 31 or about 3.2%) compared with that of humans (1/49 or about 2.0%).

An article published in Natural History (December 1999-January 2000 issue) states: Pound for pound, the record for brain size is probably held by fruit-eating squirrel monkeys (genus Saimiri) of South America, whose brain account for 5 percent of their body weight, on average.

The hummingbird also has a larger brain/body ratio compared with that of humans. An article published in Brain Behavior and Evolution (37:85-91, 1991)states that the hummingbird has a brain mass of 228.85 mg and a body mass of 5,970.38 mg. This means that the brain-to-body ratio of a hummingbird is about 3.8%.

So, there is difference in opinion. One source says that the squirrel monkey has a brain/body ratio of 3.2% and another says 5%. Another source says that hummingbirds have a brain/body ratio of 3.8% which falls in the middle of the two values given for the squirrel monkey. 14:05, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

and in dolphins it's not actual brain mass but insulation 17:55, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Separate article on brain's anatomy?[edit]

I have noticed that the anatomy of the brain in this article is not very detailed. Especially if the coronal and horizontal sections were never shown. I wish to make a new article named "Human Brain (anatomy)", so that those who wish to know more can have a much more detailed anatomy of the brain. Also, in this article i will refer to come physiological functions of the different parts of the brain. I hope to hear feedback on this idea before I start, and hopefully there will be many other who are interested so they can also participate actively and help me out. Thank you. --LowLifer 03:13, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

It's a good idea to start a new article on the anatomy of the brain - there's a lot more that could be covered that would otherwise make this article too long. It should then be a {{main|Anatomy of the human brain}} (I think this title is more appropriate, btw) link from the Anatomy section. Anyone want to start the article? I'll volunteer to help copyedit ... Alex.tan 00:03, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

No dispute[edit]

There is no dispute over the content of this page.

One writer who has extra technical capacity, labeled an administrator, held a grudge against a person whom he thought was editing the article. The writer, RickK, went on a rampage of reverting articles edited by someone against whom he thought he held a grudge. That's all.

I don't know what KingTurtles goal was in blocking the article from further edits. At least, for now, he helped RickK control his behavior when RickK was otherwise unable to contribute to improving the content because of his raging hatred for a contributor he decided has no value.

There is no dispute over the content of this article and there never has been. It is a personality conflict driven by a long time contributor who feels his prejudices, based on his suspicions about the identity of writers, are a reliable guide for governing an open source project. Since users cannot be identified, attention to content provides a more reliable guideline than emotional reactions to personal suspicions.

RickK, and the handfull of other administrators who can be expected based on prior performance to jump into this or any other fray where they smell blood in the water, would do better to spend more time reviewing content and less time following their adrenal reactions when they get upset over circumstances they fear threatens their attachments to their status in a so-called community. Somebody else 05:15, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Does anyone know the copyright status of Image:Nih_brainpic.jpg? It purports to be from the National Institutes of Health, which would probably make it copyright-free. But it appears that there may be reason to carefully review the contributions of the user who uploaded it. There appears to be a similar situation with Image:Human_brain_NIH.jpg and Image:Human_Brain_NIH.jpg (two very similar, but distinct, images). Wmahan. 21:18, 2004 May 4 (UTC)
I found the NIH page for Image:Human_brain_NIH.jpg and put that info on the image page. Image:Human_Brain_NIH.jpg was merely a horizontal flip of the former. I redirected all links to the former picture and removed the latter. →Raul654 21:34, May 4, 2004 (UTC)
Nice job, and thanks for the prompt response! Wmahan. 21:50, 2004 May 4 (UTC)
Note also that Image:brain.png and the following text were repeatedly removed by anonymous users before the page was protected: Correlation of particular conscious activities with likely neural structures suggest three levels of consciousness in humans. One theory devides human consciousness into a protoself, a core consciousness and an extended consciousness.
User:Somebody else, I am a little skeptical of your comments because of your lack of useful contributions to Wikipedia. Wmahan. 21:26, 2004 May 4 (UTC)

image says of "brain" but it's actually "preserved brain" =[edit]

towards the end of the article, in common misconceptions, it says "brain isn't grey, it's red". however, caption under photo says "brain". photo contains lots of grey colour. therefore it not a brain, it a preserved brain. someone please comment/update as appropriate. [[User:lkcl|lkcl]

Placement of gruesome image[edit]

For those accustomed to seeing brains in laboratory settings, the upper placement of this image might be no problem. For others, especially those who may have had to wash away pieces of brain matter after a traumatic incident, placement of the image might tend to trigger unpleasant or even harmful memories. Since those who have seen brains before are not particularly served by one placement or the other, but those who may be sensitive to the issue could be disturbed, I recommend placing it lower on the page. Thus, readers have an opportunity to activate neuro-linguistic pathways that prime the brain for ideas about intimate exploration of externalized brains before parsing the image. Then, the image presents to a mind already contemplating brains in a laboratory setting rather than as a raw image that may trigger whatever thoughts of whatever might be their most recent or most defining experience with the subject of the image.

A better configuration might present the image in its original black background, as offered by NIH, or at least surrounded by a box. Not all readers are college students or graduates - some are veterans of war, or family members who have seen loved one's disembodied brain matter after a traumatic event. Since sometime sooner or later we will be experiencing the return to civilian life, and to the public readership, of recent war-veterans many of whom have been traumatized by viewing disembodied brain matter, and since their further traumatization might cause harm to them, their families or their communities, this consideration may be especially important. The top-of-page placement might be common style by force of habit in this project, but failure to consider diverse readers might be insensitive or even gratuitous.

In summary, if you are making scores of daily edits at Wikipedia based primarily on habit and subjective impressions, please pause a moment to contemplate the input of donors who have experience in matters regarding reader service, neurological assimilation of imagery and the social dynamics of traumatization.

Dubious 18:13, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)

This issue, where images on a page may be offensive to some, has come up before on (to my memory) Penis and John F. Kennedy assassination. Our policy is - Wikipedia is not bowdlerized, nor do we want to be. By your very own assertion, some people have bad memories associated with clowns - should that stop us from putting pictures on our clown article? Of course not. The picture here is much better than the old one - it is larger, higher resolution, and contains significantly more detial. It absolutely should go here.
It can also reasonable to conclude that the image with the most detail and resolution should be placed nearest the part of the article that contains the most detail and resolution. That way, the eye can go from text that explains details to images that exhibit those details. The top of the article is an overview, where competition for readers attention might distract from the overview or the table of contents. There has actually quite a bit of literature published on eye-movement and page layout. Sept. 11 was about the only time in recent publishing history when a major segment of the industry concurred that images best told the story and replaced dominant text with a dominant image in prime page-space. Dubious 19:02, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)
However, as a compromise, I would suggest using the old image at the top of the page, and the more detailed (possibly offensive) one later on. That way - as you suggest - the easily offended would not be 'shocked' into seeing it early in the article. →Raul654 18:28, Apr 15, 2004 (UTC)
That would work. If Wikipedia is not bowlderized means reader service always takes a back seat to the most raw, potentially offensive presentation of any image, then we could find plenty of raw images to shock readers who first open a page. But placing the image lower on the page doesn't necessarily bowlderize the image - it simply places it in a context that might best serve the most readers (rather than perhaps in a place that best serves the most tenecious editors by enforcing arbitary policy at the expense of all other considerations). Bowlderizaton alone might not be reason to consider aspects of reader service, but somewhere, if Wikipedia policies do not already, they need to explain and suggest reader service.
Your suggestion is exactly what I considered. The only reason I had not replaced the top image with another is that I had not yet found an image that fills the space and serves the reader by offering new information. The MRI composite on lists of regions brings in some new information - it at least allows comparative analysis of two different human brains and viewing formats, but I suspect their is an even better image somewhere, or that may be composed, for that prime spot on the page. If your doing images on this page, you have my vote for that configuration. My other advice would be that the MRI-composite should be flipped if it is placed on the right of the page, and likewise the photo-image should be unflipped if it is ever placed on the left. Comparison with the original NIH version indicates this is actually a mirrored image, and as such is an inaccurate depiction. Dubious 18:48, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Removal of {disputed}[edit]

Given an almost total lack of "factual dispute" on this talk page, I'm removing the {{disputed}} message from the article. -- Yath 09:11, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Heart-brain neurodynamics[edit]

Is anyone familiar with neurocardiology, such as the research done at the Heartmath Institute? I've read mention that activity in neural tissue in the human heart has been shown to influence behaviour and higher cognitive functions.. "heart-brain neurodynamics". It seems like making reference to or linking to an entry on this area in this article could be pertinent for many individuals in their understanding of the brain, although I'm not familiar enough with the field to know if it's considered controversial.

The summary of the book Neurocardiology--Anatomical and Functional Principles, by J. Andrew Armour, M.D., Ph.D, writes "Groundbreaking research in the field of neurocardiology has established that the heart is a sensory organ and a sophisticated information encoding and processing center, with an extensive intrinsic nervous system sufficiently sophisticated to qualify as a "heart brain." nectarflowed 17 Sept 2004

No, most probably because it is, in the vernacular, 'An utter load of bollocks'. This falls under the subject, however it is named formally, of the 'mapping' of the body into the brain's perception of reality. This is where you will find models such as the Sensory Homonculus and the Motor Homonculus. There were periods in old history where the heart was perceived - incorrectly - as the seat of emotion, due to the brain mapping sensations associated with strong feelings into the centre of the chest cavity, and also somewhat into the gut area. Its a shame that in this internet era so many misconceptions are being pushed to the fore again as viable theories, or worse 'facts'. (talk) 01:57, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Differences in male and female brains?[edit]

The male's and famale's brain is apparently quite different. However, there is no mention about it in the article.

Structurally, they are identical (IE, a male human's brain has all the same regions and connections as a female's). I suspect the difference is primarly chemical (IE, woman have a higher concentration of neurotransmitter X while men have more of neurotransmitter Y). →Raul654 11:02, Nov 27, 2004 (UTC)
That's bullshit, women consistently have a thicker corpus callosum. Babajobu 22:44, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I think this associated press quote has interesting bearing on this topic:
"The scientific dogma used to be that hormones alone could “masculinize” the brain, he said. But he identified 54 genes that work differently in the brains of male and female mouse embryos just 10 days after conception — before sex hormones are ever produced. Doctors also once thought that how people were raised and their genitalia were enough to determine gender...But Reiner began seeing children who had been assigned to one sex as babies and a few years later began identifying themselves as the other." [1]
--Nectarflowed 19:28, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The male and female brain develope differences in the womb.Look up the case of John/Joan. In 25 different cases of babies having sex reassignment (male to female) as the children progressed they experienced difficulties with their sex and eventually most became homosexuals. In reality their homosexuality was heterosexuality because their brains couldn't cope with being a diiferent sex. Also women and men have different responses to stimuli (i.e in men when a part of the brain increases because of the stimuli a womens brain in this area will decrease.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

"There is a positive relationship between the size of the brain and intelligence[8][9] [10]Women had smaller brains than men even when the difference in body length was taken into account." This statement implies that men are more intelligent than women. While the facts themselves may be true, there are many studies that prove that while the male and female brain work very differently, none is superior to the other. Wikipedia should not be a place to sneak in personal views on which sex is superior. Shame on the writer. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:51, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Functions of parts of the brain[edit]

I've seen pictures that show what each part of the brain does (ie, the front lobe performs xx function). it would be nice to see that information of wikipedia. Jm51 02:35, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)

This article is indeed in dire need of a proper diagram of the brain. - Quirk 14:05, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Mind and brain[edit]

I read there is no dispute over the accuracy of this article; however I think it implies we know more about the relation between mind and brain than we actually do. I also think an article on the differences between males and females would be welcome; I tried to find on starting here. Gene Ward Smith 19:48, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)


When does the brain fully mature?

I've seen claims that in humans there are still maturation events up until about an average age of 26. I'll try to hunt up a reference for that. --JWSchmidt 23:12, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
This is an article with the full text online that talks about "synaptic pruning, in determining the ultimate density of mature frontal lobe cortical gray matter". This study had a young adult group with average age 25.6 ± 2.0 years for which they reported that, "continued brain growth does occur between adolescence and adulthood in the very dorsal-most aspects of the posterior frontal lobes bilaterally and in the posterior inferior temporal lobes bilaterally". They discuss such changes in terms of maturation of the synaptic connectivity of the brain that usually involves reductions in total synaptic complexity and increases in the white matter of the brain. Some people have talked about these kinds of maturation processes continuing well into adulthood. I think it is important to try to match adult brain structural changes to cognitive changes that we are willing to call maturation of brain function. Some developmental psychologists have identified cognitive abilities that seem to mature in the mid to late 20s. For example, Kurt Fischer has talked about "principled reasoning" that only starts to develop in the mid-20s. Other researchers have suggested that some of the brain maturation that takes place in the 20s is important for allowing people to ignore distractions and concentrate on desired cognitive activities. --JWSchmidt 01:30, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

Suggest Adding Info on the Human Brain's Estimated Memory Capacity[edit]

A very common question is "what's the storage capacity of human memory ?". Until very recently this was essentially unknown, because the actual physical mechanism underlying memory was unknown. There was some wild, unfounded speculation such as the referenced Morevec paper in the "Brain as Computer" section. [2]

However a recent authoritative research paper now estimates human memory capacity at 10^8432 bits, which is astronomical. If so, the Morevec paper's estimate of 100 million megabytes (10E14 bytes) human memory capacity is low by four orders of magnitude.

Discovering The Capacity Of Human Memory, Y. Wang, et al, Brain and Mind, Aug. 2003 [3]

This impacts statements in the section on "Brain as Computer" about expected timeframe for computer/brain computational equivalence. Unlike the Morevec paper this Wikipedia article didn't directly state total equivalence, but CPU parity. However this could easily be misunderstood. The reason is cognitive neuroscientists believe memory is the foundation of intelligence. IOW you need more than trillions of MIPS. You must also have memory capacity that, if not approaching the human brain, is at least a sizeable fraction of it. If so it will be a very long time before computer memory capacity remotely approaches that of the human brain. Joema 20:16, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Suggest Adding Info on Past Brain Analogies[edit]

It was good the section on "Brain as Computer" mentioned the flaws in this analogy. However I'd suggest adding a statement about previous historical analogies. During the industrial revolution the brain was likened to a complex machine. Later it was likened to a telephone switchboard. I myself remember that being taught in the 1950s. Machines and switchboards were the most complex commonly known items in those respective periods. Stating this helps to understand how the computer analogy is simply that -- a rough analogy. In fact the brain is not like a mechanical machine, or a switchboard, or a computer. It is completely different.

However suggest revising the statement "today's computers operate by performing often sequential instructions from an input program", since many large computers are massively parallel and can process many simultaneous instruction streams. The IBM Blue Gene/L supercomputer can have 65,000 parallel processors. Also each processor internally is simultaneously performing many parallel operations. [4] Joema 20:16, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

If a computer is programmed to survive, it might behave more like a brain and less like a machine. 

Humans have a large frontal lobe. That enables greater abstraction of sensory input than other life forms have. Humans lack strong teeth, sharp claws, or fur. The ablity to abstract is what makes humans able to adapt rapidly. The frontal lobe is strong enough to abstract the very act of survival itself and this is what makes the human brain very unique. It is possible that if human beings had sharp teeth, or claws, or fur, then the need to abstract would be lessened and this characteristic might disappear over time. The same could be said if humans had unlimited power that ensured their survival, for example, superior weaponry, large sums of inherited money, a nanny, a powerful family, or a social safety net that ensures survival. Life forms develop different areas of their brains in order to survive, and the human brain is no different from others in this respect.

Thoughts on article[edit]

After a cursory reading, I have some suggestions for this article that I'd like to open up for discussion:

  • The overview section immediately begins with technical language that is inaccessible to a lay reader.
  • The image highlighting the various lobes is with the function section, but that section only briefly mentions the frontal lobe. Perhaps the functions section should be expanded to discuss the functions of the specific lobes to correspond with the image.
  • The function section also repeats information that is present in the myths section (only using 10% of the brain)...I think that paragraph should be removed from the functions section and the information incorporated with the listing in the myths section.
  • Information about imaging techniques (MRI, CT, etc..) should be included...possibly in the study section.
  • The articles listed in the see also section seem a little random--Jfurr1981 00:26, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Suggest rename of Myths to Popular misconceptions[edit]

The use of the word 'myth' isn't really correct from an academic perspective (see myth). Would anyone object to renaming this section to Popular misconceptions? --unsigned comment posted by WhiteCat

Sounds fine to me. Semiconscioustalk 17:51, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
I third that and it's done. --TheLimbicOne(talk) 18:17, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Ok, good. I've also tweaked the lead sentence in this section to match the change. More challenging is replacing the word 'Myth' prefixing each item in the list - is Misconception too clumsy? Is it necessary at all? WhiteCat 07:51, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Will that work (removed "myth" from beginings of bullets)? Also reworded 10% bullet. --TheLimbicOne(talk) 10:13, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
It reads well to me. The Creativity can be easily developed using simple brainstorming/lateral thinking techniques item doesn't have any countering text with it, which makes it a little less obviously false, to my mind. Is there some background that can be added to this? WhiteCat 10:39, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree, but I don't know the factual text. I am rather interested in the answer.--TheLimbicOne(talk) 19:14, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Why not try Common Misconceptions? Popular just does not seem right.

☻wilted☻rose☻dying☻rose☻ (talk) 13:57, 19 November 2007 (UTC)


"Thus, a male brain is about the same size as an equivalent female brain."

This sentence is completely illogical in context. It contradicts the previous two statements. If an average male brain has 100 grams more tissue than an average female brain, they can't be the same size. The article already established the greater importance of brain to body weight ratio. This further statement added no value and confused the point. --TheLimbicOne(talk) 20:45, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Too many links![edit]

Regarding this recent edit [5], I think it adds too many links (see Wikipedia:Manual of Style (links)). Can we tone it down a bit? Some are relevant, but lots aren't. Just from the first couple of sections alone, we've got links to: animals, species, sense, environment, average, kg, pounds, adult, cm, male, females, sexes, ratio, energy, body, heat, air, fluid movement (links to fluid dynamics), fluid, ml, day, death (!), mother, child, medicine, kingdom, year (!). WhiteCat 04:22, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Well, I'd say something, but clearly I think it's okay. A lot of the words are difficult and not at all common. I don't think your average user with an average education would be able to define species, sense, average, kg, cm, ratio, energy, heat, fluid dynamics, ml, death, medicine, or kingdom. Some may seem more common, but may be of interest to a casual reader on a wiki-stroll. You link to the Wikipedia:Manual of Style (links) states the following:

On the other hand, do not make too many links. An article may be considered overlinked if any of the following is true:

  • more than 10% of the words are contained in links;
  • it has more links than lines;
  • a link is repeated in the same article (although there may be case for duplicating an important link that is distant from the previous occurrence);
  • more than 10% of the links are to articles that don't exist; or
  • low added-value items are linked without reason, e.g., 1995, 1980s and 20th century.

None of which are suggestions I'm close to violating. So yeah, that's my defense. Of course, with this being wikipedia if you choose to undo some links I won't complain, though I'd like to hear what others think first. Semiconscioustalk 06:45, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I suggest some (certainly not all) fall into the low added-value items are linked without reason category. How are the concepts of day, average or kg (for example) specifically relevant to the human brain, or to the category in general? Once you start including links to topics like these which aren't immeditately relevant, then how do you draw the line? I could argue you've left out system, order, unique, the etc etc... Eventually, especially as wikipedia grows, what *won't* be linkable? Remember, any unlinked term a user doesn't recognise is still only a cut+paste+search away. WhiteCat 15:10, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
I think average and kg are two concepts that few people understand or will recognize; but this is all subjective. I'm admittedly a heavy interlinker. Day, year, mother, etc. may be excessive however. Semiconscioustalk 18:10, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Agreed, it is subjective. I've found Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Wiki-Linking and Wikipedia:Only make links that are relevant to the context useful as a guide. So, here's a list of less-relevant links that I suggest we should remove, broken down by section:
  • Anatomy: adult, kg, pounds, average, volume, cm, male, female, ratios, energy, body, infant, heat, air, fluid, ml, day, death, mother, child, medicine, kingdom, year
  • Function: 19th century, biological, researches, behaviours
  • Study of the brain: scientifically, 1990s, 21st century, millenia, studies, systems
  • Popular misconceptions: grey, jelly red, chemicals, resins, advertisement, firing, cultural
  • Brain enhancement: electric
  • Comparison of the brain and a computer: analogies, 2030
What do you think? WhiteCat 08:22, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Sure thing! You're not going to get complaints from me. Stepping away from it now, what was I thinking? 2030, grey, and day?!? Some of them I do think are worth keeping however: medicine, kingdom, biology/biological, research/researchers, behavior/behaviours, science/scientifically; those are all related to biology, science, and research: definitely relevant to the article. All the rest I've gotten rid of. Does this sound like a reasonable compromise? Semiconscioustalk 20:44, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Absolutely, thanks. WhiteCat 01:23, 4 February 2006 (UTC)


I thought that WP:Cite Sources endorsed using a visible in text citation per the Harvard style. In anycase, I think it's appropriate to place a visible citation along with the link so that after a user links to the reference section, they know which reference they're looking for. If the citations are numbered and the reference section has corresponding numbers, only then would it be unnecessary to use the parentheses citation. Bottom line: I think it's more clear if the in text citation has some visible reference to the author or title (whichever is listed first) in the reference section. --TheLimbicOne(talk) 15:45, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Coloration of the Brain[edit]

The information on the color of the human brain may be innacurate, as many sources I have referenced including teachers (Sean Mars, Richland School District), Washington Knowledge Bowl, and others have said that the brain color is indeed gray, but is saturated with blood, which makes it appear red. Please confirm the posted information, and cite sources directly relating to the subject on the discussion page with regards to this issue.

Thank You, Mike Moceri

This is a picture of an exposed human brain during surgery. It is clearly reddish in color due to the huge amount of vasculaturization. I have other photos taken during surgeries that confirm what this site is saying, but I don't have the permissions to post them. There aren't really any more references because, well, that's just what the brains look like. The grey color is caused by the preserving process. Brains also appear grey in MRI scans. However the living brain is very much red-colored. Semiconscioustalk 08:11, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Um, Semi? Brains are gray in an MRI because the image is in black and white. I think the question is what color is a brain when the blood is removed. From first-hand experience, when blood is flushed out of a brain using saline perfusion, the brain is a pinkish beige, niether gray nor red. This is a process I've done many times to prepare mouse and rat brains for immunohistochemistry or in situ hybridization. Sayeth 12:30, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Where did I say anything that disagrees with this? Unless I'm missing something, it sounds like we're in agreement here. :) Semiconscioustalk 17:10, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

To my way of thinking, at surgery, the brain tissue is not "red", the arterial blood or extravasated venous blood (once leaking and exposed to oxygen) is red. The intact veins and venous sinuses are dark blue / purple, but that does not make the brain itself red, white and blue. I think one should refer to the colour of the nervous tissue itself. Surgically, in a live person, the brain nerve tissue is very much off-white. The picture you refer to shows the fine vessels outside the brain tissue, with what looks like intact arachnoid, and an obvious almost black vein. Dissecting into the brain itself shows mostly white to grey nerve tissue, not red. When the brain during surgery goes "red" it is sometimes referred to as an "angry brain", and a sure sign of some disaster that has happened causing blood flow to alter (often followed by severe and catastrophic swelling, with a poor prognosis). This may be related to the "pinkish" that Sayeth refers to, or may change with the kind of light being used. If someone said my brain was "red" I'd be very worried. Maybe my observation are biased, in that one sort of ignores the redness, since one is more interested in the white parts! Yet I think one should follow the convention used in describing other organ systems, in that one usually refers to the bloodless colour, e.g. the colour of bone, thyroid, pancreas, liver, heart (muscle is definitely red, and pale brownish colour when preserved in formalin) generally refers to the colour of the active organ tissue itself, rather than to the blood vessel colours. --Seejyb 23:25, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree with describing bloodless tissue. From my experience (medical student with significant neurosurgical experience), I have always described the tissue as yellow/tan/gray/off-white, generally with the lighter gray/tan regions corresponding to highly cellular areas (cortex, nuclei) and yellow/whitish areas with high fat concentration (from myelination of the fiber tracts). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:08, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
sorry, forgot to sign, --Stadler981 (talk) 04:11, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Neuroscience project to make this a featured article[edit]

I read on the Neuroscience project which I've just joined that there is an intention to work on this article becoming a featured one. (Terrible sentence I know but I'm hung-over. At the moment this is a neuroscience article and not at all accessible to a lay reader. That said, it is all correct! I'm starting to feel that some articles need two pages; one for a lay audience and one for a technical audience.--PaulWicks 12:10, 18 February 2006 (UTC)


I have heard that the human brain is remarkably efficient; it can operate on only 12 Watts of power. Perhaps someone else knows a little more? In any case, I think the required power for a human brain is relevant and should be added. --???

This is a very important point in my opinion too. There is a brain-computer comparison in the article that claims brain to be massively parallel system in terms of computing. If this was true the brain would require and emit a lot of energy. I would appreciate some links to different views on the matter. It's rather a clever structure that we don't understand and not the computational power that makes the difference. What this mean is that the parallel processes of the brain may be sequentialized in a different and cost-effective model. It may also mean that digital intelligence once created may be much more efficient than our brains on PCs available nowadays. --Agsamek 20:11, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
You are thinking about it the wrong way. The brain communicates via chemical messengers as well as electrical gradients.. it's more commplicated than the computer example.

Only 10% of Neurons Fire Simultaneously[edit]

The above claim is made in the main article. I have been unable to locate an academic reference to this. Can a direct reference be provided? -- User: RainOfSteel (no user page) 22:22 MDT, 22 March 2006

I'm not sure about Neurons, but according to What the Bleep?, the brains processes over 400,000,000,000 (400 billion) bits of information a second, and are aware of only about 2,000 of them, whichs is 0.0000005%. I guess most of that is neurons. --Firehawk1717 01:08, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
I think the entire notion is bogus and can be safely deleted. Firehawk, so far as I know there is no direct relationship between the complexity of information and the number of neurons "firing". I don't quite know where those numbers come from, it could easily be accounted for by visual input alone. However the brain is full of pre-attention systems that filter out the vast majroity of information and translate it into a format we recognise. There are a range of psychiatric disorders that show us what happens when those filtering systems malfunction...--PaulWicks 19:04, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
I appreciate your comments. RainOfSteel 14:02, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
The above link to "What the Bleep?" is not working at the current moment. I have seen the movie. I found it interesting, but I also recognize that statements are made within it that do not find wide acceptance in the scientific/physics community, and therefore am not sure of the reliability of its statements on cognitive neurobiology. RainOfSteel 14:02, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Nitpicking fun: 'Known' species?[edit]

Regarding this edit [6], isn't by definition a species known, since it's a classification? Regardless, I think the qualifier of 'generally regarded' already does enough from making this statement too absolute... WhiteCat 07:06, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

CSF does not affect weight, and a gram is a unit of mass[edit]

I'm too tired to edit the page. It's much easier to ramble. Here's the problematic line:

"a brain that weighs 1,500 g in air weighs only 50 g when suspended in CSF (Livingston, 1965)."

Anyone who didn't sleep through Physics 1 sees the problems. A 1,500 g mass is a 1,500 g mass in air, in CSF, on Mars, anywhere except on that mythical spaceship going .999 * c (the speed of light).

Things don't get "lighter" in different media. They get lighter in weaker gravitational fields.

Looking at the weight article I think we can get away with using the "widely-used practical technical definition" here. Or we could write 'has an apparant weight of' instead, but that seems a bit clumsy - does the reader care? WhiteCat 05:53, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Suggest: Add info about what is good for the brain and what is less good.[edit]

I think it would be good to add some information about certain facts that are proved by scientists, on what things are good/bad for the brain. 12:50, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Controversial. --PaulWicks 19:05, 20 July 2006 (UTC)


By definition the human brain is the most complex thing concievable. More complex things may exist but using our brain we cannot concieve what they may be. SmokeyTheFatCat 20:10, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Can you rephrase that? Like the human brain is extremely complex, it cannot think of anything more complex?
☻wilted☻rose☻dying☻rose☻ (talk) 14:03, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Motor function[edit]

"The human brain is the source of the conscious, cognitive mind. The mind is the set of cognitive processes related to perception, interpretation, imagination, memories, and crucially language (cf. Broca's area) of which a person may or may not be aware. Beyond cognitive functions, the brain regulates autonomic processes related to essential body functions such as respiration and heartbeat."

From this paragraph should I assume the brain has nothing to do with motor function? --Gbleem 23:02, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Err, what?[edit]

I don not understand an analogy presented in the section explaining the possible sexual dimorphism of the brain. At the very end of the paragraph it says that comparing the weight of two home computers gives "useful" information about their performance. Err, what? I'm pretty sure the laptop I am using at the time of writing (made in 2004) is vastly superior to an old computer (i.e. the ones made in the 80's). Geohevy 03:39, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
"It should also be noted that because of these differences in brain development and function, correlation between weight and even grey-matter may be insignificant; much as comparing the weight of different home computers will give little useful information about their efficiency." --JWSchmidt 04:41, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I just noticed that it says little information. XD Geohevy 20:04, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

What a Turing Machine is[edit]

I took out the following:

(which shows that any computation that can be performed by a parallel computer can be done by a sequential computer)

Turing's thesis states that anything that is computable can be computed with a turing machine, and that if a Turing machine can't compute it, then it is impossible to compute. The statement I took out was irrelevent tangent to Turing machines. Epachamo 00:00, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Also, a computer is not a Turing Machine. Epachamo 00:02, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Von Neumann Model[edit]

From the article: "Ultimately, computers were not designed to be models of the brain". I do not believe this to be entirely true. One of the main contributers to the contstruction of the computer, John Von Nuemann tried to model the computer after the human brain [7]. He even wrote a book about it, called "The Computer and the Brain." Even Alan Turing was keen to the idea of a computer modeling the brain [8]. As a side note, since the tape on the turing machine is infinite, it seems to me that although it is digital, it could perfectly model any analog process conceivable. I further fail to see why it would matter that the human brain is digital or analog. Turings thesis states that anything that can be logically contrived (algorithmically) can be contrived through a turing machine [9]. In other words, no matter how the brain works, it still can't compute more than a turing machine. Maybe I am not understanding something. Could someone please explain? Epachamo 22:34, 7 March 2007 (UTC)


Where is the talk of NT's??? I noticed this when they were excluded from the comparison of computers to the brain. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 07:06, 30 March 2007 (UTC).

Brain <> computer comparison (amateur)[edit]

Due brain design and their materia it is obvious that ther processing power is parallel-analog. But since analaog information can be (easely) distorted, so can be our vision (optical frauds, etc), taste, memoires and so on. Hand-shaking is an example: like feed-back from speaker to microphone: you get oscillations. It is also obvious that small brain is 'older' in design, thus it is used for more 'ancient' and primary functions (compare it to BIOS in PC, if you like) such as pulse rate, breathing and movement of muscules. Large brain has become developed by thinking, talking, and emotioning etc. Basic building blocks of brain must be realitively simple (like assembler code). But through combinations of connections between them they evolved into new types with more funcionality and efficency. Also, development phase of brain (ex. childhood) is very coincidential and randomized, so later each individual can have it's own attitude and capabilities. There could be connection between brain development and prolongth of life (longer life-> more developed brain) also. It is not possible to simulate brain on computer. At least not with technology we have now. If we would be able to build parallel analog electronic computer, we would be much closer. Analog procesing is much more efficient than digital though it may not be accurate as much.

While much of what you say might be true, it appears speculative and sounds like original research. I don't recommend putting it into the article. This article about a researcher in Florida who combined rat brain tissue and a computer to control a flight simulator might be of interest to you. Also, there is such a thing as an analog computer Epachamo 00:21, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

g as unit for weight?[edit]

In the following sentence: "The brain is suspended in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which also fills spaces called ventricles inside it. The dense fluid protects the brain and spinal cord from shock; a brain that weighs 1,500 g in air weighs only 50 g when suspended in CSF (Livingston, 1965)"

the metric untit gramm is used as a measurement for weight, which is wrong as far as I know. gramms are only used as units for mass. And I don't think that the mass of the brain changes in the fluid.

Newtons. But seriously, most people take gravity at 9.8 as a given. On the other hand, I suppose we're here to make people think...
The gravitational field is numerically equal to the acceleration of objects under its influence, and its value at the Earth's surface, denoted g, is approximately 9.8 m/s². From gravity.
Also see Weight#SI units.
Samsara (talk  contribs) 08:17, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Comparison of the brain and a computer, central error[edit]

The dramatic conclusion to the comparison revolving around hard wired abilities is in fact false, many modern computer components come with wiring to pefrorm certain common tasks with much greater efficiency, and this hardwiring does not need to be limited to simple functions see:

Stalinbulldog 10:56, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

100 trillion (1012) instructions per second?[edit]

If this figure is correct, I would like to point people to this BBC article about a new supercomputer that can runs 10 times faster than that. -- 10:34, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Its information thats been taken out of context, the prediction was for a thousand dollar computer, I don't know what Blue Gene/L costs but I think it would be a little more than that right now. -- Dan R

Most of brain matter is redundant?[edit]

An interesting article of tiny-brained man with shocking pictures. - G3, 08:23, 21 July 2007 (UTC) mkjhgfdgkjlşkjhgfhh —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:03, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Neurophysiology, not Function[edit]

When we are discussing the physical structure of the brain, we are talking about neurophysiology, not function. This is pretty basic stuff. When we are talking about what the physical structures do, we are talking about the function of the parts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Promodulus (talkcontribs) 22:17, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Do individual neurons compute in binary?[edit]

There is a statement in the last line of the article body, under "Comparison of the brain and a computer", which says "It is important to note, however, that individual neurons do compute in binary." Do they? I think they do, but I don't see a source. I'll remove the statement until somebody can find a source. I'll be looking for one too, so this shouldn't take very long. monroe transfer surprise delight 22:42, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Alright, nobody's responded, so I'm going to get working on this myself. I'd REALLY appreciate it if somebody more knowledgeable could help me out in verifying/falsifying the claim. monroe transfer surprise delight 18:27, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

The Length of the Brain[edit]

I cannot recall the length of the average human brain if it were to be "unfolded" and laid out in a straight line, perhaps i can get some help on this matter. Or am i thinking of the length of the small intestine laid out? I know that fact is floating around somewhere out there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:07, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Trust me, you're thinking of the intestines. The brain has no "length", as it's not composed of strings or fibers. monroe transfer surprise delight 18:44, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

There are figures like that for the brain. I believe that if unfolded the brain would be about the size and shape of a pillowcase. I think I learned that on the discovery channel so it will be hard to reference. Just a fun factoid. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Squirrel9000 (talkcontribs) 00:06, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Grammar Problems[edit]

Under Study of the Brain, the second to last paragraph is:

The first language area within the left hemisphere to be discovered is called Broca's Area, after Paul Broca. It turns out that Broca's area is not just a matter of getting language out in a motor sense, though. It seems to be more generally involved in the ability to deal with grammar itself, at least the more complex aspects of grammar. For example, when they hear sentences that are put into a passive form, they often misunderstand: If you say "the boy was hit by the girl," they may understand you as communicating that the boy slapped the girl instead.

Not only does it not say who "they" are or is, but it seems like it is using they for a singular person. In addition, the last sentence is generally unclear. For now I will change it to:

The first language area within the left hemisphere to be discovered is called Broca's Area, after Paul Broca. The Broca's area doesn't just handle getting language out in a motor sense, though. It seems to be more generally involved in the ability to deal with grammar itself, at least the more complex aspects of grammar. For example, it handles distinguishing a sentence in passive form from a simpler subject-verb-object sentence. For instance, the sentence: "The boy was hit by the girl." implies the girl hit the boy, not the other way around. As a simple subject-verb-object interpretation it could mean: "The boy was hit by the girl.", and therefore, the boy hit the girl.

Inaccuracy in the first statement.[edit]

I could not make sense of the first sentence of this article which says "The human brain controls the central nervous system (CNS), by way of the cranial nerves and spinal cord, the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and regulates virtually all human activity".

On the face of it, this sentence is completely inaccurate since the 'human brain' is nothing but the central nervous system and the spinal cord put together. However, in this sentence it is being described as a separate entity. The source referred to for this statement does not make such a distinction. Instead it says "The brain and the spinal cord together make up the central nervous system, which communicates with the rest of the body through the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system consists of 12 pairs of cranial nerves extending from the cerebrum and brain stem"

Suggest the following statement instead:

"The human brain is a part of the central nervous system which includes the brain proper, and the spinal cord. The brain regulates virtually all human activity by the way of the spinal cord, the peripheral nervous system. "

Apaxon (talk) 10:20, 29 November 2007 (UTC)apaxon

Brain/Computer comparison--original research, NPOV problems.[edit]

This section is giant and has very few references and may represent original research. It also does not maintain NPOV, as certain fields (i.e., Evolutionary Psychology) actively maintain that the brain is not only like a computer, but that it is a computer, which is in contradiction to the description given in this section.

Ehb (talk) 18:18, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

I completely agreeEpachamo (talk)

This article should positively demonstrate the original, biased research inherent in this section [10] Epachamo (talk) 15:48, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

brain nuerons and sex[edit]

Men have more nuerons than females. brain vs sex is a needed section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:21, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

I would call it The brain and gender Epachamo (talk) 03:30, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree. The word sex is confusing until you read into what he is saying. And men goes with women and males with females. (talk) 08:17, 6 July 2008 (UTC)


It would be interesting to see a discussion of subjective sensation within the brain. I understand that the dura mater has considerable sensitivity, but that the brain proper is generally regarded to be without sensation. Subjectively, it is my impression that there is some sort of cardiovascular sensation - for example, when I was learning to drive it seemed like a broad band almost from ear to ear vaguely corresponding to the premotor cortex was sore like an exercised muscle. Also, occasionally it feels like there is a slight sensation of touch as a region is activated (for instance, when a sudden strong realistic desire expands the left prefrontal cortex to slide backward past the right). I'm not sure what sort of research covers this ;) Wnt (talk) 05:24, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

It's not the full story, but you might be interested in looking at touch illusion. The full story is basically that perceptions of any sort are never simple products of raw sensory input, they are interpretations constructed within the brain. In the case of your "learning to drive" example, very likely what you were feeling was tension in the muscles of your head and neck. Not sure if this is covered anywhere on Wikipedia, but if not, perception would probably be the place for it. Looie496 (talk) 16:22, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Structure/size, averages/diversity[edit]

Started to re-add a brief summary of the human stuff now at brain size, but realized it overlaps a lot with the structure section here. Could briefly integrate the key points into that section? or subsection somehow? Do need to include a sense of the diversity/neuroplasticity as well as just averages. EverSince (talk) 21:21, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

By "overlaps" you don't mean "restates the same facts", do you? I don't see that, at any rate. If you mean that brain size is an aspect of structure and therefore the material ought to be integrated rather than placed in a separate section, I agree with that completely. Looie496 (talk) 01:37, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Oh the latter yeah... EverSince (talk) 15:16, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Umm, now wondering whether some of the other stuff might be better in a section on plasticity and influences or something (i.e. genetic & environmental, across lifespan) EverSince (talk) 00:10, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Unproven statement[edit]

At the top of the article it is stated:

"...and some regions of the human brain, such as those devoted to language, have no clear counterparts in the brains of other animals."

This, other than showing no citation, is contrary to many studies and should not be stated as a fact. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:58, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

I've removed that, thank you. If you spot other problems, please feel free to fix them. Looie496 (talk) 23:23, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Billion and trillion[edit]

According to the ethymology of these words the American, the modern English and modern Australian meanings differ from the meanings of numerous other languages. Because, due to its enormous size the English language Wikipedia is often used by editors of other languages as basis for their articles, it will be useful to put in brackets after the words appropriately 109, 1012 and/or 18. I shall do so here, wherever I find these words. Let's be helpful if we can! LouisBB (talk) 08:36, 25 February 2009 (UTC)


There has been some back and forth about the split-brain material. Let me explain how it works: the way to keep this straight is to remember that each side of the brain deals with the opposite side of the body and the opposite side of visual space. The retina-to-brain connections that make this come about are sort of complicated, but that's the end result. It's a functional arrangement because the hemisphere that handles visual input from one side also manages the hand on that side, facilitating eye-hand coordination. I can't immediately provide a ref to back this up, but it's explained in every basic neuroscience textbook's section of the visual system. Looie496 (talk) 23:56, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Hydrocephaly issue[edit]

I am temporarily removing a sentence that was just added saying There has been at least one case of a man leading a normal life with his brain reduced to just a thin layer (see Hydrocephalus#Exceptional case)., and would like to explain why. First, it was inserted into the article at a place where it doesn't belong, and would at the least need to be given context. More importantly, though, there are serious concerns about the validity of the statement. Let me give a bit of background.

The idea that people can live normal lives with hardly any brain is a long-standing "urban meme", dating back to claims by a pediatrician named John Lorber in the 1970s that cases could be seen among hydrocephaly patients. His arguments got a lot of attention and resulted in a BBC TV show, but unfortunately were not backed up by any scientific publications other than a news report (not a scientific paper) in Science.

More recently, there has been a 2007 report of the Brain of a white-collar worker used to justify the sentence added to this article. This was widely reported by TV and newspapers, but in scientific terms was documented only by a one-page letter to The Lancet. Letters to medical journals are generally reviewed and therefore must be taken seriously, but there are issues with this one. First, although the patient was a white-collar worker, his IQ was rated 75, which is severely impaired. Second, the medical team found it necessary to implant a new hydrocephaly shunt in his brain, which implies that his hydrocephaly was unstable at the time of the scan and therefore the ventricles might have been larger at the time of scan than for most of his life. I'm going to need to read up on this more carefully, but that's my take at this time.

Finally, it is perhaps worth pointing out that the great majority of people with very severe hydrocephaly are totally nonfunctional in intellectual terms -- not even capable of minimal levels of self-care. A very important claim such as that it is possible to have a functional mind without a functional brain requires very strong evidence, and such evidence does not yet exist as far as I can tell. Looie496 (talk) 15:17, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

I think your reasoning is very sound, and you've explained it in exemplary detail. As a follow-up, though, should there be some correction at the linked section at hydrocephalus? --Tryptofish (talk) 22:02, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
I'd be in favor of that. Looie496 (talk) 17:16, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't agree. (I'm the one who put the sentence in, by the way.) First of all, I think the place where I put the sentence was a good place for it, since it was talking about the weight and volume of the human brain!

Beyond that, although you call it an "urban meme" (as though farmers never believe such things!), you nevertheless mention that Science reported on it, and you give a very interesting link with a lot more information. Did you read it? Lorber compiled data on hundreds of people (mostly children I gather) with hydrocephaly, and found many astonishing cases. For instance he found 9 people whose brain was about 95% missing, yet about half had IQs above 100. There's one young man with an IQ of 126 who has something like 50 to 150 grams of brain (instead of 1500 grams).

The fact that this is astounding is not a reason not to put it in the article. There is sufficient documentation of the case I mentioned as well as many others. Even if an IQ of 75 is "severely impaired" as you say, the man nevertheless led a normal life and held a normal job! It doesn't matter if his hydrocephaly was unstable -- the point is that he functions normally even though, at times or always, his brain is compressed to a thin layer. (Your link even shows the scans.) It doesn't matter that the majority of hydrocephalic people are severely retarded. We're talking about the fact that it is possible to lead a normal life (or even have an IQ of 126 and a math degree as the young man) with very little brain, we're not talking about what the average is.

You can put discussion of such questions as the average IQ of hydrocephalics in the article on hydrocephaly (but without deleting the information on the exceptional cases). But I'm putting my sentence back in the article on the human brain. By the way, here is a link to some more discussion of whether it's true or not (in the comments down after the main article): New Scientist article

Eric Kvaalen (talk) 18:26, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

The problem with Lorber's work is that, to the best of my knowledge (and I searched very extensively), none of it was ever published in reputable peer-reviewed scientific journal articles. The same thing applies to every other claim of this phenenomenon, with, as far as I know, the sole exception of the short letter you have cited. There's a whole bunch of "I have seen" or "somebody told me", but a vast shortage of actual documented evidence. I would be strongly in favor of having a Wikipedia article devoted to this issue and linking to it from the Human Brain article, but I don't think there is space to discuss it adequately here without greatly overweighting it. Looie496 (talk) 19:12, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
In short, I agree with Looie. I have reverted the re-introduction of the sentence, and I will explain my reasoning here. As a minor point, any sentence starting with "But" loses credibility with me from the get-go. But that's a minor point! Of greater significance, putting the sentence back in when other editors had objected to it was anti-consensus. On the merits, the mention in Science was a news piece, not an article or report, and so is not scientifically peer-reviewed material. (And urban legend is a phrase for bogus rumors, and has nothing to do with urban/rural.) How can one assess the accuracy of "there are many cases?" How many are "many?" As Looie correctly says, it would be WP:UNDUE to include this fringe theory here. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:20, 11 August 2009 (UTC)


Could use many more citations. Adding [citation needed] in spots I'm really not sure are accurate. --Bcjordan (talk) 02:47, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

In one of the sections the article states rats can move around with their entire cerebral cortex removed. I'm not a Wikipedia editor, so I dunno if that deserves a 'citation desperately needed' tag or a 'complete and utter bullshit' tag. (talk) 03:00, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
See PMID 7251954; I'll add this to the article although I think there are probably better sources out there somewhere. Looie496 (talk) 04:34, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Actually PMID 564358 is probably more directly supportive. Looie496 (talk) 04:36, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the request for citation and Looie496 for finding the article. This article needs everyone's help to get its citation backing up to a reasonable level. In the future, you can add a request for citation by clicking edit and placing the text {{citation needed}} next to the ambiguous statement. --Bcjordan (talk) 04:57, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Corpus Callosum Cavity[edit]

Pictures depict a cavity within the confides of the corpus callosum (see image file Corpus callosum.jpg displayed in the Lateralization section of the article). It must have a special purpose, but I can't find any notation on it. Does it contain fluids, oxygen-enriched nutrients for maintaining proper brain function? A spinal fluid reservoir? It can't be just an empty cavity without purpose.Christopher, Salem, OR (talk) 10:19, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for pointing out that this was unclear. I've made an edit, identifying the cavity as the lateral ventricles (which, in turn, contain cerebrospinal fluid, linked to from the lateral ventricles page). --Tryptofish (talk) 14:12, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Missing hypothalamus[edit]

I can't find any discussion of the hypothalamus in this article. Its labeled in one of the photos, but I'm suprised its not discussed at all. Is this an oversight? or is it really not that important? Ehlkej (talk) 03:30, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

It's extremely important, but I wouldn't know anything to say about it (on a level appropriate for this article) that isn't already said in brain. Any thoughts on particular things that should go here? Looie496 (talk) 06:29, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Ouch, I wouldn't want any part of my brain to be missing! :-) Seriously, what occurs to me offhand is neuroendocrine regulation. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:05, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Decade of the Brain[edit]

Another editor and I disagree about whether Decade of the Brain should be in the See also section of this page. In my opinion, it is obviously not the most important link, but it is a reasonable one, in that it was a notable (if slightly recentist) subject concerning not only "recognition" but funding of brain research, leading to growth of that research. It's not spam, and it does not harm the page to provide a link. Readers who may be interested can use the link, and those who are not interested do not have to. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:17, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

It strikes me that it properly belongs in Neuroscience and maybe even Nervous system but not so much here. I'm probably a bit jaded though -- the whole thing struck me from the start as a mere publicity stunt by NIH. Regards, Looie496 (talk) 22:23, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Also, the current article is only about the physiology and to some extent psychology of the brain. If the Decade of the Brain is appropriate, a more appropriate link would be to an article on "mental health awareness" or somesuch, but there seems to be no such article. Far from being a topic of more universal knowledge about the brain, like chemistry through psychology, this topic is minor and particular to a brief period of history. Also, Mental Illness Awareness Week happens every single year, and would belong as well, alongside hundreds of other interesting and unnavigable tangents. —Centrxtalk • 06:26, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
My own brain is of two minds about this: in part, I suppose it's no big deal, but in part I also really feel that it does belong here. As for Looie's point about Neuroscience/Nervous system, it seems to me that it is the "Decade of the Brain", not the "Decade of the Nervous System", and so is more appropriate to a brain-related article, and, for non-scientist readers, appropriate to the human brain in particular. I looked at what else links to the "Decade" page, and it is discussed in the text of Brain#History and Traumatic brain injury#History, so I don't see it as detracting from this page to have it in the see-also section. I agree that Centrx makes a valid point that "this topic is minor and particular to a brief period of history", but that doesn't automatically mean that a link would not be useful to some readers. Although I realize that this is subjective, the place where I would draw the line would be to include this link, but not to include the numerous other potential links to which Centrx refers. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:54, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
Are there not hundreds or thousands of articles--start with Category:Brain or Category:Neuroscience or Category:History of neuroscience--that are more useful, more important, or more general, than Decade of the Brain? Around the world and in the past century, there may be hundreds of major brain commemorations alone. —Centrxtalk • 18:24, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
That strikes me as a WP:OTHERSTUFF type of argument. This particular link is not merely to a "commemoration", but to a focused period of funding for research that led to a large increase in research findings. It simply is not just one out of hundreds of similar events. On the other hand, I would have no objection to adding more links. There may be some worth adding from the Neuroscience category. On the other hand, the History category is populated mostly by biographical pages, while the Brain category is populated mostly by anatomical subregions of the brain (along with The Year of the Cyst, which gave me a good laugh and really is worth deleting!). --Tryptofish (talk) 19:46, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
No. WP:OTHERSTUFF is the is-ought fallacy.
That other articles in the same class belong linked more than Decade of the Brain is an a fortiori argument.
That linking the many other articles of equal or greater relevance or "interest" would result in a uselessly long and absurd list is a combination of that a fortiori argument with argumentum ad extremum to demonstrate the original error: Articles are not linked simply because they might be "interesting" to readers. —Centrxtalk • 05:21, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Centrx, I object strongly to the high-handed way you are approaching this discussion of a content disagreement. First, you reverted me as a "minor" edit, and now, you have reverted me again, proclaiming in your edit summary that I have made "no sound argument". The point of my most recent talk comment, just above, was not to get into a duel of is-ought against a fortiori, but rather, what I said very clearly, that the "link is not merely to a "commemoration", but to a focused period of funding for research that led to a large increase in research findings. It simply is not just one out of hundreds of similar events." It is you who has never made a valid argument that this is not so. I said that I would have no objection to adding more links, particularly from the neuroscience category (ie, not to commemorations), and indeed I would not, but I was not arguing that we needed to do so, or needed to do so in order to retain the link discussed here. "Articles are not linked simply because they might be "interesting" to readers"? Well, they are linked because readers of this page, at least some of them, might be reasonably expected to want to, or to benefit from, seeing-also the linked page. Can you point to anything in policy that says that I am wrong about that, or that every link in the see also section must be of exactly equal importance? It is true that policy goes against having excessively long see also sections, but are you claiming that the section is excessively long when it includes this link, but just the right length when the one link is deleted? What I see at WP:SEEALSO is "However, whether a link belongs in the "See also" section is ultimately a matter of editorial judgment and common sense" and "Links included in the "See also" section may be useful for readers seeking to read as much about a topic as possible, including subjects only peripherally related to the one in question."
On a more positive note, would a solution to this disagreement be for me to write a brief section in the main text, in the part of the page about how the human brain has been studied, that would link, inline, to that page (much as at Brain), instead of having an isolated link in the see also section? --Tryptofish (talk) 17:29, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I've moved it into the text, with secondary sourcing to support its relevance and significance. I hope that settles the issue. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:01, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Brain gender and weight[edit]

I added "unreliable source" to the statement about men having heavier brains than women. I did this because the source makes other claims which have been proven to be false (i.e. positive correlation between brain size and "intelligence"), however this does not mean that the previous statement is necessarily false, but as I am sure everybody here will understand, I cannot trust a source that also makes false statements.

I will come back here and delete the whole claim unless someone finds a trusted source or deletes it themselves and replaces it with scientifically reliable information about gender and brain weight. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:09, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

I think you raise a valid and important issue, and I have looked into it further. What I find in a literature search is that there are numerous independent reports that agree with the basic statement about differences in brain weight, but which point out that much of the difference is in white matter and ventricular space, and that measures of IQ and cognition are, not surprisingly, not correlated in any simple way with gender. One can get into a very lengthy treatment of the complexities of the subject, too complex, I think, for this page. I think it would be best not to simply delete the claim, as it appears to be supported by numerous other sources, but I modified the wording to make it a less oversimplified statement, and I added a good, more recent, source that I think provides some balance to the discussion. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:10, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
And I note that another editor has just replaced the disputed reference with a better one. Good! --Tryptofish (talk) 00:42, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't know without searching through the archives which source was 'unreliable' and which was 'a better one', but the current reference is to C. Davison Ankney's 1992 article for Intelligence, "Sex differences in relative brain size: The mismeasure of woman, too?". As this Discover article (among others from the time) makes abundantly clear, it's hard to imagine a more unreliable or heavily disputed source for this supposed relative weight difference between the sexes. Starting with the refusal by top science journal Nature to publish it due to failure to meet standards, ranging to the fact that it was merely reanalysis of another researcher's data from a previously published, peer reviewed study. A study which concluded that averages between male and female relative brain 'sizes' depended essentially on whether weight, height and/or surface area is considered as the metric, showing a larger relative size for women when weight is used. Or there's This letter exchange in NY Books, in which Ankney states he didn't even analyze the data from the original study himself, instead simply writing up conclusions based on the reports of his colleague J. Philippe Rushton. Rushton was already infamous for his exhaustively disputed race-based studies, which included claims of proven racial differences relating to IQ, brain and even penis size/shape. While there have been many other, far less dubious (but still debated) studies reporting findings of neurological differences between men and women, 'relative brain size' isn't to be found among them. If I'm wrong about this someone should add the new content and cite a reliable, non-fringe source (unrelated to that 'study'), but I'm removing the current '100 gram' claim for now. AveVeritas (talk) 04:04, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

What about the OTHER brain?[edit]

There is a separate brain with no conciousness but is completely independent from the brain in the head and controls the gut. Remember you can't control your digestive system, you eat food, there is no way to stop it from digesting. Because the other brain controls it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:55, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

At first, my reaction was that, of course, there is anatomically just one brain. But then I realized that what you are asking is why this page does not distinguish between parts of the brain that are involved in conscious functions, and parts that are involved in autonomic functions. For our general readership, that's a very good idea, that we should add something about that. Thanks! --Tryptofish (talk) 20:01, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
The enteric nervous system has been described as the "brain of the gut".Novangelis (talk) 20:06, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

3 pounds not 1.5kg[edit]

There is a signicant difference between 3 pounds and 1,5kg, and while stating that the weight of the human brain is roughly 3 pounds, doesn't mean the equivalent in kilograms should be stated likewise, i.e. roughly. Here it is implicated that 3 pounds is equivalent to 1,5kg, when it, in fact, is not. Hence, a 2 decimal number would do the job better here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gooroo72 (talkcontribs) 15:35, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

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Scientific American resource ... in contrast Internet and computers; examples K computer and iPad 2[edit]

Computers versus Brains; Computers are good at storage and speed, but brains maintain the efficiency lead by Mark Fischetti SciAm October 25, 2011 (talk) 22:13, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Excerpt ...

The incredibly efficient brain consumes less juice than a dim lightbulb and fits nicely inside our head. Biology does a lot with a little: the human genome, which grows our body and directs us through years of complex life, requires less data than a laptop operating system. Even a cat’s brain smokes the newest iPad—1,000 times more data storage and a million times quicker to act on it. (talk) 05:12, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Relative brain size[edit]

   (I note that this touches on the same subject matter as the #Structure/size, averages/diversity section , above on this talk page -- but my concern does not seem to address the previous discussion.)
   The lead sent of the accompanying article has this second clause:

but is over three times larger than the brain of a typical mammal with an equivalent body size

I was immediately disappointed at this use of ambiguous and/or misleading language: did our editor mean (ignoring for the moment the distracting word "over")

3 times as large

or (consistent with 10% larger meaning 110% as large)

4 times as large

Oh, good, there's a reference; oh, good, the book is on Google books; oh, good, p. 80 is not hidden; oh, hell: it says in relevant part (2nd column on p. 80, starting immediately after the second mark that looks like a pilcrow (¶) with its legs hacked off)

Our brain is three times larger than the predicted size for a hypothetical non-human primate of average human body size. Almost all of this added size...

Not quite as ambiguous as what i found, bcz "this added size", from a careful writer, would probably mean "the three times that is additional to the hypothetical size". But still an uncomfortably tenuous deduction.
   So anyway, i looked for a second source, and found Suzana Herculano-Houzel's more recent The human brain in numbers: a linearly scaled-up primate brain, which says near the end of the 1st 'graph

With a smaller body but a larger brain than great apes, the human species deviates from the relationship between body and brain size that applies to other primates, great apes included, boasting a brain that is 5–7× too large for its body size (Jerison, 1973; Marino, 1998).

(FWIW, my gut tells me that "5–7× too large" is likely to mean "500% to 700% as large", which strikes me as hard to defend in light of how i prefer to construe "3 times larger".)
   Finally, anatomists may well have a clear protocol for such discussions (i'd expect volume to apply here), but for the rest of us, "large" can refer to a linear dimension or volume (and for some purposes surface area is important), and when body parts keep the same linear proportions, 2:1 in linear ratios produces 4:1 ratios in surface areas and 8:1 in volume.
   In the end, i've boldly equivocated, changing the wording to:

but is larger than expected on the basis of measures of body size among other primates, by ratios in the mid-single digits.

No doubt in the long run someone will be able to do better.
--Jerzyt 08:10, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

I'll just comment that "ratios in the mid-single digits" is pretty hard to understand for a general reader -- do you think that could be reworded? Looie496 (talk) 16:22, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree with that. I trimmed it. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:30, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
   Looks good, tnx.
--Jerzyt 04:49, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Race and brain size[edit]

Why is there no mention of the differences in average brain size between the races. Seeing how the difference in brain size between the genders is mentioned(a difference of 11%), seems only fair to mention the difference between mongoloid brain size and negroid brain size(a difference of 17%), and the rest. Or is the taxonomic use of 'race' considered Politically incorrect?Averagejoedev (talk) 15:13, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Lots of the sources for information of that sort are old and used questionable methodology. The term "race" is dubious from a scientific, not just political, point of view, but there is currently a lot of study of the relationship between various biological factors and region of ancestry, such as sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, or the Americas. So these are things that could indeed be discussed in the article if you can point to reputable sources of information. Note that we have an article on race and intelligence that discusses a lot of the issues, although it has been a longstanding battleground for editors with differing ideologies. I don't think it would be a good thing for those battles to get carried over into this article. Looie496 (talk) 16:53, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Expansion needed for Cognition section[edit]

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

This is the most important aspect of this article in my opinion, and should be addressed accordingly, with presentation of what we DO know, historical perspective, and expert conjecture in more details.

How does the anatomy of the human brain allow these things? No, right now science has yet to fully come up with an explanation, but that is hardly an acceptable excuse for dealing with this question minimally. An expansion is greatly needed.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Spiked415 (talkcontribs)

Well, this is a weak article in a number of ways -- that's just one of them. Looie496 (talk) 21:23, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Number of brain lobes[edit]

It's really accepted that the brain has four lobes?. Its frequently found in books but I think we could take in consideration that The International Federation of Associations of Anatomists (IFAA) divides the brain or much better, describes six lobes. Wikipedia also has entries for 6 lobes. Gcastellanos (talk) 14:18, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Just to clarify; Are you talking about other lobes than the frontal, occipital, 2x temporal and 2x partial? --JakobSteenberg (talk) 21:16, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
I refer also to limbic and insular lobes Gcastellanos (talk) 22:03, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. Damn, thought this was going to be an easy one :D I have also bumped into literature stating the insular lobes as being the fifth lobe (but in the same way that you would state there is only 9 or 10 "real" cranial nerves... as somewhat of a footnote to a chapter starting with: "The four lobes of the brain are..."). I have never heard of the limbic system being referred to as a lobe (I would think this is because it is scattered in an anatomic sense). But being that "lobes" is an category that is somewhat artificial I would say it comes down to a popular vote so to speak... but four seems to be the consensus. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JakobSteenberg (talkcontribs) 23:10, November 9, 2012‎
bones of the human skull
The concept of "lobes" is completely artificial. Cortical areas are real, but their organization into lobes is essentially arbitrary. The four commonly accepted lobes are actually defined on the basis of the bones of the skull that overlie them, but the skull sutures don't really correspond to functionally important boundaries in the underlying brain tissue. The only exception to this rule is that the official boundary between the frontal and parietal lobes is shifted backward from the suture to align with the central sulcus, a very important landmark. Logically it would really be best not to talk about lobes at all, but the terminology is so universally used that that isn't an option. Looie496 (talk) 23:22, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it's sort of arbitrary, and a function of how one chooses to define things. I tend to think of the limbic system and the insula as not really being in the same category as the four "consensus" lobes, but I'd also have no objection to adding a sentence pointing out that some sources also recognize those other two. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:27, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

New Brain Video Media (Healthy vs. diseased brain)[edit] WhatIfWeCould (talk) 19:27, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

that's a cool animation, but it's not useful without explanation. The "healthy" brain doesn't look like a real brain at all, and the "unhealthy" brain looks sort of like a normal brain that was poorly processed after being removed from the skull. Looie496 (talk) 23:20, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
It might help if the nature of the pathology in the unhealthy brain were identified. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:39, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. I'll take another pass at it. WhatIfWeCould (talk) 04:15, 6 March 2013 (UTC)


hi everybody I am a newbie so I am sorry for any mistakes alternative name for brain the brain or encephalon the same for cite and many other sourses thnaks — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zenhabit (talkcontribs) 22:05, April 3, 2013‎

The Language section[edit]

Some recent edits removed a large amount of content from the Language section. I see that some of that was due to WP:COPYVIO, and I agree that removing that was entirely appropriate. However, I'd like to know what other editors think about the extent to which it was shortened. Could some of the information from the plagiarized source be returned, without the plagiarization? Should some of the historical information be returned? Does the current language tend to be too skeptical of assignment of function to certain cortical areas? --Tryptofish (talk) 20:05, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

I agree that it would be nice for the section to be longer and to include more historical information, but this is a hard topic to write about. From my limited understanding, I gather that the literature supports a degree of skepticism about the functions of areas. As I understand it, it isn't totally clear that Broca's area is specifically language-related, as opposed to having a more general motor function. Looie496 (talk) 23:22, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
If you actually read my edit summaries, you would see why I removed the other content. What I removed was either unsourced (the whole part about plasticity in children with brain damage), reductionist (stuff like the sentence implying that prosody processing is all there is to language processing), or just plain wrong (the claim that language can develop in one hemisphere or another). I rewrote the status to reflect the actual status of the field, without going into details of experimental results and current debates that are beyond the scope of this overview article.
Why do you want the content from the plagiarized source in particular to be returned? It is largely immaterial. I know people without any background like to ask questions like "which hemisphere is language in", but that question is ill-posed--it is not the case that language happens in one place and that you can find that one place on either the left of the right. Language functions are broadly distributed across most of the cortex. The percentages that were plagiarized here are almost certainly (although I can't be sure, because the source used doesn't cite its sources) referring to behavioral studies on hemispheric advantage, where you are testing something like whether a person responds faster to words or sounds presented to the left hemisphere or the right hemisphere (by showing words on one side of a screen or playing them on one channel of a headphone). Showing that someone has a relative advantage for one hemisphere in some language task is very different from showing that language "is in" that hemisphere.
As for the functions of Broca's and Wernicke's areas, the article was repeating decades-old stuff that can be found in outdated intro psychology books but does not reflect current understanding in the field. What I wrote is not at all too skeptical; if you read the articles I cited you will see that there is massive debate in the field about what these regions actually do (the commonly-repeated notions about the role of Broca's area in certain kinds of syntactic structures actually have little empirical support--see the commentaries in the Grodzinsky paper), and about whether you can even distinguish qualitatively different types of aphasia. Beyond that, the intro-psychology notion that Broca's and Wernicke's areas are the only two regions important for language processing is something the field has long since outgrown. I described Broca's and Wernicke's only because they're historically important. In fact, Broca's area "lights up" in most hemodynamic studies simply because there's a big confluence of vasculature there, not necessarily because it's "critical" for language processing like the old caption in this section implied; likewise, the reason there used to be an association between language impairment and Broca's area damage may have been largely coincidental, because most strokes tended to cause damage to that same region just because of the vasculature of the brain. In reality, there are many cases of people with Broca's aphasia symptoms who actually have legions elsewhere, and people with legions in Broca's area but without Broca's aphasia.
But anyway, this article is about the brain, not about language, so almost all of these points are beyond the scope of the article. The first sentence of the rewritten section has a link to neurolinguistics, where more detail can be. rʨanaɢ (talk) 12:34, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Well, I did read all of your edit summaries, and I never said that I wanted anything that was plagiarized to be on the page. You put an expand-section tag on that section, so I don't see anything wrong with discussing how the section might be expanded. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:49, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Your original message didn't say you wanted to discuss "how the section might be expanded", it said you questioned the extent to which I had trimmed things and wanted to talk about restoring some of it. I just explained why the content I was removed is problematic and should not be restored. Expanding the section with different content is a separate issue. (And I never said you said you wanted plagiarized text in the page; you said you wanted the content from that source back in the page, and I said that the content is not worth having here.) rʨanaɢ (talk) 21:11, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
This article is essentially about the ways the human brain differs from the brains of other animals, and the ability to support language is one of the most important of those ways -- maybe even the most important. So I don't think deeper coverage of the topic would be out of scope for the article. But more importantly, I'm perceiving a certain amount of heat in this discussion, and I don't see any need for that -- we're just three reasonable people having a reasonable discussion about how to optimize the article. Looie496 (talk) 21:25, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, let's please discuss what can be added into the section. I believe that it ought to be expanded. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:22, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
It may be valuable to expand the article with answers to some common questions and explanations about common misconceptions (i.e., explaining that there's not one "language region", stuff like that). Beyond that, details about specific research findings (e.g. the functions of Broca's area) are beyond the scope of this article and belong in their respective articles (e.g. Broca's area, possibly Neurolinguistics--although the latter article as it stands is mainly about the field, rather than about specific findings in the field). rʨanaɢ (talk) 18:35, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

I thought this page was incredibly well done and detailed for the amount of information that can be covered by the human brain. However I think that the language section could be improved upon. It was barely hit upon the new research and I think that adding in what that research showed would be a great improvement for this article. Anna jurgens (talk) 13:55, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

edit revert[edit]

Tryptofish....why the edit revert of heptanoic back to hexanoic? You put yourself that the article refers to heptanoic.?? also you removed wikilinks?? Iztwoz (talk) 06:30, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

Actually, there is a real simple answer: I made a dumb mistake! I apologize to you, and I have self-reverted. What happened is that I misread the sentence in the text, seeing the part at the beginning where it talks about "not" using fatty acids, and misreading it as also saying that octanoic and hexanoic are not used. That was just a mistake, plain and simple. The source says that heptanoic acid is used, so I took it as saying that it uses heptanoic and not hexanoic, which would mean that hexanoic should have remained there. For what it's worth, I did not write that sentence originally, but anyway, it's fixed now. Thank you for catching the mistake. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:58, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

Gyrus/Sulcus Description Backwards?[edit]

"Each cortical ridge is called a sulcus, and each smooth area surrounding a sulcus, as a groove or fissure is called a gyrus." Isn't this backwards? I thought the gyrus was the ridge and sulcus was the groove/fissure.

from wiki: A gyrus (pl. gyri) is a ridge on the cerebral cortex. It is generally surrounded by one or more sulci (depressions or furrows; sg. sulcus).

Sulcus (neuroanatomy), a crevice on the surface of the brain — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:56, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

You're absolutely right! Now fixed - thanks Iztwoz (talk) 08:29, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

I can't verify cited source for number of neurons[edit]

In the STRUCTURE section, "has shown about 200 billion neurons in the human brain" is note 4. I read the paper linked at that note, but I can't find any mention about the brain having 200 billion neurons. Am I misreading something? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:36, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Language and emotion[edit]

Language and emotion is a redirect to this page. What's the point of that? Is there a better target? --Tryptofish (talk) 21:21, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Just to note that I misread as two items - Language and Emotion being redirects so removed the tag. Then changed redirect to Language section. Don't know if that redirect notice still needs to be re-entered? thanks Iztwoz (talk) 20:35, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
I think it's fine now. Thanks! --Tryptofish (talk) 21:47, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

Merging this with "human brain size"[edit]

Hey!! Can I merge the article "human brain size" by adding it under a chapter called "size" in this article..? The current size of the article about the size of the human brain is not very long. And it seem to fit under the article. MicroMacroMania (talk) 18:34, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm concerned that you have moved Brain size to Human brain size. After all, there are other species besides humans. I'm going to start a discussion at WT:NEURO#Brain size and Human brain size. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:21, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
You pretty much need to slow down a lot here. You are playing around with highly important articles, and doing so from a perspective that is clearly controversial. You have also been told several times that you should not misrepresent sources, and should do a better job at finding and using reliable sources. Moving and splitting articles without prior discussion is also not a good approach. Slow down, learn the rules and the policies, read more about the topics you are interested in.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 03:32, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Well I am reversing it all I guess..? Or does an admin do it? And okay I am slowing down.. MicroMacroMania (talk) 06:33, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Flynn effect[edit]

It is not possible to insert the Flynn effect as a related article to the section on the evolution of the human brain, it quite simply has no relation whatsoever to that topic. The Flynn effect is an effect related to the testing of Human intelligence in ther 20th century, and to my knowledge noone has ever proposed that it has an evolutionary or even a genetic cause. If the flynn effect has any place in the article it would be in the section that describes relations between Brain size and intelligence.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 14:40, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

I didn't realize that this is a freighted topic when I put it back as "further information". I was just noting that it had been a "see also" for a long time without previous controversy, and I consider "further information" to simply mean "you can find more information here", and not "this topic is mechanistically the same thing as the topic of this section". I'm not sure which section of this page you are referring to in the last sentence of your comment, because the only place I see that discussed is in the evolution section, second paragraph. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:37, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
But you cant find further informaiton about the evolution of the human brain at the article about the Flynn effect because they are entirely unrelated topics. You inserted as a further reading in the section about the evolution of the human brain. I thought there was a subsection on intelligence, and if there were that is where it would be relevant. The Flynn effect is by most accounts a demonstration that intelligence scores are susceptible to environmental changes. It really has no place outside of a specific discussion about trends in IQ test scores.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:56, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Please see[edit]

There is a related discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Neuroscience#Brain size and Human brain size. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:04, 8 September 2014 (UTC)