The brain is greater than…

“I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells”  — Dr. Seuss  

The phenomenon section of the Smithsonian Magazine July/August 2012 was the “Mind”. There were a few discussions about brain and mind. One article that I found interesting was by Laura Helmuth– “The brain is greater than the sum of its parts”:

  • 100 number, in billions, of neurons in a human brain
  • 100 estimated number, in terabytes of information it can store (1 terabyte is 1 trillion short scale bytes, or 1000 gigabytes.)
  • 1 number, in Terabytes, of information a typical desktop computer it can store
  • 2 % of the body’s weight represented by the brain
  • 20% of the body’s energy used by the brain

Despite the fact that different ways of thinking can be a great advantage for us, often, we choose to associate with the ones who think the same as we do. And, we tend to think others are not as smart as we are if they don’t see what we see. Temple Gradin concluded in her article:

“I used to think that stupidity was the cause of people not being able to see things that were obvious to me. Today I realize it was not stupidity; it is just a different way of thinking.”

Last but not the least, in the “Wise Up” article, Helen Fields shared a couple of interesting research findings about managing emotions.

  • Researchers at Stony Brook University found that People over 50 were happier overall, with anger declining steadily from the 20s through 70s and stress falling off a cliff in the 50s.
  • Laura Carstensen, Stanford, studies people ages 18 to 94 for a decade and found that they (older people) got happier and their emotions bounced around less.

That’s all for now. Hope you find the summary interesting.

For more, please take a look of the Smithsonian Magazine July/August 2012 issue or find a copy in your local library.

18 thoughts on “The brain is greater than…

  1. Hi Amy; Interesting post. I think older people are happier because they desided somewhere along the road that it is better to be happy with what you have instead of obsess over what you don’t. Younger people are still reaching for that brass ring…LOVE that Seuss quote!


  2. Like you to better understand how it works. If you read my story about being mostly deaf until the age of 10, it starts there. I really did live in books so I comprehended much early on (lots of books in my home growing up). Because I was incorrectly viewed as ‘simple minded’ until I was able to hear and correct speech patterns, it shaped my perception of myself. Several IQ tests as a teenager revealed I had been blessed with a healthy dose of intelligence, and so I became very curious about better understanding who I am and others also. I’ve never stopped being curious about the workings of the brain Amy. I find it singularly fascinating! Penny 🙂


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