The Brain-Information about the Brain
1 Introduction “I think, therefore I am.” —René Descartes, 17th-century philosopher Few of us question the crucial importance of the brain. It is vital to our existence. Our brains enable us to think, as René Descartes so skillfully pointed out nearly 400 years ago. The brain makes up only 2 percent of our body weight, but it consumes 20 percent of the oxygen we breathe and 20 percent of the energy we consume. Scientists have worked for many years to unravel the complex workings of the brain. Despite these and other significant advances in the field of brain research, most of the processes responsible for the integrated functioning of billions of brain cells remain a mystery. An essential aspect of any scientific research is communicating results to the public in a way that is easily understood. To correctly interpret the information transmitted through these venues, we need a better understanding of basic concepts related to the brain. 2 Myths and Realities about the Brain Figure 1.
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