Study: Are brains really necessary?


    Study: Are brains really necessary?

  • 1 The presumption that the brain is necessary is challenged

    A British biochemist, Donald R. Forsdyke, says that the existence of people who are missing most of their brain tissue challenges 'cherished assumptions' of neuroscience about how the entire brain is necessary.

  • 2 A disease that causes water to go inside the brain leads to unexpected events

    Forsdyke says that a disease called hydrocephalus or 'water in the brain' replaces huge swathes of brain tissue with fluid but remarkably, some patients have normal intelligence. They do not even display any obvious symptoms at all.

  • 3 Forsdyke says hydrocephalus poses a problem for neuroscience

    Forsdyke says that if a post-hydrocephalic brain can store the same amount of information as a normal brain then it's a problem for neuroscience.

  • 4 Forsdyke says brain size doesn't scale information storage size

    Forsdyke reminds us that brain size does not scale with information quantity and we must search for new possible ways brains might be storing information.

  • 5 Orthodox view looks at information as being held in a chemical or physical form

    The orthodox view looks at information in the long-term memory as being held within the brain in some chemical or physical form.

  • 6 Forsdyke suggests that memory might actually be stored in some undiscovered way

    Forsdyke says that memory might be stored in extremely minute, subatomic, form, yet unknown to biochemists and physiologists. He even suggests that it might be stored outside the body.

  • 7 Forsdyke says the brain might be a receptor, not the generator of the mind

    Forsdyke says the brain could be a receptor of some form of electromagnetic wave or particle and that this would have metaphysical implications.

  • 8 Although the white matter was missing, gray matter was still present

    Although patients were missing huge parts of their white matter, the gray matter was still present.

  • 9 Forsdyke's discoveries raise questions on the amount of white matter necessary for normal functioning

    If Forsdyke's assumptions are wrong, they still raise questions as to how much white matter is necessary for normal functioning of the brain.

  • 10 Forsdyke reminds us of the documentary about the research on hydrocephalic

    Forsdyke reminds us of the 1982 documentary about the research of Dr. John Lorber on hydrocephalic called 'Is your brain really necessary?' It focuses on the advanced level of cognitive functioning of some hydrocephalic patients with only a small percentage of the average human cortical brain mass.

  • 11 Forsdyke reminds us of how Lorber's obervations were initially disbelieved

    Forsdyke reminds us of how Lorber's patients had no more than 5% of the volume of normal brain tissue and how his observations were initially disbelieved. But they have since been independently confirmed by clinicians in France and Brazil.

  • 12 Forsdyke says that the memory and storage capacity paradox requires resolution

    Forsdyke discuses how the paradox that the human brain's information content (memory) appears to exceed the storage capacity of even normal-sized brains, requires a resolution and he offers them in his research paper.