Lessons from brain soup: Suzana Herculano-Houzel at TEDGlobal 2013

TED Blog

For decades, scientists said that the human brain contains 100 billion neurons. However, when neuroscientist Suzana Herculano-Houzel hunted for the source of this often-quoted number, she couldn’t locate one. So she set out to count herself … by making brain soup.

She brings a vial of brain soup with her onto the TEDGlobal 2013 stage. This substance was made by dissolving donated brains, destroying the cell membranes but leaving the nuclei intact. This made a homogenous mixture that allowed her to count the neurons in a sample. As it turns out, the human brain really has 86 billion neurons.

Why does this difference of 14 billion neurons matter? It answers a vital question: What makes the human brain different, allowing us to get together for thought-fests like TEDGlobal 2013, while other animals don’t?

For a long time, scientists thought that all mammal brains were made of the same material. But if that…

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Lessons from brain soup: Suzana Herculano-Houzel at TEDGlobal 2013

TED Blog

For decades, scientists said that the human brain contains 100 billion neurons. However, when neuroscientist Suzana Herculano-Houzel hunted for the source of this often-quoted number, she couldn’t locate one. So she set out to count herself … by making brain soup.

She brings a vial of brain soup with her onto the TEDGlobal 2013 stage. This substance was made by dissolving donated brains, destroying the cell membranes but leaving the nuclei intact. This made a homogenous mixture that allowed her to count the neurons in a sample. As it turns out, the human brain really has 86 billion neurons.

Why does this difference of 14 billion neurons matter? It answers a vital question: What makes the human brain different, allowing us to get together for thought-fests like TEDGlobal 2013, while other animals don’t?

For a long time, scientists thought that all mammal brains were made of the same material. But if that…

View original post 397 more words

Why your brain doesn’t want you to lose weight: Sandra Aamodt at TEDGlobal 2013

TED Blog

Standing on the TED stage looking stunning in a blue dress, neuroscientist and author Sandra Aamodt  reveals that three and a half years ago on New Year’s Eve, she made a decision: She gave worrying about her weight. Instead, she learned to eat mindfully — and lost 10 pounds. For Aamodt, who had been dieting unsuccessfully for 30 years, this was a major life change. She started her first diet at age 13, and found that the weight always came back.

As a neuroscientist, she wondered what made losing weight so hard. Turns out the brain is an incredibly efficient regulator of body weight. Isn’t weight loss about how much you eat versus how much energy you burn? Nope, it’s not that simple an equation: it turns out that hunger and energy use are controlled by the brain, mostly behind the scenes, and this unconscious force is stronger than mere…

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The power of thoughts

Rene Descartes, french philosopher  and mathematician  once said “corgito ergo sum”, meaning i think, therefore, i am. Very few people have been able to grasp the power of their thoughts. I have found out that most of the things we do were once thoughts,a few days,months or years ago.Everybody desires to be successful and influential,but the question is how many of them think in these lines.The average teenager  only thinks about the latest video games,phones,and gadgets,and spends so much time on social networks.The net effect being that they spend less time pondering on how problems can be solved,consequently,their analytical skills are seriously underdeveloped.Nobody sums it up like God himself who told Joshua to meditate constanly on the book of the law to be successful.So if you want to make a difference,you have to be a thinker.