Science Thought for the Day: "The Mind is Mind Boggling"

While the beach abounds with "Bikini Boot Camps",  Penn's Neuroscience bootcamp suggests we give our brain its due, too:

The mind, we were reminded once again, is mind-boggling.  Consider this (which we learned this afternoon). The brain has somewhere between 100 billion to 1 trillion neurons.
These neurons communicate with one another through synapses, and there are a thousand synapses per neuron. Those are a lot of signals to keep straight.
But we’re not finished yet. If we go down another level, to the biochemical reactions that allow for neuronal communication, then we have to consider an incredibly large number of ion channels and receptors. In short, to use Dr. Kaplan’s very scientific terminology, this adds up to a “completely ridiculous” number of connections in the brain. Indeed, even our best analogies for how the brain works (e.g. like an amazing super-computer) don’t begin to capture its capabilities.     -The MacArthur Law and Neuroscience Project


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