Fantastic as it seems, but no-one really knows how the brain works. Yes, we can name the various parts of the brain and what they do, but in times of trauma, one part of the brain can take over another’s activity. An interesting book about the brain is On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins.
Every month I now receive Noi Notes, and a very funny and good read they are too. The NOI group is Australian and is run by two leading brain scientists, David Butler and Lorimer Moseley. This month’s newsletter is about their quest to find out how the brain works by asking cabbies – these people have the answers to most things, after all. Usually the cabby replies, ‘No idea!’ However some of the cabbies have a go at answering the question, and the one that gave me most pause for thought was this one:
Samir: Adelaide airport to Adelaide city $22
Well, sir, I think it is quite clear how the brain works. There are definitely three compartments. The conscious, the subconscious and memory and there are parts within each part. The difference between a smart and a dumb person is how many bits you can use at once. Say a genius could use 10 and a dumb person 5. Will you be quoting me in a scientific paper, Sir? I tell my kids to never, never think they are dumb. Everyone’s brain starts off the same we just have to try harder. Like you can exercise a muscle, you can exercise the brain. Books are really important.
I think that is really good. I once watched a programme on the TV where they had a load of Scottish people in their 60s and 70s resit an intelligence test they’d sat when they were children. And many of them had got more intelligent with their advancing years.
Just like the body, where the brain is concerned it is a case of use it or lose it.
Which does not really explain how the brain works in the first place.
I have been working with the miraculous Z health for a couple of years now, and with Z health I work with my clients to find out what their brain needs to know to improve performance or function. To do this, we devise a suitable test – usually a flexibility test, for example, ‘Can you touch your toes?’. But the test could equally be a strength test, like a press up or chin up. And if what we do suits the person, they get both stronger and more flexible. So imagine trying to touch your toes and you get down to mid – shin. I ask you to cross your eyes three times and, ta dah, you go all the way down to your toes. That is what Z health is like – utterly bonkers. Equally bonkers is when something does not suit you – so for another person, crossing their eyes three times will result in them only being able to touch their knees, the floor now being miles away. Utterly bonkers.
Reading the NOI notes about getting cabbies to tell us how the brain works, since no one else knows, cheered me up no end. When our body is in pain or we cannot seem to get faster or stronger without an injury, we have to get to the root of the problem, which will always lie in the brain and not in the tight calves, for example. The calves are tight, but they will never lengthen until underlying brain issues are addressed – ultimately why circling each finger carefully will release the calves of one person or tighten the calves of another still feels like a mystery to me.
NOI Notes can be signed up for and are free. Click on the highlighted text to be taken there. The NOI group is hoping more people ask a cabbie the how does the brain work question, so we can all join in the fun.