When you see the title, “You have a brain”, what comes to your mind is: “Well, duh, of course, everybody has one!”. Most people haven’t given their brains much thoughts. Ben Carson did! In more than three decades as a neurosurgeon, he had performed about 15,000 surgical operations and also examined scans that’s much more than that number. He had dig deep and knew the brain pretty much before he went down his career lane as a neurosurgeon. His patients, of course whom he studied and worked on everyday formed for the better part, the most significant part of his education on the brain.
Ben Carson had operated young children’s overtime and had excellent results but never considered the operation of the removal of half a brain – for a twenty-one-year-old. Younger children have a more elastic and adaptable brain, making it easier for the remaining hemisphere to assume responsibilities of one that’s been removed. No one was sure what the outcome will be in the operation of Christina – his oldest hemispherectomy patient he ever operated upon. After the operation, Christina went through various endangering seizures, wrecking havoc on her physical and mental body; in few months, she did so well and even had As and Bs – with her half brain which was far better than her previous results, where she only struggled with Cs and Ds.
Some of the encounter Ben Carson had experienced made him felt old; but aside that, he was grateful that he was able to see the fruits of his devoted labour – being often reminded of the brain resilience and the amazing potentials in even once damaged and diseased brain – a gift so remarkable – in which you can have a normal life with only half of the brain. He relayed just how amazing and remarkable the human brain we possess.
Inside each human brain are approximately 86 billion neurons inter-connected by more than 100 trillion synapses (estimated since no one has counted them all yet), which science has only barely begun to understand. Your brain started developing almost immediately after conception. During the first month of your mother’s pregnancy, your body was creating neurons at the rate of about 400 million per day.
Your brain generates electricity constantly, enough every waking minute to keep a low-wattage light bulb fully lit. So when you say, “that’s a bright idea,”, your statement could be literary as well as figuratively true. The brain of a normal twenty-year-old human possesses 100,000 miles of myelin-covered nerve fibers. Your brain can feel no pain because it has no receptors. The organ that control the whole nervous system - it can’t feel pain! This is why we can operate on the brain without worrying about the pain level of the patient. It’s also the reason we can perform surgery on people who are awake, as they feel absolutely nothing.
Sensory signals move along an alpha motor neuron on your spinal cord at 268 miles per hour (mph). This is the fastest transmission of this type in the body. Skin sensory receptors which travel at about 1 mph are among the slowest in the body because they do not have a myelin sheath, which would insulate them and boost their speed.
Harvard University neuroscientist – Jeff Lichtman, who is attempting to map the brain, has calculated that several millions petabytes of data storage would be needed to index the entire brain.
The capacity of our mind is literary mind-blowing and as scientist try to quantify the capacity of the human brain, the numbers get so high that we can’t fully get our minds around them. No super computer one can come close to the capacity of the average human brain. The most complex organ system in the entire universe – a tremendous gift from God. Ben Carson marvels at its mystery – there are hundreds more neural connections in our brains than there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
"This is what makes everyone of us who we are. This is what hold all our memories, all our thoughts, and all our dreams. This is what makes us different from each other in millions of ways”
The brain sorts, organizes and warehouses that deluge of sensory data flooding in at millions of bytes per second and controls all of our senses, organs, body temperature and operations of all other systems – respiration, circulatory and more, in the human body. It enables us to imagine, create and solve problems. It comes programmed with the ability to extract information from the past, gather information from the present, integrate that data and project it into the future – meaning, we’re only creatures on earth with ability to analyze, strategies, priorities so we can alter or improve the world around is – on like other animals who only react to what’s going on around them.
Ben Carson, as a child didn’t see himself as capable of doing anything. In fact, his classmate bullied and considered him a dummy.
But what catapulted him to where he is today?
His MOTHER – who always believed in him, knew he had a brain and was convinced that the brain could be his ticket to a bigger, brighter, better world beyond his grasp.
And she was right.