The girl without the right hemisphere of her brain functions pretty normally. How is this possible?
Nature and nurture: congenital and acquired
Is it Nature or Nurture, congenital or acquired? The answer is actually quite simple: everything is Nature and Nurture. The structure of the brain determines what we can learn and what we learn determines the structure of the brain.
Where am I? Our internal GPS
London taxi drivers know every street in London, as well as all the restaurants, post offices, shops and more. In our brain there is an ingenious GPS. And this GPS is integrated with our life history and emotions. Try doing that with a navigator!
Where are the limits of the body?
Where does your body end? All fairly clear to you, but not to your brain. A tool you hold in your hand is a part of your body, and sometimes a rubber hand can seem like your real hand. How can this be?
The placebo effect doesn’t exist
Depression lifts with placebo pills, joint pain disappears after a placebo operation. Changes in the brain can be observed after the use of a placebo. How do such effects of sham treatment come about? Placebos do have effects. But THE placebo effect does not exist.
You walk down a street and nearly bump into someone; you look at their face and in a fraction of a second you know who it is. It does not really matter if you see them in profile or full face. And one can do this with thousands of faces; a clever trick of our brains. How do we recognise faces?
Amazing and paradoxical
What is the relation between what the neurologist calls amazing and the psychiatrist paradoxical? Our impression of the world around us is not formed on the basis of what we actually perceive with our senses. Instead, we carry a preexisting image of our surroundings in our head, and we check if that matches with our perceptions. Sometimes this goes awry.