Friday, February 19, 2010

Little known facts about brain-I

In1861 the Doctor named Paul Broca in France conducted an autopsy of a body. There was some thing special about the man who died. That man was Leborgne lived in Paris, simply known as Tan Tan. As the two syllables tan tan were the words he could say, but he could understand exactly what was told to him. Apart from that he read newspapers, played chess etc as a normal man. So Borca wanted to find out whether Tan Tan really was insane.

Here I wish to tell few words about Dr. Paul Broca(1824-1880). He was the first to recognize that mental capacity is linked with specific areas of the brain.

In 1860, another case that was decisive importance in understanding human thought process was that of an epileptic person named Kevin. Doctors served his corpus callosum the slab of nerve fibers that connect the two halves of the brain. But instead of cure, new complication arouse, Kevin could only laugh when he was instructed to do so by speaking in his right ear. His left ear was functionally intact. Further more, he no longer recognized familiar faces when they appear in his right field of vision. This is an unfortunate personal impairment was a boon to the scientists. This impairment provided vital clues about how the two hemispheres of our brain interact to perform their tasks

Every muscle in left or right half of our body is controlled by nerve cells in the opposite half of your brain. The reason for this is that each part is responsible for specific task. The analysis of shapes in space, recognition of faces, the memory of sound and music awareness, are all assigned to the right hemisphere. The left is responsible for the task such as smiling, doing calculation and logical problem solving. This hemi sphere of the brain also governs the learning of language as well as written and spoken language.

Even though each half of the brain has its specific functions both halves work in co ordination to control the tiniest nuances of our behavior. The necessary connection is made through the corpus callosum, the slab of nerves discussed earlier. Why Kevin could not recognize a person sitting on his right is that the left half his brain which receives visual information could not communicate with the right half of the brain which is responsible for recognizing faces.

If one half of the brain is injured the opposite side can be replace it to a certain extent particularly in young people. Research indicates that there are large numbers of cerebral areas which do not have a specific functions are activated by nerve cells. It seems that non functional areas serve as reserve tissue.

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