Making sense of the brain

From Australian Geographic, May 2022:

“Never has a bodily organ been so adored as the brain – not since Narcissus looked at his face reflected in water and fell in love with it,” Professor George Paxinos says. “And never was there so little justification for it.” It’s a surprising comment from a man who’s spent his life mapping every nook and cranny of the brain, studying its every structure and cell type. George, born in Ithaca in Greece, has authored or co-authored 57 scientific books on the organ, including what for three decades was the third most cited scientific book ever published. He’s also identified and named more brain areas than anyone.

George isn’t a fan of what he sees as almost cult worship of the organ, which is made up of some 1.2–1.4kg of pink-grey tissue. But since he discovered that a particular chemical was able to colour brain structures, allowing researchers to produce images that display them like countries on a world map, George has obsessed over the organ’s minutiae, seeking out the borders between those neurological nations with ever increasing precision and detail. Read more.

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