A Brain Isn’t an Organ but an Organization
Context: see my Neural Tribe Doctrine post for a discussion of a new human narrative about who we are and who we are not.
We tend to think of a brain as an organ, as something solid, monolithic, continuous. But it’s not. A brain is not an organ but an organization of stand-alone neurons, a centralization of neurons.
In my previous post, Neural Tribe Doctrine, I remind the reader of the so-called Neuron Doctrine by the 19th century Spanish neuroscientist Cajal. Cajal’s key finding was that neurons are separated from each other by synaptic gaps (or clefts). With this in mind, the view of the brain as an organ is somewhat misleading. Brain is not a structural oneness, it’s a functional oneness. What I mean is that brain is a multiplicity (of stand-alone neurons) that acts in sync enough to appear as a functional oneness.
Why does this matter?
You see, we over-identify with our brains. We think of brains as our central organs whereas in reality we are a massive neural colony (nervous system) on a body-wide scale. We think that we are in our skulls. But we aren’t. We – the neural colonies that inhabit a given body – are all throughout. You are not just in your skull. You are also in your fingertips and in your toes. You are everywhere you find the neurons that you are along with all of your axonal or dendritic extensions.
Realize: you are not in any one spot of the neural network that you are. You are everywhere you are. When you touch your two hands together you are simultaneously in more than one place: you are both in your left hand and in your right hand and in multiple places of your skull processing this multi-party neural encounter.
Rethink who you are: you are not a neural organ, you are a neural organization – a plurality that feels, acts, and lives like a oneness.
For more pattern-interrupting ideas about who we are and who we are not, read more on One [Neural] Tribe
Somov, P. (2012). A Brain Isn’t an Organ but an Organization. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 11, 2016, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindful-living/2012/11/a-brain-isnt-an-organ-but-an-organization/