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Your Brain

We are said to have three vital organs, the Brain, Heart and your Kidneys but one of these things is not like the other, your brain has a unique exclusivity to YOU. Why is this? We can easily explain how our eyes turn electromagnetic radiation to biological signals, we know exactly what this signal is made of, how it travels to your visual cortex via the Optic nerve. We know that different parts of the visual cortex detect different aspects of your vision. But something is missing here, how did a chemical reaction running through some nerves get to YOU? This connection between The Cerebral cortex and you is what this article is about.

Your brain has two types of “Matter” the inner white matter which is the complex express highway between various parts of your brain and the outer grey matter which is different, it’s color is grey because the neurons in this area are not myelinated, more so this area is home to a massive collection of bodies and dendrites which are the non-myelinated parts of a neuron. So the white matter is just a bunch of wires that connect different parts of your brain, the grey matter must be where the actual thinking happens then? But the dendrites that make up the grey matter, reach out and make connections with other neurons in the cortex. So it seems that the brain is just a gooey, myelinated ouroboros, but where does a thought come from? Where do YOU reside in your brain?

You have a heart and your kidneys (I hope) but do you have a brain? I am not trying to insult you or anything, I am trying to say that you possess your heart and your kidneys but is your brain your possession? Or is it something else, something more intimate. Disorders of your brain like schizophrenia or depression can change you in a much different way than a liver failure or a heart condition would, we have identified these behavioral disorders to be caused by deficiencies and excess of some chemicals in your brain and we can modify and somewhat treat these disorders using pharmacological means, does this mean that YOU are modifiable using some chemical means? Are you just a collection of chemical reactions that are somewhat unique to your brain?

Let’s entertain the idea that you might be a collection of chemical reactions, what is a chemical reaction? A chemical reaction is when precursor/s under certain conditions create a product, here the precursor and product are just a bunch of molecules arranged in a different way. Your brain is meant to produce a variety of different chemicals depending on circumstances, these chemicals make you feel good or bad.

Now let’s put it into real world terms, at the time of your birth, the most developed parts of your brain are your mid and hind brain, these parts control most of your basic life functions and make it so you can continue to live provided a lot of outside support is given. The forebrain, which is responsible for your higher brain functions is just starting to develop, the foundation of the necessary chemicals and structures is developed but now it starts to learn. I am not going to go into detail about learning and memory (that would add 2 more pages) but we are all aware that it happens, and it’s so vital to your being that according to some, you are the collection of your memories and experiences. ever since you can observe things, you start to learn what things can happen to you and what you should do about them, for example throughout your childhood you learned how to walk, eat, read, write, talk to people, fly a plane whatever I don't know you, the point is your brain observes the problems and how to deal with them and tries to imitate it for itself. There is another type of learning that is hard coded into out genes, which is via the chemicals that your brain makes, for example when you were a child and you watched that tv show, or played that video game or went to the playground, it created some of that dopamine, the feel good juice, that makes you want to do it again, and becomes an integral part of your personality over time just like the bad experiences like being on a stage, trying to talk to your crush that one time and food from that restaurant that made you sick that day. All of these memories and feelings associated with them influence your next decision, even the experiences that you don’t remember have changed you to a scale you can’t imagine. Even after childhood, your brain continues to learn new experiences and how to deal with them.

So if we were to make a YOU algorithm it would look like a complex problem solving system customized based on your past, you process your everyday using this algorithm and it changes the algorithm little by little and before you know it, your friends aren’t what they used to be, that one cousin is so different from how you remember them, and even you are not what you were all those years ago. You know what you were like and you know you can never be the same again. I implore you to think about your past because good or bad, it made you who you are today but don’t dwell on it because there are still so many more memories to make.

So what makes you who you are? The answer is, your diet, your genes and the outside world, you might think that most of what makes you, you is not under your control, and that’s okay, do you know what is under your control? The people around you, you are the outside world for them, so make it good for them, be nice to each other.


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