Chapter 3 - Meet your Amazing Brain

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Meet your amazing brain


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lengths - like four different radio or television channels.
  The most advanced part of your brain has six distinct layers.
  You also have an active conscious brain and a subconscious brain. And much of the knowledge you take in is learned subconsciously.5
  At the great risk of oversimplifying:
  Your lower brain - or brain-stem - controls many of your instincts, such as breathing and heartbeat.
  The central part of your brain controls your emotions. Scientists call it the limbic system - from the Latin word limbus for "collar" or "ring" - because it wraps around the brain-stem like a collar.
  Your upper brain enables you to think, talk, reason and create. Scientists call it the cortex - the Latin word for "bark".
  And tucked out the back you have the cerebellum, which plays a vital role in storing "muscle memory": the things you remember by actually performing tasks, such as riding a bike, or playing any sports.
  You use many different parts of the brain together to store, remember and retrieve information.
   Each one of these factors has an important bearing on how you use your in-built power that dwarfs that of any computer.
  It is not the role of this book to indulge in religious debate. But the awesome power of your brain may well provide common ground for creationists and evolutionists. Those with deeply-held fundamental religious beliefs could well argue that the complexity of the human brain and mind, with the soul, represents a pinnacle of creation. All other creatures have brains that are puny by comparison.
  Many scientists, on the other hand, say that humans are the end result of over four billion years of evolution.6 They say that's how long the earth has existed. In this theory, the first primitive forms of life did not emerge for the first billion years.
  Scientists now believe it wasn't until 500 million years ago that creatures started to develop brains, along with backbones and the nervous systems that link them. Even today, semi-primitive creatures like oysters or lobsters - without backbones - have very simple nervous systems, with only a few thousand nerve cells.7 But in creatures with backbones the nervous-brain system is much more complex. Even a rat's brain has millions of cells: highly developed where they are linked to his whiskers.
  If you dissected your brain, at the base of your skull you would find


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