The Myth of the Average Brain

Imagine navigating any individual city based on an average map of several cities, it is not so different with the brain.

You don’t need me to tell you that the most unique aspect of you is your mind. How often have you wondered if anyone can truly understand you? Consider; we are relatively unsurprised at the existence of look-alikes, whether twins or not—amusing, but hardly miraculous. But what about someone who thinks and feels exactly like you? We don’t expect that even of clones (see the new television show Orphan Black for a cogent dramatization). Strangely though, we don’t tend to think of this individuality in terms of differences between brains—as if we’re still in the age of Descartes’ mind-body dualism and the incorporeal soul. If you have a problem with your heart you’ll directly consult a heart-specialist, but if you have a problem with how you think or feel, you’ll see a psychiatrist long before you consult a neuroscientist!

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About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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