Sunday, May 30, 2010

Brain - the seat of all activities ??

So the brain is supposed to control all the voluntary and involuntary activities that makes up life. However, we do not really have definite proof for that. All we can say such and such parts of the brain are active during this and that activity. But that is merely the firing of the neurons, which can by no means be random. So, there is probably a master control that works behind it. Is that control in the brain, or could it even be elsewhere?
Nobel laureate Dr. Richard P. Feynman has raised a similar question in his book titled "Surely, you're joking, Mr. Feynman!".
Our ancient Vedic literature states that our vital energy lies at the base of our spine (coccyx) in latent form (Muladhar Chakra).
If we consider Human embryology, one of the first things to develop is the notochord (primitive vertebral column) and then the neural tube (that gives rise to the spinal cord). The brain starts forming comparatively later.
So, can the seat of all activity develop after the some of the other parts of the body have already started forming? Well, since that is probably not the case, it is more likely that such a 'master control' lies in the neural tube or spinal cord in adults. Or is it still somewhere else?
I would like my readers to comment on the issue, and rack their brains!!


pallav said...

i suggest one experiment to check which is more important spinal cord or brain. you remove your brain and see if spinal cord can take over the functions. see its that simple.

Saikat Banerjee said...

A comment, finally.
Well, nice suggestion Pallav...
In case you have not thought about it seriously.
But what you suggest is a bit weird.
Even if it was possible, the results would not have been accurate. Both the spinal cord and brain are indispensable to the functioning of the human body and life(you can remove any one of them and check that out!!). To determine the controlling center does not necessitate removing the modes by which it works. Whatever be the seat of all activities, it works via the nervous system so I guess that says it all. 'Its that simple.'

P.S. I really hope somebody would have something serious to say on this post someday. Or maybe I have had them stumped by my observations so no one has anything sensible to say!

ananya said...

nervous system is decentralised.....control is not only with the brain....

ananya said...

wen u've eaten something wrong,the stomach starts beccoming upset even before ur brain!...that just proves that even stomach has a mind of its own...what u say about higher control is entirely debatable....but,in human body every cell knows what to do and how to do it right....that is what u call 'amra shobai raja'!

Saikat Banerjee said...

Ha Ha... Good one Ananya!!
But seriously what you are suggesting is that all the cells in our body are working in tandem to perform a set of tasks or in other words responding to different sets of stimuli differently. These stimuli are both internal (electrical --- nerves, chemical--- pH changes, physical--- things like contact inhibition) and external like "wen u've eaten something wrong".
But, for a human system to exist all these actions have to be coordinated and be in phase or else life as it is would not have been possible. So if you are suggesting that "every cell knows what to do and how to do it right" then each of them have a thinking and deciding capacity of their own (or a brain of their own??) and are in complete harmony and communication with all the other cells of the body. But isn't it more likely that there is something else (like a super controller or few controllers) that governs such a complex system like this?
PS: Human body is approximately made of 10^13 to 10^14 cells