The Uniqueness of the Human Brain

The brain is one of the most complex organs in the human body. It is the command center of the human nervous system. Our cerebrum controls our body’s functions which enables us to understand and interact with the world. In the book Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School, the molecular biologist John Medina describes twelve things that influence our brain’s function and refer to them as Brain Rules. The rules range from how exercise and music raise brainpower to the influence of stress while learning. Pretty amazing! However, society still has several norms that are contradicted by various scientific discoveries including every brain is wired differently.

Regarding the twelve rules described throughout the book, I found rule #5 fascinating. This rule, also known as wiring, demonstrates how “every brain is wired differently” (Medina, 92). Medina explains that everyone’s brain develops at different rates. After all, we mature at different ages and grow at different speeds. For example, kids are often expected to walk or read at certain ages. We cannot be certain that in a specific moment everyone develops a particular skill because no two brains are the same. Society needs to align with the way our brain works. We cannot get carried away by the perceptions and ideologies that have developed over the years. With the knowledge already acquired, we should begin to accept reality and understand that we are all different. We must stop generalizing society. Therefore, as our brain evolves at different speeds, the idea of people performing certain activities or learning something their brain is not prepared for is completely irrational.

Physical changes occur to everyone throughout life, but did you know this happens also to our brain? Every time we learn or perform an action our brain changes how it physically looks. Even modest information can alter the organization of our brain, modifying its physical structure. This is an extremely complicated process that our brain constantly passes through. According to the book, “as neurons learn, they swell, sway, and split. They break connections in one spot, glide over to a nearby region, and form connections with their new neighbors” (Medina, 86). The explanation that Medina supplies in the book proves that in addition to our brain developing at different rates, it changes every time we learn or perform something. Each of our experiences has an enormous role in the development of our brains which highlights the uniqueness of each one of us.

Regardless of not possessing complete knowledge of how our brain works, we have certainty that people do not store information in the same way nor place. Numerous people consider this obvious without genuinely understanding the subject and its importance. However, this information is supported by evidence provided via a recognized neurosurgeon expert in electrical stimulation mapping. The objective of this kind of procedure is to localize the function of specific brain regions. Medina states that “Data from electrical stimulation mapping give the most dramatic illustration of the brain’s individuality.” The surgeon explains that during epilepsy operations he has to map how the information is distributed in the patient’s brain before performing anything. Why? Because we all store information in distinct ways, whether it is speech or memory. Therefore, each brain is unique because it functions, develops, and stores information differently because every brain is wired differently.

Despite understanding what are the circumstances and things that influence the brain’s functioning, society wants us all to learn at the same time and in the same way. Most educational institutions are made up of a fairly large number of students. Therefore, today’s classrooms are made up of multiple people. For example, in an ordinary school, there can be up to 40 students per classroom. This is completely illogical according to the 12 rules that the book describes. Society cannot expect students to learn in the same way nor at the same time. It is confirmed that classrooms made up of fewer people allow teachers to understand the needs of each student to learn in the best way. In my opinion, smaller class sizes can make a huge difference in the academic performance of students which will help them in the future. Certainly, with fewer students per class costs may increase. Price is a barrier for numerous people but those who have the resources should consider that this is a good investment. We have to put education above because it helps us build opinions with which we develop a perception of life. Education is the only way society will develop, progress, and prosper.

There are countless situations in which society still has expectations and standards that we must meet at a certain time or in a certain way. These ideologies continue to exist regardless of the scientific discoveries that reject them. In the book Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School John Medina provides twelve different concepts that demonstrate how our brain functions. In addition to this information, with rule #5: wiring he describes how every single one of our brains is completely different.

Despite the discoveries made to date, society supports different standards and expectations that do not fit with our current knowledge.

Medina, John. (2008). Brain Rules: 12 Principles For Surviving And Thriving At Work, Home, And School. Seattle, WA: Pear Press.