July 6, 2008

Quotes of Whoa #1

As part of the whoa-ness theme of this blog, a large amount of whoa can be found in science soundbites. I'm gonna start a series of these Quotes of Whoa and post them as and when I find them. Here's the first one, aptly from one of my favourite books, and quite a perfect example of what fascinates me about neuroscience:

"A piece of your brain the size of a grain of sand would contain one hundred thousand neurons, two million axons and one billion synapses, all 'talking to' each other. Given these figures, it's been calculated that the number of possible brain states - the number of permutations and combinations of activity that are theoretically possible - exceeds the number of elementary particles in the universe."

-- V.S. Ramachandran, Phantoms In The Brain (1998), p. 8.

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