Brain Functions

Q. Okay, Doc. I know I was born with a good brain. But I don’t get this emphasis on “challenging mental stimulation” and some of the other stuff you talk about. What’s the “real deal” here?

Q. I just heard that apes are left-handed! What do you know about that or about left-handedness in humans?

Q. Have you ever experienced discrimination? If so, please help me understand how bias, prejudice, and discrimination differ.

Q. We are so enjoying Birds & Brains. We have two parakeets and all of us, kids and adults, think it is so cool that you’ve done something no one else has done that we know of: teach brain function using a cast of “birds.” It’s brilliant. I hope you do more of that series! My question: What is the reason they are only 5-7 minutes in length? The kids wanted them longer.

Q. I know that cells in the body regularly replace themselves by multiplying and dividing and that this happens in the brain, too. So how does the brain retain memories?

Q. I’ve heard you refer to the science of brain function but I don’t know how it differs from Psychiatry, Psychology, Physiology, Biology, or any of the other "ologies." What’s your definition?

Q. Michael Gurian wrote about brain layers. Layers of what?

Q. My wife wants me toread your book "The Brain Has a Bent (not a dent)."As a corporate manager, I need a logical reason to attend.

Q. Since it is possible to develop skills throughout the brain, why not aim for equal skills in all four divisions of the cerebrum?

Q. Who's in charge, my brain or my mind; and what's the difference between them anyway?

Q. I am so confused about all the brain-body “omes,” and hope you can clarify them for me!

Q. What you share in your brain-function seminars is fascinating as well as practical and helpful. What information is available for the general public?

Q: What is the difference between the brain’s gray and white matter? I’m quite sure I do not know! 

Q. Isn’t brainstorming a waste of time, since most ideas won’t work anyway?

Q: When you hear the term “broken heart,” does that mean the neurons actually die or is it just a euphemism?

Q. What is it about the brains of people who sell cars? I hate the games, and negotiations, and being treated like I don't even have a brain simply because I'm female! If only I could purchase a car without having to deal with a salesperson! What do you do?

Q. A colleague recently mentioned he’d heard something about “channels in the human skull. Do you know anything about this? Frankly, it sounds a bit weird to me.

Q. How large is the human cortex?

Q. Why are humans creatures of habits, and why is change so hard?

Q: I just heard on the news that after a stroke or other traumatic brain injury, the damage to the white matter in the brain is a better predictor “of brain-function outcome” than gray matter. What does this mean?

Q. What’s all this hype about dehydration and brain function?

Q. What has research found out about how the brain develops during pregnancy?

Q. My 5-year-old son has not yet selected a dominant hand. Several individuals have made suggestions for strategies to force him to select one, and to develop his "dominant hemisphere." My brother is ambidextrous and I wonder about the wisdom of their advice.

Q: Is the brain equally creative no matter the environment? COVID-19 made many people work remotely. Is that a good or a bad thing in terms of creativity?

Q. In an attempt to force him to become right-handed, my husband’s left hand was tied behind his back using a stout string that was attached to his belt. He does everything right-handed and hardly uses his left hand at all. Unfortunately, he continues to stutter and seems to become anxious easily. Do you have any comments?

Q.  A colleague told me recently that I was “excessively biased” and I retorted that “my brain has no biases.” I’d be happy to report that you agree with me.

Q. I tested as having a fairly high IQ but routinely have difficulty communicating with most people. Do you have any suggestions?

Q: Why are people always saying that the human brain is cognitively superior to all other creatures, even primates? Other creatures, especially primates, are amazing!

Q: My teacher keeps telling me to “picture this in your mind’s eye.” Well I can’t picture anything in my mind’s eye. She said, ‘pull up a picture of a dog in your brain.’ I tried. I know what a dog is when I see one but couldn’t see it in my brain with my eyes closed. The teacher says there is something wrong with my brain.

Q: You talk about "intelligences." How does that concept fit with IQ?

Q. What actually is intuition and who has it, males or females?

Q. Whenever I mention intuition, someone in my family typically rolls his/her eyes and mumbles, "Yeah, right. Dream on." Does intuition really exist as a brain function, or is it just a figment of someone’s imagination?

Q:. Do you think it is possible to dream and tell yourself about a joke in your dream that you don’t think you ever heard before?

Q. I’ve heard you say that while “bias” (related to issues of safety) is innate, bigotry, racism, and prejudice are learned. Whatever do you mean by that?

Q. I just heard someone mention the three C’s of meditation. Whatever are those and do you meditate?

Q. Can you give me any benefits for taking time every day to meditate? I’m a busy person!

Q. What happened in Mikaela Shiffrin’s brain at the Olympics?

Q: What is your favorite mind-blowing fact about the brain?

Q. I’m fascinated by the topic of “mirror neurons.” Are there any books about mirror neurons and any impact on sexual behaviors?

Q. One of our five children is like a foreigner in our midst. We like to camp out and play volleyball; he would rather bring a book and read, or go walking with a friend. It’s so frustrating!

Q: I am 58 years old and for the last 40 years I have established 10 New Year’s Resolutions each year—and the for the last 40 years have failed to establish the new habits I desired. What is wrong with me?

Q. My boss tends to say "no" to most suggestions or requests I make. I've never thought of her as particularly negative or vindictive but this is getting ridiculous. I'm curious to know if you think this is a "brain thing."

Q. I’ve heard you say that no two brains are alike. Is this just your opinion? I mean it’s obvious that identical twins have brains that are alike.

Q. What do you say to people who ask "How does brain dominance theory sit with personality theory that I already understand?" I can't resolve it in my own brain because they seem to be two different models. Personality theory says "you can adapt" while brain dominance theory says "you have an innate preference."

Q: An article in a recent news magazine mentioned a PET Scan. What is it?

Q. Do people really ask the questions that you put in your Brain Bulletins or do you create your own questions in order to disseminate information through the answers?

Q. “The Secret.” Have you read the book or watched the video? I don’t get how thinking different thoughts can help at all! Are they off base?

Q. Would you give me some examples of direct versus indirect self-medication attempts?

Q. What in the world is “self-talk”? I was always told that talking to my self was a symptom of mental illness and answering yourself could get you locked up somewhere.

Q.  I cannot imagine what you were thinking when you said, “Spanking a child does more harm than good. In fact, some refer to corporal punishment as the lazy person’s way of discipline.” Are you out of your mind? I was spanked and I intend to keep spanking my six children!

Q. I’ve heard you speak about the importance of using positive words so all three brain layers can perceive them in a one-step process, but the Ten Commandments are negative. What do you have to say about that?

Q. Can the brain be programmed to think more positively?

Q. Why do we think more negative things instead of positive stuff?

Q. I’ve heard you speak about the difference between “well” and “energy efficiently.” If you do it “well” won’t you do it “efficiently,” and why even try to figure it out?

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