Imagine the brain, “that shiny mound of being, that mouse-gray parliament of cells, that dream factory, that petit tyrant inside a ball of bone, that huddle of neurons calling all the plays, that little everywhere, that fickle pleasuredome, that wrinkled wardrobe of selves stuffed into the skull like too many clothes into a gym bag.”
Diane Ackerman, author of “An Alchemy of Mind…” sums up my fascination with that beautiful mass in between our ears so eloquently that I am compelled to share it with you. As she alludes, the neural landscape is unbelievably complex and powerful. I seek to understand it, and to share any knowledge I can accumulate along my academic way with others.
My goal as an educator is to translate complex neural academic principles into bits of useful, practical information for the masses (which, I hope to fit on refrigerator magnets someday). I study and teach neuroscience to help provide a deeper understanding of how our minds work, to magnify our experiences, and to enhance our respect for the neural landscape and the way it relates to our interpretation of our physical landscape and our ability to help solve the problems of our time.
I’m also inclined to agree with John Allman who claims that our brains exist because the distribution of resources necessary for survival and the hazards that threaten survival vary in space in time. In that regard, through evolution, our brains have simultaneously become our greatest threat to conservation and our greatest hope for long-term sustainable survival. I’m certainly a guy who can embrace and appreciate that unique and utterly human contradiction. I teach because I know I’m not the only one who does.