Are We Our Brain or Something More?

Are We Our Brain or Something More?

Makes me question what intelligence is……The following case provides evidence that the human brain can adapt itself to a pathology that occurred earlier. Despite the pathology, the sufferer’s neurological and physical development was not severely hampered. He was able to lead a life that can be considered normal.

French doctors are still racking their brains over the case of a patient who is said to live a normal life despite the fact that his brain is almost completely absent, reports RIA Novosti news agency. Quoting an article published by The Lancet, the agency says that the 44-year-old French civil servant, a married man and a father of two, was admitted to hospital in 2003 after suffering mild weakness in his left leg.

A team of doctors led by Dr. Lionel Feuillet of the Hospital de la Timone in Marseille, France, diagnosed the patient with non-communicating hydrocephalus, also called water on the brain.

Hydrocephalus is an abnormal increase in the amount of cerebrospinal fluid within the cerebral cavities or ventricles of the brain.

Speaking to AFP, Dr. Feuillet said that computer tomography and magnetic resonance imaging showed that the man’s ventricles had greatly expanded. “The brain itself, meaning the grey matter and white matter, was completely crushed against the sides of the skull,” said Dr. Feuillet.

Doctors were amazed to discover a “complete lack of consistency in those most unusual images with the patient’s seemingly normal life.” Neuropsychological testing revealed the man had an IQ of 75; the level is way below the benchmark, which is thought to be 85 for the majority of people in society.

The commonly spouted wisdom that people only use 10 percent of their brain power may have been dismissed as a myth, but one French man seems to be managing fine with just a small fraction of his actual brain.


In fact the man, who works as a civil servant in southern France, has succeeded in living an entirely normal life despite a huge fluid-filled cavity taking up most of the space where his brain should be.


Born with only half a brain, Mack can speak normally, graduated from high school and has an uncanny knack for dates.

At 27, doctors determined that the right side of her brain had essentially rewired itself to make up for function that was likely lost during a pre-birth stroke. But her childhood and young adult years were fraught with frustration.

“It was very hard for me,” Mack said. “It was very hard for me growing up. No one knew the truth about my brain.”

Mack’s parents, Carol and Wally, realized shortly after her birth that something was wrong.

“There wasn’t a group to turn to,” said Carol Mack. “Michelle didn’t have cerebral palsy, I knew that. She didn’t have Down’s syndrome, I knew that. I had no place to turn.”