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Can you live without a brain? Scientists have discovered that “brainless people” can even reach healthy adulthood | Fanggezi vocus


From the mouth of ordinary people, “brainless” may be just a slightly ironic curse, but from the mouth of a brain doctor, “you have no brain”, it means that you are brainless in the physical sense.

Yes, the phenomenon of “brainlessness” is real in medicine and is called “brainless people”. In our common sense, the brain is the control center of the whole body, so how do “brainless people” survive in the world without a brain? How are their actions different from ordinary people?

The first brainless person discovered in the world

33 years ago, a report published in Science magazine revealed the existence of brainless people to the public for the first time. In order to protect patients, the report referred to this person as TF.

At first, TF suffered from headache andepileptic seizureSeek medical attention for symptoms,The doctor also routinely conducts some brain examinations on him to see if there is anybrain damage, because his symptoms were consistent with brain damage. Amazingly, through MRI scans and other tests of his brain, doctors discovered he suffered from severe cerebral edema, which caused severe damage to his cerebral cortex.

Due to the limited scientific and technological conditions at the time and the seriousness of his condition, doctors were unable to observe his completed brain structure through CT. The entire CT showed that his brain only had a large amount of liquid tissue, as if the entire skull was filled with water. Such a strange phenomenon , which directly confused the doctor:After so many years of seeing patients, this is the first time I have seen a brainless person who can still marry and have children. He has grown up to his current age and only walked into the infirmary without a brain!

Doctors then conducted five tests on him: first, a personality test, which showed that although he showed some emotional problems, such as depression and anxiety, he had no other symptoms, such as paranoia, delusions or personality disorders;

followed byintelligence test, including general knowledge test, language comprehension test, attention test, memory test, and mathematics test. The results showed that although his performance was slightly worse in terms of execution speed and abstract thinking, his performance in language understanding, memory, mathematics and reasoning was no different from ordinary people;

Subsequently, doctors conducted consciousness tests, which showed that he performed well in terms of arousal and consciousness levels, but slightly poor in attention and concentration;

Next is the exercise test, because the big and small brains jointly control the movement of human limbs. The results showed that he had slight movements andsensory impairmentbut able to perform activities of daily living;

Finally, doctors performed an electroencephalogram (EEG) test, which revealed some abnormalities in his brain’s electrical activity, indicating damage to his brain function.

Five tests were completed and the results showed that although TFAlthough almost the entire brain is gone, all normal human sensory and motor abilities have not been lost..

This case caused an uproar in the medical community. At the same time, it is of great significance to modern medicine in understanding the impact and recovery of cerebral cortex injuries.

By studying the “remaining” brains of TF, scientists have gained insights into the organization and function of the cerebral cortex and identified different regions and functions of the cerebral cortex. These studies can also provide guidance and assistance in rehabilitation after brain injury to provide appropriate stimulation and treatment to damaged brain areas.

How do brainless people move?

33 years have passed, and the statement about brainless people seems to be a bit exaggerated. The brain is one of the most important organs in the human body, responsible for controlling and regulating almost all body functions and activities, including movement, feeling, thinking, emotion, Memory and so on. Humans would not survive if the brain was completely missing, as the brain is the center that controls essential vital signs such as breathing and heartbeat.

People without brains are not completely missing their brains, but suffer from severe cerebral edema. Other brain tissues cannot be observed in CT scans, and part of the brain is damaged, causing some functional abnormalities in the human body.

Since part of the brain is missing and the human body can still survive, does this mean that the brain can be regarded as a highly integrated organ to some extent?

But on the other hand, it can also be viewed as a complex network of many interacting subsystems.

These subsystems involve many different aspects such as perception, movement, emotion, memory, decision-making, etc., and the relationship between them is dynamic. Therefore, regarding the overall nature of the brain, we need to consider its hierarchical structure, modularity, and dynamic nature to better understand its function and behavior.

The human brain has different divisions of labor. If a certain part of the brain is missing, it will usually lead to varying degrees of cognitive and behavioral dysfunction.

For example, the cerebral cortex is the outermost layer of the brain and is responsible for processing most of the sensory, motor, language and cognitive functions. Then, if the cerebral cortex is damaged, it may lead to cognitive and behavioral disorders, such as memory loss, language impairment, attention deficit, and incoordination of actions;

andhippocampusIt is an important structure responsible for converting short-term memory into long-term memory. If the hippocampus is damaged, it will lead to memory disorders such as amnesia and cognitive dysfunction;

The cerebellum is responsible for coordinating and controlling body movement and posture. If the cerebellum is damaged, it will lead to problems such as uncoordinated movement, unstable balance, and abnormal posture;

The amygdala is an important structure for processing emotions and emotions. Damage to the amygdala can lead to problems such as emotional instability, anxiety, depression, and social difficulties;

prefrontal cortexIt is an important structure responsible for executive control and planning actions. Damage to the prefrontal cortex can lead to difficulty in decision-making, uncoordinated actions, and lack of control.

The refined functional distinctions corresponding to various areas of the brain are the results of research on brainless people..

Of course, these achievements are not limited to the biological field, but also have an impact in the computer field.neural network algorithmIt was developed and applied inspired by the interconnection between neurons in the brain.

also,AIThe development of AI is also inseparable from the study of brain functions, such as image recognition, speech recognition, natural language processing and other fields, which are all inspired by the research and simulation of the brain’s sensory functions.


Are vegetative people also “brainless people”?

In fact, brainless people with more practical significance also exist, which are usually called vegetative people.

The brain of a vegetative person exists in a physical sense, but to some extent, the soul of the brain has been taken away. They cannot independently control their actions and expressions. They have no advanced neural activities such as consciousness, perception, will, and emotion. They cannot even perform life activities such as breathing and swallowing. They can only maintain vital signs through machines.

People have different views and ethical views on the life and existence of vegetative people: some people think that vegetative people should be treated as a form of life, they still have life and need to be cared for and respected; others think that vegetative people Having lost consciousness and self-awareness, their existence is just a life maintained by machines. The quality of life has been lost and is meaningless.

The human brain is a physical organ, composed of various elements, but it produces self-consciousness. There are still many questions about what kind of principle, the interaction between integrated neurons and neural circuits, enables us to have self-perception and cognition. Unknowns and mysteries await us to explore and solve.


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The article is in Chinese

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