Coming to terms with being human.


Myelin: More than a Zombie Snack

Grey matter and white matter: it took the neurologists to tag anatomy by color code instead of by annoying Latin names that I neglected to memorize in high school. Femur? Aren't those in Madagascar?

Myelin is basically fat; tightly wrapped sheets of fat in your brain. It's normally described as an neural insulator and is known for it's role in speeding impulses through axons. Myelin doesn't get much time in the classroom. My Biological Psychology course paid it lip service, mentioned a potential link between lack of myelin and schizophrenia and went back to nerves, the amygdala and norepinephrine. But if you really think about myelin's place in the world, you may become like Dr. George Bartzokis and claim that white matter is "the single biggest factor in making us human". He goes on to imply that the lack of myelin in teenage brains may explain their lack of impulse control. The article also mentions that,
If you look at (the data), you will see that the average 40-or 45-year-old cocaine addict has the same amount of white matter as the average 19-year-old.
So adding all this up: teenagers equate to cocaine addicts, more myelin equals more human, therefore teenagers are less human, like addicts, schizophrenics, and males (read the article) . I had always thought that the ability to make anything into a weapon was the determining factor in humanness (which would make males more human), but Dr. B makes a good case too. So the next time someone calls you a fat head, be sure to thank them.

Honor Impulsivety: Get your booze on?


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