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” …I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.”

     Doctrine and Covenants 6:21

    The Optic Nerves are the two most important cranial nerves in the body.  They account for 40% of all the sensory neurons in the entire nervous system, and contain 1 million nerve fibers each.  This is by far the most sensory input of any nerve in the body.   The trigeminal nerve, which gives our face its sense of touch, pain, temperature and vibration is a distant second at 140,000 nerve fibers.   The auditory nerve is third with just 30,000 nerve fibers.  By the numbers, vision is by far the most important sense in humans.  

      Most cranial nerves join into the very primitive part of the brain found in all mammals, called the brainstem.  The Optic and the Olfactory (smell) nerves and the only two that connect to the newer part of the brain, the neocortex, The folded, convoluted part that is far more developed in mankind than any other animal.   This turns out to be critical to the development of civilization itself. Read the rest of this entry »


The internet is full of a veritable flood of information and it can be a lot to wade through.  I thought I would take an occasion or two to share some of the blogs I’ve found that really keep me going back for more, which are featured on my sidebar, starting with the more outstanding (IMHO) neuroscience blogs out there.  Here’s my top five. Read the rest of this entry »

Grand Rounds meets South Park at Pure Pedantry, while the Mouse Trap has put together an Encephalon that is sheer poetry.  Both saw fit to include a post by yours truly, Encephalon, with my post on Asperger syndrome, and Grand Rounds with my post on Vulnerable Child syndrome.  But that’s only the tip of the iceberg.  Head on over to enjoy the best of the blogs for all things Brain, and all things healthcare, medicine, and body.


One of the features of humankind that has long been thought to be unique to us is the theory of mind.  This is our ability to deduce what another might be thinking, a critical base for such behaviors as for empathy, socialization, even battle and strategy.  It is so prevalent and so innate that we often do it without realizing it, anthropomorphizing machines, televisions, the computer, animals, even the clouds and the waves.  Imagine a world where no one did this.  Imagine for a minute not even realizing that the people you interact with daily have their own minds inner workings and dealings.  This is the world of Asperger Syndrome. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Many apologies for the light posting.  The beginning of the medical school year always seems to kick work demands up a notch.  I have something wonderful, insightful, and enthralling coming up as soon as I figure out what it is.  Until then, here is the collection of all the enthralling stuff I wish I could write.  Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

The latest edition of Grand Rounds, where the medical blogosphere gathers is greatest posts, is up at NHS Doctor Blog.  For those of more the Neuroscience bent, Encephalon, #47 is up at Channel N, with an excellent video theme.  Many thanks for including my submission in spite of my old school printed word.

  It turns out that trust is chemical, at least according to modern neuroscience and research into oxytocin.  Oxytocin is a hormone produced by the neuron part of the pituitary gland that has long been known to strengthen uterine contractions in childbirth and to start milk production in breast feeding.   More recently, scientists have started to understand its role in brain and behavior with key role in trust. Read the rest of this entry »

The 46th edition of Encephalon is up at the Neurocritic, replete all the neuroscience news and brain buzz you can handle on a biweekly basis. 

Also, check out this weeks Grand Rounds at Parallel Universes, for the best of the medical blog world.  I am honored to be among five time host’s five favorites this week.


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