A 44-year-old French man with damage to 90% of his brain went to the doctor complaining of mild weakness in his left leg.
The brain scans revealed that his skull was mostly filled with fluid, leaving a thin outer layer of actual brain tissue. This condition is a rare form of hydrocephalus – an increased pressure in the brain due to a build up of fluid.
The man had been diagnosed with the condition as a child, and treated with a stent – a short tube that keeps the artery open. When his stent was removed at the age of 14, his brain began to slowly erode.
Despite the minimal brain tissue, the man wasn’t mentally disabled. He had an IQ of 75 and worked as a civil servant. He was also married with two children and relatively healthy.
The man’s story shows us the amazing ability of the human brain. Plasticity, the brain’s ability to reorganise itself by forming new connections is more powerful than we think.
A great example of plasticity is the ability to learn a new language. The left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for language. A person who may have damage to this area may be unable to express or comprehend his words. In some circumstances, the right hemisphere may ‘take over’ the performance of language functions, despite this side being innately less successful.
This right hemisphere ability may also be one explanation as to why it is possible to learn a new language after the critical period passes.
The brain’s pretty awesome right?
This could be why the lefties are so stupid, they have even less brains than this poor man.