How human experiences, thoughts and memories emerge from the unfathomably complex neuronal network that is the brain is one of science’s greatest mysteries. It’s been 70 years since the structure of DNA, the code upon which biology runs, was pieced together, and now genomic medicine is about to transform our lives. In comparison, our understanding of the underpinnings of consciousness is shallow, mostly limited to mapping a particular brain function to a specific region or group of neurons within the brain.
One of the first things we learn about the brain in school is the existence of multiple regions with distinct functions: the frontal lobe is responsible for concentration and problem solving, the occipital lobe for vision and so on. But is this approach hindering our understanding of how the brain really operates? Check out the first few minutes of this video by Quanta Magazine to learn how some scientists are rethinking how we conceptualise brain function.