The Frontier Within

BY PLUMBING THE DEEP SECRETS OF THE HUMAN MIND, SCIENTISTS WILL OPEN THE WAY TO CURES, WONDERS -- AND VOYEURISM

Contemplate for a moment a tangle of seaweed tossed up on the shore. This is what a neuron looks like, surrounded by a thicket of tiny tendrils that serve as communications channels. Now multiply that neuron 100 billion times. Crammed into the skull of every human individual are as many neurons as there are stars in the Milky Way. Each one of these receives input from about 10,000 other neurons in the brain and sends messages to a thousand more. The combinatorial possibilities are staggering. The cerebral cortex alone boasts 1 million billion connections, a number so large, marvels neuroscientist Gerald...

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