Can you Function without a brain?

Can You Function Without a Brain? Can You Be a No-Brainer?

Can You Function Without a Brain?

Can You Function Without a Brain?

You need your brain to understand words, and you need your brain to decide whether or not you liked what you were hearing. You also need your brain to move your muscles.  You need your brain to do a lot of stuff, and, without a brain, you can’t do much of anything at all.  Right?

What if you’re headless?

Can we function without a brain?But what would happened in the case of decapitation?  It’s a macabre subject, I know.  But look at the case of Mike, the chicken.  In 1945, farmer Lloyd Olsen went out to grab a chicken for supper. He cut the chicken’s head off, and it didn’t die. Mike The Headless Chicken lived for another 18 months. He toured the country and surprised onlookers.  He could walk and perch, and was fed by putting little drops of water or pieces of grain down his throat. But, here’s the thing … Mike The Headless Chicken’s actions were possible because even though he didn’t have much of what we would call a “head” left, he did have a bit of his brain stem.  (Believe this, or not.)

La Cucaracha

Can You Function Without a Brain?If we want a clearer “no-brainer”, we’re going to have to look at an even more simple creature, the cockroach. These guys don’t even breath through their heads so, without one, they’re fine. Instead, they breath through holes all over their bodies. And instead of being controlled by a big, massive brain, they have little bundles of nerves, ganglia, throughout their body, and so even without any head parts, even when completely decapitated, a cockroach can live for weeks. It can walk around and respond to movement.  Its only problem is that, without its head, it will eventually starve to death.

But Can YOU Function Without a Brain?

It is far different for human beings, though.  Without a head and brain we die within seconds, if not instantly. Keep in mind, though, that with our heads intact, we are capable of some actions that don’t necessarily require Can you Function without a brain?the brain.  These actions are called reflexes. When you snap your finger, your finger moves at about 20 mph. And a really big sneeze can expel air at nearly 30-40 mph. Nerve impulses, on the other hand, clock in at 250 mph.  Sometimes that’s not even fast enough, like when you accidentally put your hand on a hot stove, and cells start to die very quickly.  250 mph isn’t quick enough.  You can’t tell your brain what’s happening fast enough, so instead, your immediate reaction to pull away is mediated by other parts of your nervous system.

The same can be said for involuntary and unconscious processes. In a way, these unconscious, involuntary, or reflexive behaviors could be considered “no-brainers”, but not really because they still require that your brain be there, keeping you alive. So, what if you weren’t alive? Well, in your dead, brainless body, your muscle cells still contain a little bit of energy in the form of a ATP. Backyard Brains, on Youtube, demonstrates this with insect parts. This leg is no longer connected to a brain or a body, but energy remains in the cells. And so, researchers can detect electrical signals when the leg is touched, or even simply breathed on.  (That popping sound you’re hearing is the spontaneous discharge rate of the living neurons in the still-living leg.)  Freaky!

Muscle Cells

The muscle cells of a human limb would respond in just the same way. But you don’t need wires to observe behavior like this. Salt can also do the trick. The introduction of sodium ions can cause a process similar to an action-Can you function without a brain?potential in a living animal. Salt added to these fresh frog legs makes them dance, though not for very long. The cells will eventually run out of energy, or simply decay. But, to be sure, there are many other brief candidates for no-brainers at the moment of death. For instance, muscles relaxing, causing a person to soil themselves. Technically, it’s a “no-brainer” but it’s a misconception that a corpse continues to grow fingernails and hair.  It’s actually the skin, itself, shrinking as it dries, making hair and nails appear longer.  Eww!

Skin Cells

Can you function without a brain?Let’s take a closer look at these skin cells, because we might be on to a quite satisfactory no-brainer. Your skin cells live on the periphery of your body, and they don’t need to have a constant stream of new nutrients from your blood. And, so, even though you are dead and your brain is no longer calling the shots, your skin cells can continue to live, gathering nutrients through osmosis, and dividing for days. In fact, you can harvest skin cells from a corpse after 24 hours.  (Fantastic, isn’t it?)
Can you function without a brain?What about digestion?  It’s true that a lot of the digestive processes completed by you depends on you being alive and having a nervous system that works. But, part of the work is done by bacteria that just happens to live inside your gut. And when your dead or your brain is gone, they’ll continue digesting. So, in a way, making poop, at least part of that process, is a no-brainer.
But here’s the thing, these bacteria that live inside you are foreign bacteria. Are they (really) you? For that matter, what about the skin cells that continue to live after you’re dead? Are they you, or are they merely cells that you have made a good home for? We’re getting pretty philosophical here because we’re basically asking if you are merely your brain, and everything else that goes on when you no longer have one is just other stuff that you aren’t doing?
You can argue that without a brain your body no longer has your intentions. It no longer does things because you have decided to do them. In other words, a no-brainer may be impossible for you to do because it requires not using you. (Do you follow?) If you are merely what your brain does and not what your cells do off on their own when the brain is gone then, in a way, being you, being alive, is a yes-brainer.  
Can you function without a brain?~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~SOURCE: Vsauce3  Go check that out.  Go!  Now.
Can you function without a brain?

I hope you have enjoyed, “Can You Function Without a Brain?  Can You Be a No-Brainer?“.

You may also enjoy: How Do You Know if Anything is Real?  Where are your fingers?

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Jeanne Melanson♥ Peace ♥

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Jeanne Melanson

Owner at Animal Bliss
Born in Nova Scotia, I moved to the United States 20+ years ago.I am a dedicated lover of animals and fight for their rights and protection.I love people too, of course, and enjoy meeting folks from all walks of life.I enjoy philosophical discussion, laughing, and really odd ball stuff.I hope you enjoy my site.Leave me a comment to let me know you were here!Peace out.
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8 thoughts on “Can You Function Without a Brain? Can You Be a No-Brainer?

    • I know, Vince. I’m definitely skeptical about that chicken too, but who am I to say, I guess. After all, it’s on the Internet so it must be true, right? lol Thanks for taking the time to stop by. I love that.

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