Winter 2006 • Vol. XXVIII No. 1 Writing in Code: Literature and the GenomeJanuary 1, 2006 |

Memories Are Made of This

In the dark auditorium, hundreds of brainscontemplate brains on the screen. Neuronsmap pictures of visual corticesonto our own cortices. How preciseeach of these maps! A neurosurgeoncan trace what you see—an imageof Einstein's brain, a circle, the faceof an infant son—on your cerebrum,             point by point. How miraculous! A gray-matter smidgenthe size of a rice grain contains one millionneurons, each with an axon and dendrites.    S t r e t c h e d o u t, the axons alone would span twenty miles. Also crammed into that grain, ten billionsynapses, gaps between neurons.All that you know has jumpedthose gaps, each bit of knowledgecrossing the brain, leaving the traceof its passage along a thousand paths.If one synapse fails to trigger (it's not a seniormoment, this happens more often than not)hold that thought!             There's always another chance. All of which fails to explain why, whenthe

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Memory Lapse

By Judith Strasser

In the dark auditorium, hundreds of brainscontemplate brains on the screen. Neuronsmap pictures of visual corticesonto our own cortices. How preciseeach of these maps! A neurosurgeoncan trace what you see—an […]

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By Beth Bachmann

In the dark auditorium, hundreds of brainscontemplate brains on the screen. Neuronsmap pictures of visual corticesonto our own cortices. How preciseeach of these maps! A neurosurgeoncan trace what you see—an […]

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