Is your brain really necessary? | Science


12 December 1980: John Lorber, a British neurologist, claims that some patients are more normal than would be inferred from their brain scans.

“Professor John Lorber has a facility for making doctors sit up and think about hallowed concepts,” writes Adrian Bower, a neuroanatomist at Sheffield University, England, where Lorber holds a research chair in pediatrics. “The human brain is the current object of his challenging speculation,” continues Bower, referring to his colleague’s recent propositions concerning hydrocephalus, or water on the brain. For instance, Lorber was not jesting totally when he addressed a conference of pediatricians with a paper entitled “Is your brain really necessary?” Lorber believes that his observations on a series of hydrocephalics who have severely reduced brain tissue throws into question many traditional notions about the brain, both in clinical and scientific terms.

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