18 most insightful and profound quotations about the brain

Benjamin Disreali, the two-time British Prime Minister, is quoted to say The wisdom of the wise, and the experience of ages, may be preserved by quotation”. Joseph Roux, the French poet, describes ‘a fine quotation’ as ‘a diamond in the hand of a man of wit, and a pebble in the hand of a fool”.

By Alessandro AntonelliOwn work, Public Domain, Link

Many have put their wisdom and wit to the task of capturing the beauty and complexity of the brain. And they have used the most illuminating of words which have achieved the status of quotable quotes. Over the last few years I have etched some of these quotations in marble, and circulated them via social media. Here I bring together 18 most insightful and profound brain quotations, sculptured by those who should know a thing or two about the brain: neuroscientists, astronomers, and literary greats. Enjoy, and click to see them in their original tweet.

***

***

***

***

***

***

***

***

***

***

***

***

***

***

***

***

***

***

NB: Many of the quotations used in this blog post were sourced from brainyquotes.com.

The “Library”. Quinn Dombrowski on Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/4692180679

MS risk factors: the top 6

Before day 2 commences, a quick word on a wonderful symposium on Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

 

"Journal.pone.0057573.g005" by Veela Mehta, Wei Pei, Grant Yang, Suyang Li, Eashwar Swamy, Aaron Boster, Petra Schmalbrock, David Pitt - Mehta V, Pei W, Yang G, Li S, Swamy E, et al. (2013) Iron Is a Sensitive Biomarker for Inflammation in Multiple Sclerosis Lesions. PLoS ONE 8(3): e57573. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057573. http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0057573#pone-0057573-g005. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.
Journal.pone.0057573.g005” by Veela Mehta, Wei Pei, Grant Yang, Suyang Li, Eashwar Swamy, Aaron Boster, Petra Schmalbrock, David Pitt – Mehta V, Pei W, Yang G, Li S, Swamy E, et al. (2013) Iron Is a Sensitive Biomarker for Inflammation in Multiple Sclerosis Lesions. PLoS ONE 8(3): e57573. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057573. http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0057573#pone-0057573-g005. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

 

MS epidemiologists and researchers dissected the topic Causes/Triggers of MS. Speakers were David Hafler, Alberto Aschiero, Lisa Barcellos and Larry Steinman. And the top 6 are

  • Genetics
  • Tobacco smoking

 

smoking

  • Vitamin D deficiency

 

milk-33603_1280

 

  • EBV infection
  • Overweight in early age
  • High salt intake

 

salt-653072_1280

 

 

I suggested to David we should only be looking for correlation rather than causation (an idea I picked up from a great book Big Data).


He strongly disagreed! He believes genome wide association studies (GAS) have confirmed the cause for MS. I think the search for a definite cause is probably futile but we define cause flexibly. Alberto made the point that even if all the known risk factors were eliminated, MS will still be very prevalent