The Internet and the Brain

When explaining scientific concepts we often rely on analogies to explain processes in a way that others can understand. These analogies usually feature some common or easily understood process that is comparable to the scientific process we want to describe. Our class was challenged to come up with our own analogy for a biological process or structure that we wanted to explain. As I thought about the various biological structures and physiological processes in the body the one analogy that stuck out to me is that the brain is like the internet in four major ways.

  1. We use the internet to send and receive messages, to communicate with other people. Our bodies use our brain to send and receive messages from our eyes to our hands in order to open a door, or from our ears to our neck so that we turn our heads to look at some one who is talking.
  2. We use the internet to store information so that it can be used at a later date by ourselves or others. Our brain stores information from different parts of the body that other parts of the body, or even the initial part, may need later on.
  3. The internet is constantly being updated and the information it stores is constantly being expounded upon or even changed completely. The longer we live the more the information stored with in our brains is changed or added too, just like the information in the internet.
  4. Information that is needed often can be accessed more easily. On the internet you can often save your preferences by bookmarking them. In the brain the more often you access information the more quickly you can access it in the future (That’s why teachers make you practice your multiplication tables even after you’ve memorized them!!).
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