In the beginning of the presentation he told us the words that refer to all manner of different congregations of animals and then toward the end quizzed the audience to see if we could still remember them.
Do you know that a gathering of owls is called a "Parliament", a group of squirrels is a "scurry", a collection of Rhinoceros is a "Crash" and a collection of Giraffes is a "stand"?
Apparently there were a bunch of English noblemen in the 1400's who had not much better to do so they went around naming things. Kind of makes you wonder why they called a gathering of crows a "murder" and rattlesnakes a "Rhumba".
All that aside, it was interesting to hear things like how before age 50 most functions occur on one or the other side of the brain but after age 50 (approx) people start using both sides of their brain to do the same sorts of tasks formerly confined to either the right or left.
In the past people believed we had a finite number of brain cells, and once they were gone, they were gone for good. Now it is recognized that the brain DOES generate new neurons, and perhaps even more importantly can build new network connections to compensate for lost functions due to illness or injury.
Apparently Oregon has the second highest (next to California) amount of brain research going on so we head about all sorts of intriguing stuff about things we now know due to breakthroughs in imaging science with things like PET scans and FMRI.
Thanks to Paul Allen's BRAIN ATLAS cutting edge information about the brain is more readily accessible than ever before, making it possible for researchers all over the world to collaborate or benefit from even the most obscure break throughs.
I've long been fascinated with how we learn, remember, imagine, dream. What is it that makes one person's brain be "smart" and another's "average" or "dull"? How much of that is due to the three pounds of squiggly, squishy grey matter trapped inside our skull and how much of it is from the innate spirit we were created with and how much is social training?
Is there any way to ever know? I doubt it. Still, it is amazing how stimulating various segments of the brain can trigger the sensations of smells, colors, lights.
Yep, brains are cool stuff. I've seriously considered donating my brain to science when I get done with it.