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Brain

  • ... I like going from one lighted room to another, such is my brain to me; lighted rooms ...

  • Oh dear, why does Lydia always come in — and why must she beg me to believe that she thinks seriously every day of her life, as she says? when her brain is a cage of canaries?

    • Virginia Woolf,
    • 1923, in Nigel Nicolson and Joanne Trautmann, eds., The Letters of Virginia Woolf: Volume III: 1923-1928 ()
  • What the brain does by itself is infinitely more fascinating and complex than any response it can make to chemical stimulation.

  • The brain is a tool that gets rusty without constant, albeit moderate, exercise.

  • ... she had one of those small, summery brains, that flower early and run to seed.

  • Brain don't grow on blackberry vines.

  • The softest, freest, most pliable and changeful living substance is the brain — the hardest and most iron-bound as well.

  • The world needs scientists, engineers — and if a brain is qualified to do such work, it should be encouraged, not smothered because it is a female brain.

    • Marguerite Rawalt,
    • in Judith Paterson, Be Somebody: A Biography of Marguerite Rawalt ()
  • All that's known is this: there is no central processor, no single computer. Nothing that simple. Millions of neurons process information simultaneously and in parallel, not linearly, but the actual chemistry and electrical properties of that integrative process are still being mapped. Even so, it seems odd that during the evolution of brain circuitry and thinking, the ability to understand itself did not get wired in. Such built-in innocence seems like a terrible oversight.

  • The Brain — is wider than the Sky.

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • in Mabel Loomis Todd and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, eds., Poems, 3rd series ()
  • ... I had no reason to doubt that brains were suitable for a woman.

  • The brain is only three pounds of blood, dream, and electricity, and yet from that mortal stew come Beethoven's sonatas. Dizzie Gillespie's jazz. Audrey Hepburn's wish to spend the last month of her life in Somalia, saving children.

  • 'What was her name again?' asked the old lady, whose brain was like a worn-out strainer, very fine in places but with big holes in others.

  • [On Lord Birkenhead:] He's very clever, but sometimes his brains go to his head.

  • Like sand on the beach, the brain bears the footprints of the decisions we have made, the skills we have learned, the actions we have taken.

  • The mind, of course, is just what the brain does for a living.

    • Sharon Begley,
    • in Sharon Begley et al., "Memory," in Newsweek ()
  • But the mind's cross-indexing puts the best librarian to shame.

    • Sharon Begley,
    • in Sharon Begley et al., "Memory," in Newsweek ()
  • ... the mind can store an estimated 100 trillion bits of information — compared with which a computer's mere billions are virtually amnesiac ...

    • Sharon Begley,
    • in Sharon Begley et al., "Memory," in Newsweek ()
  • The brain is a muscle / of busy hills, the struggle / of unthought things with things / eternally thought.

  • There is no more terrible woe upon earth than the woe of the stricken brain, which remembers the days of its strength, the living light of its reason, the sunrise of its proud intelligence, and knows that these have passed away like a tale that is told ...

  • The different faculties [of the mind] divide themselves in the main into two classifications, which I call hot (the creative) and cold (the critical).

  • Although most of us are complacent in our assumption that science is gaining on the unknown, scientists are acknowledging that man's own brain is complex beyond any hope of complete understanding.

  • For nearly a century the psychoanalysts have been writing op-ed pieces about the workings of a country they've never traveled to, a place that, like China, has been off-limits. Suddenly, the country has opened its borders and is crawling with foreign correspondents, neurobiologists are filing ten stories a week, filled with new data. These two groups of writers, however, don't seem to read each other's work. That's because the analysts are writing about a country they call Mind and the neuroscientists are reporting from a country they call Brain.

  • Yes, well, he's a man of limited intellect, and if he had more than one idea at a time they'd die from overcrowding.