The Spoils

Use Your Noodle


illustrated brain

The average adult human brain weighs just under three pounds, yet it's the most powerful organ in the body. Nicole Joseph, CAS/BA '03, a psychologist in private practice in Northern Virginia, knows that well. For seven years she's been seeing patients ranging from elementary school students to adults approaching retirement. A pre-med major at AU, she was always fascinated by the brain and decided that "psychology would afford me more of an opportunity to have a longer term, more personal relationship with my patients."

Just how the brain works remains largely a mystery. We know that about 80 percent of the contents of the cranium is brain matter, while equal amounts of blood and cerebrospinal fluid, the clear liquid that buffers neural tissue, make up the rest, according to the website Live Science. The brain is made up of more than 100 billion nerve cells, each connected to about 10,000 other cells, giving the brain approximately 1,000 trillion neural connections.

That's some mind-blowing stuff.