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If we were able to unfold the brain, how big would it be? Would it be long like an intestine or flat and round like a tortilla?
Question Date: 2012-02-17
Answer 1:

There are many different ways to think about how the brain would unfold. When I bought pig brains for a science class, I was surprised at how much they were like a blob of lard or Crisco. The brain has lots of fat, to insulate the neurons, so that the electric currents flow properly along the pathways in the brain, instead of going to the wrong place, like a short circuit.

I would picture a brain like a big 3-dimensional network, if all the neurons and other brain cells were pulled apart from each other, except for the synapses.

It would be fun to buy a pig brain or some brain from a market, and see what happened, if you gently pulled it apart. Or maybe you could soak the brain in some kind of alcohol, like rubbing alcohol, to see what it looked like, if a lot of the fat was dissolved out of it.

Best wishes,

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