Handy model

Richard Restak, March 2007As Richard Restak points out, we all carry our own 3-D model of the brain with us: our hands. “We all have brains with us, inside our skulls, but we also can make one with our hands,” he said, holding his two fists together during a recent forum here at Dana Center in Washington, D.C. “Looking at the top, we can see the two cerebral hemispheres. Separate them, that’s the corpus callosum. Move down, that’s the spinal cord, mid-brain. Open up, into the sub-cortical areas.”

Restak used the model to open the discussion at the forum, explaining the basics before launching into the night’s topic, “Staying Sharp in the Workplace.” I expect he isn’t the first to point this out, but it was the first time I had heard it. As someone who tends to “talk with my hands,” I was happy to discover another bit of manual vocabulary. I wonder what “brain” is in ASL and other sign languages.

— Nicky Penttila

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