Another word for brain power

BRAINPOWER Synonyms: 15 Synonyms & Antonyms for BRAINPOWER

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  • nounintelligence

synonyms for brainpower

  • intellect
  • I.Q.
  • brain
  • brains
  • grasp
  • mentality
  • mind
  • understanding
  • intellectual power
  • mental ability
  • mental capacity

antonyms for brainpower


  • body
  • disbelief
  • misunderstanding
  • physicality

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

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How to use brainpower in a sentence

In my home country of India much brainpower goes to waste because cultural and social structures make it difficult for women to take jobs.


Many spend their free time consuming entertainment, which may feel relaxing but requires brainpower to enjoy.


We have a lot of effort, brainpower going into solving that problem.


They’re interested in looking at the number of languages spoken, and what exactly in a young person’s environment could influence their growth, and possibly, their brainpower.


Tools reflect brainpower, but also culture, our hardware and software.


It harms the growing tissue, dulls the conscience, stunts the growth, and steals the brainpower of growing boys.


But we know that men and races of magnificent brainpower must have existed on the planet thousands and thousands of years ago.


His presence was commanding, and he impressed everybody by his magnetism and brainpower.


They cannot afford such costs--but this Nation cannot afford to maintain its military power and neglect its brainpower.



  • IQ
  • acuity
  • acumen
  • agility
  • alertness
  • aptitude
  • brainpower
  • brains
  • brightness
  • brilliance
  • capacity
  • cleverness
  • comprehension
  • coruscation
  • discernment
  • gray matter
  • intellect
  • judgment
  • luminosity
  • mentality
  • mind
  • penetration
  • perception
  • perspicacity
  • precocity
  • quickness
  • quotient
  • reason
  • sagacity
  • savvy
  • sense
  • skill
  • smarts
  • subtlety
  • the right stuff
  • trenchancy
  • understanding
  • what it takes
  • wit
  • IQ
  • attitude
  • brainpower
  • brains
  • cast
  • character
  • comprehension
  • disposition
  • frame of mind
  • headset
  • intellect
  • intelligence quotient
  • makeup
  • mental age
  • mind
  • mindset
  • outlook
  • personality
  • psychology
  • rationality
  • reasoning
  • routine
  • sense
  • turn of mind
  • understanding
  • way of thinking
  • wit
  • apperception
  • attention
  • brain
  • brainpower
  • brains
  • capacity
  • cognizance
  • conception
  • consciousness
  • creativity
  • faculty
  • function
  • genius
  • head
  • imagination
  • ingenuity
  • instinct
  • intellect
  • intellectual
  • intellectuality
  • intuition
  • judgment
  • lucidity
  • marbles
  • mentality
  • observation
  • perception
  • percipience
  • power
  • psyche
  • ratiocination
  • reason
  • reasoning
  • regard
  • sanity
  • sense
  • soul
  • soundness
  • spirit
  • talent
  • thinker
  • thought
  • understanding
  • wisdom
  • wits
  • IQS
  • acuities
  • acumen
  • alertness
  • aptitudes
  • brainpowers
  • brains
  • brightnesses
  • brilliance
  • cleverness
  • competences
  • comprehensions
  • gray matters
  • intellects
  • judgments
  • know-hows
  • minds
  • perceptions
  • perspicacity
  • precocities
  • reasons
  • savvy
  • senses
  • the right stuffs
  • understandings
  • what it takes
  • acumen
  • acuteness
  • astucity
  • astuteness
  • awareness
  • balance
  • brainpower
  • brains
  • cleverness
  • common-sense
  • comprehension
  • depth of perception
  • discernment
  • discrimination
  • esprit
  • grasp
  • ingenuity
  • insight
  • keenness
  • lucidity
  • marbles
  • mentality
  • mind
  • perception
  • perspicacity
  • practicality
  • prudence
  • rationality
  • reason
  • sagaciousness
  • sagacity
  • sageness
  • saneness
  • sanity
  • sapience
  • sense
  • shrewdness
  • soundness
  • understanding
  • wisdom

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

The World's Fastest Dictionary |


  1. brainpower mental ability

  2. brown bear large ferocious bear of Eurasia

  3. brainpan the part of the skull that encloses the brain

  4. drawing power the capacity for attracting people (customers or supporters)

  5. brain-worker someone whose profession involves using his head to solve problems

  6. brain fever meningitis caused by bacteria and often fatal

  7. brainworker someone whose profession involves using his head to solve problems

  8. brown pine large Australian tree with straight-grained yellow wood that turns brown on exposure

  9. brain-teaser a difficult problem

  10. brain tumor a tumor in the brain

  11. rain shower a brief period of precipitation

  12. brain coral massive reef-building coral having a convoluted and furrowed surface

  13. manpower the force of workers available

  14. trainbearer one who holds up the train of a gown or robe on a ceremonial occasion

  15. brain sugar a simple sugar found in lactose

  16. greenbrier a very prickly woody vine of the eastern United States growing in tangled masses having tough round stems with shiny leathery leaves and small greenish flowers followed by clusters of inedible shiny black berries

  17. air power the aggregation of a country's military aircraft

  18. barnburner someone who burns down a barn

  19. Branchiura copepods with suctorial mouthparts; parasitic on fishes

  20. brown bread bread made with whole wheat flour

What the power of thought is capable of – Moscow 24, 10/14/2014

"Unsolved mysteries": Can thought change the world

Hundreds of thoughts rush through the head of each of us every minute. But what is thought and can it change the world? The answer is in the investigation of the Moscow Trust TV channel.

Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Scientists are preparing for the experiment. They claim to have found a way to read minds. The subject is put on a special electroencephalographic cap, which will record brain activity. During the experiment, he will have to solve several types of problems that will appear on the computer monitor. The operator, sitting in the next room at the computer, using a simple interface, must determine what type of problem the subject is currently solving. nine0004

As Ilya Tarotin, a post-graduate student of the Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, explained, eight multi-colored dots are displayed on the plane, which reflect the type of problem being solved. Four blue dots are spatial tasks, four red dots are verbal tasks. The cross moving along the plane reflects the type of problem that the subject is solving.

Behind this simple interface is a lot of work and many years of research. Previously, scientists had to decipher kilometers of electroencephalograms in order to understand what was happening in the brain of the subject at that moment. Now the data is converted into a map with dots and a cross. nine0004

Of course, scientists will not be able to decipher every thought so soon, if at all. Many people think that this is impossible. But we already know how to distinguish one type of thinking from another. The researchers promise that soon they will be able to even more accurately recognize the train of thought of people, then they will have at their disposal not two types of tasks, but dozens or even hundreds of thought processes.

According to Doctor of Medical Sciences, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexei Ivanitsky, one of the promising areas is aircraft control. "Imagine a fighter jet fighting in the air. A pilot is flying his plane and sees that there is some kind of danger. It will still take time before he can figure it out and do some unexpected actions that will allow him to get away from the fire. enemy. If we could read these commands in the brain, we would save 100 milliseconds, and for an aircraft this is a long distance, everything is immediately decided in centimeters, "the scientist explained. nine0004

What is a thought? We cannot imagine what it looks like, we do not feel it with any of the senses. But some researchers endow it with incredible power. For centuries, people have built myths about those who were able to move objects with their minds or guess the intentions of other people. For a long time, these ideas were not recognized by science, they were taken for something mystical. Today, thought is the object of close attention of scientists.

According to Doctor of Medical Sciences, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexei Ivanitsky, a thought is a process in the brain that occurs when a certain motivation appears and you need to achieve some goal that is not unambiguous. The solution must be found when there is a choice, and these prerequisites are necessary for thinking to arise. nine0004

"Thinking is inextricably linked with freedom of choice. Where there is no choice, there is no thinking. Therefore, freedom is inseparable from thinking, it can be different, both in a very narrow range, and ending with freedom in its broadest sense," said Ivanitsky.

Studying thinking, scientists came to a surprising conclusion. It turns out that as soon as we think about some action, we make the brain work, and the muscles tense up as if we were actually doing it. Our ancestors knew this secret in ancient times. nine0004


Many martial arts schools use the power of thought as a way of training. It is enough to imagine that you are doing this or that exercise, and the muscles begin to work, even if the body is motionless. Already in our time, scientists conducted an experiment: they divided the subjects into two groups, each of which had to improve their piano playing skills.

True, one of the groups performed the exercises only mentally, and the second - in the usual way. For the first few days, the skills of both groups of subjects developed in the same way. Then the group that performed the actions physically began to slightly outperform the group of thinkers. But the latter managed to catch up with the competition very quickly after a short physical training session. nine0004

Aleksey Ivanitsky noticed that you can train your brain without movement, but it is more effective with movement. "Imagine, a pianist presses the keys and all the time he understands that he is extracting the sounds he wants. And if he just learns to reproduce these movements only in thought? I think this is also training, because the signals come from the cerebral cortex, but he will not be able to correct it thus," the scientist said.

Many scientists have gone beyond mere assertions that you can mentally build muscle or practice physical techniques. Some researchers are using the power of thought to help patients recover from serious injuries. For example, the neurophysiologist Ramachirana can treat paralysis in this way. nine0004

Let's say a person is paralyzed on the left side of the body, the right side works. Ramachirana puts the mirror across and makes both arms bend. The left does not bend, the right bends. But in the mirror, he sees that the left hand is moving - a mirror image of the right. And after some time, the patient shows obvious improvements.

Back at the end of the last century, world-famous biologist Rupert Sheldrake suggested that thought is an information signal that we send to the outside world. The scientist put forward the theory of the existence of a common information field of our planet. In his opinion, the thoughts of all mankind have been accumulating in the information field of the Earth for thousands of years, as if on a giant hard disk. nine0004

According to Sergei Titov, Doctor of Biological Sciences, Professor of the Department of Differential Psychology and Psychophysiology of the Russian State Technical University, Sheldrake believed that the brain is not a "thought production apparatus", but a receiver-transmitter. “If you take a broken TV, then nothing will be seen or heard. But this does not mean that the receiver itself produces something inside itself. The radio station transmitting transmissions will still work, only this TV will not receive a signal. Something similar is expressed about the brain: somewhere there is a "radio station", and we have an individual brain. When we have diseases, chemical, electrical and structural disorders, then, of course, we think badly. " nine0004

An interesting observation led the scientist to this idea: at the beginning of the 20th century, milkmen in Europe went around the house and left bottles of milk on the doorstep. The tits liked this tradition - they pecked the caps of the bottles and treated themselves to fresh milk. Soon this trick was mastered by the birds of other European cities located hundreds of kilometers from England.

During World War II, milk bottles disappeared from the doorsteps of European homes. Approximately 8 years after the end of the war, milkmen resumed the morning delivery of milk. The tits immediately began to peck at the lids, but this was another generation of tits. How did they know about the science learned by their ancestors? According to Sheldrake, they were simply reading information from that same "hard drive". nine0004

Photo: TASS/Yuri Belinsky

This theory, if it turns out to be true, can explain a number of phenomena that have amazed us for many centuries. Where does clairvoyant information come from? How do psychics work and is telepathic communication possible?

According to Professor of the Department of Bioecology and Ichthyology of Moscow State University of Technology Yuri Simakov, there is a theory that such a field exists: even the Tibetan sages believed that we are surrounded by "Akasha Chronicle", as they called it. They believe that everything is recorded in this field, all our thoughts come down to the fact that we must catch and enter into resonance with these waves that are in this field, in this "Akasha Chronicle". nine0004

Official science is in no hurry to take Sheldrake's theory as a basis for serious research. So far, no successful experiment has been carried out that could confirm the existence of such a field, although attempts have been made repeatedly. But, despite all the skepticism that this theory causes, scientists still cannot explain a number of phenomena, many of which almost every one of us has encountered.

Doctor of Medical Sciences, Head of the Department of Neuro- and Pathopsychology, Institute of Psychology named after L.S. Vygotsky Russian State Humanitarian University Andrey Zhilyaev gave an example: “Remember, a mother grabs her heart somewhere a thousand kilometers away - something happened to her son. There are many other factors. For example, a woman entering a maternity hospital, our gynecologists-obstetricians ask: " When will you give birth? ”And her answers, as a rule, coincide with reality.” nine0004

In an attempt to explain this, another interesting experiment was born: in the middle of the last century, a German physicist, professor at the Technical University of Munich, Winfried Otto Schumann calculated special electromagnetic oscillations of the Earth, which were later named Schumann waves in his honor.

What are Schumann waves? Simply put, the Earth and the ionosphere are a capacitor - two charged surfaces. Thunderstorms occur on Earth that emit radio waves. They cannot go anywhere, being in this condensate, the waves can only be reflected from the ionosphere and from the Earth. In other words, a peculiar frequency arises, which Schumann discovered. It is equal to 8 oscillations per second, its length is 38 thousand kilometers. With such dimensions, it can circle the Earth 8 times. nine0004

Another scientist interested in the power of thought was nuclear physicist Robert Becker. He tried to understand what happens to the brains of healers and other psychics during a session of remote treatment of people. Becker suggested that psychics tune into some special wave in order to receive or send their thought or information. It turned out that the brain waves of the subjects coincide with the Schumann waves. These results shocked many researchers, but so far no one has dared to repeat the experiment. nine0004

For the first time, scientists admitted the possibility of transmitting information at a distance after the experiment of Hungarian biologists. True, the results of the experiment were obtained quite by accident - none of the biologists planned to disturb the world with an incredible discovery.

Photo: TASS

Two researchers divided the muscle cell culture into two, placed them in Petri dishes and placed them at opposite ends of a long table. And when the cell poison colchicine was introduced into one of the cups, both cultures died. This is how scientists conducted one of the classic experiments proving information exchange. nine0004

While some scientists spend days and nights in search of irrefutable evidence of the possibility of thought transmission at a distance, others claim that they have managed to photograph it. For the first time, such a fantastic opportunity was discussed in 1880. French photographer Pierre Boucher encountered a strange phenomenon. After a stormy party, he was tormented by nightmares all night - in his sleep he was pursued by devils with pitchforks.

The whole next day, Boucher was developing photographic films, but in his mind he relived his nightmare again and again. What was his surprise when, instead of photographs of his clients, he found the silhouettes of devils. The same thing happened the next day. This story was heard by the first collector of anomalous phenomena, Camille Flammarion, who told the world about the mysterious phenomenon. And only in the early 70s of the twentieth century, the Perm psychiatrist Gennady Krokhalev conducted a series of experiments and called this phenomenon psychophotography. nine0004

Krokhalev's experiment was very simple: a camera was applied to a person's eyes, and he was given the task to imagine something. The subjects were Krokhalev's patients - people with mental disorders. For some reason, it was they and those who were in a state of extreme intoxication who managed to project their thoughts onto film.

So far, no scientist has been able to explain the mechanism that helps to transfer mental images of people onto film. In the arsenal of researchers, there are only assumptions, and those that were made at the end of the 19th century by Nikola Tesla. The scientist put forward a hypothesis that the eye can not only receive an image from the outside, but also project thoughts and images like a kind of movie projector. nine0004

According to Simakov, when a thought arises, it controls the work, impulses enter the retina, which make the photoreceptors work, and the eye already begins to work like a projection lamp - that is, in the opposite direction.

In some mysterious way, pets manage to read our thoughts and intentions. Some scientists explain this with a special intuition and sharpened sense organs of our pets. Others are telepathic links between the animal and its owner. This connection was studied at the beginning of the last century by Academician Vladimir Bekhterev. nine0004

Some scholars associate this with the concept of an aura. For example, when the brain works, a field appears around the head, which is called the aura. Dogs see it, they can, as it were, read a person’s thought. That is why the Nazis did not keep any person as a guard, but a dog. A man will think that now he will get a gun, but the dog already knows this, they thought.


Academician Bekhterev conducted an experiment with several hundred trained dogs. Mental commands were sent to them, which they had to fulfill. Indeed, a large percentage of the animals were able to recognize the mental signal of the researcher. But there were many who did not react to them in any way. Moreover, not all of the dogs that followed the mental command were able to do it again. nine0004

Psychotherapists often use beliefs in their practice. The thought is material. What and how we think can change the world we live in. What is a thought from the point of view of psychology and how does it work? It turns out that this is not just an electrical impulse in the brain.

According to Andrei Zhilyaev, head of the department of neuro- and pathopsychology at the Vygotsky Institute of Psychology at the Russian State Humanitarian University, thought is a kind of coding of an image or feeling. In order for a thought to be born, an exchange of images takes place inside between consciousness and the unconscious, on the one hand, from consciousness to the unconscious, and feelings and sensations come from the unconscious, turning into emotions. Based on the conglomerate of these mechanisms, a thought is born, that is, the work of consciousness to convert the information received into coded formulas. In other words, thought "serves" images and sensations. nine0004

All psychotherapy is based on the ability to think correctly. We rarely keep track of what thoughts come to our mind every single second. Psychologists consider this an omission. They are sure that the ability to build one's thoughts and, in general, the course of thinking is a complex science that is guaranteed to give tangible results.

Psychologist Natalya Pokatilova believes that any psyche strives to be right. This is how our brain works, it wants to be right and is always looking for confirmation that it is right, what it believes in. “We may miss some opportunities if we are negative. If we are positive, if we are not focused on avoiding something, but on gaining something, we will look for these opportunities. ", says the psychologist. nine0004

Suppose there is a thought that spoils the mood and frightens, for example, "the world is a very dangerous place." Instead, you need to formulate another: "the world is beautiful and comfortable." Daily repetition of this thought leads to incredible results: the brain seems to begin to accept this thought as the truth and changes the person's attitude to life in general.

Let's say you dream of a yacht, but nothing foreshadows its appearance in your life. You formulate your goal very clearly, form an image of a particular yacht in your imagination, print out a photo of your dream yacht and then hang it above your desk. Psychologists say: at this moment you are taking your first step towards your cherished goal. nine0004

Andrei Zhilyaev says that the formation of a need or desire is not solved by the work of thought. But it is possible to specify the need, to "clear" the field for it. Zhilyaev calls this mechanism self-hypnosis, and suggestion exists precisely at this juncture. That is, pure thought separately and sensations separately, until they have gathered into a kind of unity, cannot determine the change in the state of a person.

A wireless cap-shaped apparatus is used to measure brain activity. According to Rustam Muslimov, a senior researcher at a company that develops systems for the study of human and animal physiology, the billions of neurons that are in the operator's skull emit a lot of signals. To "hear" them, just the electroencephalographic apparatus is used - it picks up signals, despite their jamming by the skull. nine0004

According to Muslimov, perhaps soon the device itself will be like a tattoo that is done on the head. It will contain contacts that researchers need.

When the training is finished, the operator needs to calibrate his mental activity so that the computer can clearly recognize his commands. Four columns appear on the screen, each of them symbolizes the execution of one of the four commands that the operator will send to the computer. When the operator sends the first command, the first column begins to grow, the second - the second, and so on. nine0004

Photo: TV channel "Moskva Doverie"

These four mental states can be seen on the screen: raising the column shows how the thought "increases", becomes more and more intense. You can even ask the operator to amplify the signals from other speakers. True, controlling the image on the monitor only with the power of thought does not work right away: in order to interact with the computer in this way, the operator needs to undergo training, the course lasts about a month.

The operator seems to be focused on the task at hand, nothing can stop him. But it's not. Scientists managed to ensure that the operator could do something else in parallel. A person could send mental commands to a computer, focusing only on this process. As soon as something distracted him, the program crashed, and he had to start over. But Russian scientists have overcome this barrier, and now operators can do several actions at the same time, sending mental commands to the object on the screen in parallel. nine0004

The developers promise that very soon robots will be able to execute commands sent to them by the power of thought or, as scientists say, by reading the biopotential of the brain. A large number of researchers believe that there should be new interfaces that allow a person to directly control such devices - almost by the power of thought.

If scientists manage to develop devices that can read dozens of our mental commands, then this will radically change our lives. And not in 100 years, as is usually promised in science fiction novels, but in 10-20 years. nine0004

According to the director of a company that develops systems for the study of human and animal physiology, Vladimir Konyshev, a person will have a robot that he must control. Therefore, it is technically a difficult task. That is, the operator moves, control must occur in parallel, the person himself moves through the forest or mountains, which greatly complicates the control.

"Our preliminary results say that this problem is solvable," Konyshev said. In the future, in his opinion, the time will come when cyborgs will appear. It will be a robotic organism in which the human brain is located, Konyshev specified. nine0004

True, such prospects are frightening now: now only trained operators use devices that read human thoughts, but there are no guarantees that tomorrow everything we think about will not appear in the public domain.

"It is absolutely unacceptable from a moral point of view to use some perfect instruments, some achievements of science, to interfere with a person's inner world without the will and without the consent of a person, or even at least read it," says the doctor of medical sciences, a member of the Correspondent of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexei Ivanitsky. nine0004

So far, our thoughts are under reliable protection, but hundreds of successful experiments urge us not to forget about the incredible power of thought. Watch what and how you invent today, because tomorrow it may change your life.

scientific experiments Moscow Trust brain activity cyborgs mind reading thinking about everything physiology

Doctor of Biological Sciences spoke about the capabilities of the human brain

Woe from the mind is a literary fiction

You would agree to live forever, provided that your life would continue in a mindless state? nine0133

Sergey Savelyev: Of course not. It is not interesting. Although some people are born and die without regaining consciousness, as was written in the anamnesis of one of the general secretaries of the Communist Party. He lived and died without regaining consciousness. Of course, this is a joke. But there are plants that live for thousands of years. Ask them, they probably like it. As far as human evolution is concerned, it is nothing but the evolution of the brain and nothing else. Because in everything else we are made for nothing. As the famous ophthalmologist Helmholtz said, if the Lord God instructed me to make eyes, I would make them a hundred times better. This also applies to all other human organs. nine0004

What is grief from the mind in the physiological manifestation of this, shall we say, disease?

Sergei Savelyev: Woe from the mind as the layman interprets it, or in the sense that the great Russian writer put into this concept - such grief does not happen. If a person is smart enough, then he understands the principles and mechanisms of the world in which he lives, and will not, like Chatsky, "cast beads in front of pigs." Woe from Wit is a literary fiction. A person who understands what is happening, firstly, does not make excessively high demands on others, and, secondly, shamelessly uses his knowledge. nine0004

Okay, let me ask you this: can an excessive load on the brain have negative consequences for a person?

Sergei Savelyev: There is a naive opinion that the human brain is boundless in its physiological capabilities. In fact, he is very limited in them. There are clear physiological limits. The metabolic rate cannot be increased indefinitely. When a person is mentally inactive, that is, when, for example, he reads Rossiyskaya Gazeta on the couch before going to bed, he consumes about nine percent of the body's total energy. And if reading excites and warms him up in some way, acts like pepper in food, then he begins to think, and energy expenditure in this case reaches twenty-five percent of the total energy of the body. These are very big expenses and very heavy. The human body resists them. Therefore, we are lazy and incurious. Meanwhile, creativity requires just those same twenty-five percent. nine0004

In the brain, everything is arranged so that the input is a ruble, the output is three

So, for the sake of health, mental energy should be saved?

Sergei Savelyev: This is happening against our will. The human brain is not adapted to high energy costs. At 25% activity, it can last a couple of weeks. And then the so-called energy debt begins to develop and what in the old medicine was called nervous exhaustion. In the brain, everything is arranged so that the entrance is a ruble, the exit is three. If you intellectually overstrain for two weeks in a row, then you must relax and rest for six weeks in a row to compensate for brain costs. nine0004

Are you saying that intellectual work is harmful to the brain?

Sergei Savelyev: Of course, they do harm, but he is not adapted for the intellect.

I thought you would say that intellectual activity strengthens the brain, just as physical activity strengthens the muscles.

Sergey Savelyev: But nothing like that happens to muscles either. They are not strengthened by physical exertion, but are destroyed. How long do you want to live? If you want to live as a strong, handsome athlete until the age of fifty, then, of course, strengthen your muscles. But any muscle can contract one billion times before it dies. Any overload is death. This applies to both muscles and the brain. The death rate in professional athletes is ten times higher than in ordinary people. And from serious diseases. Sports are not helpful. nine0004

Is a weak load on the brain useful?

Sergei Savelyev: Oh, this is the dream of any sovereign.

Doesn't brain passivity lead to mental degradation?

Sergey Savelyev: The world is filled with mystical stories about the brain, but the essence is simple: the brain does not want to work, because its work requires energy costs. This is the reason for our idleness, laziness and desire to steal, not to earn.

You never explain why one sees what the other does not see

There are people who have phenomenal abilities. For example, the ability to multiply two four-digit numbers in your mind in a few seconds. Is there a scientific explanation for this?

Sergei Savelyev: You have to study at a physics and mathematics school in order to master such a skill. It's easy, there are well-known tricks. And besides, one must be limited in many other areas in order to demonstrate such tricks with concentration. There is nothing creative or especially ingenious here. History knows people who multiplied numbers remarkably, especially when it came to their own money. But, unfortunately, these people did nothing but such calculations. nine0004

Are there areas in the human brain that are responsible for this or that talent, for example, for music or chess?

Sergey Savelyev: Of course there is. The entire surface of the brain is occupied by areas that are structurally very well identified. You can look at the histological sections. On these histological sections, several microns thick, if you cut the human brain, there are fields and their borders are visible. Each field is functionally adapted to a particular function. Let's say, to vision, hearing, movement. And the brain consists of such fields. And he is individual. That is, each field is different for different people. For one person, for example, for a good photographer, it can be three times more in the "visual" area than for any other. And these are billions of neurons, billions of connections. You can never explain why one sees what the other does not see. The same is true of a musician or a scientist. Our individual possibilities are determined by the combination of these fields, which have different sizes. Whoever has a large field, one or another talent is clearly expressed. And whoever has a certain field is small, his abilities, for example, in mathematics, excuse me, cannot be increased by anything. In a word, our behavior is determined by the size of the fields of the cerebral cortex, as well as the subcortical structures that are responsible for each function. For example, for music. To just hear, you need to have two dozen structures. The probability that one person will have all these structures large enough, frankly, is small. Therefore, there are few outstanding musicians, and there are plenty of imitators. nine0004

Mind is an abstract concept

What is the relationship between brain and mind?

Sergei Savelyev: Mind is an abstract concept. The fact that the worm consciously crawls from a salt solution to a food solution is intelligence? From a psychological point of view, yes. But physiology does not operate with abstract concepts. Genius - yes, there is such a concept in physiology. The unique combination of the size of brain structures allows a person to write genius music. And the other will never write brilliant music, because he does not have the appropriate combination of structures. The brain is a structurally determined device that determines the individuality and uniqueness of each person. For this reason, all people are different. And these abilities are not inherited. Against the background of a talented parent, a child may look like a complete mediocrity. Which is what happens most often. nine0004

Is it possible to say that the mind is an intermediary between the brain and the body?

Sergey Saveliev: No. Mind is not a scientific concept at all. What is the mind? Poke your finger on a computer keyboard? Press the buttons on your phone? Count to ten?

Nevertheless, there is the concept of "reasonable beings".

Sergei Savelyev: I am not into philosophy.

In any case, mind is a physiological concept.

Sergey Savelyev: For me, such a concept does not exist for the simple reason that its boundaries are blurred. All animals that have a nervous system have a mind. And in this sense, it is foolish to assert that man is rational, and other living beings are unreasonable. Man is a product of cerebral evolution. He can create something that was not in nature and society. Here ants cannot create what was not in society. Both flatworms and even monkeys cannot create what was not in their community. But a person can. What is the criterion of a person? The fact that he creatively creates something that has not been created in nature and society before him. And if we agree that reason is the ability to create something that was not in nature and society, then I accept such a concept. And if we do not introduce this, then we get a blurry empty definition, verbiage for philosophers, whose main task is to explain why we blew our lives so mediocrely. nine0004

Europeans went through negative evolution

Are there limits to brain development?

Sergei Savelyev: Those who ask such questions assume that the human brain was mothballed two hundred thousand years ago, and since then evolutionary changes have not occurred.

Do they exist?

Sergey Savelyev: In two hundred thousand years, even a little less, in about one hundred thirty-five thousand, the human brain has decreased by two hundred and fifty grams. I mean civilized Europe. Because they selected conformists and destroyed creative, independent people. nine0004

Was the evolution of the brain negative?

Sergey Saveliev: For Europe - yes. Europeans went through negative evolution and high cerebral specialization - centuries of artificial selection, very tough, which reduced the size and mass of their brain in favor of conformity and social adaptability.

Are conformism and the ability to adapt socially only to Europeans?

Sergey Saveliev: Yes. Because they always lived very closely, and any order of some prince quickly reached everyone. Look, they are already cutting off the head of a peasant in a neighboring village ... But in Africa it worked badly, and in Russia it worked badly, it didn’t work. Therefore, we have preserved polymorphism more, while Europeans have less. The greater the polymorphism, the greater the chance for evolutionary progress. nine0004

The human brain doesn't want to work, doesn't like it, and possibly never will

Do the unlimited possibilities of the brain, if any, carry any risks for mankind?

Sergey Saveliev: There are no limitless possibilities. First, there are energy restrictions. Secondly, the human brain is adapted to solve specific biological problems and strongly resists any misuse. Therefore, he does not want to work, does not like and, if possible, never will. nine0004

So laziness has a physiological basis?

Sergey Savelyev: Of course. When you are lazy and doing nothing, the brain consumes nine percent of the energy. And when you start thinking - up to twenty-five. And it's a disaster. Because when you are lazy, you have endorphins, these internal drugs, are released into the brain and as a result, you not only mess around, you also catch a buzz. And when, God forbid, you start working, your brain comes up with a million ways to keep you from doing it. As a result, the body resists and, anticipating energy costs, simply screams: “What will I do tomorrow?! Where is the guarantee that the sausage will appear in the refrigerator again ?!” That is, you resist any labor like a normal monkey. And this is quite natural. nine0004

Is it possible to make a lazy brain work?

Sergey Saveliev: You can.


Sergey Savelyev: When you are put in a stressful situation that requires mental effort. But at the first opportunity, the brain will deceive you. Even the brain of a genius, which is adapted for creativity, will try to shirk work. It is easier for a genius to imitate his genius than to create something. That is why geniuses have only one brilliant work for twenty works, the rest are fakes. The monkey breed is incorrigible, you have to hide your tail all the time. nine0004

Genius is not to be found in politicians

Is the brain of a genius physically different from the brain of an ordinary person?

Sergei Savelyev: Yes, the brain of a genius weighs more. At one time, the Institute of the Brain was created in Russia, where they studied, among other things, the brain of Lenin, compared it with the brain of Mayakovsky and other prominent people. It turned out that Lenin's brain was small and weighed 1330 grams. Stalin has about the same. What was, as we can safely say now, is quite expected. In general, genius is not to be found in politicians. We have a biological instinctive form of behavior called dominance. The hyperdominance characteristic of politicians, which means the desire to rule, control people and the course of history, is biologically conditioned. But genius is something else. It is the capacity for the extraordinary. Any baboon can become a hyperdominant. Therefore, nothing special was found in Lenin's brain, there are very mediocre parameters. It's just that this biological instinctive form of behavior - dominance - was hypertrophied in him. nine0004

The brain works even when we are asleep

Is it true that the human brain is used by no more than five percent?

Sergey Savelyev: For those who think so, it seems to be used twice. That's bullshit about five percent. The whole brain works. It's like RAM in a computer: turned off - and everything was erased. Therefore, six minutes after a person is disconnected from oxygen and food, the brain begins to irreversibly lose memory and die. It consumes ten percent of the body's total energy, even when we sleep. Precisely because of the fact that he always and all works. nine0004

Intellectual load is the prevention of aging

What is brain aging? What causes senile dementia?

Sergei Savelyev: Brain aging is primarily the death of neurons. Neurons themselves are very difficult to kill. But their number is exhausted. Moreover, human neurons begin to die even in the womb. After fifty years, they are already actively dying, and for every subsequent ten years, our brain loses thirty grams of neurons. This process continues until old age. And if you don’t think with your head, don’t force blood vessels to supply blood and blood supply to neurons, then by the age of eighty the brain can feel better by 100 grams, or even more. In people who do not use their brains at all, this kind of weakening goes even faster. Intelligent people retain mental potency longer. nine0004

Does it mean that the intellectual load is necessary for the brain?

Sergey Saveliev: Absolutely. This is the prevention of aging. But crossword puzzles and watching the TV program "What? Where? When?" You can't slow down the aging of the brain. To slow it down, every time you need to solve a problem that you have not faced before. A game of chess can only accelerate insanity, not stop it. Because chess is not such an intellectual occupation. It's just combinatorics. Unfortunately, many people confuse creativity and combinatorics. Combinatorics is when a fourth is made from three pieces of paper, and the brain skips at the same time. nine0004

Does evolution promise us mental progress?

Sergey Saveliev: No, he doesn't promise. The prospects are sad: a decrease in the size of the brain due to total conformism and constant adaptation to the environment, the export of one's individuality and abilities to the state in exchange for saving energy. When we negotiate with the state or religion, we give them our creative, intellectual freedom. And they, in turn, guarantee us food and reproduction. So it's going to get worse and worse. And if this trend continues, then the human brain may decrease another two hundred and fifty grams. nine0004

So evolution is going in the opposite direction? Humanity is not getting smarter, but getting dumber?

Sergey Savelyev: Alas, this is true.

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Sergey Savelyev - paleoneurologist, Doctor of Biology, Head of the Laboratory for the Development of the Nervous System at the Institute of Human Morphology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Born in Moscow, graduated from the Faculty of Biology and Chemistry of the Moscow State Pedagogical Institute. Lenin, worked at the Institute of the Brain of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences, since 1984 at the Research Institute of Human Morphology of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences. More than 30 years of research in the field of morphology and evolution of the brain.

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