The puppet speaks. I listen.
(Soundbite of music)
(Soundbite from background noise)
DAVEY: This is Science Friday. I’m Dave Tyree.
CORNISH: I’m Tovia Smith.
TAYLOR: Hi, it’s Tovia Smith.
CORNISH: It’s a pleasure to have you here.
TAYLOR: What has been an interesting thing about studying puppets is, as you think about them, they’re really pretty simple. They have a body, and they can move their arms. But they don’t have some of the complexity that you see in other animals. In fact, we actually see very little complexity at all, except in their tails.
TAYLOR: And there’s a really amazing amount of complexity to their tails, but they don’t have it as well in a human being. Most of their brains work in all of their bodies.
A couple of decades ago, there was this paper on humans, which gave the results about whether and where the brain was actually working. And it found that the brain was working all over their bodies, in their limbs, in their mouths and in their heads and shoulders. So this was pretty big news. I remember it, because it changed my life a bit. I realized that if you actually looked at the brain when you were really awake – in the waking state – then you would find that a lot of other brains have almost a complete separation between the head and the rest of the brain, and it’s almost this blank area, and it’s just working in isolation, and I really thought, wow.
CORNISH: You mentioned people’s brains actually work differently in sleeping and waking.
CORNISH: Why do people sleep differently?
DAVEY: It just depends what your brain is doing at any time in the day. If you are doing a lot of thinking, your brain actually sort of shut down when you’re asleep. So on a really bad day, if we would start doing that or if it would make sense for us to do that, it’s going to make us pretty crazy.
And a great analogy for that is that while we’re talking about the brain, if you were talking about the human brain and it was all about thinking, then it doesn’t really
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