Upon watching the X-Files tonight I came to realize how important the effects of all the little boxes in the brain are, and their connections to each other. In this episode some man was suffering from auditory and visual hallucinations as a result of a parasite from tattoo ink that affected the brain. Now I realize that the X-Files are not a very reliable source of information, but they were the spark that started this essay. Other resources show the effect of disrupting the normal flow of information between the little "boxes" does indeed change and alter behavior. For instance, brain tumors, a less exciting but certainly more traumatic problem than parasites from a tattoo, have been known to cause such symptoms as dementia, personality changes, and sensory and motor problems. (Tortora and Grabowski, Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, HarperCollins College Publishing, 1993) Each of these symptoms, taken individually, show how behavior is controlled by boxes in the brain.

Dementia is defined as "a mental disorder that results in loss of intellectual abilities such as impairment of memory, judgement, abstract thinking, and changes in personality." (Tortora and Grabowski) The alteration of physical brain structure can cause changes in basic thinking patterns, the origin of conscious behavior. In the X-Files it caused a man to stick his arm in a furnace to stop his tattoo from talking, but perhaps that's a little extreme.

Personality changes as a result of brain damage emphasizes further the concept of all of behavior and humanness being housed in the brain. If the alteration of the brain can cause a normally shy and mild person to become loud and erratic, it would suggest that the brain contains the basis for how we define the soul and being of a person, as shown by their personality.

The most basic part of behavior, sensory and motor functions, have been shown over and over again to be housed in the brain. All those little neurons running all over the body have to be good for something. However, balance, coordination, and proprioception being affected by changes in the cerebellum and other parts of the brain shows that the neurons are more complicated and connect more little boxes than simply moving a few fingers.

Overall, yes, the little boxes do exist, and their existance does show more and more evidence that behavior is entirely a result of the action of the central nervous system. The more the structure of the brain and how changes in it are studied, the further this point can be proven. And Agent Scully really didn't have to get a tattoo to prove that, either.

Fine (of course) to find sparks anywhere they happen. Is an interesting thought that various forms of "pathology" may result from disturbances in communication among the boxes (as opposed to the presence or absence of particular boxes. PG