Brain region found that does absolutely nothing

Neuroscientists at the University of Ingberg have found a brain region that does absolutely nothing. Their research, presented at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting, showed that a small region of the cortex located near the posterior section of the cingulate gyrus responded to ‘not one of our 46 experimental manipulations’.

Dr.  Ahlquist was rather surprised at the finding. “During a pilot study we noticed that this small section of the cortex did not show differential activity in any of our manipulations. Out of curiosity, we wanted to see whether it actually did anything at all. Over the months that followed we tried every we knew, with over 20 different participants. IQ tests, memory tasks, flashing lights, talking, listening, imagining juggling, but there was no response. Nothing. We got more desperate, so we tried pictures of faces, TMS, pictures of cats, pictures of sex, pictures of violence and even sexy violence, but nothing happened! Not even a decrease. No connectivity to anywhere else, not even a voodoo correlation. 46 voxels of wasted space. I know dead salmons that are more responsive. It’s an evolutionary disgrace, that’s what it is.”

Some neuroscientists are disappointed by the regions’ lack of response: ‘This is exactly the type of cortical behavior that leads to this popular science nonsense about using only 10% of our brain. Frankly, I am outraged by this lazy piece of brain. It’s the cortical equivalent of a spare tyre. If anyone wants to have it lobotomized, I am happy to break out the orbitoclast and help them out. That’ll teach it.”


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  2. pf

    46 out of a potentially infinite number of manipulations… So they conclude it does nothing. Maybe the authors have a few additional silent areas.

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  5. msr

    I am sure: Soon after the anterior cingulate has taken over the whole brain and thereafter the whole world (which is bound to happen in a not to far future), this lazy posterior cingulate will step out of the dark and fight. A new era, known as the post- cingulate era will begin. Neuroscientist, watch out!

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  7. Daniel Berger

    Well.. Posterior Cingulate.. This might have so-called ‘head direction cells’ and should respond to head turns. Unfortunately participants in fMRI experiments usually have their heads fixed… 🙂

  8. Sylvie.

    I wonder if it is a part of the brain that only a small percentage of people have learned to develop? What if that is the part used for telecommunication? That would be a hard one to test unless you know someone who was telepathic to test it with.

    • msr

      Excellent! Now I finally know where this ringing bell in my head comes from. Maybe I should just answer it? Or is somebody out there who is able to put some electrodes in there an connect it to my iPhone?

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  10. Foofoo

    Da wir wissen, dass Homer Simpsons Gehirn ein Donut ist, und auf dem Bild dort oben die angeblich inaktive Stelle des Gehirns in der Mitte des Gehirns markiert ist (die Stelle an der ein Donut sein Loch hat), wissen wir, dass die Versuchsperson Homer Simpson gewesen sein muss. Da Homer Simpson keine reale Person ist, ist auch diese ganze Studie keine reale Studie.

    Leute lasst euch nicht verarschen… das ist mal wieder so ein total schwachsinner BRAINFUCK von ‘nem Psychologen mit dem Bedürfnis nach ein bisschen Aufmerksamkeit… Psychologen neigen ja von Natur aus zu Schwachsinn. xD

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  15. KellyMac

    um- do these people understand where BOLD signal comes from? If so, they should realize that this is just as likely to be the area that DOES EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME.

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  17. spyros papantoniou

    Never heard about the very important “NOOP”, ‘no operation’ command in programming. A command that does absolutely nothing when executed. Needed in so many places, to wait for something else to finish, needed as a place keeper,… why should the brain need something similar?

    Actually this rephrases Marc Gugnor’s “nothing box”:

  18. Ram

    When perception is limited to our five senses, and given that each of the five senses is limited in its ability to perceive reality, is it common sense to conclude that “nothing” is happening in the said brain region? It is simply juvenile arrogance to make a grand and sweeping claim such as this. At best, one can say – we do not know what is going on in this region. Lack of proof is never proof to the contrary. Please grow up, soon. Science needs common sense more than it needs empirical data.

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