The Brain Issue

Volume 15 Issue 2, October 2015

You have a beautiful brain.
No, that’s not meant to be a cheesy pick-up line. I mean it—the way your synapses fire, sending and receiving nerve impulses, translating sensation from your nerve endings into perception—it’s incredible. Electric. Entrancing.
All day long your body sends you little messages: it’s cool outside, the leaves are turning colour, that drink is hot—don’t touch!—that form your perception of your environment. And you send messages back: telling that foot to move, that hand to react, or that eyelid to blink. You are alive and you are electric.
Sometimes we’re aware of our own astonishing human charge; an idea crackles around the corners of your mind and you call it a brainstorm. (Or “liiiiiightbulb” if you’re channeling Gru from Despicable Me). You tingle with curiosity and delight. Yet other times, the current we carry feels like the worst kinds of thunderstorms, filled with clouds of anger, grief, anxiety, or pain.
In this issue, we put on our rubber safety gear to investigate our human wiring. We open the fuse box, trying to make sense of our very selves: What makes us light up? What sparks our enthusiasm and joy? And, conversely, what makes us short-circuit and crash?
As the semester gets busier, please don’t forget to care for your mind. Taking care of your health and happiness is just as important as anything else you’ll learn at university. And you can start with the magazine you’re holding in your hands—take a moment, kick your feet up, and marvel at the miracle you carry between your ears. This issue is for you.

Carina Rampelt