Quick link: the Neurophilosophy blog has a post about a fascinating phenomenon: a woman who loses function of her vestibular system cannot balance herself calls herself a Wobbler. That is, until, science comes to the rescue! A doctor invents a pad of electrodes to put on her tongue to restore her sense of balance. And it works.
This is because the senses can be remapped to different parts of the brain. This was a ridiculous notion when a scientist first published a paper about blind subjects being able to see with their sense of touch, stimulated by sensors on the back of a chair. Ever since Paul Broca discovered that a part of the brain many dubbed the “language center,” scientists had believed that the brain was divided into distinct, unchangeable parts with distinct functions. Not anymore!
I think one of the most exciting fields right now is neuroscience–it’s weirder than any altmed practitioner, psychic, tarot card reader, or UFO-ologist could ever imagine. I would tag this with “awesome” right now, but I think the tag would soon be abused and overused. By me.