Introduction The Strange Life of the Brain It's not something you easily forget: the first time you see a human head sitting upon a table. The worst part is the smell. The unforgettable stench of formaldehyde, the chemical fixative in which bits of the body are hardened and preserved. It gets up into your nostrils and really sticks around.
I Bob Never Forgetting a Moment In 500 BC, the poet Simonides of Ceos was sitting in a large banqueting-hall. Rather than enjoying the meal, he was angry with his host — Scopas, a rich nobleman. Simonides had been promised a fine sum of money to compose a poem in his host's honour, which he had recited to the guests. But Scopas had refused to pay him. He told Simonides that the poem spent too long referring to the mythical twins Castor and Pollux and not enough time on his recent victories.
Somewhere, deep within their motor cortex, their brain is smiling back.