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Surprising Science

Brain Bank Seeks Donors—Donald Trump?

Collecting life stories and human brains is the business of the University of California San Diego’s brain bank. Donal Trump’s would be a good fit, says brain bank neurologist Jacopo Annese.

What’s the Latest Development?

A research effort at the University of California San Diego called the brain bank is looking for people willing to tell their life stories before they die and to donate their physical brains afterwards. The brain banks wants “to help researchers study how personality, memories, emotions and other traits are reflected within the brain’s chemical and electrical signaling systems.” For this reason, researchers prefer people who have lived active lives and whose biographies are already well-established. This is why brain bank researcher Jacopo Annese thinks Donald Trump’s brain would be the perfect subject for study. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Finding where personality intersects the biology of the brain is a major task of current neurological research. By cutting and scanning thin strips of the brain, then constructing 3-D computer models, researchers at the brain bank hope to match behavioral patterns, gathered from life stories, to physical characteristics of an individual’s brain. The research project has gathered several interesting outliers like a man who cannot hold a memory for longer than twenty seconds and a woman who, do a malfunctioning amygdala, does not experience the sensation of fear. 


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