Can we stop with the use and abuse of the term “wired” with respect to the human brain and nervous system. We are not wired for anything. Since our brains are not composed of wires but of neurons it is not literally possible for them to be wired or rewired. To say that our brains are“wired” opens the door to the possibility that they can be “rewired.” In my view this is an even bigger offense against reality since even if they were composed of wires the only way to literally rewire them would be to cut open our heads and physically cut and splice the wires together in a different configuration then they were previously. Obviously this is not literally possible but it is also not possible to figuratively rewire your brain as no matter the figure of speech selected (metaphor, analogy, allusion, simile, etc.) they all imply some sort of physical reordering of the structures of the brain which does not happen. Nothing moves physically inside the brain except as new neurons are formed via neuorgenesis. We used to think new neurons could not form in the brain, but we now believe that is not true. It appears that new neurons do indeed form in the regions of the brain responsible for storing information and some aspects of learning, though this is far from agreed upon as fact. In any event the brain is not wired and it cannot be rewired. This technofication of the brain is an unfortunate consequence of our modern day obsession with all things computer and digital. Our brains are not computers any more than they are wired. It is an easy to use and highly suggestive metaphor but so inaccurate and misleading that it should only be used rarely and with great care.

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Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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