Eureka! Simple Wikipedia

Good lord! Tipped off by xkcd I have discovered Simple Wikipedia!

With such gems as:

The brain is a part of the body that allows us to make sense of the world around us and to change our behavior to respond to it. In most animals, the brain is inside the head. The brain is kept safe by the skull and by layers of tissue under it called the meninges.

The brain does the thinking, learning, and feeling for the body. It is the source of consciousness, but it also controls basic body functions, like breathing, that happens without a person realizing it. All the information about the world gathered by our five senses is sent through nerves into the brain, allowing us to see, hear, smell, taste and feel things. The brain processes this information so that we can experience it as pictures, sounds, and so on. The brain also uses nerves to tell the body what to do, for example by telling muscles to move or our heart to beat faster.

This is from Simple Brain. Compare with the equivalent paragraphs of Normal Brain.

The brain is the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate, and most invertebrate, animals. Some primitive animals such as jellyfish and starfish have a decentralized nervous system without a brain, while sponges lack any nervous system at all. In vertebrates, the brain is located in the head, protected by the skull and close to the primary sensory apparatus of vision, hearing, balance, taste, and smell.

From a biological perspective, the function of a brain is to generate behaviors that promote the genetic fitness of an animal. To do this, it extracts enough relevant information from sense organs to refine actions. Sensory signals may stimulate an immediate response as when the olfactory system of a deer detects the odor of a wolf; they may modulate an ongoing pattern of activity as in the effect of light-dark cycles on an organism’s sleep-wake behavior; or their information may be stored in case of future relevance. The brain manages its complex task by orchestrating functional subsystems, which can be categorized in a number of ways: anatomically, chemically, and functionally.

Fascinating! Who would have thunk?

One comment

  1. Joanna says:

    It’s great for accessible definitions of things. I use it as a first step to get the general idea, and then go to normal wikipedia to get details if necessary. It’s also good to read to try and make yourself write in simple language (a nice change from writing in “academicese”)

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