About the name
When starting this blog a few years back, I, of course, felt plenty of self-induced pressure to come up with something memorable and unique that would, at least in some tangential way, relate to me. One of my abiding interests is neurobiology and one of the findings from neurobiology that I have always found most fascinating is that the human brain literally matures from back to front. This maturation is significantly a process of myelinization (or myelination), by which an insulating later of fat is laid down around our neurons, allowing them to operate much more efficiently. As it turns out, this process roughly occurs from back to front in the human brain. At the very front of your brain: the pre-frontal cortex which is essential to judgment. This part of your brain does not become fully myelinized and thus fully mature until sometime in your early to mid twenties. Of course, then, the interesting feature about adolescents and very young adults is that they have the cognitive abilities of “grown-ups” but lack the critical judgment capacity that only comes with a fully mature brain (at the ripe age of 38, I’ll have to say experience as well). So, as this is a factoid I inevitably end up sharing with most all my classes, I thought I’d have a little fun with the blog name by making reference to the structural maturity in my brain that remains lacking in those not yet in their mid-20′s.
On a related note, I tried fairly hard to find a good link that would explain all this in layman’s terms, but could only find sources full of medical jargon, so no links. I did discover, however, that while “myelinized” (the term I originally used) is apparently accepted medical terminology, “myelinated” appears to be overwhelmingly preferred. Lest my numerous neurological researcher friends make fun of me, “myelinated” it is.