No, this isn’t a post about stupid people. Gosh, you guys know me so well!
This is about people who literally live without a brain. Or, at least, parts of the brain. The brain is thought to be composed of sections: a section for hearing, creativity, speech, vision, balance, etc. However, there are many clinical cases that suggest that while this may be true in general, in extreme circumstances the brain may have the ability to “take over” parts that are either malfunctioning or absent all together.
Cases include a woman born without a cerebellum, another woman born without her entire right hemisphere, and a man with “crushed brain” (majority of skull cavity filled with fluid and only a tiny layer of brain matter). Many of these people did not discover their abnormality until their 20s, leading functional lives until that point. They did not show any obvious signs, which surprises most medical professionals.
Scientists think this could be due to the brain’s degeneracy and plasticity. This means the brain has the ability to re-wire itself when structural mishaps occur, which allows the body to function seemingly normal. It also means the brain may not be as “sectioned” out as previously thought; since it can re-wire, it can also take on the jobs of other parts!
Science is cool.