Meatloaf Brain

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A note for Lesson no. 2, "Your Brain Is a Network," in Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context from page 41‌ is:

We’ll call this one Meatloaf Brain because its structure is so uniform.

The appendix adds:

I drew inspiration for this name from the book The Blank Slate by psychologist Steven Pinker.

Pinker writes:[1]

"But we now know that the mind is not a homogenous orb invested with utility powers or across-the-board traits. The mind is modular, with many parts cooperating to generate a train of thought or an organized action. It has distinct information-processing systems for filtering out distractions, learning skills, controlling the body, remembering facts, holding information temporarily, and storing and executing rules. Cutting across these data-processing systems are mental faculties (sometimes called multiple intelligences) dedicated to different kinds of content, such as language, number, space, tools, and living things. Cognitive scientists at the East Pole suspect that the content-based modules are differentiated largely by the genes; those at the West Pole suspect they begin as small innate biases in attention and then coagulate out of statistical patterns in the sensory input. But those at both poles agree that the brain is not a uniform meatloaf."


  1. Pinker, Steven. 2002. The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, 40. New York: Penguin.