July 15, 2023

Your Questions Week - Can We Touch Our Brain? (7-15-2023)

by Chompers

Background show artwork for Chompers

Today we have a puzzling brain question! Wendy Zukerman, our Gimlet friend and host of the show Science Vs, is here to answer! 

Where to Listen



>>RACHEL: Good morning, it’s time for Chompers, your twice daily toothbrushing show. 

Start brushing on the top of your mouth. Pick a side, and brush in little circles all the way around each tooth.

>>KIDS: 3, 2, 1 brush!


>>JASMINE: It’s Your Questions week. And today to answer a science-y question, we got the host of Science Vs, a science-y show for grown ups. Hi Wendy!

>>WENDY: Hello. 

>>JASMINE: OK, today’s question is from Harriet! Harriet we’re listening!

>>HARRIET: How can I touch my own brain, and grab it, and touch it?

>>WENDY: (pause) Can I hear that one more time?

>>HARRIET: How can I touch my own brain, and grab it, and touch it?

>>WENDY: Wow holy moly Harriet! Touch your brain. I mean, I love that you want to experiment, but let's just back up a bit here.

>>JASMINE: Switch your brushing to the other side of the top of your mouth…


>>JASMINE: and brush the molars in the back too.

>>WENDY: First let's ask ourselves. Should you try to touch and grab your brain like, is it OK to touch your brain? 

And the answer is noooo. 


>>WENDY: Absolutely not. We may call our brains “noodles” but they are not something that you could grab like a bunch of noodles. In fact brains are very very fragile.

>>JASMINE: Switch to the bottom of your mouth…


>>JASMINE: -and brush the inside, outside, and chewing side of each tooth.

>>WENDY: So you see our brains are so fragile that they actually sit in this little that they actually sit in this bath of liquid called the cerebrospinal fluid. and that bath is kind of like a cushion for the brain. And then the brain and its bath are actually encased in this thing called the skull which is really hard. So your brain is protected from things like your hands trying to touch it. So no you can't just touch your brain.

>>JASMINE: Oh, Harriet is going to be so disappointed…Switch to the other side of the bottom of your mouth…


>>JASMINE:  -but don’t brush too hard.

>>WENDY: Well Harriet, hope isn't lost. Harriet does have a chance to touch another human’s brain.


>>JASMINE: What?

>>WENDY: She could become a become a neurobiologist neurobiologist. Scientists who study the brain so they often do experiments with human or animal brains, and from them we actually know that our brains are squishy. In fact they say that the brain is much softer than most of the meat that you see in the market.

>>JASMINE: Yuk. 


>>WENDY: Oh She could also become a brain surgeon and then she could do these operations on the brain to help people get better. Added bonus people would call Harriet a brainiac.


>>JASMINE: That’s it for Chompers today. Special Until next time…

>>KIDS: 3, 2, 1 spit! 

>>JASMINE: Special Thanks to Wendy Zukerman, grown ups if you wanna hear Wendy answer more questions about science, check out science vs. a show that pits facts against fads.