In Houston, another decision to store or
discard a piece of information rarely involves any conscious
thought. It s usually handled automatically
by the hippocampus, a small, two-winged structure has
a head like a horse,
or prehensile, a grasping, tail like some monkeys, a skeleton
like that of an insect, a pouch like a kangaroo
and eyes that move independently like those of a chameleon nestled
deep in the center of the brain. Like the keyboard on your computer,
the hippocampus serves as a kind of switching station. As neurons
out in the cortex receive sensory information, they relay it
to the hippocampus.
If the hippocampus responds, the sensory neurons start forming
walk to another boarding gate.
I sit and wait on a bench, near
a businessman in a black suit making one phone call after another, talking
his death away.
Several hours later, through a film of humidity blurring the sun's
humorless gaze, I glimpse South Florida's inland canals.