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No. 126: Nov-Dec 1999

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The Vegetable Connection

Within the human brain, probably quite close to the number module, there must be a "vegetable module"; that is, a few brain cells that recognize and process information about vegetables. Furthermore, there must be cross-talk between the vegetable and number modules. This is obvious from the following query posted in New Scientist.

"Why is it that when you repeatedly ask someone addition problems that all add up to six (such as two plus four, one plus five) for a number of minutes and then ask them to think of a vegetable, 90 per cent of people will say "carrot"?
"The person you are asking must have no knowledge of what you are asking them or why. The questions should be asked rapidly, encouraging the person answering to answer them quickly with little thought."

(Versteegen, Adam; "Carrot Brains," New Scientist, p. 97, Jule 24, 1999.)

From Science Frontiers #126, NOV-DEC 1999. 1999-2000 William R. Corliss