How Much Is Your Brain Worth?

I generally try to provide insight, intelligence and inspiration in my posts. But I also like to add a dash of humour from time to time, so here’s my Thursday funny that I want to share with you.

It landed in my inbox recently, sent from a friend to make me laugh, and it did.


Standard Pricing Procedure

In the hospital, the relatives gathered in the waiting room, where a family member lay gravely ill. Finally, the doctor came in looking tired and somber.

‘I’m afraid I’m the bearer of bad news,’ he said as he surveyed the worried faces. ‘The only hope left for your loved one at this time is a brain transplant.

It’s an experimental procedure, very risky, but it is the only hope. Insurance will cover the procedure, but you will have to pay for the BRAIN.’

The family members sat silent as they absorbed the news. After a time, someone asked, ‘How much will a brain cost?’

The doctor quickly responded, ‘$5,000 for a male brain; $200 for a female brain.’

The moment turned awkward.

Some of the men actually had to ‘try’ to not smile, avoiding eye contact with the women.

A man unable to control his curiosity, finally blurted out the question everyone wanted to ask, ‘Why is the male brain so much more than a female brain?’

The doctor smiled at the childish innocence and explained to the entire group, ‘It’s just standard pricing procedure

We have to price the female brains a lot lower because they’ve been used.’

To shed some intelligence in this post, here’s some research from the Masters of Healthcare I did on the woman’s brain vs the male’s brain.

  1. Human relationships. Women tend to communicate more effectively than men, focusing on how to create a solution that works for the group, talking through issues, and utilizes non-verbal cues such as tone, emotion, and empathy whereas men tend to be more task-oriented, less talkative, and more isolated. No kidding!
  2. Left brain vs. both hemispheres. Men tend to process better in the left hemisphere of the brain and approach problem-solving from a task-oriented perspective. While women tend to process equally well between the two hemispheres and typically solve problems more creatively and are more aware of feelings while communicating.
  3. Reaction to stress. Men tend to have a “fight or flight” response to stress situations while women seem to approach these situations with a “tend and befriend” strategy. Psychologist Shelley E. Taylor coined the phrase “tend and befriend” after recognizing that during times of stress women take care of themselves and their children (tending) and form strong group bonds (befriending).  Sisters stick together.
  4. Language. Two sections of the brain responsible for language were found to be larger in women than in men, indicating one reason that women typically excel in language-based subjects and in language-associated thinking. Additionally, men typically only process language in their dominant hemisphere, whereas women process language in both hemispheres.
  5. Emotions. Women typically have a larger deep limbic system than men, which allows them to be more in touch with their feelings and better able to express them, which promotes bonding with others. Because of this, they have a better ability to connect.
  6. Brain size. Typically, men’s brains are 11-12% bigger than women’s brains. This size difference has absolutely nothing to do with intelligence (of course we knew that), but is explained by the difference in physical size – i.e men need more neurons to control their greater muscle mass and larger body size, thus generally have a larger brain.

So much enlightenment for a Thursday, huh?

  • Rebecca

    I really enjoyed your post. I like Thursday humor! I enjoy my female brain and think it’s great in many ways. Thanks for making me laugh.

  • Natalie

    Hey thanks Rebecca. Glad you liked it. Made me laugh for sure.

  • Ruth

    Love it as humour, but it’s also something I’m struggling with right now. I’m not an entrepreur but seeking out funding for post-grad research has similar elements. Usually these would be for fixed sum scholarships, but I was asked today by a slightly unconventional potenial funder, what is a ball park figure you would need?
    Well, there’s a loaded question. I want my fees paid, I want a new computer (and an iphone wouldn’t go astray), however what I really _need_ is to pay my rent, travel and groceries for the next 3-4 years!
    However I feel really cheeky asking someone to cough up for that. Funnily enough I wouldn’t bat an eyelid at taking a wage/salary which would cover all that and possibly more, but it just feels funny asking for money to study even with a (by)product at the end that would greatly benefit aforementioned funder.
    So what is my brain actually worth?
    What do entrepreneurs do to overcome these qualms when seeking out investors?

  • Jens P. Berget

    That was funny, even though I am a man, but it might be different since I’m Norwegian :-)

    It’s interesting from a marketing perspective, since we need to act different regarding if we’re targeting women or men.

  • Natalie

    Hi Ruth, I can see your quandry although you should totally be asking for what your worth, not only now but for the future. As an investor you need to look at his return on his investment in you and work out what that’s worth. Look at the long term as much as your current needs. Plus I always aim high as people will negotiate!

  • Natalie

    Good point Jens and great to have a visitor from Norway! I was in Oslo in 2007 and loved it. I agree there’s many things we can learn from the brain differences with regards to how to target our markets and what will appeal to them based on their neurological aspects.

  • Elena

    Hi Natalie…That’s very interesting…I am reading a book “My stroke of insight” written by Jill Bolte Taylor…very interesting perspective about brain functionality, and interesting too the “marketing approach” to neurology. :-)