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Dear Felix Kochanowksi

The answer is no. Although a head transplant is possible.

One mistake people make is to think that somehow you can separate the brain from the body like you can when you transplant the heart or the kidney or whatever.

But the brain is a zillion times more complicated. And, because the nervous system is joined to it, the brain extends right through the body. It's attached to the nerves and eyes and so on.

Maybe one day a person will be able to have her brain changed by having very small computers integrated with it.

We already change the brain a bit with drugs (e.g. alcohol) but the effects aren't very good.

Or maybe one day we will learn how to grow brains that are 'improved' in some way.

But in the meantime, I think we ought to learn how to use the brains we have. They're pretty amazing things. And although we know much more about them now than we used to there's still a lot we don't understand about them at all.

If you are fascinated about the idea of brain transplants then there are plenty of science fiction stories about it. Most of them use pretty crude ideas.

But to answer the last part of your question...

Pretend your brain was put in your friend's head and your friend's brain was put in your head. And pretend that the operation was successful. Who would be who?

I think you would both be different. But mostly, where you felt most you and at home would be in your new body. Maybe.

Yours sincerely 

Virginia R. Claire

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