Where can I buy a human brain?

So what difference would there be if you showed them a cow or sheep’s brain from a butcher?

FWIW- I remember a 5-year-old girl bringing a human skull for show and tell when I was in kindergarten (her dad was an archeologist).

I would be concerned about the wishes of the person who donated the brain, likely by donating their body to science. They are surely expecting respectful handling of their parts for serious learning, not being tossed around by kindergarteners for wow factor.

I’m with the ‘get some pig/sheep brains’ crowd. I think the kids will be amazed enough to handle a brain and see which part does what and how it connects to the body. If you could get some with eye connections intact that would be cool.

I just can’t see letting small children handle human remains when we as a society don’t generally prepare our own dead for burial.

I don’t think cottage cheese is a good description at all. To me at least, that implies that brains don’t have a definite structure but they do. All of those cerebral cortex folds are not random. They are easily identifiable and have firm connections. The brain stem and corpus callosum (the wiring bridging the left and right hemisphere) is a lot more firm than the cortex areas. Fresh brains are fairly squishy but not something that can be swirled around like cottage cheese. You can penetrate one easily with a sharp finger stab or even easier with a tool but they are not semi-liquid. A better comparison would be a very ripe piece of fruit on the outside with firmer parts in the interior.

Any brains that you are likely to ever handle will be fixed in formaldehyde however and that treatment twists the proteins in place so that they feel like a piece of clay or putty and are not gross at all even to most squeamish people as long as you can deal with the chemical smell.

I don’t think it’s possible to buy cow brains from a butcher in Britain. Sale of various kinds of tissue for human consumption was banned after the BSE scare.

Which, come to think of it, is another reason that some parents may make a fuss if brains are brought into the classroom.

Well, the OP’s location is in California, so British laws wouldn’t be an issue.

Oh, don’t be so lazy! You don’t need a computer, you just need a shovel!

The ethical hurdles to using donated human tissue can be huge.

My guess is that even if you overcome that, you will have a proportion of the class that thinks its cool, a proportion that thinks its icky, and a not insignificant proportion that bursts into tears and will take all your time handling them.

I’d go with a detailed plastic model for preschoolers and an analog if you want to demonstrate texture. Im told semi set jello is about right.

The scarecrow went to the Wizard of Oz.

I was always told that spare parts mostly come from India.

I echo the compromise to get a sheep’s brain. They are easy to find and get the gist across without the difficulty of obtainment that a human brain would present.

As a parent of two 5 year olds I would have no problem with this personally.

here are some places to check out


Well, $20 - $30 sure beats the several hundred I would have to plunk down for the real thing, and I wouldn’t have to worry about it being my old friend Raj from AT & T customer service. Since I’m Armenian, it could have been Uncle Zorick’s old girlfriend, but he can get another one. I think you may just have the plan here.

My 4-year old son would love to touch and hold a human brain. Heck, the local natural history museum has a preserved calf’s lung hooked up to a foot pump and a length of tubing for the kids to step on and inflate. It’s a huge hit among the preschool set and educational to boot!

Did you have “those” joke books as a kid? I wish I still had mine.

ETA: ethnic joke books, that is. Lost my mind long ago and I don’t miss it at all…