Girls have a bigger crockus

The excellent Language Log have discovered that an ‘expert’ invited to give a talk to a district education group not only invented a completely bogus part of the brain called the ‘crockus’, but claimed that it’s four times larger in girls and used this fact to back up recommendations for the teaching of children.

Language Log writer Mark Liberman notes that a study found a minor sex difference in the pars opercularis, a genuine brain area in the approximate location of the fictional ‘crockus’.

Although the study found the opposite pattern (it tends to be larger in boys), Liberman wondered whether the speaker may have misremembered both the name of the genuine brain area and the gist of the study.

So, he emailed the speaker to ask more.

In response, he got an answer that would be comically brilliant if it wasn’t deadly serious:

Thanks for asking….The Crockus was actually just recently named by Dr. Alfred Crockus. It is the detailed section of the brain, a part of the frontal lope. It is the detailed section of the brain. You are right, it is four times larger in females then males from birth.

This part of the brain supports the Corpus Callosum (the part of the brain that connects the right and left hemisphere. The larger the crockus the more details are percieved by the two sides of the brain.

Dr Alfred Crockus, we salute you sir!

Link to Language Log on ‘High Crockalorum’ (via BadScience).

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