Dont Neuroscientists Say That The Mind Is Just The Brain
Many scientists believe that, not because of evidence, but because they are materialists. The evidence does not point in that direction. Thinking it through carefully, the idea doesnt even make sense, as Michael Egnorpoints out: How do we believe that there are no beliefs? If eliminative materialism is true, then their own belief in eliminative materialism isnt a belief. Its a physical state, a certain concentration of neurochemicals that we foolishly call a belief. So a disagreement between an eliminative materialist and a dualist isnt really a disagreement at all. Its just two different concentrations of brain dopamine or whatever. Exactly how these chemicals in different skulls get into a disagreement is left vague. At this point, you may get a bit uncomfortable, as you would if the guy youre sitting next to on the subway starts talking about the fact that CNN is broadcasting directly into his brain.
In fact, the minds reality is consistent with neuroscience. Its not popular with neuroscientists but that is a different matter. Incidentally, the mind cannot just emerge from the brain if the two have no qualities in common.
Functionalism And The Language Of Thought
Thus far, we have considered functional analysis, the computer modelof the mind’s approach to intelligence, distinguished intelligence fromintentionality, and considered the idea of the brain as a syntacticengine. The idea of the brain as a syntactic engine explains how it is thatsymbol-crunching operations can result in a machine “making sense”.But so far, we have encountered nothing that could be considered the computermodel’s account of intentionality. It is time to admit that although thecomputer model of the mind has a natural and straightforward account ofintelligence, there is no account of intentionality that comes along forfree.
We will not survey the field here. Instead, let us examine a view whichrepresents a kind of orthodoxy, not in the sense that most researchers believeit, but in the sense that the other views define themselves in large partby their response to it.
The basic tenet of this orthodoxy is that our intentional contents aresimply meanings of our internal representions. As noted earlier, there issomething to be said for regarding the content of thought and language asa single phenomenon, and this is a quite direct way of so doing. There isno commitment in this orthodoxy on the issue of whether our internal language,the language in which we think, is the same or different from the languagewith which we speak. Further, there is no commitment as to a direction ofreduction, i.e., as to which is more basic, mental content or meanings ofinternal symbols.
Conclusions On Consciousness And Comparisons
75It is suggested that it feels like something to be an organism or machine that can think about its own thoughts.
76It is suggested that qualia, raw sensory, and emotional, feels, arise secondarily to having evolved such a higher-order thought system, and that sensory and emotional processing feels like something because once this emotional processing has entered the planning, higher-order thought, system, it would be unparsimonious for it not to feel like something, given that all the other processing in this system I suggest does feel like something.
77The adaptive value of having sensory and emotional feelings, or qualia, is thus suggested to be that such inputs are important to the long-term planning, explicit, processing system. Raw sensory feels, and subjective states associated with emotional and motivational states, may not necessarily arise first in evolution.
78Reasons why the ventral visual system is more closely related to explicit than implicit processing include the fact that representations of objects and individuals need to enter the planning, hence conscious, system, and are considered in more detail by and by .
82Moreover, the evidence that feedback from peripheral autonomic and proprioceptive systems is essential for emotions is very weak, in that for example blocking peripheral feedback does not eliminate emotions, and producing peripheral, e.g., autonomic, changes does not elicit emotion , , .
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Psychology & The Mind Body Debate
The different approaches to psychology take contrasting views to whether the mind and body are separate or related. Thinking is a mental event, yet can cause behavior to occur . Thinking can therefore be said to make things happen, “mind moves matter”.
behaviorists believe that psychology should only be concerned with “observable actions”, namely stimulus and response. They believe that thought processes such as the mind cannot be studied scientifically and objectively and should therefore be ignored. Radical behaviorists believe that the mind does not even exist.
The biologists who argue that the mind does not exist because there is no physical structure called the mind also follow this approach. Biologists argue that the brain will ultimately be found to be the mind. The brain with its structures, cells and neural connections will with scientific research eventually identify the mind.
Since both behaviorists and biologists believe that only one type of reality exists, those that we can see, feel and touch there approach is known as monism. Monism is the belief that ultimately the mind and the brain are the same thing. The behaviorist and biological approaches believe in materialism monism.
The participants in a deep trance had a skin reaction just as if they had been touched with burning metal. This is an example of the mind controlling the bodyâs reaction. Similar results have been found on patients given hypnosis to control pain.
Two Kinds Of Definitions Of Intelligence
We have been talking about an attempt to define intelligence using theresources of the Turing Test. However, there is a very different approachto defining intelligence
To explain this approach, it will be useful to contrast two kinds ofdefinitions of water. One might be better regarded as a definition of theword `water’. The word might be defined as the colorless, odorless,tasteless liquid that is found in lakes and oceans. In this sense of `definition’,the definition of `water’ is available to anyone who speaks the language,even someone who knows no science. But one might also define water by sayingwhat water really is, that is, by saying what physico-chemical structurein fact makes something pure water. The answer to this question would involveits chemical constitution: H2O. Defining a word is somethingwe can do in our armchair, by consulting our linguistic intuitions abouthypothetical cases, or, bypassing this process, by simply stipulating ameaning for a word. Defining the thing is an activitythat involves empirical investigation into the nature of something in theworld.
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On The Relation Between The Mind And The Brain: A Neuroscience Perspective
In this paper I show that computational neuroscience provides an important new approach to traditional problems in philosophy such as the relation between mental states and brain states , to determinism and free will, and helps one with the hard problem, the phenomenal aspects of consciousness.One of the themes of the paper and of my book Neuroculture: on the Implications of Brain Science is that by understanding the computations performed by neurons and neuronal networks, and the effects of noise in the brain on these, we will gain a true understanding of the mechanisms that underlie brain function. Part of the solution proposed to the mind-body problem is that the mind and the brain are different levels of explanation of information processing, the correspondence between which can be understood by understanding the mechanisms involved using the approach of computational neuroscience.But this does leave some hard problems, such as the problem of phenomenal consciousness, and while I have provided new suggestions about this in this paper, one must recognise that there is still somewhat of a gap in our understanding of events in the brain and the subjective experiences that may accompany them. The explanation I offer is that when it feels like something this is just a property of a computational process that has thoughts about its own thoughts , and with the thoughts grounded in the world.
Explanatory Levels And The Syntactic Theory Of The Mind
In this section, let us assume that the language of thought hypothesisis correct in order to ask another question: should cognitive science explanationsappeal only to the syntactic elements in the language of thought , or should they also appeal to the contentsof these symbols? Stich has argued for the “syntactic theoryof mind”, a version of the computer model in which the language ofthought is construed in terms of uninterpreted symbols, symbols that mayhave contents, but whose contents are irrelevant for the purposesof cognitive science. I shall put the issue in terms of a critique of asimplified version of the argument of Stich .
Let us begin with Stich’s case of Mrs. T, a senile old lady who answers”What happened to McKinley?” with “McKinley was assassinated,”but cannot answer questions like “Where is McKinley now?”, “Ishe alive or dead?” and the like. Mrs. T’s logical facilities are fine,but she has lost most of her memories, and virtually all the concepts thatare normally connected to the concept of assassination, such as the conceptof death. Stich sketches the case so as to persuade us that though Mrs.T may know that something happened to McKinley, she doesn’t have any realgrasp of the concept of assassination, and thus cannot be said to believethat McKinley was assassinated.
The point here is not that the program level is a convenient fiction.On the contrary, the program level is just as real and explanatoryas the circuit level.
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Is There Any Point In Searching For The Location Of The Soul
The answer must be in a resounding affirmative. The efforts over millennia to determine the nature and discover the location of the soul have resulted in a better understanding of the wonderful structure and function of man and his place in the cosmos.
In making this search and noting our findings, we must never lose sight of the cautionary note sounded by Leonardo da Vinci circa in 1487: With what words O writer can you with a like perfection describe the whole arrangement of that of which the design is here? .
Do Any Neuroscientists Doubt The Consensus That The Mind Is Just The Brain
Yes, the great mid-twentieth century neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield offered three lines of reasoning for such doubts, based on brain surgery on over a thousand patients. A number of other neuroscience pioneers, some of them Nobel Laureates, arrived at that position due to their research. Here are four examples.
The view that the mind is simply what the brain does is not derived from evidence so much as from a prior commitment to materialism. The more we explore, the more we are likely to see that clearly.
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We will never solve the brain. A science historian offers a look at some of the difficulties we face in understanding the brain. The future he envisions resembles our understanding of human history more than our understanding of a math problem.
Tibetan monks can change their metabolism. Far from disproving it, science has documented it.
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Is Your Brain And Mind The Same Thing
This is a science vs. philosopy question. Science hasalready demonstrated that it believes it is the same thing, whereasmost humans “feel” that science is wrong, that indeed, the mind isthe “soul” that continues to exist after death. Therefore, if youbelieve you continue and there is an afterlife, you will mostdefinitely believe they are not the same thing. If you do notbelieve in an afterlife, you will say yes, they are the same thing.If you are like me and admit that you do not definitely know eitherway, than there is no way to answer this question at our presentstage of human development. I don’t know that humans will ever havethe capacity to prove irrevocably theabsolute facts of this debate until we’re able toprove irrevocably that there is an afterlife in someform.
Our Body And Mind Are One
Professor Helen Payne – Professor of Psychotherapy, School of Education, University of Hertfordshire
‘The mind had to be first about the body, or it could not have been’ .
Neuroscience demonstrates that perception and relationship to others are through an embodied sense of self . Damasio’s view is that the mind, brain and body are unbroken rather than separate aspects:
Our bodies and minds are profoundly inter-related. Our emotions are anchored in the body and integral to the autonomic nervous system which is the nerve complex that controls the involuntary actions of our internal organs, blood vessels and glands. Emotional balance is mediated by the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. The way we move or hold our bodies can inform us of our emotional states and are evoked in tandem with sensations.
Neuropsychology tells us that our thoughts are governed by our emotions which are, in turn, grounded in our bodies, emotions being part of self-regulation .
Descartes famously wrote: ‘I think, therefore I am’. However, following research into embodied cognition it is time to replace that claim with ‘I move, therefore I think’.
In the teaching of reading we might apply this notion by helping children to envision what they are reading to increase comprehension.
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Can Brain Scans Read Our Minds
They can in a dozen conflicting ways. A recent study involving 70 research groups identified sharp limitations in the value of brain imaging in understanding the mind: Simple task, simple hypotheses, unmissably big chunks of brain simple to get the same answer, right? Wrong. There is poor correlation between different scans even of the same persons brain, experienced researchers say. Thats not to say the technology wont improve. The main thing to see is that reading the mind is more like reading the ocean than like reading the directions on a package. We would need to begin by deciding exactly what we want to knowand then go fishing.
Arguments For The Language Of Thought
So it seems that the language of thought hypothesis can be defended fromthese a priori objections. But is there any positive reason to believe it?One such reason is that it is part of a reasonably successful research program.But there are challengers , so a stronger case will be called for if the challengers’research programs also end up being successful.5
A major rationale for accepting the language of thought has been oneor another form of productivity argument, stemming from Chomsky’swork The idea is that people are capable of thinkingvast numbers of thoughts that they have not thought before–and indeed thatno one may have ever thought before. Consider, for example, the thoughtmentioned earlier that this book is closer to you than the President’s shoeis to the Museum gift shop. The most obvious explanation of how we can thinksuch new thoughts is the same as the explanation of how we can frame thesentences that express them: namely, via a combinatorial system that wethink in. Indeed, abstracting away from limitations on memory, motivation,and length of life, there may be no upper bound on the number of thinkablethoughts. The number of sentences in the English language is certainly infinite.But what does it mean to say that sentences containing millions of wordsare “in principle” thinkable?
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Difference Between Mind And Brain
Mind vs Brain
Mind is related to brain. Most people do not find any difference between the two words mind and brain. Most scientists and thinkers believe that the brain and the mind are one and cannot be separated. Most of the time these two words are used interchangeably. While brain is considered to be a physical thing, mind is considered to be mental.
The brain is composed of nerve cells and blood vessels whereas the mind is not like that. While the brain has a definite shape, the mind does not have one. We can see and touch the brain whereas it is not possible to do this with the mind.
As the brain is made up of several materials, it can be studied. On the other hand, it is hard to conduct studies on the mind as it is not made up of any material.
The brain is an important organ in the human body whereas the mind is not like that. It is in the brain that all the functions and activities take place. The brain, which is the centre of the nervous system, coordinates the movements, thoughts and feelings. But these are put forth or felt through the mind. We all use the mind to think, feel and respond. The Mind refers to a persons understanding of things and also his conscience. Mind also refers to a persons thought process.
Can People In Comas Who Show No Awareness Of Their Surroundings Really Think
Yes! Modern neuroscience is shedding light on the minds of people in a persistent vegetative state ? The preferred new term is disorders of consciousness. For example, in one study, Remarkably, five patients were able to wilfully modulate their brain activity, suggesting that, though unable to express any outward signs of consciousness at the bedside, they could understand and follow the researchers instructions. Generally speaking, they can hear us: Researcher Adrian Owen found that brain wave patterns when asked to imagine something, were the same as those of normal volunteers. Can people in comas have abstract thoughts? Stoneybrook neurosurgeon Michael Egnor has some ideas about how we might test for that ability, using scrambled word sequences. Of course, if we are even asking, we are a long way from the He is now just a vegetable concept of old.
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