brain and mind

Thomas R. Gregg greggt at strauss.udel.edu
Thu Jan 19 21:38:07 EST 1995


Prat Itharat <pitharat at sas.upenn.edu> wrote:
>>>All of our thoughts and feelings, no matter how euphoric or bizzare are 
>>>due to interactions of neurochemicals, neurons, hormones, etc.>...
>>>Ray
>
>I have to disagree on that point.  We just don't have enough evidence to come 
>to such a conclusion at this time.  If all of our thoughts and feelings are 
>based on neurological interactions and changes, how can you explain the 
>multitude and vast range of emotions that we have?  
>How can you explain the combination of emotions?

There are billions of neurons and maybe trillions of synapses in the
brain.  Each neuron is capable of entering many different states.  How
many emotions is it possible to have?  a few thousand?  How many thoughts? 
Millions?  If a person had a different thought every minute she was alive,
the total number of thoughts would be 42 million.  Think of a computer. 
It can perform many tasks, due to thousands (or millions) of transistors
and millions of memory spaces.  The computer's input is from keyboard and
mouse.  The brain's input is from the senses.  The computer's output
goes to the video screen and disk drive.  The brain's output is thought,
emotions, and behavior.

>>It's safer to say thoughts & feelings are *correlated with* neural activity.
>>Tom
>Perhaps neural activity is "correlated with" thoughts and feelings.  Let me 
>propose a very radical idea [in terms of how the scientific community views 
>it].  Let's assume that we have a "mind" that is a separate identity from the 
>brain.  The mind controls our thoughts and emotions [of course, with inputs 
>from the brain].  This, in turn, causes neurological changes.

That sounds like dualism.  A reductionist neuroscientist would say, "Why
introduce the concept of a mind?  It seems possible to explain most animal
behavior in terms of brain activity.  Why do our theories need something
controlling the brain?" 

How can we measure the "mind"?  What is the source of energy for the
"mind"?  Where is it located?  What is it made of, matter or energy?  If
energy, what kind of energy?  What is the nature of the brain/mind
interface? 

>-=Prat=-
>ps)  I did not mean to offend anyone.  If I did, I am truely sorry.  I'm just 
>trying to express what I believe in.

Tom
-- 
Tom



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