I am currently working on a theory of personhood and its defining
characteristics and desperately need expert information on comparative
brain wave patterns between "normal" conscious humans, sleeping humans,
higher order primates, such as chimpanzees, mentally handicapped
children, comatose humans ( not braindead ), and human fetuses.
My central question revolves around whether it is possible with
todays technology for a trained neurobiologist or neuropsychologist to
examine an electroencephalagram of the above listed subjects and
determine from the patterns only if the subject is human? For example,
is to possible to look only at the EEG of a human fetus and conclusively
differentiate it from that of a chimpanzee? Or say the EEG of a comatose
human opposed to that of a chimpanzee?
The theory I am working on rejects the commonsense notion of
personhood proposed by philosophers such as Joel Feinberg as it omits too
many individuals which we regularly accord the natural rights of
persons. In a move of extreme reductionism I am seeking to isolate one
defining characteristic which would conclusively determine the personhood
or nonpersonhood of the subject in question. I believe the key to this
may lie in human brainwave patterns. Any information which any
subscribers to this service may be able to provide me would be greatly
appreciated even if it is only to tell me that my ideas may be feasible
but no one has conducted the necessary comparative research which would
be required to conclusively answer my question.
Please e-mail me personally rather than posting to this newsgroup.