How The Brain Creates The Mind University Of California-Books Pdf

How the Brain Creates the Mind University of California
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Copyright 1999 Scientific American Inc, DIMITRY SCHIDLOVSKY SOURCE Tootell et al Journal of Neuroscience May 1988. of all these data adds up to correlates of mental, states but nothing resembling an actual mental. state For them detailed observation of living, matter thus leads not to mind but simply to the. details of living matter The understanding of, how living matter generates the sense of self that. is the hallmark of a conscious mind the sense, a that the images in my mind are mine and are.
formed in my perspective is simply not possible, The brain s business This argument though incorrect tends to silence. is representing other most hopeful investigators of the conscious mind. things Studies with To the pessimists the conscious mind problem. macaques show a seems so intractable that it is not even possible to. remarkable fidelity explain why the mind is even about something. between a seen shape why mental processes represent internal states or. a and the shape of interactions with external objects Philosophers. the neural activity refer to this representational quality of the mind. pattern b in one of with the confusing term intentionality This ar. the layers of the pri gument is false, mary visual cortex The final negative contention is the reminder. that elucidating the emergence of the conscious, mind depends on the existence of that same con. scious mind Conducting an investigation with, the very instrument being investigated makes. both the definition of the problem and the ap, proach to a solution especially complicated Giv.
en the conflict between observer and observed, we are told the human intellect is unlikely to be. up to the task of comprehending how mind, b emerges from brain This conflict is real but the. notion that it is insurmountable is inaccurate, In summary the apparent uniqueness of the. I am firmly in the confident camp a substantial conscious mind problem and the difficulties that. explanation for the mind s emergence from the complicate ways to get at that problem generate. brain will be produced and perhaps soon The two effects they frustrate those researchers com. giddy feeling however is tempered by the ac mitted to finding a solution and confirm the con. knowledgment of some sobering difficulties viction of others who intuitively believe that a so. Nothing is more familiar than the mind Yet lution is beyond our reach. the pilgrim in search of the sources and mecha, nisms behind the mind embarks on a journey Evaluating the Difficulties. into a strange and exotic landscape In no particu, lar order what follows are the main problems fac.
ing those who seek the biological basis for the, conscious mind. T hose who cite the inability of research on the, living matter of the brain to reveal the sub. stance of mind assume that the current knowl, The first quandary involves the perspective edge of that living matter is sufficient to make. one must adopt to study the conscious mind in such judgment final This notion is entirely unac. relation to the brain in which we believe it origi ceptable The current description of neurobiologi. nates Anyone s body and brain are observable to cal phenomena is quite incomplete any way you. third parties the mind though is observable slice it We have yet to resolve numerous details. only to its owner Multiple individuals confront about the function of neurons and circuits at the. ed with the same body or brain can make the molecular level we do not yet grasp the behavior. same observations of that body or brain but no of populations of neurons within a local brain re. comparable direct third person observation is gion and our understanding of the large scale. possible for anyone s mind The body and its systems made up of multiple brain regions is also. brain are public exposed external and unequiv incomplete We are barely beginning to address. ocally objective entities The mind is a private the fact that interactions among many noncon. hidden internal unequivocally subjective entity tiguous brain regions probably yield highly com. How and where then does the dependence of a plex biological states that are vastly more than the. first person mind on a third person body occur sum of their parts. precisely Techniques used to study the brain in In fact the explanation of the physics related to. clude refined brain scans and the measurement of biological events is still incomplete Consequent. patterns of activity in the brain s neurons The ly declaring the conscious mind problem insolu. naysayers argue that the exhaustive compilation ble because we have studied the brain to the hilt. 114 SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN December 1999 How the Brain Creates the Mind. Copyright 1999 Scientific American Inc, and have not found the mind is ludicrous We the attempt defies Aristotle s observation. have not yet fully studied either neurobiology or that human beings are infinitely curious. its related physics For example at the finest level about their own nature. of description of mind the swift construction, manipulation and superposition of many sensory Reasons for Optimism.
images might require explanation at the quantum, level Incidentally the notion of a possible role for. quantum physics in the elucidation of mind an, idea usually associated with mathematical physi. M y proposal for a solution to the co, nundrum of the conscious mind re. quires breaking the problem into two, cist Roger Penrose of the University of Oxford is parts The first concern is how we generate a. not an endorsement of his specific proposals what I call a movie in the brain This. namely that consciousness is based on quantum movie is a metaphor for the integrated. level phenomena occurring in the microtubules and unified composite of diverse sensory. constituents of neurons and other cells The images visual auditory tactile olfactory. quantum level of operations might help explain and others that constitutes the multime. how we have a mind but I regard it as unneces dia show we call mind The second issue is. sary to explain how we know that we own that the self and how we automatically gener. mind the issue I regard as most critical for a ate a sense of ownership for the movie in. comprehensive account of consciousness the brain The two parts of the problem are. The strangeness of the conscious mind prob related with the latter nested in the for. lem mostly reflects ignorance which limits the mer Separating them is a useful research. imagination and has the curious effect of making strategy as each requires its own solution b. the possible seem impossible Science fiction Neuroscientists have been attempting. writer Arthur C Clarke has said Any sufficiently unwittingly to solve the movie in the. advanced technology is indistinguishable from brain part of the conscious mind problem. magic The technology of the brain is so com for most of the history of the field The en. plex as to appear magical or at least unknow deavor of mapping the brain regions in. able The appearance of a gulf between mental volved in constructing the movie began al. states and physical biological phenomena comes most a century and a half ago when Paul. from the large disparity between two bodies of Broca and Carl Wernicke first suggested. knowledge the good understanding of mind we that different regions of the brain were in. have achieved through centuries of introspection volved in processing different aspects of. and the efforts of cognitive science versus the in language More recently thanks to the ad. complete neural specification we have achieved vent of ever more sophisticated tools the c. through the efforts of neuroscience But there is no effort has begun to reap handsome rewards. reason to expect that neurobiology cannot bridge Researchers can now directly record the. the gulf Nothing indicates that we have reached activity of a single neuron or group of neu. the edge of an abyss that would separate in prin rons and relate that activity to aspects of a. ciple the mental from the neural specific mental state such as the percep. Therefore I contend that the biological process tion of the color red or of a curved line. es now presumed to correspond to mind process Brain imaging techniques such as PET. es in fact are mind processes and will be seen to be positron emission tomography scans. so when understood in sufficient detail I am not and fMR functional magnetic resonance. denying the existence of the mind or saying that scans reveal how different brain regions in. HANNA DAMASIO, once we know what we need to know about biol a normal living person are engaged by a.
ogy the mind ceases to exist I simply believe that certain mental effort such as relating a. the private personal mind precious and unique word to an object or learning a particular d. indeed is biological and will one day be described face Investigators can determine how. in terms both biological and mental molecules within microscopic neuron circuits par Neuroscience continues. The other main objection to an understanding ticipate in such diverse mental tasks and they can to associate specific. of mind is that the real conflict between observer identify the genes necessary for the production brain structures with. and observed makes the human intellect unfit to and deployment of those molecules specific tasks Some. study itself It is important however to point out Progress in this field has been swift ever since language regions are. that the brain and mind are not a monolith they David H Hubel and Torsten Wiesel of Harvard highlighted in a and b. have multiple structural levels and the highest of University provided the first clue for how brain Color processing red. those levels creates instruments that permit the circuits represent the shape of a given object by and face processing. observation of the other levels For example lan demonstrating that neurons in the primary visual green regions are. guage endowed the mind with the power to cate cortex were selectively tuned to respond to edges shown in c One s own. gorize and manipulate knowledge according to oriented in varied angles Hubel and Margaret S body sense depends on. logical principles and that helps us classify obser Livingstone also at Harvard later showed that the region shown in d. vations as true or false We should be modest other neurons in the primary visual cortex re. about the likelihood of ever observing our entire spond selectively to color but not shape And. nature But declaring defeat before we even make Semir Zeki of University College London found. How the Brain Creates the Mind SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN December 1999 115. Copyright 1999 Scientific American Inc, beyond properly working hippocampi and cere. bral cortices Certain processes must take place at. the level of neurons and molecules so that the, neural circuits are etched so to speak with the. impressions of a newly learned fact This etching, depends on strengthening or weakening the con. tacts between neurons known as synapses A, provocative recent finding by Eric R Kandel of. Columbia University and Timothy P Tully of, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is that etching the.
impression requires the synthesis of fresh pro, teins which in turn rely on the engagement of. specific genes within the neurons charged with, supporting the consolidated memory. These brief illustrations of progress could be ex, panded with other revelations from the study of. language emotion and decision making Whatev, er mental function we consider it is possible to. identify distinct parts of the brain that contribute. to the production of a function by working in, concert a close correspondence exists between.
the appearance of a mental state or behavior and, the activity of selected brain regions And that. correspondence can be established between a giv, en macroscopically identifiable region for exam. ple the primary visual cortex a language related, area or an emotion related nucleus and the micro. scopic neuron circuits that constitute the region, HANNA DAMASIO. Most exciting is that these impressive advances, in the study of the brain are a mere beginning.
New analytical techniques continuously improve, the ability to study neural function at the molecu. The sense of self has a that brain regions that received sensory informa lar level and to investigate the highly complex. seat in the brain s core tion after the primary visual cortex did were spe large scale phenomena arising from the whole. Stripping away the cialized for the further processing of color or move brain Revelations from those two areas will make. external anatomy of a ment These results provided a counterpart to ob possible ever finer correspondences between brain. human brain shows a servations made in living neurological patients states and mental states between brain and mind. number of deep seated damage to distinct regions of the visual cortices in As technology develops and the ingenuity of re. regions responsible for terferes with color perception while leaving dis searchers grows the fine grain of physical struc. homeostatic regulation cernment of shape and movement intact tures and biological activities that constitute the. emotion wakefulness A large body of work in fact now points to the movie in the brain will gradually come into focus. and the sense of self existence of a correspondence between the struc. ture of an object as taken in by the eye and the Con. brain part of the conscious mind problem for most of the history of the eld The en deavor of mapping the brain regions in volved in constructing the movie began al most a century and a half ago when Paul Broca and Carl Wernicke rst suggested that different regions of the brain were in volved in processing different aspects of language

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