Friday, 24 August 2012

That Old Television Analogy


No matter what evidence is put in front of them, certain sections of the neuroscience community continue to hold fast to the idea that consciousness is created in the brain.

The latest case to come under the spotlight is that of a certain Patient R, critical parts of whose cortex were destroyed by disease, who yet retains self awareness.

There have been other cases, too - not the least of which were those individuals born with apparently no brain at all, who grew up to be functioning, and in some cases highly intelligent members of society.

A faction of the neuroscience community, you see, is convinced that functional neural imaging - in which the brain "lights up" under specific conditions of consciousness - is proof that the brain is producing the consciousness.
 I expect it makes them feel more in control of , well, stuff, to be able to point to an area of the brain and say that all our wonderful mind workings are produced right there.

I don't have to trot out the old television analogy, do I?

Oh, very well. I imagine we may seem like some "primitive" tribe, unexposed to "modern" technology, who insist with their last breaths that the orchestra is somewhere inside the radio.