Let’s think about consciousness and the mind-brain problem (also called the mind-body problem): how are our conscious mind and physical brain related? Most neuroscientists believe that self-awareness and consciousness can be explained by the workings of the brain. One line of evidence that supports the role of the brain in consciousness are experiments with split-brain patients, which are described in “A Brain Divided” subsection in the NOBA “The Brain” chapter. You can see this for yourself in this Youtube video (all links are optional reading/viewing). If you have the time, Alan Alda takes a more in-depth look at the relationship between language and human thought, in this 1-hour long episode of The Human Spark. [NOTE: if the Human Spark video isn't available at this link, see this Youtube version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzcSbP3VsAI ]
Please provide your thoughts to the following the questions: Do you think it's valid to assume that the brain is the basis for consciousness? Why do you think that the brain can explain consciousness? Or, do you think that consciousness has to be something beyond the physical brain?
To help you think about this, here’s some food for thought (You don't have to answer these additional questions unless you want to. They're there to help get you started. Also, remember, all links are optional):
If the brain produces consciousness, then changes in the brain should result in changes in consciousness. The split brain patient experiments are just one example of this. What are some other examples that you can think of? On the other hand, how could our “mind” (thought, decisions, etc.) change our brain?
Could consciousness require activity of a specific brain area, and if so which one? Some researchers think the insula is an important area for consciousness, whereas others believe it is the integration of brain activity that is important.
Do bigger brains have more consciousness? If so, then how would you explain someone with a smaller brain that functions normally? If bigger brains have an evolutionary advantage, what happened to these guys?
What might coma tell us about consciousness? (Don’t believe everything you see in movies, they're not always scientifically accurate.)
Atleast 100 words for this assignment
|Due By (Pacific Time)
||08/21/2015 12:00 am