Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mental phenomena are nothing but phenomena of the physical brain.

Expand Your Mind: Getting a Grasp on Consciousness
Alexander Shulgin, Christof Koch, Patricia Churchland and Ira Flatow
December 1, 2005 http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/ehceduc.html

Mental phenomena are nothing but phenomena of the physical brain, says Patricia Churchland. It’s “an illusion of the brain” to think that we have a “nonphysical soul that does our feeling.” But how the brain creates constructs of itself and things in the world remains a major puzzle. For instance, how does a brain “habitually represent goals, plans and projects -- things that don’t yet exist?” And what about the huge amount of spontaneous activity in the brain that occurs while we’re resting? We don’t understand how the “organization of a motor response is achieved,” nor how these responses are integrated across sensory systems together with memory. Churchland anticipates a fundamental shift in looking at the brain that will merge philosophical and neurobiological issues.

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