Atheist neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran claims in a video at You Tube (Beyond Belief Conference, 2006) that brain hemispheres can have different opinions on the existence of God. Perhaps it is relevant, in assessing such a bizarre claim, that Dr. Ramachandran also makes a statement about brain surgery that is false.
Egnor: It’s sobering to note that neuroscience has utterly failed to explain how the brain and mind relate. It is as if cosmology had failed to tell us anything meaningful about the universe; or medical science failed to tell us anything about health and disease; or geology failed to tell us anything about rocks.
Modern brain imaging studies show that very often they can. And, with help from new technology, they can answer us too. Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor explains.
Roger Sperry’s Nobel Prize-winning split-brain research convinced him that the mind and free will are real.
Egnor: Mental activity always has meaning—every thought is about something. Computation always lacks meaning in itself. A word processing program doesn’t care about the opinion that you’re expressing when you use it.
In the sense of “There. That’s that.” It’s just too big. Machine learning might help but machines don’t explain their decisions very well. If the brain is immensely complex, it may elude complete understanding in detail. Deep Learning may survey it but that won’t convey understanding to us. We may need to look at more comprehensive ways of knowing
Egnor: Thoughts have emotional states; matter doesn’t have emotional states, just matter. So it’s not clear that you can get an emergent property when there is no connection whatsoever between that property and the thing it supposedly emerges from.
Many true tales of science are not the subjects of lectern oratory. Here’s one: brain localization. How did the idea develop? Originally via phrenology.
At Mind Matters News: A major consequence of the advance of modern neuroscience is that we now “know” so much less than we used to. But what we do know points us in promising research directions.
Not from Darwinism? A technique to reveal cells’ epigenetic features is detailed
Apparently, design is okay if microbes do it: It seems so obvious that someone should have thought of it decades ago: Since parasites have plagued eukaryotic life for millions of years, their prevalence likely affected evolution. Psychologist Marco Del Giudice of the University of New Mexico is not the first researcher to suggest that the Read More…
Moreland: We are a unity of body, mind, spirit, emotions, and will and they all affect one another. And so, if my brain is damaged and it’s not producing the kinds of chemicals that it needs to help me have a good mood, then medication feels like oiling the engine or vitamins for your brain.
Given how little substance there is to all this, they could at least have included some cute bonobo pix.
If the AI boosters really knew how the human brain functions, they’d be getting the Nobel for Medicine instead of some geek prize.
University of maryland linguist: The formal structures of linguistics and neurophysiology are disjoint, a point emphasized by Poeppel and David Embick in a widely cited study. There is an incommensurability between theories of the brain and theories of the mind…