How The Brain Works Essay

How The Brain Works Essay

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Current research shows that mental events cause physical events, and scientists believe examining single nerves is the key to understanding how the brain works as a complete unit. Understanding the brain at the nerve cell level will allow scientists to understand how human consciousness works (Blakeslee, 1992). Furthermore, the brain's thalamus is identified as the possible sensory connector because it fires 40 impulses per second that sweep through the entire brain (Blakeslee, 1995a). These findings are a serious implication to Dualism because it states the mind is not physical. If the mind is not physical, it cannot affect the physical body, so the Dualist theory of two-sided interactions between the body and mind are false. The aforementioned argument is supported by many other scientific facts and objections against Dualism.
For example, phantom pain is a well-known phenomenon in medicine. When people lose a limb, they will often feel painful spasms in parts that no longer exist. Although neuroscience is still developing, scientists assume sensory conflict is responsible for this phenomenon (Blakeslee, 1995b). The brain remembers the nerves going to the missing limb and their previous function, so it can issue orders through those nerves. However, the nerves will not get feedback from the muscles in the non-existent limb, so the brain stops the movement forcibly (Blakeslee, 1995b). Over time, the brain makes new nervous pathways and adapts to the new geography of the body (Blakeslee, 1995b), so the person's perception changes and phantom pain no longer persists.
Phantom pain is only one example of how the brain is linked to the consciousness. Every perception in the environment and every physical action causes changes in t...


... middle of paper ...


...p paralysis prevents the body from moving while the mind dreams.
In conclusion, the mind is non-physical, but there must be a common link between the body and mind because several examples show their interaction. Perhaps the image of the body and the mind as entities responsible for our ability to act in the external and the internal world (Ryle, 1949) is correct, but it is missing the brain as the link. The brain is obviously the meeting point which perceives sensations from both the external and the internal world. The mind functions in the internal world and provides thoughts to the brain. The body functions in the external world and provides sensory input to the brain. The brain combines both inputs and distributes them among the body and the mind. This is how the body and mind are able to interact even though the mind is immaterial and the body is material.

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