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How The Brain Works Essay

1315 words - 5 pages

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 the brain patterns (Blakeslee, 1995a), so it is possible to conclude that the human mind resides in the human brain. Linking the mind to the brain would invalidate Searle's (1980) explanation that artificial intelligence is impossible because the brain is irrelevant when the mind is concerned. In other words, programs require machines to run, but the mind is independent of the brain. Recent findings suggest that the brain is directly linked to the mind, so even creating AI machines will be possible in the future because the mind is obviously linked to the body through the brain and the nervous system. Although new theories on human consciousness will obviously assist AI engineers, those theories will question the reliability of Dualism because they suggest that mind is a material substance that takes a certain space and creates certain manifestations in the body.
In reality, it is possible that the mind is a material substance. For example, the human eye cannot observe atoms, but they are physical substances, so there is no reason to define mind as an immaterial substance based on the fact that it cannot be perceived. Even though the mind is invisible to the human senses, it is possible to observe the mind. Armstrong's...

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