On 17 October 2013 12:41, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > On Wednesday, October 16, 2013 7:09:00 PM UTC-4, Liz R wrote: > >> On 17 October 2013 11:57, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com> wrote: >> >>> >>> On Wednesday, October 16, 2013 6:32:44 PM UTC-4, Liz R wrote: >>>> >>>> Interesting! One part of the brain controlling another (I guess it does >>>> this anyway but not in the same way). >>>> >>> >>> The question is, what is controlling the first part of the brain? >>> >> >> I'm not sure if it's controlled, exactly. Some would consider it >> autonomous, although it has a lot of input that "drives" it - both from the >> rest of the brain and the environment (which I guess means the rest of the >> body, including the senses). >> > > There isn't really any room for an autonomous 'it' though when I'm > introspectively controlling parts of my own brain. If my will can control > what a neuron does then it is my will that controls the neuron, not the > brain being passively driven by its own input. > > I'm not sure what "will" means here. It seems to be an emergent / high-level description which perhaps needs to be broken down into a neuronal level description, given what we're discussing...? Nor am I sure what "passive" means in the context of autonomy (the two are somewhat opposed, surely). I'm not sure what it means for the brain to be "passively driven by its own input" (where "input" includes memories, experiences, etc) when it's constantly rewiring itself, making and breaking connections...? (Presumably it's ultimately "driven" by the laws of physics, but so is everything else, so that would make the entire universe "passively driven" which makes the concept meaningless, or at least redundant!) The brain is normally assumed to be essentially a large collection of interconnected neurons. There isn't anything else in there that I know of that is relevant to a discussion of how it functions (well, there are blood vessels and glial cells and whatever, but I don't know if they're relevant to a discussion of the brain functions we're interested in, though they are obviously needed in a supporting role). On that view, giving the brain the ability to control parts of itself more directly than it would normally be able to (through training and feedback, or with wires etc) is just introducing more connections, filling in some links that nature happens to have not provided, but not fundamentally different from what goes on in there already. -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list. For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.