Who's in charge – you or your brain?

Saturday, April 28, 2012 - 18:30 in Psychology & Sociology

Are we governed by unconscious processes? Neuroscience believes so – but isn't the human condition more complicated than that? Two experts offer different viewsDavid Eagleman, neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas and bestselling authorIt is clear at this point that we are irrevocably tied to the 3lb of strange computational material found within our skulls. The brain is utterly alien to us, and yet our personalities, hopes, fears and aspirations all depend on the integrity of this biological tissue. How do we know this? Because when the brain changes, we change. Our personality, decision-making, risk-aversion, the capacity to see colours or name animals – all these can change, in very specific ways, when the brain is altered by tumours, strokes, drugs, disease or trauma. As much as we like to think about the body and mind living separate existences, the mental is not separable from the physical.This...

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