Notices
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Split Brain and Consciousness

  1. #1 Split Brain and Consciousness 
    HTM fan
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    227
    Sometimes for medical reasons the brain is essentially split in two. The brain has 2 hemispheres which are near duplicates, with nerves carrying information between. When the brain is split in two, the individual acts almost like 2 people.
    Each hemisphere controls one side of the body. If one half's eye is covered, and it is trying to pick up an object, it will fail. If the other half of the brain can see the object, then it pushes the oher half's hand aside and picks up the object. This doesn't disturb split brained people at all.
    Does this mean we are two seperate people working together?


    "It is the ability to make predictions about the future that is the crux of intelligence."
    -Jeff Hawkins.
    For example, you can predict that 3+5=8. You can predict what sequence of muscle commands you should generate during a conversation, or whether an object is a desk or a chair. The brain is very complicated, but that is essentially how intelligence works. Instinct, emotions, and behavior are somewhat seperate.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    No it doesn't. You just need to read some good, not terribly technical, stuff from people like Norman Doidge (plasticity) or Oliver Sacks (neurologist) about how the brain both works and malfunctions to realise that the 'split' brain issue is more complicated, but very similar, to partially losing other faculties.

    All that happens when we have severe brain trauma or disease is that it drives home to us just how central the brain is to our self image and to our capacity to act. There is not another person lurking in the background waiting its chance to come to the fore when a motorcycle accident or Alzheimer's affects our brain function. Those events change us. Our idea of who we are, and others' perceptions of how we are, are strongly dependent on our brain function.


    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    HTM fan
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    227
    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    No it doesn't. You just need to read some good, not terribly technical, stuff from people like Norman Doidge (plasticity) or Oliver Sacks (neurologist) about how the brain both works and malfunctions to realise that the 'split' brain issue is more complicated, but very similar, to partially losing other faculties.

    All that happens when we have severe brain trauma or disease is that it drives home to us just how central the brain is to our self image and to our capacity to act. There is not another person lurking in the background waiting its chance to come to the fore when a motorcycle accident or Alzheimer's affects our brain function. Those events change us. Our idea of who we are, and others' perceptions of how we are, are strongly dependent on our brain function.
    Do you mean both those people are us? I know that the issue is more complicated, because both halfs have the same experiences, and they share "ideas" (signals really) which causes them to become very similar.
    I guess this issue could be rephrased. If we're composed of seperate neurons, are those neurons seperate intelligences? Are seperate groups of neurons seperate intelligences, which are pieces of our intelligence? Can we define anything but the whole as intelligent, and conscious, just less intelligent than the whole?
    About the issue of a different person waiting to give us advice. We have many layers of intelligence. At the lowest layer, neurons represent things like corners and edges. At the highest layer, neurons represent our mental state. In between are many different levels of abstraction, which we don't consciously experience. Those layers could be working on a problem subconsciously, and then tell the highest layer about the problem.
    The brain is not a single intelligence, but rather a huge number of small intelligences.
    "It is the ability to make predictions about the future that is the crux of intelligence."
    -Jeff Hawkins.
    For example, you can predict that 3+5=8. You can predict what sequence of muscle commands you should generate during a conversation, or whether an object is a desk or a chair. The brain is very complicated, but that is essentially how intelligence works. Instinct, emotions, and behavior are somewhat seperate.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,328
    I think I understand what you're saying, and I tend to agree. What I consider consciousness, is that small fraction of the brain that is growing/changing at the moment. In a healthy individual, consciousness is continually on the move, leaving behind a useful skeleton or snapshot of its former self, that is liable to repeat the established pattern and may not change for years especially if that pattern gets refreshed often. For examples the parts of you that tie shoelaces or read the letter "K" were once at the forefront of your consciousness - now they're probably inaccessible to your present consciousness (especially the "K" reader - can you make it stop?).

    Which parts are really you? One may single out or include members of a group. I could say "you" meaning all the various minds and routines and even body parts and webpages associated with you. Or I could say "you" meaning just the part that can pass me a crescent wrench out of the toolbox.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1
    What he is saying is essentially, there is no "you". Any change in the brain changes the form of your conscious self- your identity narrative. Big changes (damage, enhancements, etc) make big changes to that narrative.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,328
    Yeah. You can't step in the same river twice.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. Brain > Consciousness , Consciousness > Brain.
    By socratus in forum Biology
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: February 4th, 2013, 09:30 AM
  2. atom split
    By rowida in forum Chemistry
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: January 14th, 2013, 03:00 AM
  3. AWARE study. Consciousness outside the brain/Afterlife
    By question for you in forum Pseudoscience
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: January 10th, 2013, 12:29 PM
  4. Replies: 34
    Last Post: January 10th, 2013, 10:37 AM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •