Honestly speaking, the simple phrase "brain is behavior" did not seem very convincing to me at first, but after pondering about it for a while I came to the conclusion that it is probably true. Brain, or to be exact, the nervous system, can really explain a lot of things in a person's behavior: for example, when a person feels physical pain (indisputedly, nervous cells are involved here in transmitting the signals from the affected organ to the brain), the person's behavior pattern changes. Such a person reacts to the pain by doing things he ordinarily would not have done: moaning, whining, being very irritable, etc. Also, nervous system can be effectively used to explain certain emotions such as anxiousness, fear, depression. I also think that one of the strong arguments in favor of such an explanation for behavior would be the experiments of hypnosis (hypnosis affects the brain which is a part of a nervous system) where a person is hypnotised to do certain things. Such a person can be induced to behave in different ways similar to the ways a person would respond to the different stimuli.

Some of the behavior that could be most difficult to explain by studying the nervous system would be the things that are the hardest to put our hands on. Among such things are our thoughts, which are not material. By thinking people can create new things such as poems, scientific discoveries, music, etc. If all of this could be explained in terms of the nervous system, then, in principle, with sophisticated enough technology, one could make a robot that would be able to write poetry about its feelings and concerns, write beautiful music and discover the new Periodic Table in its dream.

I also think that one of the hardest things to explain in terms of the nervous system would be our sense of humor. I mean, not the mechanical substance of laugh, but why people find things funny. I think that this is one of the most personal and unique things about all of us. This would be very hard if not impossible to explain why humans find some things funny, and some not, and why our senses of humor differ from person to a person.

I would also think that among those "hard-to-put-your-hands-on" phenomena one would find love. One might say that love is but mere chemistry, but I think the platonic side of love could be hard to explain in terms of the nervous system.

There are many other examples of "hard-to-explain" things one could think about such as feelings of guilt, image of self, attraction to things (i.e. some people love cars), compassion, etc. But even though there are many blank spots in this perception of behavior as our nervous system, I agree that this is probably the simplest and the most effective way to learn about behavior.

Interesting. Wonder whether there is any common characteristic to "hard to explain" things which might help think more about how they do (or don't) relate to the brain. Individuality (most "personal and unique") is one possibility. Think, though, we can come to account for that it terms of the brain. PG