Since the first day of our neurobiological behaviour class, we have been asked to consider the definition of "behaviour" and why the study of behaviour is signifigant. After throwing individual suggestions from the class on the board and trying to decipher whether these should be considered explanatory constructs of the behaviour or rather, essential basic pieces of our definition, we began to see a less amorphous description.
Either involuntary or voluntary, explanatory construct or essential bases, our suggestions range from emotion, instinct and thought to self-awareness, reacting and choice. Although one may realize the list is infinite in degree, it is of greater importance to realize that ambiguity, ambivalence and uncertainty exists with any factor relating to the definition of behaviour.
Continuing our discussion, we started to take the mind and soul into consideration. How much apart of behaviour is the mind? The soul? Many even dare suggest that the brain IS behaviour. And elementary speaking, seeing as though every brain is different, so too should be one's own behaviour. It is difficult however, to try and base something so imaterial, something so dependant on an individual's past experiences and thoughts on one single material object...the brain.
Clearly, this is as good a place to start as any, such a clear hypothesis could be disproven and perhaps it boils the problem down to a more elementary level by begining with a tangible object.
As for the question, Is the brain behaviour or does the brain CONTROL behaviour, I would tend towards the first suggestion. The brain could very possibly BE behaviour, taking into consideration, the stimuli-response workings of the nervous system, everything holds a pretty direct relationship and a behaviour as a result of the stimuli can befollowed through actual, physical occurrences in the brain. I do not believe that the Brain CONTROLS behaviour however, for, this suggests to me that the brain is making an actual conscious decision to react to stimuli the way it does. I see behaviour as a much less controled and more well....mindless reaction.I believe everything can be accounted for in the brain, however, everything is not controlled by the brain, this arena of complexity merely provides an space for evidence of physical and emotion changes to be witnessed.
Interesting. Clearly the material thing would have to change (experience) and be affected by its own activities (thoughts). That we'll clearly find is so of the brain. Can it also be "less controlled and more, well ... mindless"? Good question. We'll see. PG