If you think of the brain as one big box populated by millions of smaller boxes, connected by an infinite number of bonds and pathways, it isn't hard to see how the brain is behavior. There is input to the "box," and this input is transferred between inner boxes until some ultimate output works its way out. This output is behavior. All output can be behavior, for even if the output is nothing, that is still behavior.

Behavior itself is influenced by many things. You act the way you do because you feel some emotion, or some other part of your body is requiring you to act a certain way, or because you morally feel obligated to perform the act. This makes perfect sense when you consider behavior as the output of the brain. The little boxes inside the brain consider these factors. They pass information around inside the brain and if the certain conditions of the little boxes are met, then the information is connected eith to another box, where the process begins again, or it is passes outside the box, and a behavior is carried out.

Last night I watched a show that directly related to the brain and its relationship with behavior called THe Outer LImits. The plot was that there was this boys' school that locked boys away from the outer world and the administrators of the school made the boys into what were basically human robots. Computer chips were implanted into the brains of the boys at a spot in the brain which supposedly allowed the administrators to control the free will of the boys. The boys would then do anything the administrators said without considering the moral implications. The only boys that the implant didn't affect were ones would had taken a certain medication for ulcers. Supposedly this medication created a link in the brain that bipassed the region of the implant.

This made me wonder if humans could really be controlled to this extent. How can there be one particular area of the brain which controls all of a person's moral judgements? IF the aboved theory of interconnected boxes is true, then it seems that more than one "box" would affect behavior. Also, i have a problem thinking that a computer chip would somehow be able to control of the brain by placing it in a certain area. The show implied that if you controlled free will then you controlled all behavior. The brain has so many neurons composing it that i don't see how interferring with a few neurons could produce such drastic results. But then again, there are drugs which affect only certain neurons and that do indeed have drastic affects on behavior. Maybe we are so easily controlled. But somehow i doubt it.

Utterly LOVELY extension of things talked about in class. Warms the cockles of my heart. Yes, I suspect, given the numbers of interacting different boxes involved in any kind of behavior it is in fact inconceivable to eliminate "free will" by artificial control of any single part of the brain. Which is nice (from my point of view). As you say, however, it certainly is possible to alter behavior artificially, in a variety of different ways, and that almost certainly includes altering the expression and extent of "free will". That's nothing new, though. People have been trying to control each other's behavior, and developing ways of doing it with various degrees of effectiveness, as long (I suspect) as there have been humans. And resisting such control. PG