Our scratching at the door of anatomy of the brain is personally thrilling to me because for a long time I have learned about theories of thought and brain processes without much of a physical connection to what we were talking about. Last year I took Human Cognition through the psychology department and was constantly thrilled by all the experiments and theories continually proving each other wrong. By looking at rare subjects (people that have been injured and have anomalous behavior) we are able to better understand some of the actual processes the brain uses to see, hear, or remember etc. Yet, Human Cognition was not strongly connected to the "hardware" because as far as I know there is still a great deal of ambiguity when it comes to specific places for mechanisms to occur.
I do know that in a general since many areas of the brain have been delineated--in that the cerebellum is for balance and the occipital lobe for vision etc. but there are many parts to these processes (some we still cannot explain fully I am sure). I think that people in general have gone about brain anatomy in the wrong way. Just as it is necessary to keep one's back straight and feet bent to walk, it must be necessary to have many parts of the brain interacting and functioning as a whole collective of sorts. Even though certain areas may be the focus or coordinator, it occurs to me that it must be necessary to use more neurons than contained in a specific place. Something else I wanted to add was that it amazes me how resilient the brain can be although endowed with a limited amount of neurons and faced with such deleterious effects of age, disease, and accidents. How do people manage to compensate for these various mind numbing factors?
Nice thought and question. Related to one another in fact. Yes, I think we'll find that it makes more sense to think of behavior in terms of "many parts of the brain interacting" than in terms of particular parts responsible exclusively for particular behaviors or even particular parts of behaviors. Which then suggests that the brain has lots of different ways to do any given job? Which then suggests that following damage to one part .... ? See the connection? PG