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Colette's picture

          We are unaware,

          We are unaware, i.e. unconscious of many things our body is doing. Our brain is the main control system; however, many of the actions it directs especially those that allow our body to care for itself take place below the level of consciousness. The basic units of our nervous system including our brain are neurons which transmit signals as action potentials. I was astounded to learn that action potentials were similar to electrical currents produced by a battery. How a mechanism seemingly so simple can manage complex actions as much as maintaining the body is amazing, and even more amazing are conscious actions which we control and are aware of and conscious actions which have no physical manifestation such as doing multiplication in our head. Even considering that our brain has billions of neurons and that there are all kinds of different neuron shapes which suggest specialization and that the neurons are organized into functional units seems that there must be more than the physical brain to explain higher functions. Many animals have better senses than we have, and the basic organization of their brains seems to be similar to ours. Few animals have larger brains than we do and yet they do not seem capable of higher functions. What is it besides the brain made up on neurons that transmit action potentials that is needed? What makes a brain a mind?


            We might make better sense of human behavior/experience by exploring more irregular situations like that of Christopher Reeves.   We cannot create these situations because that would be unethical, i.e. directly harming someone, but accidents do happen and we might learn from them.



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