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Raven's picture

 When the semester started, I

 When the semester started, I was on the Descartian side of the spectrum. The idea that mind and body were separate seemed appropriate. I always understood the Emily Dickinson argument, that the brain is all encompassing. From a scientific standpoint I suppose the Descartes view was less supported in a scientific sense. However the Dickinson argument always seemed the "cop out" explanation that the brain is just EVERYTHING, and this is the view which neuroscience believes. I don't know where I stand after the class. I understand the arguments that everything in our life is a construction of our mind, but I still want to believe there is a "me" separate from my brain. A me that is not the "I-function", a me that does not depend on the anatomy of my brain. 

So many of our class discussions have influenced the way I think about the world. I find myself talking to friends and bringing up the random things we talk about in class and asking about their opinions on the subject. I love it when a class can make me do that. I was always questioning what I thought was right, feeling wrong all the time, but being totally okay with that. I think the discussions on the senses and perception will stick out most to me as my scientific interests lie in understanding the visual system. However I always find it hard to disconnect/connect what I have learned in this class with the rigidity of the research lab. Yes I investigate this molecule through all of these experiments but then I think about all the questions we've raised in this class and then wonder where should I be focusing? Is the lab or my mind(thoughts) the best place to answer these questions about how the mind works? I don't think I will ever view the world or my research the same again. 

In the next years, I would like to talk a lot more about perception and I would like to talk more about dreams. I never took a psychology or philosophy class but I always had questions about these topics lingering in my mind. How we perceive the world? 

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