That Old Television Analogy

No matter what evidence is put in front of them, certain sections of the neuroscience community continue to hold fast to the idea that consciousness is created in the brain.

The latest case to come under the spotlight is that of a certain Patient R, critical parts of whose cortex were destroyed by disease, who yet retains self awareness.

There have been other cases, too – not the least of which were those individuals born with apparently no brain at all, who grew up to be functioning, and in some cases highly intelligent members of society.

A faction of the neuroscience community, you see, is convinced that functional neural imaging – in which the brain “lights up” under specific conditions of consciousness – is proof that the brain is producing the consciousness.
 I expect it makes them feel more in control of , well, stuff, to be able to point to an area of the brain and say that all our wonderful mind workings are produced right there.

I don’t have to trot out the old television analogy, do I?

Oh, very well. I imagine we may seem like some “primitive” tribe, unexposed to “modern” technology, who insist with their last breaths that the orchestra is somewhere inside the radio.


3 responses to “That Old Television Analogy

  1. For someone like me (who does not have access to memories from other lives), that's a fairly large assumption to make, given that my only evidence in either direction is that I don't remember anything from when my body is unconscious.If I make my decisions based on my memories, then I am my memories, which are stored on my soft drive, which is kept locally.That, and from an engineering standpoint, I don't see a reason for it to work another way. TV and radio stations need centralised transmitters because the signal has to be exactly the same everywhere. Life is everywhere, so I don't see why it would need to transmit my consciousness from somewhere else if it could be generated on the spot. My body certainly consumes enough energy.


  2. Yes, that's an option, Pstonie.Of course it is – and I always assumed that my brain produced my consciousness, too.I was raised to become a physicist, after all.But it's not, I think, as cut and dried as all that.In more recent years, I can experience my consciousness in places other than my head -or even my body.Does that make me nuts? Possibly. But it's interesting that the non-locality (solely) of consciousness has a long history (human wise) behind it. And that individuals keep coming to the same conclusion, functional neuro imaging or not.Perhaps it's wishful thinking, but theory does not shut the door on non local consciousness.:)Love,T in J


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