Pat Churchland argues that we may need to modify our concepts in the light of recent brain research in this episode of the podcast Philosophy Bites. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy (www.sas.philosophy.ac.uk).
Also huffduffed as…
Wired for Thought — A cup of coffee can leave you wired for the day. But a chip in your brain could wire you to a machine forever. Imagine manipulating a mouse without moving a muscle, and doing a Google search with your mind. Welcome to the future of the brain-machine interface. Don your EEG thinking-cap, and discover a high-tech thought game that may be the harbinger of machine relationships to come. Plus, the ultimate mapping project: the Human Connectdome Project aims to identify all the neural pathways in the human brain. It may help us understand what makes us human, but could it also point the way to making us smarter? And, what all this brain research reveals about the mind and free will – who, or what, is really in charge?
The experiences that we take for granted – talking to a friend, listening to a piece of music, lifting a cup of coffee, tasting a peach – depend for their existence on the intricate and silent workings of several cooperative regions of the brain.
Why do some people see numbers as coloured? Do we have five or twenty-five senses? How much of the brain do we need to understand language? Can we cure chronic pain or depression at the flick of an electrical switch? Do we decide how to act before we know about it?
For this four-part series, Professor Barry Smith from the Institute of Philosophy, explores the way neuroscience is addressing the ultimate scientific challenge: namely, how our brain makes us the conscious creatures we are – capable of language, thinking and feeling.
Part two: Brain and Body
Drawing on strange and thought-provoking case studies, eminent neurologist V. S. Ramachandran offers unprecedented insight into the evolution of the uniquely human brain in his new book, The Tell-Tale Brain.