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Which first, Mind or Brain?

  1. Oct 12, 2007 #1
    I am aware that establishment opinion is that a persons mind forms as as a consequence of the brain. But i was wondering how do we know that for sure? could it be possible that the mind actually gives rise to the brain? as nueroscientists still do not know how the computer modelled brain actually forms our conscious awareness maybe thats why, because its actually the mind that governs the body, not the body that creates the mind.

    Is it slightly possible that they have been looking at it the wrong way round, or is there definitve proof that brain creates mind, and not vice versa? i would think the placebo effect is evidence of the power of the mind on your body, but i cant think of other examples.

    this might have a simple answer, its just a too specific question to ask a search engine!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2007 #2
    in what way does the placebo effect negate a brain-generated mind?
    by convincing a brain that, say, it is sick, you might provoke it to release certain chemicals and begin certain reactions that affect the body. but you couldn't cure a person's cancer simply by telling them they have just taken an anti-cancer pill; the placebo effect is not magic. it's curious, and doctors are studying it to understand it better (and how to use it), but there's nothing mystical about it.

    you can remove a person's hands, feet, heart, lungs, or any other organ, and they are still the same exact person. remove certain parts of a person's brain, and they are not.
    if you remove certain parts of the brain, the associated sections of the "mind" stop functioning as well. if the mind was not generated by the brain, then frontal lobotomies would bear no consequence.
  4. Oct 12, 2007 #3
    i never said that, i said that i thought it was the only small peice of evidence for direct mind - body relationship, instead of your typical body - mind relationship. Of course it does not negate a brain generated mind.

    a lot of people would dispute that. Gary E. Schwartz, Phd, would be the one that has done the most work into personality change after (especially) heart transplants, i'm aware of how controversial his findings were, but there are other scientists that agree with him. There is a lot of evidence peoples personalities do change after heart transplants. Dr. Candace Pert, a professor at Georgetown University, said she believes the mind is not just in the brain, but also exists throughout the body. This school of thought could explain such strange transplant experiences. There was a good documentary on this, http://www.naturalhistory.co.nz/cat/transpl_mem.html [Broken] . So i dont think the possibility can be fully ruled out.

    If the mind was creating the brain then removing a part of the brain would have an analogous effect, ie, the mind would not beable to tell the body what to do as the part of the brain there to transport this information it is not there.

    Maybe i'm not saying it right. Is there any way we can actually detect which way specific packets of neural information are travelling? if so which direction is predominant? mind - brain information, or brain - mind information? information must be going both ways.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  5. Oct 13, 2007 #4
    According to mainstream neuroscience, mind = brain = computer. There is no fundamental difference between your mind (brain) and your body, just like there is no fundamental difference between your liver and your body.
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