Brain Patterns

Where to Look to Understand the Brain?

One of my messages I feel strongly about is that all this emphasis on the "mechanics" of the brain -- this focus on what neurons fire when, what anatomical structures are connected to other anatomical structures, what drugs we can take to fix our brain function  --  is terribly misplaced.

So imagine my delight when I come across other writers and researchers who say similar things... I love the feeling that I am not alone! ;-)

Some of my posts here will be to share these other viewpoints with you - partly to show it's not just me ;-), partly to give you other doorways to explore to enter into another way of viewing and understanding the brain.

Today it will be a visit with Douglas Hofstadter, author of Godel, Escher, Back, and also of a book I am immensely enjoying right now: I am a Strange Loop. Dr. Hofstadter is professor of Cognitive Science at Indiana University and writes in a wonderfully relaxed and readable style -- like having a conversation with an old friend about Things That Matter.

In this book, he is exploring what we mean when we say "I". What is an "I"? Where does it come from? Who's in charge when we say "I" am?

What I want to extract from his book for you here are his views about where we need to focus to try to understand the brain in a meaningful way we can apply to our lives. (I've added the bolding for emphasis):

Let's start with his observation that car buyers aren't thinking about...

Where Does Confidence Come From?

I recently read this blog post from John Cookson of the Big Think blog about Brain Confidence: How Our Neurons Make Decisions.

It has a lot of juicy places to see how ordinary thinking about the brain as a tool for our consciousness and as a "wired" point to point system can mislead us.

Let's start by having you read the original post and/or watch their video. Then come back for my comments and to add yours!

Brain Confidence: How Our Neurons Make Decisions.

I had a whack of reactions as I read -- I'll share some of those as they relate to my key messages in the Way of the Brain and hope you will add your own.