Neurobiology: The Brain and the Mind are Neighbours, But Different

Guest Post by David Stephen who looks at Neurobiology and what it’s implications could be.

There is a new book, Sentience: The Invention of Consciousness, discussing the origins of consciousness. It explores extents, stating that, “We tend to think of sensations as experiences that are impressed on us from the outside. But suppose our sensations actually originate as an active bodily response to the stimulus, like the signals sent to the speaker, and that we only become aware of this when we monitor our own response by a kind of listening in? Could this—and the feedback loops that would easily follow—be what gives sensations the thick, expressive quality that we find so wonderful? This idea would later take root in a theory of qualia. But that was still to come.”

Neurobiology: The Brain and the Mind are Neighbours, But Different

Asking if sensations are internal, in response to stimuli, implies that there could be an external situation, but it is what is determined internally that defines, interprets or places the experience of that situation.

Simply, words that should hurt may or may not always hurt, low temperature may or may not always result in the experience of cold, loud sounds may or may not be irritating and so forth. The situation is one thing, what is given internally, as an experience is another, which may or may not match.

The key question then is, where do experiences come from? No one experiences the amygdala, neurotransmitters or the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Whatever is recalled is not the hippocampus. Cold is not felt as the adjustment of the hypothalamus.

This clearly rules out the brain, as the experience, or its direct source. Whatever is experienced is known. Knowing accompanies every experience, and helps to decide extent. Pain in a part of the body, sound from a direction, itch somewhere, strain of some muscle, a dislocation of some joint, fast heart rate and breathing in exercise and so forth. These, as experiences, involving different parts of the brain, are centralized by knowing. Knowing defines how severe it is. Some are more known than others, in a moment, taking priority, but all experiences are towed by knowing. There are processes or experiences below awareness, they are still known internally, just that its rating in the mind to be known, by the individual, is minute.

Any form of knowing is memory. This exceeds assuming memory solely for cognition. All memory is the mind, not the brain. Signals from the body to the brain are operated by the mind, where their properties are.

The same mechanism the mind uses to know a vehicle is the same it uses to know muscular dystrophy. There is no separate knowing or memory mechanism for supination and a different one for gustation, within the mind.

Thoughts, feelings, emotions and reactions are all elements of the mind. All sensory inputs end up, as something else in the mind, where they are interpreted. It is the mind that determines or interprets whatever an external situation is, at any time.

The Mind is NOT the Brain

The focus of neurobiology and related fields is the brain, not the mind, with several overlapping tasks and descriptions. There are centers in the brain and locations in the mind with synchronous functions, but their contrasts are numerous. In respective experiences like sleep, mood, lethargy, regulation and so forth, there are different brain centers involved. To the mind, they represent degrees, for those centers, from mild to moderate to severe.

The labels of the brain across psychology, cognitive science, psychiatry, neuroscience and so forth, are external to the components and functions of the mind. For example, short-term memory, as information held in mind in a moment, OK. But when this happens, how do the components of the mind bring it to bear? And what are the similarities between how the mind functions in general, to what happens when it seems like short-term memory?

Also, for predictive coding, processing and prediction error, how do the components of the mind determine what seems like a prediction, and is this unique or general? There are often comments like the brain does predictions or the brain has flow state or there is a default mode network, executive function, associative memory, episodic memory, thought disorder and so forth. No, it is not the brain.

To mention the mind means to define the structure of the mind, in a way that represents how they occur within. Mental health crisis and illness, for example, are all conditions of mind, not the brain, but what are the actions of the components of mind like, to place conditions?

The mind is within the brain, but they are not the same. They are like neighboring countries with similar peoples and cultures, within the same continent but they are not the same.

Many often use the mind and the brain interchangeably, which applies at times, but often wrong, without descriptions that define how the mind works. Consciousness is also the mind, not the brain. There are brain centers implicated in consciousness while others are not. It aligns with concurrent functions, rather than the brain as ultimate.

In neuroscience, it is known that most sensory inputs converge at the thalamus, except for smell that does at the olfactory bulb. It is where they are processed or integrated before relay to the cerebral cortex for interpretation.

This established pathway defines how, conceptually, the mind takes things up from the brain or how they meld their interaction. Sensory integration or processing is postulated to be into a uniform unit, quantity or identity, which is thought or in the form of thought. It is what all senses become, to be usable by the mind. This means that smell is no longer smell to the mind, or sight as such, but in a new identity, which can go on to be stored as memory or evoke memory, or to go on to drive emotions, feelings or reactions, in the mind.

Interpretation in the cerebral cortex is postulated to be knowing, feeling and reactions, as the triage of the properties. The components of the mind are quantities and properties, quantities relaying to acquire properties across mind locations.

There are different characteristics of quantities as well as of properties. They include splits, sequences, principal spot, thick, thin, prioritization, pre-prioritization and so forth.

It is the mind that gives experiences, for both internal and external sensations, not the brain. There are also differences between the structure, functions and components of the mind and the brain.

The structure of the mind is of stacks: planes and dots, with dots relaying to acquire shapes in planes, to degrees, to determine experiences per moment. The brain is biology. The mind is the superpower.

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