Wednesday, 10 April 2013

More brain…

 …it gets everywhere these days

An Italian pasta forest

Making music - The Grand Old Duke of York with Great -granddad, Great Auntie and Aimee  

Deciding which look tastiest

‘Almost 2500 years since Hippocrates first saw the brain as the centre of our thoughts, we can now interrogate its inner world with some of the most advanced technology known to humanity. The ultimate aim is to work out how the brain generates our conscious mind. Such understanding is a long way off.’

The puzzling problem of binding

I have found yet another ‘brain’ article, this time in New Scientist of 6 April 2013, perfect reading matter for my three-hour train journey.

Without a doubt, as I read further in this very well written piece, I knew that the paragraph that I was waiting for would appear.

What made me so sure?

I was sure because the article was full of the words and phrases that repeatedly reinforced what I have heard spoken from the mouths of several research neurologists, and read in well informed articles like this one.

‘Is the mind beyond human understanding?’

This is the question that begins this list of phrases that read and noted down as I read about the brain in the New Scientist

·         Is the mind beyond human understanding?
·         ...according to one theory
·         ... it could be
·         ...many neuroscientists believe
·         ... some neuroscientists claim
·          ...according to this view
·         ...elusive phenomenon
·         ... impossible to specify
· has also been suggested
·         ... the idea is controversial
·         ... a potential breakthrough may lie
· one has been able to work out how
·         ...recent reports suggest
·         ... may be possible
·         ...which is thought to explain...

And just as I thought, at the end of the page I read –

‘As we have seen, different tasks are carried out by different cortical regions. Yet all you have to do is open your eyes to see that these tasks are combined smoothly: depth, shape, colour, and motion all merge into a 3D image of the scene. Objects are recognised with no awareness of the fragmented nature of the brain’s efforts. Precisely how this is achieved remains a puzzle. It is called the “problem of binding” and is one of the questions that remain to be answered by tomorrow’s neuroscientists.’

Is this “problem of binding” the spiralling upwards that I often discuss in my writing, that coming together of many things that are developing in our whole selves, influencing our development, and creating a spiral of progress towards our personal goals in our active lives?

As a conductor I know that by helping my clients learn to develop in many areas of their lives, by helping them to learn to take an active part in society and helping them learn to keep body and soul happy and healthy, that this will result in a so-called ‘merging together of the scene’, what I call a spiralling upwards. I am happy to work hard with my clients to achieve this upward spiralling and I am just as happy to leave the neuroscientists of tomorrow to continue the 2500 year-old quest of trying to solve the puzzles of the brain. 


New Scientist, 6 April 2013 ­– The Human Brain, Michael O’Shea

1 comment:

Andreww said...

The whole 'science' will stay log-jammed till it is forced to confront the long-expressed position that the human mind is not product solely of the intra-cerebral, but of the extra-cerebral too, especially the inter-cerebral.

(I suppose that perhaps one might blame Hippoctrates, though I doubt that he personally started it.)

As for CE, the Akoses were on to this long ago but the rest of the field seems nailed firmly in a pre-Luriyan (i.e. preparagmatic) time-warp.

So sad...

I should add that your 'spiralling' is a process that occurs within an extra-cerebral (largely inter-cerebral) universe, in transactions, reciprocity and mutual transformation between active, conscious and largely autonomous learners.

Sorry if this all sounds rather wordy but it refers to a very material phenomenon, eminently modelable. And as A. R.Luriya and associates showed, not a bad basis for a real neuropsychology and a powerful rehabilitation.