Mental Representations And The Mind-Brain Term Paper

Length: 7 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Psychology Type: Term Paper Paper: #16628063 Related Topics: Neuron, Mental Disorder, Human Brain, Epistemological
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Mental Representations and the Mind-Brain Relationship


The Dualism Argument

Pure Materialist Viewpoint


Visual Stimuli vs. Speech stimuli

Descartes Point-of-View

Neurons and Synapses

Mental Representations and the Mind-Brain Relationship

In cognitive (neuro) science all through the last few decades, as in philosophy in the last 100 years, the issue of the mind-body (or mind-brain) occurrences is still open to discussion. Illogically, ever since Descartes nobody has suggested a workable alternate view of this problem. Researchers and thinkers have offered some approaches, yet none has gained the assent of the majority of thinkers. During a person's daily toils the separation that goes on between an individual mind and consciousness is hardly ever thought about or talked about. But then again it is the primary cause for the majority of your existence problems. This separation is not even a recognized fact, as consciousness and mind seem to act as one. And illogically they do. Nevertheless the separation is at the central of existence. It is what retains the materialist secluded from the spiritualist, possibly robbing advancing humanity from a progressive holistic center. With that being said, this essay will discuss the whether or not the mind and brain are fully separate or whether they are one entity.

The Dualism Argument

Research shows that the strong dualism position of Descartes makes suggestion that the mind is all the way separate from the brain, and that, for that reason, there may be no detectable display of symbols in the brain. What some could possibly note as manifestations are usually called traces, and it has been noted that their existence has been argued throughout time. Brain scans have been making the suggestion that nothing we recollect can be physically located in the brain and that there is not any geometrical place for the importance of the word "baby," nor is there an isolate location for the representation of a baseball. Nevertheless, fMRI scans reminder changes in the brain when a separate is memorizing new words. On the other hand, the changes are unrefined, smeared descriptions with no identifying, comparative to the balance of neurons or small groups of them (Bartels, 2010). However, the focus again in this assignment will make a statement on whether the mind and brain are completely distinct or whether they are one unit.

Research does show that the mind is of physical origin, fashioned out of a person's brain functions of memory, intellect, intuition and imagination. These brain functions go up and down upon demand making what is referred to as mind or mind purposes. How competently these mind tasks work actually has a lot to do with how naturally functional the brain is working, the interconnectivity of its chemical integrity and its circuitry (Sevush, 2013). Also, this is what the materialist works and sees with: the transitory brain purposes. When the body is underprivileged of life, the brain deceases. To the pure materialist that is the end of that, starting a potential doubting or an atheistic attitude.

Pure Materialist Viewpoint

Pure materialist scholars, philosophers etc. accomplish that, as the brain is material and contains all our mind functions, when it disappears, the entity that used it similarly disappears - not an unreasonable assumption. This conclusion can be reinforced by a diversity of scientifically verifiable brain function experiments. Also, one medical evidence of this contention is the devastating affliction recognized as senile dementia or Alzheimer's disease, characterized by progressively reduced availability to brain purposes. As the brain the purposes in the brain fade away, so seemingly does the entity that used them bring about in impaired use of memory plus and intellect personality incompetence. By observation that is simple, it is reasonable to make the supposition that people are possibly the sum total of their own brain function production. And once the body dies so does everything the brain functions produced. With that being said, this is a pure materialist perspective regarded upon fact that is observable.


When it comes to theories, a second materialist approach to the mind-body issue is called the identity theory, the outlook that brain activities and mental states are identical, though observed from two...


Like behaviorism, it is a materialist outlook of the mind insofar is it upholds that mind is basically physical in nature. Nonetheless, while behaviorism puts the emphases on the physical behaviors that are observable, identity theory marks the physical human brain (Gabbard, 2013). Research shows that there are two factors to identity theory, one of which is the argument that being aware is an activity of the human brain. Despite the fact brain science is still in its early stages, theories abound telling where detailed mental states are formed in the brain. What if, for instance, that a person is put in a brain scan machine that shows their neural activity? They were given a math problem to try and solve, and neural activity start going up in one area of the brain. Then the person is asked listen to music, and neural activity starts to go up in another. Through these kind of experiments like these are set to do things such identify a person's conscious experiences with detailed brain activities. Even though theorists are less worried with the physiological facts of brain activity, what is theoretically important is the suggestion that people can recognize particular mental states with particular brain activities.

The second portion of identity theory is the argument that mental occurrences can be observed from two viewpoints. For example, assume that a person is looking at a twilight. On the one hand, the individual has the illustration and emotional experience to what they are looking at. In contrast, there is the bio-chemical activity going on within the person's brain, which would take in the firing neurons and language of brain sectors. The occurrence defined in both cases is precisely the same; it is simply a matter of perspective. This is similar to how the terms "Vice President of the United States" and "President of the Senate" equally have dissimilar meanings, nevertheless talk about the same thing. Take, for instance, Joe Biden. As the "Vice President of the United States," he has a particular job description, most particularly to take over if the President died. By way of being "President of the Senate" Biden has the job narrative of ruling over the Senate. Equally of these roles define the identical person, specifically Joe Biden, but from his dissimilar job descriptions.

Visual Stimuli vs. Speech stimuli

When it comes to whether or not the mind and brain are fully separate or whether they are one entity, the visual stimuli and the speech stimuli need to be looked at closely. For instance, the visual mismatch negativity (vMMN), which derives from the brain's response to stimulus deviance, is supposed to be produced by the cortex that symbolizes the stimulus (Vacariu, 2012). However, the vMMN reaction when it comes to visual speech stimuli was utilized in a research which involved lateralization of visual speech handling. Previous research made the proposal that the right posterior temporal cortex has concentration for being able to process simple non-speech face type of gestures, and of course the left posterior temporal cortex has the ability to do things such as processing visual speech signals. At this spot, visual speech consonant-vowel (CV) stimuli with measured perceptual differences were shown in an electroencephalography (EEG) vMMN model. Here it showed that the mind and the brain work together.

Now, to what extent, and where in the brain, vision influences auditory perception is not well understood and nor if the mind play a huge role or not. It is clear that visual enhancement and suppression of auditory responses have been perceived at the level of primary auditory cortex (AI) in macaques (Gabbard, 2013). However, electrophysiological recordings through the medial to lateral extent of the human temporal lobe have revealed that vision effects audition early on throughout a neural response and that visual influence spreads to hierarchically lower cortical parts (Bartels, 2010).

It is clear that speech and non-speech stimuli are able to elicit qualitatively parallel capacity levels, even though different brain circuits possibly will be involved in processing different stimulus kinds but that has nothing to do with the mind. However, audiovisual speech and non-speech integration are being examined in future studies using EEG current density reconstruction (CDR) in order to uncover potential differences in underlying patterns of neural activation and to see whether or not the mind and brain are fully separate or whether they are one entity when it comes to the non-speech stimuli.

Descartes Point-of-View

Whether or not the mind and brain are fully separate or whether they are one entity has been a discussion that Descartes tried to solve. Descartes was that he assigned the mind and body (two ontologically dissimilar elements) to the same entity, a human subject or a person (Vacariu, 2012). If this principle is accepted, it can be expected that brain and mind fit in…

Sources Used in Documents:


Baars, J.B. (2013). An architectural model of consciousand unconscious brain functions: Global workspace theory and IDA. Neural Networks, 20, 955-961.

Bartels, A. (2010). Visual perception: Converging mechanisms of atten-tion, binding, and segmentation. Current Biology, 7(9), 56-78.

Gabbard, G.O. (2013). Mind, Brain, and Personality Disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry, 34-45.

Sevush, S. (2013). Single-neuron theory of consciousness. Journal ofTheoretical Biology, 21(9), 704-725.

Cite this Document:

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