Mind and Matter: Why It All Makes Sense

Mind and Matter: Why It All Makes Sense

Leonard Johard (Innopolis University, Russia), Vittorio Lippi (University Medical Center Freiburg, Germany), Larisa Safina (Innopolis University, Russia) and Manuel Mazzara (Service Science and Engineering Lab, Innopolis University, Russia)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1947-8.ch004
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Abstract

A purely reductionist approach to neuroscience has difficulty in providing intuitive explanations and cost effective methods. Following a different approach, much of the mechanics of the brain can be explained purely by closer study of the relation of the brain to its environment. Starting from the laws of physics, genetics and easily observable properties of the biophysical environment we can deduce the need for dreams and a dopaminergic system. We provide a rough sketch of the various a priori assumptions encoded in the mechanics of the nervous system. This indicates much more can be learnt by studying the statistical priors exploited by the brain rather than its specific mechanics of calculation.
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Limits Of Reductionism

Reductionism is the dominant doctrine in neuroscience. It seeks to divide the mind’s function into ever smaller parts and figure out how they work with the intention to sometime in the future put them all back together. Consequently, every time we are unable to grasp how the brain functions at a certain scale level we go into a smaller scale. Current efforts are down to the scales of individual ion channels and models of the genetic expression. This approach is bound to eventually hit some problems. A complete mapping of the phenotype of even a single cell still lies far into the future. As the objects of our attention grow smaller and smaller the cost and difficulty of obtaining new information inevitably goes up. It is with current technology it is also unfeasible to simulate the brain at anything resembling a molecular level.

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