Brain is arguably the most important part of the human body studied to understand the working of sensation, emotion, and consciousness. The single unit of information and experience that connects sensation, emotion, and consciousness is agreed to be the “self”. There are two major streams of discussion on the self. Self is debated as a cognitive concept that helps tie the missing ends between the physical and psychological functions; and, the self is argued to be the locus of conscious experience. However different the arguments for these two positions are, it is agreed that human behaviours, attitudes and emotions are intricately tied to the neural structures on one side, and the indivisible experiential self on the other. Brain and self are the common threads that are used by neuropsychiatry, neuropharmacology, and philosophy to get some hold on one of the most intractable problems of humankind, namely, “consciousness.”

Click Panels to Read more...

Brain-challenged Self and Self-challenged Brain

arrowIs there a common issue in brain and self studies that appears over and again? Yes. That is the attempt to explain the unity, continuity, and adherence of our experience, whether it is sensory or mental. To address the unity, adherence, and continuity of experience is to address the place of the self in the brain. A major challenge to this effort is the fact that, though we tend to commonly address a static unit by calling it “self,” the self is a constantly emerging phenomenon as a result of its interaction with nature outside (social and biological) and the nurture inside (mind). In the process of its emergence the boundaries of the self seem to change, creating havoc for some (in the case of psychiatric challenges) and peace to others (in the case of spiritual experiences).

The brain is arguably the most important part of the human body studied to understand the working of sensation, emotion, and consciousness. The single unit of information and experience that connects sensation, emotion, and consciousness is agreed to be the “self”. There are two major streams of discussion on the self. Self is debated as a cognitive concept that helps tie the missing ends between the physical and psychological functions; and, the self is argued to be the locus of conscious experience. However different the arguments for these two positions are, it is agreed that human behaviours, attitudes and emotions are intricately tied to the neural structures on one side, and the indivisible experiential self on the other. Brain and self are the common threads that are used by neuropsychiatry, neuropharmacology, and philosophy to get some hold on one of the most intractable problems of humankind, namely, “consciousness.”

Have a Comment?
Go to Blog

Click to Read More

Self at the edge: Brain and the Recent Neuropsychiatric Narratives

arrowIn the process of its emergence the boundaries of the self seem to change, creating havoc for some (in the case of psychiatric challenges) and peace to others (in the case of spiritual experiences). Where and how in the brain is the “self” housed? How does the self make adaptive changes in one’s personality corresponding to changes in the brain? How does the self influence and alter neurochemical functions of the brain? Can the brain address its structural and functional challenges without the recourse to the self? Can there be a self without the interface of the brain and the limbic system? Are the brain and self constantly challenging each other?

These and similar questions may not give immediate answers considering the complex ways in which both our brain and self are cross-wired. These questions are difficult to answer also because we are not comfortable in using concepts that do not have the backing of scientific, causal relations. We do not even agree upon different ways of understanding the subject and the object other than the causal relations. But, several medical cases studied by neuropsychiatrists show that the way the patient behaves before and after a cure is not even amenable to arrive at straightforward causal relations between the brain and the self. The subject-object distinction itself is shadowed when the brain behaves in ways not true to its essential physical neural structure. Can the brain be called as distinctly objective and physical when it defies the laws of medicine? How does the brain and self conceive their role-play and create the conspiracy of experience where the physicality of the brain is lost in the subjectivity of the self? A discussion on some of the recent neuropsychiatric narratives gives us a telling picture of the self at the edge, and its challenges and possibilities in the efforts to create meaning in life.

Have a Comment?
Go to Blog

 

Wellbeing and its implications for Brain and Consciousness studies

arrowWhile on one side there is unprecedented excitement and advance in understanding the intricate nature of neural functions on the other there is growing concern and research for improving the degree of ones wellbeing. Wellbeing is recgnised in terms of overall health parameters such as physical, mental and spiritual. Patients challenged with spinal and neuropsychiatric impairements are able to make some progress with motor and mental parameters with encouragement to their capacities for hoping, coping and excericising free will and choice.

Have a Comment?
Go to Blog

 

Back Home -- Consciousness Shop

design by prajnana
©Sangeetha Menon
About Blog Contact Homepage Rise of Consciousness