importance of brain : LUSENET : History & Theory of Psychology : One Thread

Question: What is the importance of the brain in psychology?

-- Kara Scefcyk (, October 27, 2002


Check the "older messages by category" on this page, and look under physiology and the brain. You'll find lots of comments on the significance of the brain.

-- Hendrika Vande Kemp (, October 28, 2002.

I believe the “I” or person is their body. In that case, I am my body and my consciousness is my brain.

Psychology is sentience engaged in understanding conscious experience.

Neuro-psychology is engaged in understanding conscious experience from a biological point of view. And since consciousness is the brain, neuro-psychology and psychology study the same thing from different points of view. Some neurological researchers seek the “neural correlates of consciousness”. So, for instance, neurologists may believe that appropriate levels of a neurotransmitter (eg serotonin) correlates with an experience of well being. (Such claims are to be taken with much caution however, since neurology is quite rudimentary.)

Identifying the mind with the brain does not mean, however, that neural-chemical processes *cause* feelings and thoughts. That belief is a mistake. Neural processes *are* feelings and thoughts. It doesn’t make any sense to claim that a thing causes itself. Dichotomizing neural processes and feelings into cause and effect respectively simply recreates the body/I dichotomy the identity theory was meant to resolve. Moreover, that dichotomizing into cause and effect is, I suspect, the philosophical position that neuro- science is more important than psychology.

Since the mind is the brain, and psychology and neurology study the same thing from different points of view I believe they are both important.

-- John Hedlin (, October 30, 2002.

Hi Kara, here is a saying that a professor of mine used to say to questions like yours: "No structure, no behavior." That pretty much sums it up. Best, David

-- david clark (, November 07, 2002.

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