Introducing the brain: how emotions relate (Introduction)

by dhw, Tuesday, March 03, 2020, 15:27 (131 days ago) @ David Turell

QUOTES: "In insects that are social, they primarily use chemicals to regulate each other. Termites, for example, are a social species, and they pretty much use olfaction and chemicals. Other mammals, like rats and rodents, use touch, and they also use hearing to regulate each other’s nervous systems. Primates, that are not human, also use vision. We use all of those sensory systems—and we also use words and concepts." (DAVID’s bold)

"One thing we’ve learned is that an infant brain doesn’t look like an adult grown-up brain: It’s not wired in the same way. In fact, babies are born with brains that await instructions on how to wire themselves." (DAVID’s bold)

DAVID: this is a materialism view of a neuroscientist, but her thoughts contain many truths. The first is about lower animals and how their socializing works chemically and by other senses.

dhw: I don’t know why you’ve bolded it. All organisms, including ourselves, use chemicals and other senses in order to communicate. Since the author is a materialist, she obviously believes that the source of intelligence is material. That applies both to humans and to the so-called “lower animals”, so what is your point?

DAVID: Just to point out how this comment implies all the automaticity that is in play.

Yes, of course, the senses and the means of communication used by “lower animals” are as automatic as our own. And some of us would argue that these are used and/or directed by intelligence – nowhere near as acute as our own, but nevertheless autonomous and not automatic.

DAVID: The second bold, in order, shows how the blank-like infant is developed. My view is that our soul/consciousness develops from infant to adult as the instrument of our brain is developed from a very blank beginning. This brain is God's special gift at the end of evolution.

dhw: First of all, you have previously agreed that it is NOT blank at the beginning. That would give every baby precisely the same character right from the start! There are inborn characteristics, which a materialist would attribute to the genetic makeup. Secondly, consciousness developing as the brain develops is just about as materialist as you can get. Why bother to shove in the word soul?

DAVID: Of course there are inborn characteristics. It is the byplay that forms the adult brain through the brain's plasticity, but the brain itself is very blank in the beginning. Did you understand the presented concept, or just like to argue?

I understood the presented, materialist concept, but I disagreed with your description of the infant. If it has inborn characteristics, it is not “blank-like”, and its brain is not “very blank in the beginning”. I also find the author’s statement that an infant’s brain “doesn’t look like an adult brain” a bit silly. How much of the baby looks like the adult? And the fact that the brain will continually rewire itself throughout life does not mean it does not already have some wiring when the baby is born after its first nine months of formation (and some say experience) in the womb. (See below.) I note that you have not commented on the fact that “consciousness develops as the brain develops” yet again underlines your materialist beliefs although you claim to be a dualist, even if you add the word “soul”. This would only work if you meant that the soul develops as the brain provides it with more and more information.

DAVID: fMRI's of very young babies shnw how organized these regions of the baby brains are as early s six days:

QUOTE: "Within hours of birth, a baby's gaze is drawn to faces. Now, brain scans of newborns reveal the neurobiology underlying this behavior, showing that as young as six days old a baby's brain appears hardwired for the specialized tasks of seeing faces and seeing places

QUOTE: "'We've shown that a baby's brain is more adult-like than many people might assume," adds Frederik Kamps, who led the study as a Ph.D. candidate at Emory. "Much of the scaffolding for the human visual cortex is already in place, along with the patterns of brain activity, although the patterns are not as strong compared to those of adults."

Thank you as always for your honesty in presenting evidence which directly contradicts your claim that the infant is “blank-like” and the brain develops from a “very blank beginning”.

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