So common these days is the idea that the brain is a computer. I've been into computers for most of my life and I've always questioned the use of the comptuer metaphor to describe the brain. As far as I've seen there's no reason to call the brain a computer but the idea persists, even among mental health professionals, that the brain is a computer inside of our heads.
The idea of the brain being a computer is a convenient one since our world depends so highly upon computers, but throughout time, the brain has been compared to whatever dominant technology was commonplace. That's what Robert Epstein explains in his wonderful article in Aeon titled Your brain does not process information and it is not a computer.
I love this essay because it gives numerous examples why we shouldn't believe the brain acts like a computer.
The belief is persistent though across our culture, as Epstein points out, but he gives us ways to examine why we believe this.
I would like to see the myth of the brain as a computer die because I think it hinders our understanding of the brain. I think it is more appropriate to see that we don't have a metaphor for how the brain words, rather than adopt such a faulty metaphor as the brain being a computer.
As Epestein points out that a culture's metaphor to understand the brain often mirrors prevalent technological understandings, it is interesting to me that there are even models that suggest the brain operates according to some principles known more in the field of quantum mechanics.
That last bit about quantum mechanics is pretty far out, But hey, it seems hard to believe that everything about us is controlled by the three pound lumps in our heads.
A bit about the quantum theory of the brain/mind connection:
Dr. Dirk K.F. Meijer, a professor at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, hypothesizes that consciousness resides in a field surrounding the brain. This field is in another dimension. It shares information with the brain through quantum entanglement, among other methods. And it has certain similarities with a black hole.
A new theory of consciousness: the mind exists as a field connected to the brain. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.theepochtimes.com/uplift/a-new-theory- of-consciousness-the-mind-exists-as-a-field-connec ted-to-the-brain_2325840.html
It is so interestinig and so soon to adopt either the computer metaphor or the quantum metaphor. It's just too premature to adopt either. How wonderful it is to not know.
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