Home ~ About us ~ Ahead of print ~ Current Issue ~ Back Issues ~ Search ~ Instructions ~ Subscription ~ Advertise ~ Feedback ~ Login  
  Mens Sana Monographs
A Monograph Series Devoted To The Understanding Of Medicine, Mental Health, Man, Mind, Music And Their Matrix
 Why MSM | Acknowledgement | Call for papers... | Forthcoming MSM...  Users online: 392  Home Email this article Print this Article Bookmark this page Decrease font size Default font size Increase font size 
BRAIN, MIND AND CONSCIOUSNESS
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 129-149

Understanding brain, mind and soul: Contributions from neurology and neurosurgery


M.S. Neurosurgeon, Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, Dr. G. V. Deshmukh Marg, Mumbai, 400026, India

Correspondence Address:
Sunil K Pandya
11, Shanti Kuteer, Marine Drive, Mumbai - 400 020
India
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1229.77431

Rights and Permissions

Treatment of diseases of the brain by drugs or surgery necessitates an understanding of its structure and functions. The philosophical neurosurgeon soon encounters difficulties when localising the abstract concepts of mind and soul within the tangible 1300-gram organ containing 100 billion neurones. Hippocrates had focused attention on the brain as the seat of the mind. The tabula rasa postulated by Aristotle cannot be localised to a particular part of the brain with the confidence that we can localise spoken speech to Broca's area or the movement of limbs to the contralateral motor cortex. Galen's localisation of imagination, reasoning, judgement and memory in the cerebral ventricles collapsed once it was evident that the functional units-neurones-lay in the parenchyma of the brain. Experiences gained from accidental injuries (Phineas Gage) or temporal lobe resection (William Beecher Scoville); studies on how we see and hear and more recent data from functional magnetic resonance studies have made us aware of the extensive network of neurones in the cerebral hemispheres that subserve the functions of the mind. The soul or atman, credited with the ability to enliven the body, was located by ancient anatomists and philosophers in the lungs or heart, in the pineal gland (Descartes), and generally in the brain. When the deeper parts of the brain came within the reach of neurosurgeons, the brainstem proved exceptionally delicate and vulnerable. The concept of brain death after irreversible damage to it has made all of us aware of 'the cocktail of brain soup and spark' in the brainstem so necessary for life. If there be a soul in each of us, surely, it is enshrined here.


[FULL TEXT] [PDF]*
Print this article     Email this article
 Next article
 Previous article
 Table of Contents

 Similar in PUBMED
 Related articles
 Citation Manager
 Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert *
 Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)
 

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed8698    
    Printed265    
    Emailed5    
    PDF Downloaded209    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 1    

Recommend this journal