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  Mens Sana Monographs
A Monograph Series Devoted To The Understanding Of Medicine, Mental Health, Man, Mind, Music And Their Matrix
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BRAIN, MIND AND CONSCIOUSNESS
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 218-224

From data processing to mental organs: An interdisciplinary path to cognitive neuroscience


Assistant Professor, Joshi Bedekar College, Thane, India

Correspondence Address:
Manoj Patharkar
104 Shivaranjani CHS, Asiatic Enclave, Vartak Nagar, Thane - 400 606
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1229.77438

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Human brain is a highly evolved coordinating mechanism in the species Homo sapiens. It is only in the last 100 years that extensive knowledge of the intricate structure and complex functioning of the human brain has been acquired, though a lot is yet to be known. However, from the beginning of civilisation, people have been conscious of a 'mind' which has been considered the origin of all scientific and cultural development. Philosophers have discussed at length the various attributes of consciousness. At the same time, most of the philosophical or scientific frameworks have directly or indirectly implied mind-body duality. It is now imperative that we develop an integrated approach to understand the interconnection between mind and consciousness on one hand and brain on the other. This paper begins with the proposition that the structure of the brain is analogous, at least to certain extent, to that of the computer system. Of course, it is much more sophisticated and complex. The second proposition is that the Chomskyean concept of 'mental organs' is a good working hypothesis that tries to characterise this complexity in terms of an innate cognitive framework. By following this dual approach, brain as a data processing system and brain as a superstructure of intricately linked mental organs, we can move toward a better understanding of 'mind' within the framework of empirical science. The one 'mental organ' studied extensively in Chomskyean terms is 'language faculty' which is unique in its relation to brain, mind and consciousness.


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