Very interesting read: The Brain Doesn’t Think the Way You Think It Does

I used to share interesting stuff I read somewhere on this blog. Maybe I should do this again more often. This article in Quanta Magazine is really worth your attention:

But a brain map with neat borders is not just oversimplified — it’s misleading. “Scientists for over 100 years have searched fruitlessly for brain boundaries between thinking, feeling, deciding, remembering, moving and other everyday experiences,” Barrett said. A host of recent neurological studies further confirm that these mental categories “are poor guides for understanding how brains are structured or how they work.”

Neuroscientists generally agree about how the physical tissue of the brain is organized: into particular regions, networks, cell types. But when it comes to relating those to the task the brain might be performing — perception, memory, attention, emotion or action — “things get a lot more dodgy,” said David Poeppel, a neuroscientist at New York University.

No one disputes that the visual cortex enables sight, that the auditory cortex enables hearing, or that the hippocampus is essential for memory. Damage to those regions impairs those abilities, and researchers have identified mechanisms underlying them in those areas. But memory, for example, also requires brain networks other than the hippocampus, and the hippocampus is turning out to be key to a growing number of cognitive processes other than memory. Sometimes the degree of overlap is so great that the labels start to lose their meaning.

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