David Nutt - “In terms of a scientific study, this is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done."

Bacchanal

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I guess we're still poking around in minds the same way we poke around I brains to see what happens. If I probe this bit your toes wiggle, so it must be the toe-wiggling-bit. If this area is less stimulated your sense of self seems to dissolve into an amorphous universality, so that must be the sense-of-self bit. In which way I suppose these sorts of studies might tell us more about how the brain and the mind fit together.
 

Torsion Jim

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It can do up to a point but realistically all reductionism can do is just put the scientist into a counter-intuitive hell-hole.

We are presented time and again with thermal imaging of the brain showing us which bits get hot when so-and-so happens. I infer from this implication that consciousness is something that keeps our brains warm.

Maybe, as Amanda Feilding said, having some empirical data on what Aldous Huxley meant when he said about the 'reducing valve' in the brain is quite a fun idea.
 
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