Mind and Brain

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This collection of essays makes a lively contribution to the continuing scholarly debate about the relationship of mind and brain. Are they one and the same? How and where does “mind” or consciousness originate? Does it exist apart from the brain?

As Mind and Brain delves into these specifics, it also confronts such broader questions as "Where does matter end and spirit begin?" "What is the essence of human nature and personality?" "Is there such a thing as an immortal soul?"

Sir John Eccles, winner of the Nobel Prize for his study of nerve transmission, edited the volume and authored many of its articles.[1]

  • According to the prevailing scientific theory of the mind—known as "identity theory"—mental states are identical with physicochemical states of the brain. The brain is regarded as a supercomplex computer in which material processes in the cerebral cortex somehow generate thoughts and feelings.[2]
  • Mental acts of attention and intention activate appropriate regions of the cerebral cortex. An intention to move, for example, initiates the firing of a set of neurons of the supplementary motor area about 200 Milli-seconds before the intended movement takes place.[3]

Mind and Brain in Buddhism

In Buddhist philosophy of mind, the Sutra scriptures, such as the Shurangama Sutra and the Shastra exegesis commentaries of Buddhism assert that although there is a brain, the mind exists eternally, apart from the brain, yet dependent on it in this particular incarnation.


  1. http://www.paragonhouse.com/catalog/product_info.php?authors_id=23&products_id=25
  2. http://www.theosophy-nw.org/theosnw/science/prat-bra.htm
  3. http://www.theosophy-nw.org/theosnw/science/prat-bra.htm