How does the brain work? We're bombarded with research and discoveries, but we're always left with more questions. There is a revolution happening in cognitive science that's on par with that of Galileo. Michele Di Francesco, philosopher of the mind, explains what it means.
"Neuroscience has demonstrated conclusively that there’s far more going on in the mind than the owners of those minds are generally aware... Take the phenomenon of medically unexplained symptoms.... [U]p to a third of people who go to the doctor have them. Their distress is real; the patient is not making it up. And yet no biological cause can be found... Freud’s central idea on conversion disorders – namely that a trauma, or perceived trauma, lies at the origin – is now routinely shown to have clinical efficacy." [Read Article]
"I find the soul a valuable concept, a statement of the dignity of a human life and of the unutterable gravity of human action and experience... I am not prepared to concede objectivity to the arbitrarily reductionist model of reality that has so long claimed, and been granted, this virtue. The new cosmologies open so many ways of reconceiving the universe(s) that all sorts of speculations are respectable now... These new cosmologies preclude almost nothing, except 'the physical' as a special category. The physicality enshrined by neuroscientists as the measure of all things is not objectivity, but instead a pure artifact of the scale at which, and the means by which, we and our devices perceive. So to invoke it as the test and standard of reality is quintessentially anthropocentric." [Read Article]
"...these melancholy thoughts have an upside: They help in planning, delaying gratification, and, some studies show, with creativity. The more you keep your life’s big problems 'constantly before you, as [Isaac] Newton did, the likelier it is you’ll resolve them. " [Read Article]
"The scientific NDE studies performed over the past decades indicate that heightened mental functions can be experienced independently of the body at a time when brain activity is greatly impaired or seemingly absent (such as during cardiac arrest). ... These findings strongly challenge the mainstream neuroscientific view that mind and consciousness result solely from brain activity... Needless to say, this view is utterly incompatible with the belief of many materialists that the material world is the only reality." [Read Article]
"Oxytocin reminds us what we were created for: connection. This hormone delivers a reward, like we experience from sex or food, just for being connected to others... We are meant to pursue monogamy, tenderly care for our children, enjoy close friendships, and maintain peace with acquaintances in our community. Oxytocin reminds us, on a chemical level, of who God is, his Trinitarian nature that is in constant communion with himself. It’s like shalom packed into a hormone." [Read Article]