Neuroscience and Cultural Conformity

brain2My mind has such wonderful qualities, and I am just beginning to feel its potential. Yet when I reflect on the images given to us by neuroscience, I am perplexed.  The language of neuroscience seems totally inadequate to describe what I actually experience.  I realize that the images are generated using actual data, and yet they do not co-relate in any obvious way with my own internal experiences.

The difficulty becomes even more pronounced when I experience poetry or art.  The gestures and forms of my mental activity in no way relate to the spidery motifs that propagate in neuroscience imagery.  Anyone who pays even cursory attention to to their own inner life will readily make the same observation.

Or will they?  Are people beginning to believe that the images generated by neuroscientists are actually pictures of the brain and its activity?  Will they lose interest in the unique qualities of their own thinking, and focus instead on the optimization of synapses and neural pathways?

The late Ursula Franklin, writing about cultural conformity, put it this way:

The technology of an activity defines the activity itself, and in so doing excludes the emergence of alternatives.

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