What if humans had a "dual brain configuration"?

Discussion in 'Intelligence & Machines' started by zira, Oct 31, 2007.

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  1. zira Registered Senior Member

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    Imagine ape and human pathology developed slightly differently than in existing evolution. And we all got two totally independant and fully functional maybe concurrent brains, one in each side of our head?

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    Advantage or disadvantage?

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    We were more intelligent or less? Or more chaotic? More or less emotional?
    More calm? Or more hyperactive?
     
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  3. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    I think we already have this, not on each side, though. I think our present brain can be reconfigured to work in more than one way. This is what Buddhists call enlightenment, a shift in the patterns of thought.
     
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  5. Donnal Registered Member

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    wow sounds so calming and peaceful buddhists are cool
     
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  7. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    yea, it's totally sweet.
     
  8. G. F. Schleebenhorst England != UK Registered Senior Member

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    Depends on what functions you're talking about.
     
  9. Klippymitch Thinker Registered Senior Member

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    I have often wonder what they mean by this.
     
  10. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

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    What you refer to actually was once the case.

    We now enjoy one 'single' brain due to the (relatively) late development of the corpus callosum.

    For more on this read : "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" by Julian Jaynes.
     
  11. kmguru Staff Member

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    Two brains are always better than one. Dual core is good....
     
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    We have two brain hemispheres that are connected through what I suppose is a relatively narrow bandwidth. They contain different processing centers and are differently organized. The left hemisphere operates in a more linear, logical manner, whereas the right hemisphere is more holographic.

    This is illustrated by the way our right and left hands work. Due to a peculiarity in our nervous system, below the neck the left hemisphere controls the right side of the body and vice versa. Your right hand is better at learning by instruction, whereas your left hand is better at learning from experience. (This is for right-handed people. I'm not clear on what the difference is in left-handed people. Are their hemispheres reversed?)
     
  13. kmguru Staff Member

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    Not true...relatively speaking! They are connected via a bundle of 250 million nerve fibers. That makes them more like a parallel processing activity.
     
  14. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Ever wondered why most components in a human are duplicated? Two, arms, two legs, two eyes, two kidneys, etc? This is known as fault tolerance. In all these cases one of the items can be lost but the individual can still survive with essential capabilities although with some loss of efficiency.

    It would have been nice if the heart could have had a duplicate and if we were to design an optimum human then I would have included that as an essential. But to the topic - although the brain is not duplicated it is in two halves where each structure is near identical to each other. It would seem that through genetics each half has specilized in a selection of specific functions, however, there is evidence in many cases where those who have sufferred severe damage to one half have been able recover some or a large part of the missing functions in the remaining half. There is also another scenario (wish I could find the reference) where one half failed shortly after birth and all normal functions developed in a single half. This was featured on PBS within the last year where the redundant half was not entirely dead and was causing some interference. The final choice was surgery to remove the offending half. The result was that the patient appeared entirely normal. That in my mind raised the question of whether really our dual brains do indeed have a lot of spare capacity.

    So in effect I think we do have two brains where each has been assigned specific tasks but each could do any or all. In actuality if one half is damaged the biology does not make the transition of a missing function to the other half easily automatic or optimal. This transfer effectiveness also correlates with age, i.e. someone young has a far better chance to recover the lost fucntions in the backup half. "Transfer" is probably the wrong term, re-learning is really what has to occur and that is much easily in the young.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2007
  15. Shangorilla Registered Member

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    Have you read A Scanner Darkly or seen the movie? Both are excellent. It's about an under cover narc, who's brain is split into two combative entities from heavy use of the drug Substance D. I highly recommend it.
     
  16. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    hmmm i don't know if Saburo Sakai was left handed - but anyway:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saburo_Sakai
     
  17. Tnerb Banned Banned

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    What about being split down the middle- one of you, and another of you.
    Thats like having two selfs.
    Sort of.
     
  18. Roman Banned Banned

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    Dual brains... well, we really have far more than dual brains. We have a ton of stuff in our nervous system that provides feed back to our brain that we're barely conscious of. I don't know that much about human physiology, but we do have a nervous&hormonal systems that regulate breathing, heart rate, the gut, blood flow, etc. I'd say that our awareness of "self" is a necessary trait to function as a complete organisms, even though there are a whole bunch of processes operating in tandem and providing feed back to each other.

    The cost of having split functions that we were aware of would be rather high, as it would greatly impair function. Imagine if you had to run everything you wanted to do past another person, first, who had control of the other half of your body. It'd be lame.

    Wait, what?
    We have bilateral symmetry because our ancestors are bilaterally symmetric. Presumably bilateral symmetry was advantageous because it allowed efficient navigation through the environment due to cephalization.

    Most of our 'features' are left overs from ancestors. As tetrapods, we have 4 limbs. The difficulty in complex organisms, such as us, to have a nonlethal, functional, and beneficial radical Hox mutation is pretty much nil. It'd be like a juckyard fire producing a Boeing 747. Instead, we've had to modify what we're stuck with.
     
  19. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    It would have been a mutant strain of gene and would not have survived.
     
  20. USS Exeter unamerican american Registered Senior Member

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    It may give us telepathy or other great psycic abilities, but otherwise, I'm going to agree with cosmictraveler.
     
  21. river-wind Valued Senior Member

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    We have more than two brains.

    We have the electrically based nervous system, and the chemically based everything else.


    Since the electrically-based system produces the quickest responses, it gets the most press. However, the endocrine system is as important to how we deal with life as the brain.

    I don't know about you guys, but I often have to deal with my brain's logic fighting against my body's innate desires (and often losing).
     
  22. kmguru Staff Member

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    That is why most doctors and neurologists do not understand how brain and autonomous system work. They never study the rigorous control system and what sets the set point, what is the algorithm that is behind the automated system. Then there is brain which has its own complex logic. A doctor has to understand "Information Theory", "Decision Theory" etc that a EE studies....
     
  23. USS Exeter unamerican american Registered Senior Member

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    On second thought, we do have a dual brain configuration: the cerebral cortex and the cerebellum are to major parts to the brain. The cerebral cortex has to do with emotions, thinking, memory, reasoning, and personality. The cerebellum deals with motor funtions and learned body movements, such as walking, running, martial arts, or doing surgery, y'now simple stuff like that.

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