# What if humans had a "dual brain configuration"?

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

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1. ### domesticated omInterplanetary homesteaderValued Senior Member

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Just in case you were talking about a 'quad hemispheric' brain design....

There might be advantages in terms of redundancy. Humans would normally have diminished capacity from damage to one brain. Perhaps dual brained humans would be resistant unless identical damage was done to both.

Humans would not need to sleep if both brains alternated doing the task of facilitating the person's consciousness.

Humans could fully focus on more that one thing at the same time.

Disadvantage -- possible problems caused by increase need for blood flow (needs larger stronger heart).

Increased oxygen intake.... will need larger lungs

Radical changes required in "skull capacity" as well as changes to supportive muscular and skeletal attributes (bigger thicker neck).

You may need to re-route eyeballs and connecting tissues.

Last edited: Dec 25, 2007

3. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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I have read JJ's interesting and very speculative book and even bought it, but do not recall it giving any support for your statement that the corpus callosum is a "late development." His thesis is that consciousness was developed less than 3000 years ago - not anything about the time frame of anatomical developments. If you have read him, you misunderstood him.

Certainly that anatomical feature was present millions of years before the period JJ is interested in as it is common to all mamals, such as rat, horse, pig, monkey etc. and found even in many of the much earlier ancestors, like chickens which evolved from the dinosaurs etc.

BTW, Shark must constantly swim to force water thru their gills, which unlike bone fish are just slots in the side. (Bone fish need not swim constantly as they can "pump water" thur their gills by moving the flap that covers the gills.) Thus, all sharks do have "dual brains" in the sense that much of the time one side is sleeping while the other side is at least controlling their swiming.

Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2007

5. ### kmguruStaff Member

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11,757
Should I move the thread to the Biology section?

7. ### desiValued Senior Member

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There was the case of the two Chinese guys who shared one body. While they both married and had children, with separate women, I don't know if they thought it was worth the experience.

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9. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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There you will find:
"...Split-brain patients may sometimes confabulate a rational account of their behavior, if the true motivations cannot be reported since they may depend on processing in the linguistically inaccessible right side of the brain. ..."

Michael Gazzaniga did many interesting experiments demonstating this. I have read at least a dozen of his papers. I think Wiki article does not adequately suggest his more general conclusion about "normal" humans. I.e. we all seldom understand deeply why we do things but automatically, unconsciously and easily "confabulate" a reason we believe to be true. (It may actually be the main reason - I am not stating it is not. I am just noting that we produce one by confabulation which, if true, may be so only by chance.) Many of the things we do have entirley different reasons than the ones we believe, understand, and accept as the reasons. Some more valid reasons can be learned via psychological analysis, some are innate drives, some are just habbits, some are transformed from other behaviors (often more obvious when we consider what we "did" and why in the dream state), etc.

This confabulation (or invention of causes for things we observe happening) can be demonstrated in normal humans:

I do not rememer well the details of one psychological experiment that showed how common confabulation* is, but it went something like the following:

An array, perhaps three rows of four playing cards in each row, was displayed on a computer screen in each trial. The subject's task was to guess the " special card" to get small monetary reward (perhaps a penny) and could stop the series of trials when he/she had discovered the rule that made one card special in each display when they were "sure." If they did discover the correct rule they got a large reward, (like $1000 initially) but its value decreased the longer they played the game (like dropping at rate of$30/ minute) to discover it. As I recal, there was no rule - just occasionally the small reward was granted at random, but increasingly frequently as they played so their rule seemed to be being being confirmed eventually if they played long enough.

All of the subjects did found some rule. For example: "The suit of the last special card will not repeat, but the color will once and if prior special card was face card, then...." etc some very complicated rules were quiclky invented by the more intelligent players. Before telling if they had won the grand prize, they were of course asked about both their rule AND also how confident they were in it. All firmly believed their rule and expected to get the prize. (I think they were offered, and refused, a small, but certain sum, to test quantatively the strength of their beliefs in the true cause (the rule) their recent sting of correct guesses had confirmed for them.) I.e. we all do have faith in the beliefs we confabulate being true even when they are false.
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*We all tend to believe there is a cause for things - if none is evident or not even existing, we unconsciously (and with great ease)confabulate one to believe in. This characteristic of humans is a great aid to organized religions.

Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2008
10. ### decantemixGuest

Man, main: quit all these arguments. Yu fightin' fitin yuself...haHA.

11. ### NasorValued Senior Member

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I agree that it's fascinating - all the evidence seems to suggest that each half of our brain is capable of independent consciousness and rationality. When the two halves are completely unable to communicate and side A does something for a reason that side B isn't aware of, side B will attempt to rationalize/invent a reason for why "it" wanted to do it. It's as if our brains are programmed to not allow themselves to realize that they are made of separate halves.

People have done all sorts of studies like this, but they always seem to start off by telling the subject that there is a rule/pattern/whatever. I've always thought that was very suspect. What percentage of the people would have come up with a "rule" if they had been told "There might or might not be a rule here - see if you can figure it out"?

12. ### dre38wRegistered Member

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I agree with domesticated om. We would need larger lung capacity and a stronger heart. Although I would like to expand on this. In my opinion, if the brain works in that way, then the body would compensate for it. If the brain were to "evolve" into such the body would evolve along with.

But the fact that we don't breathe pure oxygen; that is a factor. If we were to breathe pure oxygen, in my opinion, we would have more stamina, stronger muscles, longer life span, etc. and of course the brain would function more efficiently. The environment we live in is definitely a factor.

I would like to add that I think this "brain enhancement" is possible to an extent. It's very simple. Training. If you train the brain it would be able to do things beyond its natural capability. I know it seems like "duh", but that's what it comes down to.

I was discussing this in school and one of my friends brought up a good point. If we were to use our brain at full efficiency we would over think things way more than needed. To be honest I disagreed. I thought that if we used our brain at its full, then we would be able to control this over thinking. I just thought I would throw this last topic out there.