Letter to the Editor Page: 185
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
are no other forms of consciousness. That is analogous to a group of
blind persons deciding that no one can see. There is much evidence to
the contrary, as examples of which I suggest the following.
First, alternate states of consciousness have been successfully used
to influence health, control pain, and so on. It is not clear that these
states of mind are all brain effects.
Second, our mind is the final decider of our mood, often countering
bodily and external influences. A person can decide that he or she is
going to be happy in spite of aches, pains, and less than positive
situations. We can have free will, moral values, courage, creativity,
love, and imagination. These things cannot all be done by the
mechanics, chemistry, and electrophysiology of the brain. One
certainly does not get will power from secreted chemicals that cause
urges. We use our will power to buck those urges in order to remain
moral or healthy.
Third, ordinary waking consciousness is not required for thinking.
Waking brain action is not the source of all our intuitions and
inspirations. We are sometimes even conscious of trying to return to
ordinary waking consciousness, of trying to awaken from sleep. Some
of our best thoughts do not come from wakeful analysis but are there
when we awaken from sleep. In light of the fact that creativity occurs
(and is indicated by electroencephalographic recordings consistent
with creativity) when sensory stimuli and the associated brain
functions are bypassed, it appears that the brain becomes involved
with the results of thinking rather than with its generation. It is not
clear that the brain is involved in the process of thinking except when
it is necessary to utilize sensory input.
Fourth, language synthesis by the brain is not required for thinking.
Language is needed only to prepare the thoughts for common
communications. When we occasionally grope for the right word to
convey a thought to someone else, we already have the intended
thought even though we do not yet have the words to express it.
Fifth, artificial electrical stimulation has been used to map the
various motor and sensory functions of the brain. However, no locus on
the brain has been found at which artificial stimulation could cause
a patient to believe or decide something.
Sixth, split-brain research data show that the mind is not totally
a function of either hemisphere of the brain.
Seventh, brain handicaps do not always seem to be associated with
mind handicaps. Clinical data imply that the mind is more durable
than the brain.
Here’s what’s next.
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Ford, Oral I. Letter to the Editor, letter, Spring 2005; East Windsor Hill, Connecticut. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc937977/m1/2/: accessed November 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .