Introduction

When thinking about the brain we have in mind an organ made up of nerve cells (the neurones), synapses (connections between neurones), chemical messengers communicating information between neurones (neurotransmitters), receptors, multiple interneuronal connections, and circuits. When we talk about the brain we use the precise specialist language of the basic sciences—mathematics, chemistry and physics, molecules, proteins, electrical potentials—the world of matter which can be manipulated, cut, separated into pieces, and analysed. (D

But what about the mind? For perceptions, emotions, thoughts, memory, consciousness, and self-consciousness we are concerned with intimate and subjective entities that are elusive or difficult to grasp or measure. In this context we use a different language, that of psychology.

For hundreds of years we have had a clear-cut separation of these two concepts, that of the brain or matter occupying space and time, and the other of the mind or spirit occupying time and being only individually experienced and therefore unique. (23)

Only a few decades of research in neuroscience were necessary to start attempting to bridge the gap between brain and mind. Modern neuroscience and cognitive neuroscience are in fact trying to join the two concepts into one, that of man as a product of the Darwinian evolution, and his mind as a series of processes carried out by the brain.

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