Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Evolution in Your Brain: A biological point of view from a great nobelist

Published by Susan Kruglinski on the Discover magazine

Some of the most profound questions in science are also the least tangible. What does it mean to be sentient? What is the self? When the discussion turns to these imponderables, many minds defer rather than get mired in such muddy issues. Neuroscientist Gerald Edelman dives right in. A physician and cell biologist who won a Nobel Prize for his work on the structure of antibodies, Edelman is now obsessed with the enigma of human consciousness—except he doesn’t see it as a mystery. In Edelman’s grand theory of the mind, consciousness is a biological phenomenon. The developing brain undergoes its own process, similar to natural selection: Neurons proliferate and form connections in infancy; experience weeds out the useless from the useful, molding the adult brain in sync with its environment. Click for more...

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