13 Aralık 2011 Salı

The Singularity of Mind

“Mein Sohn! Tue das, was in (deinem) Herzen (ist)”
“My son! Do what in your heart is.”

Cognition exists as the processes of division or unision. The difficulty of the unknown is divided to its parts and a solution turns out to knowledge when united with the existing solutions.

Mind exists abstractly as a complex system of functional abilities of the brain. When the brain is faced with a difficulty it divides itself to different compartments. Infact, in the beginning of self, when a two year old child is faced with the difficulty of speaking, he/she chooses inevitably to identify self. Speaking forces the use of ‘I’ hence dividing the world as others and ‘self’. Camın Ötesine Geçmek(

The child mind’s skill of dividing self to face difficulties continues in the rest of the life. We develop many subpersonalities to handle the difficulties of various contexts that we live in our daily life, father/mother, family relations, job relations, neighbors, friend circles, professional expertises etc.

Through all the divisions that mind undergoes, one thing remains constant, self-consciousness. Individual percieves self as a single person that he knows as. Sometimes we feel ashamed or we can not associate what we do with what we feel ourselves as but still the reference to the self remains constant. OR sometimes we do things that we accept we do not expect to achive by ourselves.

One reason that causes the sense of constant self-perception is the basic education and the cultural tendency of the society at that period of time. I believe, the Turkish society is still living a predominantly romantic period and this is effecting the child rear up and the self-perception of the grownups.

Singularity of the human-mind is a wrong perception taught by the society, child bring up, basic education, religion and so on. Infact, research in the last 20 years have physically proved that, for various functions of mind, different sections of brain gets activated.

The below quotation is taken from the sum up section of:
Jack B. Nitschke and Kristen L. Mackiewicz
Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior
Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology, University of Wisconsin

It explains how the human volition is implemented by the brain. Two specific and distinct regions interact to achieve the volition function.
“In this chapter, we have outlined two constituent components in the neural circuitry of volition: the DLPFC and the ACC. These structures have distinct roles that contribute to the selection and implementation of action plans.”

DLPFC and ACC’s functions:
“Subserving cognitive control, the DLPFC is involved in the representation and selection of goals and in the implementation of action plans and behavioral change.”

“The ACC has been implicated in monitoring conflict among external and internal cues, with the dorsal ACC modulating cognitive aspects and the ventral ACC more involved in affect.”

Interaction between ACC and DLPFC:
“It plays a central role in signaling and recruiting additional brain regions, particularly the DLPFC, to resolve the conflict and initiate the appropriate action. “

Collective function of both:
“Working in concert, these two key regions form the cornerstones of the neural signature of volition, especially with regard to the implementation of volitional action plans. “

“The cascade of events that occurs allows for the eventual selection of new goal‐directed behaviors that override previously established behavior patterns.”

Our brain is formed of many centers and works like a dynamic complex multiprocessor system. But human mind percieves self as a single unity. Infact, there are some cultural hints that point out to some possibilities of making use of the multiplicity of the brain.

Daisuke YOSHIDA’s book “Die Syntax des althethitischen substantivischen Genitivs” page 5 alludes to
An Anatolian Hittite King’s thousands of years old advise:

“Mein Sohn! Tue das, was in (deinem) Herzen (ist)”
My son! Do what in your heart is.

The seperation of decision processing between two seperate centers, brain and heart clearly resembles the DLPFC and ACC processing...

If throughly studied one can find similar cultural elements in relation to the thinking-processing speed. The brain uses different types of processing for different tasks. For example, things related to safety requires a “clear and unhesitating, calm mind”. This may be related to not only the character of the situation processed but also the specific processing center(s) being used for that task.

An notorious other multiplicity is the emotions and cognition split. When carefully studied one can easily find the strong affects of romantism in the Turkish culture in this area. The tendency to bring up children with a singular mind is reflected in the feel-think duality and the importance of feelings etc...

I believe, in a century with increasing complexity of systems that we use, we are faced with the necessity of changing our education and child bring up systems. We should stop bringing up people who concentrate uncontrollably when faced with emergencies or difficulties. We should stop creating human triggers who can not change what they do once they are trigged. We should train flexible people who can react to big emergencies but return to normal function afterwards in a short while.
We should bring up controllers who can control may be 2-3 times more air traffic using more complex and sophisticated systems.

This is a task much further than that can be achieved with current computer games or action movies.
We are faced with an immense task of changing our education and child bring up system in order to create the modern individual who can percieve his own depths of multiplicity and use the hidden advantages against the terrible risks.