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The Brain -- A Mediating Organ

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Cognitive neuroscience has been driven by the idea that by reductionist analysis of mechanisms within a solitary brain one can best understand how the human mind is constituted and what its nature is. The brain thus came to appear as the creator of the mind and the experienced world. In contrast, the paper argues for an ecological view of mind and brain as both being embedded in the relation of the living organism and its environment. This approach is crucially dependent on a developmental perspective: the brain is conceived as a plastic system of open loops that are formed in the process of life and closed to full functional cycles in every interaction with the environment. Each time a new disposition of coherent neural activity is formed through repeated experience, structures of the mind are imprinted onto the brain. The brain becomes a mediating organ or a window to the mind, for it is structured by the mind itself.

Keywords: brain; consciousness; embodiment; hard problem; mind

Document Type: Research Article

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Publication date: January 1, 2011

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