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Is the brain and the mind the same thing?

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I don't like using the word 'brain'. It's not really what I'm pointing towards when talking about those things.

But I guess the brain could be considered to be the mind. But never The Mind.

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Are the screen and the movie the same thing?  Are the car and the journey the same thing?  No, the brain and the mind are not the same thing.  The brain is a biological machine which enables the functioning of the mind.  The brain is the physical mushy thing inside your head, while your mind is the 'inner experience' inside your head.

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No, they are concepts which are distinct one from another. Brain refers to a distinction of an organ in animals, usually the one that is central in the nervous system which is controlling most of the activities of the body. Mind refers to the complex conceptual activities in our experience, such as memory, imagination, thinking, interpretation, etc.

It is common that people believe that the source of mind activities is the brain organ. This may be where the concepts meet or overlap. This is a legitimate assertion, but the fact of the matter is that if you open the skull, you will not find a the mind activities. However, it is possible and even probable that affecting the brain will in turn affect the mind activities. This seems to suggest a causational relationship between this two distinctions in our experience, but this does not mean that the source of the mind is in the brain. The brain is a concept of the mind, the same way that the mind is in itself a concept and a product of mind activity (conceptualization, interpretation).

So, in the usual sense of your question, brain and mind are not the same thing. But, on a more wide sense, yes, both brain and mind are distinctions, concepts, and a product of mind activity.

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Posted (edited)

Firstly, it's not that simple, though I will say they're not the same. However, you have to continue reading to know why that is and what that even means in the first place. In psychology, there are a couple of useful distinctions: phenomenology, cognitive models and neurophysiological models.

The experience of what it's like to have a mind is what phenomenology is concerned about (how thoughts, feelings, sensations appear to you as you're having them). Thoughts, feelings, sensations; any phenomena that is arising and that you can experience is also called "mental representations" ("representations" because they represent the external world internally, inside your mind). This is the experiential approach to the mind. (I won't have to give an example of phenomenology because you already have direct access to it.)

Cognitive models describe the mind as a "way" that mental representations are structured and predict how they unfold given certain conditions. I call it a "way" because it's not a physical structure like the brain. When you look at a cognitive model, you're not looking at a "thing" per se. It's more accurate to say that you're looking at a process. This is the cognitive approach to the mind. Here is an example of a cognitive model of working memory:

Schematic-diagram-of-Baddeleys-Model-of-

 

Neurophysiological models describe the brain. Cognitive neuroscience then uses these models similarly to cognitive models to predict how mental representations unfold (which may include actual cognitive models as well), but the difference is that they point to something physical (the brain) as a mediating mechanism. In this case, the mind becomes grounded in something external. Although you can only make correlations between mental representations and brain states, there are still different claims of different degrees of "causality" of this mechanism based on various experiments. Here is an example of a neurophysiological model and how it relates to a cognitive model of the working memory:

 

fpsyg-09-00401-g001.jpg

 

An important take away here is that when we're talking about the brain and the mind, as long as we're not talking about direct experience of mental representations (phenomenology), we're talking about models. Models are not the real thing. They are merely descriptions. When you're looking at cognitive models, you're not actually looking at the process itself. You're looking at a description of it. Likewise, when you're looking at neurophysiological models, you're not actually looking at the brain (only a description of it). It's also important to not equate cognitive processes to mental experiences or to brain states. They are separate things (related? – maybe).

So if we take that last point into account, then the mind and the brain are not the same "thing", but depending on your perspective, they're not even "things".

Edited by Carl-Richard

To balance beauty and complexity so perfectly is a divine mystery.

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10 minutes ago, Carl-Richard said:

ut (what thoughts feel like to you as you're having them). Thoughts, feelings, sensations; any phenomena that

If you dont have a thought about sensation or feeling, what will be sensation and feeling?

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Posted (edited)

4 minutes ago, James123 said:

If you dont have a thought about sensation or feeling, what will be sensation and feeling?

Just be, my friend xD

Edited by Carl-Richard

To balance beauty and complexity so perfectly is a divine mystery.

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52 minutes ago, Carl-Richard said:

Just be, my friend xD

Lol. It’s always is. Just you are not aware. 

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Brain is imagined by Mind.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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3 minutes ago, Preety_India said:

@Leo Gura dont underestimate the brain. It's more powerful than the mind. 
I'm alive today and I survived everything because  of my brain. 
 

Good demonstration of the power of the mind?

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@Leo Gura  Or maybe mind is imagined by brain.

I'm just poking fun.  I see far too many comments on here which consist of nothing more than poetic and profound-sounding single sentence statements, where a person could only reliably infer the intended meaning if they were already at the proper level to understand it... but then they wouldn't gain anything from reading it anyway.  Maybe it's just because I'm still new here and haven't yet lost my energy for making longer and more detailed explanations, but I don't believe such short and succinct messages are necessarily helpful to anyone.  If we are writing with the intention to educate or provide insight, it makes sense to communicate as clearly and in as detailed a manner as possible, while ensuring the reader always has an understanding of the definitions we intend with our words and being careful to minimize the chance that they'll simply make their own mistaken interpretation of a needlessly vague statement.

As a teacher, I gain no satisfaction whatsoever from recieving a confused or unclear reponse to my comments.  Some part of my ego may gain a crude sense of 'satisfaction' from the seemingly profound nature of my own statements, but this is ultimately unhelpful to anybody.

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37 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

Brain is imagined by Mind.

 

5 minutes ago, kinesin said:

@Leo Gura  Or maybe mind is imagined by brain.

Or maybe it's both/neither, because it's a strange loop. 




 

 


"I could be the walrus. I'd still have to bum rides off people."

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Is brainfullness the same as mindfulness?

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Posted (edited)

In direct experience now we can see that what we have of brain is the sensations and thoughts\images about it, all those are mental / in the realm of experiences, so within mind.

Brain is a physical organ, mind is the actual thoughts, sensations and appearances. 

You have a brain in the story of time, but right now we don't actually experience "brain", but sensations/images of one.

Edited by Dodo

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We aren't independent of this. From the POV of the mind (I don't experience any other), the brain is an external object, seen outside; mind is the internal subject, seeing from inside. 


Relax, it's just my loosely held opinion.  :) 

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