“The dopamine neurons are responsible for telling the rest of the brain what stimuli to pay attention to,” says Terry Sejnowski, the director of Salk Institute for Biological Studies Computational Neurobiology Laboratory, referring to the cluster of brain cells that produce one of the many chemical elixirs that activate, deactivate, or otherwise alter our mental state.
In a deeper way, he explains, evolutionary factors – the need for individual organisms to survive, find food or a mate, and avoid predators – are at work behind the mechanisms of unconscious decision making.
“Consciousness explains things that have already been decided for you…”
How is the physical brain is related to the thinking, experiencing, self-aware mind?
Is There Room for the Soul?
New challenges to our most cherished beliefs about self and the human spirit. Developments in science and religion point to a new picture of reality.