Dr. Annese, Institute for Brain and Society/The Brain Observatory and Dr. Allan Jones, CEO Allen Institute for Brain Science at the Washington IDEAS Forum.
Can human emotion, and/or cognitive thinking be distilled into a science? The past three decades have advanced our understanding of what emotions and thoughts are biochemically.
Our knowledge of how we think and how we feel is being distilled into basic science. New imaging techniques now allow scientists to see what is happening when and where in our brain in real-time. We have discovered the brain has certain regenerative capability by it's redundancy, much like a backup of your computer's hard drive. The brain's inherent 'intelligence' allows it to 'rewire' it's neuronal network, allowing for different regions of the brain to alter function. Neural plasticity allows for these amazing changes. In the near future a combinaton of behavioral training and neuropharmacology will be the future of treatment for neurolgic treatment. The 'black hole of the brain may be coming to an end.
When and where do sentience reside ? Is it a place in our brain? ( the capacity to feel, perceive, or experience subjectively. Eighteenth-century philosophers used the concept to distinguish the ability to think (reason) from the ability to feel (sentience). In modern Western philosophy, sentience is the ability to experience sensations (known in philosophy of mind as "qualia") Does self awareness require sentience, or do they go hand-in-had?
The answers to these questions and others may come soon with tools such as fMRI new advances in high power microscopy, optogenetics and public involvement.
The Human Brain Library — The Institute for Brain and Society