Likewise, abnormalities attributed to the mind, such as the spectrum of disorders dealt with by psychiatrists and psychologists, are consequences of widespread abnormalities, often in the chemical processes within different parts of the brain. Jackson suggested that the evolutionary development of the prefrontal cortex is necessary to the emergence of self. In this sense it could be called the organ of mind. However, this is not to say that self resides in the prefrontal cortex.
Rather, the new structure allows a more complex coordination of what is anatomically a sensori-motor machine. He used the terms lowest, middle, and highest centres…as proper names…to indicate evolutionary levels. Ascending levels show increasing integration and coordination of sensorimotor representations. The highest-level coordination, which allows the greatest voluntary control, depends on prefrontal activity.
Self is a manifestation of this highest level of consciousness, which involves doubling. This doubling is established by the reflective capacity that enables one to become aware of individual experience in a way that gives a sense of an inner life. Sherrington addressed function and emphasised the limitations of our means for analysis:. The physico-chemical produced a unified machine… the psychical, creates from psychical data a percipient, thinking and endeavouring mental individual… they are largely complemental and life brings them co-operatively together at innumerable points… The formal dichotomy of the individual … which our description practiced for the sake of analysis, results in artifacts such as are not in nature… the two schematic members of the puppet pair… require to be integrated… This integration can be thought of as the last and final integration.
The Bhagavad-Gita describes some of the qualities of the soul: Impenetrable, Unentered, unassailed, unharmed, untouched, Immortal, all-arriving, stable, sure, Invisible, ineffable, by word And thought uncompassed, ever all itself, Thus is the Soul declared! Socrates — Now do you think one can acquire any particular knowledge of the nature of the soul without knowing the nature of the whole man?
Phaedrus — If Hippocrates the Asclepiad is to be trusted, one cannot know the nature of the body, either, except in that way. I was being mischievous. The search for the location of the human soul probably dates back to the awareness of such an entity. Termed atman by ancient Indian philosophers, psyche by the Greek and anima by the Romans, it has been considered resident within, but distinct from the human body.
Many consider it immortal, postulating death to be the consequence of the departure of the soul from the body. Several questions arise when considering the soul. Here are some examples.
When does the soul enter the human body, as the sperm enters the egg or as they fuse into one cell or at a later stage? Does the soul influence the body, mind and intellect? Is the soul identical with what we term conscience? What happens to the soul during dreams, anaesthesia, trance-like states?
What happens to it after the soul leaves the body? Where and how are acquired characters stored in the nebulous soul? Where, in the body, does the soul reside? The answer must be in a resounding affirmative. The efforts over millennia to determine the nature and discover the location of the soul have resulted in a better understanding of the wonderful structure and function of man and his place in the cosmos.
In making this search and noting our findings, we must never lose sight of the cautionary note sounded by Leonardo da Vinci circa in And if one knows how great is the likeness between bodily and mental diseases, and that both are treated by the same remedies, one cannot help refusing to separate the soul from the body. Chekhov echoes the question asked by so many over the centuries. Hippocrates concluded that madness originated in the brain.
Plato in Timaeus felt that folly was a disease of the soul. Philistion subclassified folly into madness and ignorance Harris, The seat of the soul extended from the heart to the brain, passion being located in the heart and reason and intelligence in the brain Prioreschi, Leonardo da Vinci —; see Figure 2 , with his uncanny genius, placed the soul above the optic chiasm in the region of the anterior-inferior third ventricle Santoro et al.
Leonardo depicted the location of the soul at the point where a series of intersecting lines meet Santoro, Though human ingenuity by various inventions with different instruments yields the same end, it will never devise an invention either more beautiful… than does Nature because in her inventions nothing is lacking and nothing superfluous and she… puts there the soul, the composer of the body, that is the soul of the mother which first composes in the womb the shape of man and in due time awakens the soul which is to be its inhabitant Del Maestro, There is a great difference between mind and body, inasmuch as body is by nature always divisible, and the mind is entirely indivisible.
And the faculties of willing, feeling, conceiving, etc. But it is quite otherwise with corporeal or extended objects, for there is not one of them imaginable by me which my mind cannot easily divide into parts. Descartes localised the soul in the pineal gland as it lay deep within the brain, in the midline and was unpaired [see Figure 4 ]. The pineal gland according to Descartes. Lancisi — agreed that the soul must lie deep within the brain, in the midline and in an unpaired structure, but favoured the corpus callosum, especially the Nervali longitudinales ab anterioribus ad posteriora excurrentes , which are still called the medial longitudinal striae of corpus callosum, or nerves of Lancisi.
He felt that the vital spirits could flow in the fibres of the medial striae.
These formed a pathway for the stream of the soul or perhaps consciousness between the anterior part of the corpus callosum and the anterior columns of the fornix and the posterior part of the corpus callosum and the thalami, a sort of connection between the seat of the soul and the peripheral organs, between the soul and the body Di Ieva, Thomas Willis wrote Cerebri Anatome while being a Professor of Natural Philosophy in Oxford, where he used the anatomy of the brain as a tool to investigate the nature of the soul.
Albrecht von Haller — placed the soul in the medulla oblongata Trimble, ; p Bloom commented on the refutation of the dualist view differentiating the body and the soul:. But the question is not really about life in any biological sense. It is instead asking about the magical moment at which a cluster of cells becomes more than a mere physical thing. It is a question about the soul… It is not a question that scientists could ever answer. The qualities of mental life that we associate with souls are purely corporeal; they emerge from biochemical processes in the brain….
They concluded that there exist two dominant and, in many respects, incompatible concepts of the soul: In both cases, the soul has been described as being located in a specific organ or anatomic structure or as pervading the entire body, and, in some instances, beyond mankind and even beyond the cosmos. What do you mean by soul? Is there not something immortal of or in the human brain — the human mind? Because we do not know what that power is, shall we call it immortal?
As well call electricity immortal because we do not know what it is… After death the force or power undoubtedly endures, but it endures in this world, not in the next. And so with the thing we call life, or the soul — mere speculative terms for a material thing which under given conditions drives this way or that. It too endures in this world, not the other.
Because we are as yet unable to understand it, we call it immortal. Duncan MacDougall of Haverhill, Massachusetts, decided to weigh the soul by weighing a human being in the act of death. It seemed to me best to select a patient dying with a disease that produces great exhaustion, the death occurring with little or no muscular movement, because in such a case the beam could be kept more perfectly at balance and any loss occurring readily noted.
He lost weight slowly at the rate of one ounce per hour due to evaporation of moisture in respiration and evaporation of sweat.
During all three hours and forty minutes I kept the beam end slightly above balance near the upper limiting bar in order to make the test more decisive if it should come. At the end of three hours and forty minutes he expired and suddenly coincident with death the beam end dropped with an audible stroke hitting against the lower limiting bar and remaining there with no rebound. The loss was ascertained to be three-fourths of an ounce. It is the belief that when the heart stops beating the soul leaves the body. Something may be learned of the soul by observing the changes in its habitat, the marrow-like brain, at the moment when life ceases.
I myself do not believe the soul to be a thing without the brain though I am neither an atheist nor an agnostic. Otto Rank has summed the situation regards the soul well. He felt that belief in the soul grew out of the need to reassure ourselves of immortality, despite our knowledge of the immutable biological fact of death:. Ramachandran, brain scientist at the University of California, San Diego, is less tactful. For scientists who are people of faith, like Kenneth R. Miller, a biologist at Brown University, asking about the science of the soul is pointless, in a way, because it is not a subject science can address.
If we accept the existence of the soul and its localisation in the brain, we must focus on the brainstem. Christopher Pallis , discussing the definition of whole-brain death, provided a modern concept of the soul. Neurosurgeons operating within the brainstem are known to tell their postgraduate students: We do not have too much intellect and too little soul, but too little intellect in matters of soul. Perhaps, we shall eventually come to conclusions similar to those reached by Sir Thomas Browne 19 October, —19 October, in his most famous work, the Religio Medici:.
Heart disease that develops in people who have diabetes and it is called as 'diabetic heart disease' DHD. But researchers think they might be closer to identifying its physical origins, after a study pinpointing a network of three specific regions in the brain that appear to be crucial to consciousness. You never know when you'll be called to perform CPR in the live environment. It can evolve into crushing pain if nothing is done. If, in doing so, we understand God better, this can only be to our advantage.
Of course, if you have a hyperactive funny bone, you could paraphrase Woody Allen, who, as so often, has the ultimate comic word on the subject: The mind and the soul remain fascinating enigmas. Whilst we have made some progress in our understanding of these two hazy constituents of life, much is as yet poorly understood. Religious scholars ask us scientists to desist from any attempt at studying the soul. Hindu philosophers tell us that the soul of a person who has attained moksha liberation from the cycle of re-birth unites with God. The soul has often been termed the God within each of us.
The spirit of enquiry that is the essence of science must stimulate us to continue our efforts at understanding it better. If, in doing so, we understand God better, this can only be to our advantage. The study of the brain, mind and soul has engaged some of the finest intellects of yesteryears. It remains an ennobling and inspiring pursuit, worthy of all those who are dedicated votaries of science. Sunil Pandya is a neurosurgeon and thinker on medical ethics.
He retired on superannuating in , and has since worked at the Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai. I am grateful to Dr. Cerebral circulation is the way blood flows in your brain. Learn what can happen if it becomes impaired. A coma is a prolonged state of unconsciousness.
A coma occurs when a part of the brain is damaged, either temporarily or permanently. What makes a carb good and what makes it bad? Turns out carbs alone can't be faulted for any weight issues - it's the combination of how and what you….
Approximately 1 in 6 U. So chances are, you may benefit at some point in your life from talking…. From worsening anxiety to making depression more likely, sugar is seriously harmful to your mental health. Even trying to cut back on the sweet stuff…. Infrared saunas promise a number of health benefits, from weight loss and decreased stress levels to improved circulation and even better skin. There are many misconceptions about what panic attacks look and feel like.
Understanding panic attacks and learning how best to support yourself and…. Consciousness and the brain.
Symptoms of decreased consciousness. Types of decreased consciousness. Common underlying causes of decreased consciousness. What to expect when you see the doctor. Outlook for decreased consciousness. First Aid for Unconsciousness. Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis. Concussion Concussions can cause serious symptoms that require medical treatment. Disorientation Disorientation is an altered mental state. It's also called reflex, neurocardiogenic, vasovagal VVS or vasodepressor syncope. It's benign and rarely requires medical treatment. NMS is more common in children and young adults, though it can occur at any age.
It happens when the part of the nervous system that regulates blood pressure and heart rate malfunctions in response to a trigger, such as emotional stress or pain. NMS typically happens while standing and is often preceded by a sensation of warmth, nausea, lightheadedness, tunnel vision or visual "grayout. Situational syncope, which is a type of NMS, is related to certain physical functions, such as violent coughing especially in men , laughing or swallowing.
Cardiac or cardiovascular syncope is caused by various heart conditions, such as bradycardia, tachycardia or certain types of hypotension. It can increase the risk of sudden cardiac death. People suspected of having cardiac syncope but who don't have serious medical conditions may be managed as outpatients.
Further inpatient evaluation is needed if serious medical conditions are present. Conditions that may warrant hospital evaluation and treatment include various cardiac arrhythmic conditions, cardiac ischemia, severe aortic stenosis and pulmonary embolism. If evaluation suggests cardiac vascular abnormalities, an ambulatory external or implantable cardiac monitor may be required.
Younger people without cardiac disease but who've experienced syncope while standing or have specific stress or situational triggers aren't as likely to experience cardiac syncope.
Cardiac syncope is a higher risk in: Other existing conditions and medications used are particularly important in older patients. People who experience the warning signs of fainting of dizziness, nausea and sweaty palms should sit or lie down. Anyone with syncope should receive an initial evaluation, including detailed physical and history examinations and measurement of blood pressure and heart rate, by a physician. ECG is widely available and inexpensive and can provide information about the potential and specific cause of syncope for example, abnormal heart rhythms.