This article from Helen Thomson is a collection of stories of various individuals with “extraordinary” brains – some with the uncanny ability to remember details of every single day in their lives, others with an inability to maintain a mental map of places they visit. In each of these brain “anomalies” is a clue to the extraordinary talents locked up inside our “ordinary” brains.
Implications for AI
Materialists would have us believe that we have reached the peak of our brain’s evolution, that in order for our species to survive to the next generation, we must become one with machines. And yet, in these stories of extraordinary brains collected by Helen Thomson are proof of the innate capacity of humans for greater memory (at the very least). Moreover, this article shows that there are existing strategies we can use to improve our brains, and ourselves.
The article also shows that despite all that we know about how the brain works, scientists have yet to create a satisfying explanation for the human capacities we refer to as higher brain functions – memories, decision-making, creativity, and consciousness. Based on this, we can say that science has a long way to before before it can fully unravel the secrets of the human body.
Or, is it possible, that scientists need to change their point of view from a materialist to a post-materialist perspective in order for them to be able to truly understand the human being?
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