Thursday, March 1, 2007

the joys of cognitive dissonance

What is creativity? For that matter, what is intelligence? Where in the brain are they located? What about motivation? And the emotions? And is there a difference between emotions and feelings - or Spinoza's passions, which, I have a feeling, are similar to Damasio and Reimer's notions of feelings - "feelingful experiences." Really, the way I interpret it, emotions and the passions, or the feelings, are seen as qualitatively different, and yet overlapping. Emotions, however, are capable of being labelled - anger, joy, sorrow, fear, contentment. Feelings are harder to label - I don't know if I can even explain it. But they transcend emotions - more than just a heightened state of emotions - related, but different. Oh, my brain hurts. Ain't it grand?

And even though neuropsychologists and other scientists might be able to map and highlight where emotions "occur," where motivation "occurs," where creativity "occurs," is it that simple, or is there a larger picture to consider?

And what of the mind-body connection?

I guess the overarching question is: is it really appropriate to segregate all of these factors? It obviously makes studying and describing such aspects easier, but can we truly separate them - treat them as separate elements? Or does it ultimately all work as one?

1 comment:

Heidi said...

I don't have an answer to any of your questions, but on "House" last night they removed half of a guy's brain and he was fine. In fact, his condition improved. So obviously the mysterious workings of the brain are not all that important after all. TV said so, so it must be true.

On a more serious note, though, I think the difficulty in studying these things is that they are all interconnected and it's hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. I mean, I'm not a brain scientist or whatever, but it doesn't even make sense to me to try to isolate some of these factors, because they don't operate independently.