A Biological Basis for the Unconscious? Surely not?
Ten days ago or thereabouts, I saw a piece on Big Think about the unconscious. The title of the piece was as the sub-heading: A Biological Basis for the Unconscious? I was intrigued, to say the least, and wanted to write about that on Learning from Dogs.
The article started thus:
What’s the Big Idea?
Today, the question of how people make decisions is an animated and essential one, capturing the attention of everyone from neuroscientists to lawyers to artists. In 1956, there was one person in all of New York known for his work on the brain: Harry Grundfest. An aspiring psychiatrist who was born in Austria in the 1930’s, Eric Kandel took an elective in brain science during medical school and found himself studying alongside Grudfest at Columbia University.
“What is it you want to study?” Grundfest asked Kandel. “I want to know where the id, the ego, and the super-ego are located in the brain,” Kandel replied. Grundfest looked at him as if he was crazy. “I haven’t got the foggiest notion whether these constructs exist,” he said. “But the way to approach the brain is to study it one cell at a time. Why don’t you study how the cells work?”
Now it would be improper to republish the whole article, not having permission to so do, and I thoroughly recommend you going to the article here and reading it completely from the Big Think website.
But there are a number of interesting videos on YouTube and the one I have selected is a great example of Kandel’s power of mind. As the short description of the video reveals, “A Conversation With Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel, Who Continues to Look Forward at 80.”