View Full Version : The neurophysiology of "free will", the truine brain and Phineas Gage


mildadhd
04-15-17, 09:40 PM
This thread discussion is meant to learn more about the neurophysiology of "free will", considering the triune brain model, Phineas Gage's case of traumatic brain injury and other related brain research.

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/figure/image?size=medium&id=10.1371/journal.pone.0021236.g002

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0021236



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The triune brain is a model of the evolution of the vertebrate forebrain and behavior, proposed by the American physician and neuroscientist Paul D. MacLean. MacLean originally formulated his model in the 1960s and propounded it at length in his 1990 book The Triune Brain in Evolution.[1] The triune brain consists of the reptilian complex, the paleomammalian complex (limbic system), and the neomammalian complex (neocortex), viewed as structures sequentially added to the forebrain in the course of evolution. However, this hypothesis is no longer espoused by the majority of comparative neuroscientists in the post-2000 era.[2] The triune brain hypothesis became familiar to a broad popular audience through Carl Sagan's Pulitzer prize winning 1977 book The Dragons of Eden. The theory has been embraced by some psychiatrists and at least one leading affective neuroscience researcher.[3]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triune_brain



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http://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.pZi98K1893jynYXmu-_qZQEsC6&w=148&h=92&c=8&rs=1&qlt=90&pid=3.1&rm=2

Phineas P. Gage (1823*– May 21, 1860) was an American railroad construction foreman remembered for his improbable[B1]:19 survival of an accident in which a large iron rod was driven completely through his head, destroying much of his brain's left frontal lobe, and for that injury's reported effects on his personality and behavior over the remaining twelve years of his life*—*effects sufficiently profound (for a time at least) that friends saw him as "no longer Gage."


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phineas_Gage



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Fuzzy12
04-15-17, 09:50 PM
I'm not sure we truly have free will. I believe that our actions abd decisions are determined by our genetics and the sum total of our environmental experiences at every stage.

I'm not sure what phineas gage has to do with free will except that He shows that even something as individual as personality is purely a result of particular physiological configuration and can be changed by a traumatic brain injury. Or like a professor whose lectures I used to listen to said: there's no aspect or function of your being that cannot be taken away from you.

aur462
04-16-17, 12:28 AM
I'm not sure what phineas gage has to do with free will except that He shows that even something as individual as personality is purely a result of particular physiological configuration and can be changed by a traumatic brain injury.

Everything you said is exactly why he is an often referred to in free will discourse. There's not much to add that you didn't already say. That who we are is so tenuous as to potentially turn on a dime following a head injury is interesting and disconcerting. And Alzheimer's, "the gift that keeps on taking" you might say.

I'm not that versed on free will but there seems to be an emphasis, as you may well know, on the "genes you have" or similar, and good or bad, we had no freedom when it came to our acquired genes. I'm not sure what a free will promoter would say about our environment and its relevance.

You may have heard other illustrations come from those who had epilepsy so severe they had their corpus callosum (it physically connects and unifies the 2 brain hemispheres) cut. The story (there are many others) goes something like, "John is trying to button his shirt with his right hand, but his left hand keeps unbuttoning it; he has to have his wife do it for him." I find these cases interesting, but less effective at illustrating free will than other examples.

mildadhd
04-18-17, 08:15 PM
Thanks

This is fun!

I wonder if should have titled the thread, " The neurophysiology of "awareness", the triune brain and Phineas Gage"

I wonder if the term "awareness" is a more realistic term to describe function of higher tertiary (blue) neocortical brain processing levels, rather than the term "free will"?

Awareness (blue) is not possible without, primary (red) and secondary (green) brain processing levels of controls.

Phineas Gage's case may show that a human can survive traumatic brain injury to higher neocortical brain areas. (blue)

But humans cannot survive similar traumatic brain injury to primary (red) lower subcortical brain areas, implying that lower primary (red) and secondary (green) subcortical brain processing levels of evolved before tertiary (blue) processing level of brain control.



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