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1. Inside the Brain: Hacks 1–12

Chapter 1. Inside the Brain: Hacks 1–12

It’s never entirely true to say, “This bit of the brain is solely responsible for function X.” Take the visual system [Understand Visual Processing], for instance; it runs through many varied parts of the brain with no single area solely responsible for all of vision. Vision is made up of lots of different subfunctions, many of which will be compensated for if areas become unavailable. With some types of brain damage, it’s possible to still be able to see, but not be able to figure out what’s moving or maybe not be able to see what color things are.

What we can do is look at which parts of the brain are active while it is performing a particular task—anything from recognizing a face to playing the piano—and make some assertions. We can provide input and see what output we get—the black box approach to the study of mind. Or we can work from the outside in, figuring out which abilities people with certain types of damaged brains lack.


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