Neuroscience: Big promises, big problems

The human brain
'Ephemeral and mysterious': an image of a brain from the Human Connectome Project. Courtesy of VJ Wedeen and LL Wald, Martinos Center, Harvard University, via Guardian.

The following is an edited excerpt.

Ours is an age in which brain research is flourishing – a time of truly great expectations. Yet it is also a time of mindless neuroscience that leads us to overestimate how much neuroscience can improve legal, clinical and marketing practices, let alone inform social policy.

The neurobiological domain is one of brains and physical causes; the psychological domain is one of people and their motives. Both are essential to a full understanding of why we act as we do. But the brain and the mind are different frameworks for explaining human experience. And the distinction between them is hardly an academic matter: it bears crucial implications for how we think about human nature, as well as how to best alleviate human suffering.

Read the full story here: Human behaviour: is it all in the brain – or the mind?

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