Re: Mind control 1965

Scott Badger (
Mon, 19 Oct 1998 07:45:00 -0500

Ian Goddard <> wrote:

> It's all very fascinating from a philosophical
> point of view, with respect to the concepts of
> self, free will, what and who is "the actor."
> If remote brain control is someone controlling
> another thing, what controls the brain locally?
> I'd say the brain is a set of systems that have
> learned to control each other. Slip a new system
> in, and each subsystem assumes this new system is
> one of the team, and thus "I wanted to turn my head."

Michael Gazzanaga has tackled this issue in his research with split brain patients (those whose brain hemispheres have been disconnected). Without getting into his experiments in detail, I'll just say that he basically observed the same phenomenon. The left (verbal) brain for asked to account for an action taken by the right brain. It had no way of truly knowing why the right side did what it did because it couldn't communicate with it. So it constructed a story. It constructed meaning, obliged to make sense of itself as a whole.

Gazzanaga surmised that the brain is not just made of two compartments, left and right, it's made of large numbers of subsystems all with their own responsibilities. Many or perhaps all of the subsystems just do what they do, but there is a particular subsystem somewhere on the left side that is responsible for watching the actions taken by the other subsystems. That particular subsystem has the task of translating it all into a cohesive storyline
that explains everything in context. So do we have free will? I think that
Gazzanaga would say that's pretty much an illusion.

As for stimulating cortical neurons during open brain surgery to identify areas associated with epileptic seizures, this technique is very old and was originated by Wilder Penfield. He was also fascinated by the bizarre array of sensations and memories that he could elicit from his patients. People could smell and taste things. One person heard a song start to play when a certain spot was stimulated. When the stimulation stopped so did the song, then when the stimulation was reapplied the song would start over at the beginning. Weird, huh? Another person had the distinct impression that he had left his body suggesting that out-of-body experiences and the portion of near-death experiences where they float above their bodies are natural phenomena. Penfield wrestled with the nature of the mind and actually decided
at the end of his life that there was indeed a spiritual side to it. I never did
understand his reasoning, though.

Ciao for now,


"Quest into the unknown!" - Mr. Natural