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The human brain is arguably the most complex, most important, and most fascinating (in my opinion) instrument we have. It is so complex that we barely understand how it works, meaning that we rarely, if ever, get to use it to its full potential.
How would we even know when we use it to its fullest potential?
As the control centre of human physiology and psychology it would've been amazing had it come with a manual…
We can only dream...
Nevertheless, Daniel Wolpert, a renowned neuroscientist explained in his TEDGlobal talk, the brain has evolved not to think and feel, but to control movement.
This is because everything is initiated and mediated through movement. Falling in love, speaking, feeling sad or advancing science, all occur through the contraction of our muscles. Our brain has evolved marvelously to fine-tune our neurological systems with the goal of perfection in efficiency.
No, your taxes, or the chores you have to do at home today, are not your brain’s primary concern. Indeed, these higher-order cognitive thought patterns are scripts and agendas that we have developed over millennia, and are indeed ever present in our minds. However, they are ultimately of secondary concern to our brain.
Movement is indeed of primary concern, without it we cannot talk, communicate or ultimately further our species.
Ordinarily we might associate movement with the body. We typically separate mind and body for ease of understanding, but we are ultimately beings of embodied cognition. Our mind and body are inexplicably linked. Which is why many neuroscientists want to change Descartes famous quote from “I think, therefore I am” to “I move, therefore I am”
The ability to see into the future, retain incredible amounts of information, and grasp complex and abstract concepts are all remarkable aspects of human intelligence. Look at chess for example, designing AI that was able to beat the best human chess player was an eye-opening and spectacular moment in AI history. Designing this AI involved the use of an algorithm which calculated all the possibilities of the game and chose the most intelligent move every turn, without failure. Something a human can rarely match.
Now, think about this.
Have you ever seen a robot move with the same fluency as a 5 year old moving a chess piece?
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