The human mind (i.e. consciousness) remains a mystery. And, the exact nature of the mind’s relationship to the brain is poorly understood (Bassett & Gazzaniga, 2011).┬áThere are a number of very difficult problems standing in the way of defining the mind and mapping it to the brain (Poldrack & Yarkoni, 2016). This is a big problem for neuroscience. Clearly, if the mind is manifest inside the brain, it would need to be defined in order to then define it’s neural correlates. How could the neural networks of “apple”…

A great deal of very useful information about the brain has been collected by the brain sciences. At the same time, how the brain works overall remains unknown (Hawkins, Lewis, Klukas et al., 2019). The root cause of this lack of theoretical understanding, I argue, is not a lack of brain data or knowledge. It is a lack of mind understanding. The (conscious and unconscious) mind is poorly understood (Poldrack et. al., 2011). There is no agreed-upon definition of what consciousness even is. And the mind’s connection to…

Accurately connecting cognition and the mind to brain activity — via brain signal neuroimaging, labeling or classification — is fraught with a number of very formidable challenges. Many of these relate to a lack of understanding the human mind, and being unable to categorize it accurately (Poldrack & Yarkoni, 2016). That problems defining the mind creates signal classification problems makes perfect sense, given the brain signal is known to be closely connected to the mind. A subject’s state of mind — perception, cognition, emotion, motivation, intention etc. —…

BCIs have shown great promise in helping society: from movement disorders such as paralysis, to human augmentation, gaming and communication applications. But despite significant progress, the reliability and overall effectiveness of BCI technology remains limited. EEG-based BCIs are barely used outside laboratories due to low reliability in real-life conditions (Benaroch, Sadatnejad, Roc et al., 2021). How might an improved understanding of mind — and brain — help improve the effectiveness, reliability and ease of use of BCI technology? The brain is obviously a central component. BCIs are controlled…

One significant, yet largely untapped, way to empower the user of a BCI device is to work with the power of the mind. The user’s mind or mental state is arguable the key component of device control. If users are unable to encode commands in their EEG patterns, no signal processing or machine learning algorithm would be able to decode them (Lotte, Jeunet, Mladenovic et al., 2018). Indeed, BCI software should be designed with deep understanding of the end-user, and end-users should be involved in every step of…

The field of functional neuroimaging has made tremendous progress, and contributed a great deal toward furthering the brain sciences. It has become a very useful and valuable tool. Yet, it has a long way to go to reach its full potential. The fundamental hurdle to overcome, I argue, is the inability to connect the mind to the brain. The nature of the relationship between the mind and the brain is far from understood (Bassett & Gazzaniga, 2011). Therefore, neuroimaging is far from creating accurate neural signatures or correlates…

Many neuroscientists think of consciousness — i.e. the conscious mind — as a vague and murky psuedo-phenomenon. The mind (whatever it is, there’s no precise definition) is “processed,” “computed” or “mediated” by the brain. Our moment-by-moment perception, recognition, cognition, emotion, intention etc. is processed. Also the result of neural processing are meaning, motivation, state of arousal, executive control, goals, attention, motor control, and the rest of the mind. The main flaw in the current view of the human mind, I argue, is that external experience is largely ignored….