Summary of “We are more than our brains: on neuroscience and being human”

The mystique is expressed in multiple forms, ranging from ubiquitous depictions of supernatural, ultra-sophisticated brains in science fiction and the popular media to more sober, scientifically supported conceptions of cognitive function that emphasise inorganic qualities or confine mental processes to neural structures.
Brains are undoubtedly somewhat computer-like – computers, after all, were invented to perform brain-like functions – but brains are also much more than bundles of wiry neurons and the electrical impulses they are famous for propagating.
Another remarkable study showed that transplantation of human glial cells into mouse brains boosted the animals’ performance in learning tests, again demonstrating the importance of glia in shaping brain function.
Some of the most perspicacious animals are the corvids – crows, ravens, and rooks – which have brains less than 1 per cent the size of a human brain, but still perform feats of cognition comparable to chimpanzees and gorillas.
The more we feel that our brains encapsulate our essence, the less sensitive we’ll be to the role of environment.
The most extreme direction in futuristic brain technology is the drive to achieve immortality through the postmortem preservation of human brains.
The more we feel that our brains encapsulate our essence as individuals, and the more we believe that our thoughts and actions simply emanate from the bundle of flesh in our heads, the less sensitive we will be to the role of the society and environment around us, and the less we will do to nurture our shared culture and resources – whether in the context of criminal behaviour, creativity, mental illness or any other aspect of human life.
We must realise that we are much more than our brains.

The orginal article.