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Brain

Related: body functions - imagination - interpretation - trepanation - human mind - perception

Function of the brain

The human brain is the seat of the human mind - the set of cognitive processes related to perception, interpretation, imagination and memory, of which a person might or might not be aware. Beyond cognitive functions, the brain regulates autonomic processes related to essential body functions such as respiration and heartbeat. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_brain#Function [May 2005]

History of the concept global brain

History of the concept global brain
As the variety of names indicates, many people have independently developed the idea of society as an organism with its own nervous system, each adding their own insights to our understanding of the global brain. Simplistic analogies between a social system and the body, such as "the king is the head", "the farmers are the feet", date back at least to the Ancient Greeks and the Middle Ages. This analogy provided inspiration to the 19th century founders of sociology, being developed perhaps most extensively by Herbert Spencer. The evolutionary theologist Teilhard de Chardin was probably the first to focus on the mental organization of this social organism, which he called the noosphere. Around the same time, the science fiction writer H. G. Wells proposed the concept of a "World Brain" as a unified system of knowledge, accessible to all, very similar to the one proposed a few years earlier by the information scientist Paul Otlet. The term "global brain" seems to have been first used in 1983 by Peter Russell. The first people to have made the connection between this concept and the emerging Internet may well be G. Mayer-Kress and JoŽl de Rosnay. Francis Heylighen, Johan Bollen and Ben Goertzel appear to be the first researchers to have proposed concrete methods that might turn the Internet into an intelligent, brain-like network. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_brain [May 2005]

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