Monday, August 3, 2009

conscious control



One of the big differences between humans and chimpanzees is how much conscious control we have over our bodies. This isn't some mysterious property of consciousness that we don't understand; it's a simple fact about what parts of the brain are activated when a motion is initiated. Chimps can't control their fingers independently, they aren't dextrous. They can't control their breathing, which is the main reason they can't talk. Most of their actions are what we would call, in humans, reflex actions. This is the same for almost all the actions of other animals. It's almost as though the body is a kind of marionette that we take control of the strings of.

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