Human brain is the most complex object in the observable universe. Its complex functionality is contributed by interactions of many interconnected mechanisms that form what we call ‘mind’. Such mechanisms by themselves are very simple. It is their interactions with each other that result into complex behaviour.
Even when the brain is highly complex, as there is a difference between something being complex and something being complicated, it will be wrong to say that it is highly complicated to understand, as it is believed to be.
According to the dictionary, something is complex when it is composed of many different but related elements and something is complicated when it is difficult to figure out. Things that are complex are often complicated and vice versa, but not necessarily.
It is true that the brain is highly complex structurally, but functionally, it is a system that drives it, the complexity of which need not be proportional to the complexity of its structure.
As an analogy, let’s compare countries by their population. Even when United States’ population is four times that of Hong Kong and India’s population is four times that of United States, there is not much difference in the complexity of the system that drives them, i.e. the system of government.
Thus, the general impression that the functioning of brain is infinitely complex and thus, cannot be studied in a simplified manner, is wrong.
What’s more, brain’s complexity is further contributed by the fact that its elements interact with each other through mechanisms which are driven by a system. Fortunately, both the mechanisms and the system are simple, because they have evolved in a step-by-step and gradual manner for thousands of generations through the process of natural selection and are not a product of deliberation of an intelligent designer.
To understand how the brain works, one must understand such mechanisms and the system that drives them.
This blog reveals such mechanisms and the system that drives them using the systems thinking approach.