Here is something that immediately caught my attention the first day in my cognitive neuroscience class.
You may have heard of Rene Descartes. He was a famous French philosopher in the early 1600’s. He is known for his theory of the mind and body problem. During his time, hydraulics was the latest technology. Descartes proposed that the brain worked like hydraulics, or water moving through pipes.
We now look back and think “Wow, that’s ridiculous. What a backward way of looking at things.”
Fast forward to the 1800’s, when telephone were the latest hit, and all of a sudden, a new theory arises. The brain works much like wires and switchboards used in telephones.
Now we are at 21st century, and computers are the latest hit, and we propose that the brain works much like a computer. This tendency to compare the brain to the current technology is an interesting phenomenon.