Most people consider mind and brain the same thing. For a layman it is not wrong to interchangeably use the words ‘mind’ and ‘brain’. However if they are the same, then why do we have two separate words for them.

Piqued your interest have I?

Let me tell you the difference, the brain is a physiological component of the body. It has a physical space; a location. On the other hand, the mind has no physical space or location in the body, it is a metaphysical component. but if the mind does not really exist, then why do we give it so much importance?

The mind is an expression of the neural activities ongoing in the brain(Biopsychology, James W Kalat). It helps us peek into the functioning of the brain. Our consciousness is associated with our mind. Whatever conscious activity we undergo like thinking, remembering, etc is processed by the neurons in the brain can be felt as mental effort or mental strain in our mind. One way to understand this is to say that our mind is a sensory organ for the brain. The difference is that the brain transmits information to the mind, instead of receiving it.

mind-brain

But this is not the only relationship between mind and brain. The mind and brain have a co-dependent existence. One example of this is the placebo effect. The placebo effect is the phenomenon of the change in physiology due to anticipation of result. Placebo literally is some kind of substitute for real medicine like sugar pills, saline water, etc which the subject or patient believes to be real. Studies have been done where placebo was given to asthma patients and there was less constriction of bronchial tubes in their lungs. This is how a the expectations we hold about a certain object in our mind affect the brain and body to such a degree that there is an actual biological change.

No wonder one should indulge in positive thinking! If you think happy, you will feel happy and your body will be healthy.

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