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Archives of Clinical Psychiatry (São Paulo)

Print version ISSN 0101-6083

Abstract

MOREIRA-ALMEIDA, Alexander. Exploring mind-brain relationship: reflections and guidelines. Rev. psiquiatr. clín. [online]. 2013, vol.40, n.3, pp.105-109. ISSN 0101-6083.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-60832013000300005.

BACKGROUND: Philosophical and methodological misconceptions have hampered advances in the understanding of mind and its relationship with the brain. OBJECTIVE: To discuss and propose epistemological and methodological guidelines for a fruitful investigation of mind-brain relationship. RESULTS: Mind-brain problem is still an open quest, there is no conclusive evidence that mind is just a product of brain activity. In exploring mind one should avoid premature acceptance or rejection of theories, searching not only for confirmatory evidence, but also for the falsifying ones. It is needed enlarging and diversifying the empirical basis, looking especially for unusual human experiences such as those called anomalous and spiritual. Observation of anomalous phenomena, that did not fit established paradigms, was essential in early scientific revolutions. Both qualitative and quantitative data must be valued. In order to explain mind and its myriad of manifestations, it is essential to have openness and rigor to create, develop and test theoretical alternatives. Both, materialist and non-materialist paradigm candidates deserve the same opportunity of being presented, improved and tested. DISCUSSION: The broadening and diversification of the empirical base allied to a more fruitful epistemological and methodological stance are essential for the advancing of our understanding of mind-brain relationship.

Keywords : Mind-body relations; psychophysiology; epistemology; consciousness; methodology.

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