Racial Differences in Brain Activity

Archive for the ‘human brain’ tag

Brain Afflictions

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Physicians have an especially vast knowledge of the activity of the human brain, for they have always observed changes in psychic responses in patients with different afflictions of the brain. They have long since noticed that if certain areas of the cerebral hemispheres are injured, paralysis occurs, and when others, eyesight or hearing is a fleeted. A lesion of certain brain regions affects the speech most of all. When the temporal lobe of the left cerebral hemisphere is injured, a patient continues to hear speech, but cannot understand it. Injury to the frontal lobe of the same hemisphere mainly disturbs the articulation of sounds, while parietooccipital injuries affect the ability to count.

Some brain afflictions interfere with the ability to write or read. When sufficient observations had been accumulated, it was noticed that the lesions of the temporal lobes that made a European unable to cope with written speech had less grave consequences for a Japanese, and none for a Chinese. On the other hand, afflictions of the parietal lobe never greatly interfered with a European's faculty to write coherently, but greatly disturbed that of a Japanese, while a Chinese became absolutely incapable of writing comprehensively.

Does this mean that there are racial differences in the activity of the brain? Well, in order to answer this question, we need to discuss the organization of speech function. Just follow us in next posts.

Written by brainer

January 2nd, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Racial Brain Problem

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If you were to talk to a group of North Americans who support the fight for Negroes' rights, would you not be surprised to learn that even they often regard Negroes as second-rate humans? Nowadays everybody knows that there are no essential differences in the functioning of the muscles and internal organs. So the proponents of racist doctrine allege that the main difference lies in the mental sphere, i. e. in the functioning of the brain.

Such views stem from the great difference in the level of cultural development that existed between different nations some three or four centuries ago in the epoch of great geographical discoveries and which even nowadays have not yet been completely smoothed out. Many outstanding personalities have come from Asia, Africa, North and South America, and Australia, but the overall contribution of many nations to the progress of human civilization still remains negligible. The living conditions of these nations are certainly responsible for this rather than any innate inferiority. The racialists, however, claim that the different levels of cultural development prove the inferiority of non-Europeans.

Are there any real differences in the work of the brain in different human races? The basic difference between the activity of the brain in man and animals is the use of speech, which Ivan Pavlov called the second signalling system. Speech is a purely human phenomenon, and racial differences, if any, will be manifested in the brain mechanisms of speech.

Written by brainer

December 31st, 2009 at 2:04 pm