virus: Bicameral and Jaynes

S. Gerald Kearn (
Fri, 17 Oct 1997 09:42:20 -0500 (CDT)

Wade T.Smith wrote:

> >I really do not know why this idea would be placed in the category of
> >"hypothesis".
> Because it is. Jaynes contends that the _origin of consciousness_
> (hence
> the title, duh...) happened when the bicameral mind broke down- when
> the
> two ceased to be separate.

This isn't accurate. Jaynes hypothesized that when human society
reached a certain level of complexity, the bicameral mechanism (auditory
hallucinations caused by a linkage between Broca's and Wernicke's [sp?]
areas in the brain) became inadequate for handling it. At this point
consciousness (the use of an "analog 'I'" was invented, but the bicameral
mechanism never actually broke down or degenerated.


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