A marriage devoted to the mind-body problem

Two heads … a very interesting profile of Paul and Patricia Churchland, the mind-body problem generally, and the revolutionary neuroscience they dream of …

Paul and Pat, realizing that the revolutionary neuroscience they dream of is still in its infancy, are nonetheless already preparing themselves for this future, making the appropriate adjustments in their everyday conversation. One afternoon recently, Paul says, he was home making dinner when Pat burst in the door, having come straight from a frustrating faculty meeting. “She said, ‘Paul, don’t speak to me, my serotonin levels have hit bottom, my brain is awash in glucocorticoids, my blood vessels are full of adrenaline, and if it weren’t for my endogenous opiates I’d have driven the car into a tree on the way home. My dopamine levels need lifting. Pour me a Chardonnay, and I’ll be down in a minute.’ ”

(Until July 21, only subscribers had access to this article on The New Yorker‘s website. It may go back behind the paywall when the magazine sets up a “metered paywall” in Fall 2014.)

 

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