Re: hive mind

From: Nikhil Bhatla (
Date: Wed Aug 02 2006 - 01:22:01 MDT

> My thinking had been more philosophical -- could two literal human
> brains produce only one mind? It would be my thought that we don't
> have the science to carefully design the nature of the link, but we
> probably have (or nearly have) the science to create a physical link.

I'm a newbie who's been lurking for the past couple of weeks. I
figured now was a good time to say hello and share something relevant
to the above point.

I recently finished reading Penrose's "The Emperor's New Mind", and
he mentions a split-brain subject who seems to manifest 2
consciounesses in one brain:

"After the splitting operation, only the left hemisphere could speak
but both hemispheres could comprehend speech; later the right
hemisphere learned to speak also! Evidently both hemispheres were
conscious. Moreover, they appeared to be separately conscious,
because they had different likes and desires. For example, the left
hemisphere described that its wish was to be a draughtsman and the
right, a racing driver!"

He cites
- Wilson, D.H. et al. 1977. Cerebral commissurotomy for the control
of intractable seizures. Neurology, 27, 708-15. (abstract available
- Gazzaniga, M.S. et al. 1977. Language, praxis, and the right
hemisphere: clues to some mechanisms of consciousness. Neurology,
27, 1144-7. (abstract available at

Unfortunately, I couldn't find the full-text of either of these
articles online. Doesn't look like has articles this
old online, even for purchase.

Based on this data, i suspect that if we have the appropriate brain-
bridging technology, consciousnesses would merge and more dominant
minds would control the hive's behavior.

I also wonder if one could split a single hemisphere into smaller
components, teach each component to communicate, and manifest a
multitude of independent consciousnesses, until the brain could
divide no further and an "atom" of consciousness was isolated...I
suspect human subject research guidelines may prevent this :)

  - nikhil

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