Just a collection of sparking neurons?

Are we just a collection of sparking neural messages whizzing about our brains? It might be disturbing for some to consider that our attitudes and beliefs, our thoughts and feelings are the result of a complex mix of neural connections and chemicals that work together to construct our unique view of the world. Or are we more than that?

I would argue that, when it comes to the human mind, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Some would argue otherwise, but would they be able to provide consistent proof that our consciousness is nothing more than a web of neurons? Take for instance the glial cell. For decades we believed that glial cells had no purpose other than to support neurons, and 90% of the brain consists of glial cells (this is why we believed that we use just 10% of our brains – the rest was comprised of “useless” glial cells). New research suggests we have underestimated the function of glial cells and it appears that glial cells may have a much greater role in human thought (read about it).

Perhaps I should say that the human mind is greater than the sum of its known parts.