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Can anyone explain to the the meaning of "higher thought" in this context?

As the studies of Wilder Penfield shows us, the cerebral cortex— which resembles a crumpled-up sweaty T-shirt— is likely the center of higher thought.`

I am totally aware of there was a mind-healing movement that originated in the U.S. in the 19th century. Yet in this sentence, the meaning seems different to me.

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In this context, higher thought is referring to cognitive science or psychology. There are two types of activity in the brain:

The brain controls both involuntary, or "lower," actions, such as heart rate, respiration, and digestion. Complex, or "higher," mental activity, such as thought, reason, and abstraction, is consciously controlled.

So the cerebral cortex is controlling the "higher actions"--thought, reason, abstraction.

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  • @Paul Amerigo Pajo, I did not know that, thanks for letting me know. – miraz Sep 4 '11 at 17:27

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