On Butterflies in the Brain
The external world is revealed only by processes that occur in molecules constituting the brain. Thus in a very real sense the brain creates the world, and an abnormal brain, or one which is manipulated, can create objects which exist nowhere but in the brain itself. A dramatic example of such creation was reported by Foerster (1936). Electrical stimulation of what was believed to be area 18 in an unanesthetized patient created such a strong hallucination of a flitting butterfly that the patient reached out quickly from the operating table to catch it. This butterfly obviously was nothing more than a pattern of neural activity.
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