Many Ancient Greeks, for all their love of reason, thought that the mind rested in the breast but for most of the modern era we've assumed that it lies inside the head (except for those who still insist that mind is made of different stuff from body).
Which is jolly good for neurofolk because it gives them a place to look. But is even this an accurate description?
2 new books reviewed in this week's New Scientist that challenge this "brainbound" position. Nice additional weaponry for wrestling with the neuro guys who think grey matter (and the fMRI scans that colour it) is the modern equivalent of the homunculus – the little fella in charge, the nerve-centre of everything.
Cognition certainly happens beyond the individual skull – think of the distributed memory that every family or friendship group displays when it gathers together or the wisdom of crowds-type collective guessing that John & Co have used to such good effect; it also clearly works in other parts of the body (the nervous systems for example) and in things attached to the extended body (which these books deal with). Consciousness is a little harder to pin down, but maybe the example of the Greeks serves to suggest that what goes on in the skull is far from a given as the location of our experience of it.
Either way, it's not just between your ears that we find the mind.
So please PLEASE PLEASE if you want to understand thinking, please stop looking at pictures of what is supposed (erroneously) to be the "control room"?