What is difference between mind and brain?

The brain and mind has many basic differences which we don’t pay attention to, in daily life talks.

Basically, we’re talking about two things here– a brain is a body organ where mind is the non-spatial imagined thing inside brain.

Let’s discuss in detail, Brain is the central processing organ of body which controls all activities and interprets the signals obtained by senses. It obtains all the information from major senses of body and turns these chemical energies into thoughts, actions and feelings.

Mind is the thing which is the point of discussion over centuries. Philosophers, like Descartes, have been using this word mind for so long that we often mistake it brain.

Mind is the non-spatial thing called to be centred inside brain which has the control of feelings and thoughts or actions but it is not so.

Some of the major difference in mind and brain.

  • Brain has shape while mind has not

  • Brain is spatial while mind is non-spatial

  • Brain has certain structure while mind has not.

  • Brain has visual appearance while mind has not

  • Brain is present in everyone but mind is not. (Only in humans)

  • Brain could be damaged but mind could not.

  • Brain’s existence is scientifically proven while mind's not.

Brain is supposed to be the social, scientific, linguistic and every other actions' operator while mind is supposed to be the place where morality, feelings and manners like things exist. Mind is on one hand related to ethical part whereas brain is related to anatomy or biology.

While this may be discussed that whether mind is a supposed and imagined thing or not, but science only believes in things which could be seen and proven.

Descartes claimed minds are substances and told they differ from bodies. He believed that things have something very strange ‘extension’ while mind(s) don’t have this property but ‘thought’ which makes them different than spatial things. Descartes mentioned mind as thinking substance! Accordingly, Mind is a being which doubts, which understands, conceives, which affirms, which denies, which rejects, which imagines also and which perceives. (Meditation on First Philosophy, Second Meditation).

But Grossmann says–

Firstly, brains are literally located in heads. Secondly, changes in the brain (in the nervous system) cause changes in the mental processes. It remains, therefore, true that minds, in contrast to brains, are not literally located anywhere.

Relation between mind and brain

Besides all these distinctions and debate over existence of mind as an object or non-object. There are certain relations which define mind and brain relations.

According to Grossmann-

Descartes does not mention it, but there is also a ‘glue’ that binds these two ‘realms’ together. This glue is time.

It is uncertain that whether mind exist in this body as a spatial thing but, in philosophical way, it is certain that brain and mind are both temporal things. Brain and mind both are the thing that we perceive using our thoughts. And since these thoughts exist in our brain and we use chemical energies to create thoughts so this is certain that ‘thought’ is the common thing in both mind and brain.


Descartes says mind is substance, it can think and perceive while Grossmann proves that mind does not exist at all. Science believes that mind doesn't exist at all but philosophy got some debates over it. Science believes that the central processor and responder of body and thoughts is brain. Time is the common thing that connects mind and brain while there is certain common things present in both- thought and temporal property.

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