The brain does not interpret. It is not capable of interpreting anything. Only of a (mostly) whole human being (and some non human animals) can we say it is capable of interpreting something. This is the mereological fallacy and should be studiously avoided when writing about neuroscience. Also, I am not sure the term interpret is the most appropriate and suggests a more active role in the process for the conscious “you” then is perhaps warranted. Finally, any studies which purport to use brain scans to say something about concepts which cross so many categories, are as complex, and have as many different meanings as fear and safety are worthless. Any study, aka the one you are describing which references such worthless studies should be examined extremely skeptically.

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Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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