i suppose the main point is that a brain in isolation is not concious, that it needs an environment to interact with, and that sounds good to me. after all as far as i know most of the interetsing parts of the brain are dealing with some kind of stimulus; visual, audio, tactile, what have you.
there was an article i read years ago about some "pregant" man who had been carrying his twin brother in his body for his whole life. (i love google, here it is: http://abcnews.go.com/primetime/story?id=2346476&page=1)
i wonder what they did with the twin's brain, as this is probably the only kind of chance we'd have to study what a brain that had never really received any stimulus looked like.
i'm pleased with myself because about three sentences before they got to the paragraph that starts with "Evolutionary biology is one good example of the way to proceed. " i was thinking the exact thoughts laid out in that paragraph. aren't i smart? yay.
anyway, fascinating stuff.