söndag 8 april 2012

What is a Cognition? And a Mind?

Deep in Thought; think about the ways in which her body reacts differently to the snake-danger.

Consciousness is a minefield open to any interpretation based on philosophical, biological, physical, mathematical or religious views. Better not to deal with it?

Well, then we get no knowledge of what it is either. Some say it is the most basic thing behind our reality and that it forms our view of what our reality is. Easily agree on that when I read comments. They are a BIG MESS! But if it is most basic, then we would want to have a clue? Wouldn't we?

My earlier posts on the mind and consciousness:
Perception is quantum biology
What is quantum biology?
Macroscopic quantum coherence, photosynthesis.
What is life about?
The singular I and the observer.
Matter waves.
Quantum antenna. Brain modelling I
Intrasound and geomagnetism. Brain Modelling II.
Geomagnetism and senses. Brain modelling III. A.
Geomagnetism and senses. Brain modelling III. B.
Geomagnetism and senses. Part II. Brain modelling III. B
Geomagnetism and senses. Part III. Brain modelling III. B
Magnetobiology. Brain modelling IV.
Quantum observer theory. Brain modelling V.

Magnetoreceptors. Brain modelling VI.
The magnetic body.
Sensitivity. Brain modelling VII.
Schrödingers cat. Dead and alive, body and mind.
TGD and D.Rakovic. The quantum field body, a comprision.
Emergent Mind?
What is life? Craig Venters Institute.
A window into the phenomen of Life?
Quantum biology - DNA.
Quantum biology - coherence I.
Evolution is a process.
On biosignatures, digital life and ETs.
Cancer not a result of mutations.
The body-mind problem - FQXI-contest 2011.
Carbon complexity and origin of life.
John Hagelin, Ph.D on Consciousness.
Complexity and evolution.
Death and the Loosening of Consciousness.
All in the mind.
Interpretation about Copenhagen interpretation.
The Origin of Life discussed at Cern.
Artificial life conference, Paris.
Quantum.informational medicine from Belgrade.
The mystery of Life solved?
Origin of Life discussed at Cern
What is a Cognition? And a Mind?

What are the difference between consciousness, awareness, cognition and minds?

Cognition is the least known of these, with a lack of understanding of how high level brain function (cognition) arises out of the neural processes within brain structures.

Wait, so the silent assumption is brain?

What makes the nerves in the body different from the nerves in brain in their computational charachters? And why not at all count with the other nerve system we have, the autonomous nerves. What do they contribute with? Becker also suggested a perineural nervous system that made the background for the common nerves. Astrocytes that belong to it has been found to actually regulate the nerve function; the on/off function. Autonomous nerves modulate the function, together with neuromodulators, intimately linked to CNS, that is the connective tissue and perineuralsystem... A much cited paper by T. R. Shanthaveerappa and Geoffrey H. Bourne, 1966, Perineural Epithelium: A New Concept of its Role in the Integrity of the Peripheral Nervous System:
A multilayered, squamous-celled epithelial cell membrane covering the individual nerve fasciculi of the entire peripheral nervous system ( both voluntary and autonomic) including the sensory and motor end organs has been demonstrated in various species of animals, including man. This membrane is the direct continuation of the pia-arachnoid mater from the central nervous system. Functional significance of this membrane, especially as a diffusion barrier and as a protector of the peripheral nervous system...
Old knowledge. The tripartite synapse is also old. This extensive article is from 2001. But stubbornly we cling to very old ideas and pretend these things have never been found out. I have been called a lier, simply for pointing it out...

Evidence for contractile elements... perineural sheets that helps nerves to contract- ye, so they can computate? This was known 1969. Movement and cognition, 1977, by M. Davis. Linked to language? Problem solving? Wellknown problem at schools, but scientists have never heard of it, and stubbornly clings to the brain for cognition... Want to Solve a Problem? Don't Just Use Your Brain, but Your Body, Too
  • Alejandro Lleras and Laura Thomas. Swinging Into Thought: Directed Movement Guides Insight in Problem Solving. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.
By directing the eye movements of test subjects they were able to affect the participants’ ability to solve a problem... a perceptual simulation, by the same authors, "it is now clear that not only do eye movements reflect what we are thinking, they can also influence how we think."
Flaxing eyes are something we connect wit unreliability... Signs of lying are body expressions? Body language? Embodied cognition?
The embodied mind thesis holds that the nature of the human mind is largely determined by the form of the human body. The aspects of cognition include high level mental constructs (such as concepts and categories) and human performance on various cognitive tasks (such as reasoning or judgement). The aspects of the body include the motor system, the perceptual system, the body's interactions with the environment (situatedness) and the ontological assumptions about the world that are built into the body and the brain. The embodied mind thesis is opposed to other theories of cognition such as cognitivism, computationalism and Cartesian dualism.
But if the body can make computations and cognitions it should also be conscious? But consciousness is made in the brain? WE KNOW THAT! Ye, we prefer to talk of this wishful thinking, because if we degrade the brain also animals are made conscious, and what would then be our holy right to master them? Just old, sloppy, religious thinking? Or do we then get responsibility? God forbid!

We want to blame God, not ourselves! WE DON'T WANT TO HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY!
But God also said we had, in the holy Bible. Dam it!

Tiny Brained Bees Solve a Complex Mathematical Problem. Tiny brains? As savants can handle very complex mathematical problems? Brain is not needed much? Highly 'intelligent' mathematicians become furious when I point this out for them. They still believe in the IQ, or want to believe in it? What is intelligence btw? One thing that is sure is that it is not consciousness.

Jaak Panksepp in Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions,
2004: Emotional operating systems and topological neurodynamics, global EEG-patterns...
There is little doubt that all of the systems I discuss in this book actually exist in both human and animal brains - those for dreaming, anticipation, the pleasures of eating as well as the consumption of other resourses, anger, fear, love and lust, maternal acceptance, grief, play and joy, and even those that represent the 'Self' as a coherent entity within the brain. The doubts we must have concerns their precise nature within the brain.
I never forget when I read about his playing, laughing rat kids... Ye, I KNOW animals can laugh and express emotions without language, because I have had many wild animals tamed. I felt the hot joy, the curiosity.

Still, 1977, when I got my first child, the newborn were often 'tortured' by pricking them in their toes for lab tests, because "babies were not sensitive". This because they had no language. Today we know better, but we still want to believe animals have no senses, no consciousness? They can be treated "like animals"?

Emotional cognition.
Emotional awareness required for decision making and carrying out actions, they define normal adult emotional cognition. What?

Consciousness has a lot to do with emotions; or more precisely, with the feeling of emotions, which appear to be a short-cut between certain perceived situations and certain behavioral responses. A way to respond quickly. Emotions are highly coordinated with, and mediated by, chemical processes which act quickly throughout wide regions of the brain. These processes (the amine fountains) in effect spray neurochemicals (dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, etc.) from a net of hose-like filaments emanating from the thalamus.

An example of the neuromodulatory system, and its fountain. Note the connection to CSF and connective tissue where the hormones and emotional peptides and amines etc. circulate. An extensive article, The Reorienting System of the Human Brain: From Environment to Theory of Mind by Corbetta et al. 2008.

Historically, emotion and cognition have been viewed as largely separate. In the past two decades, however, a growing body of work has pointed to the interdependence between the two, says Scholarpedia. Cognition refers to processes such as memory, attention, language, problem solving, and planning. Many cognitive processes are thought to involve sophisticated functions that may be unique to primates. They often involve so-called controlled processes, such as when the pursuit of a goal (e.g., maintaining information in mind) needs to be protected from interference (e.g., a distracting stimulus).

Reason is often said to be reflexive, or "self-correcting"
Reason and logic are both left brainers? What about right hemisphere?

Emotions has definitions that incorporate the concepts of drive and motivation: emotions are states elicited by rewards and punishers (Rolls, 2005). Others favor the view that emotions are involved in the conscious (or unconscious) evaluation of events (Arnold, 1960) (i.e., appraisals). Some approaches focus on basic emotions (Ekman, 1992) (e.g., fear, anger), others on an extended set of emotions, including moral ones (Haidt, 2003; Moll et al., 2005) (e.g., pride, envy). Strong evidence also links emotions to the body (Damasio, 1994). Brain structures linked to emotion are often subcortical, such as the amygdala, ventral striatum, and hypothalamus. These structures are often considered evolutionarily conserved, or primitive. They are also believed to operate fast and in an automatic fashion, such that certain trigger features (e.g., the white of the eyes in a fearful expression (Whalen et al., 2004)) are relatively unfiltered and always evoke responses that may be important for survival. Accordingly, an individual may not be necessarily conscious of a stimulus that may have triggered brain responses in an affective brain region, such as the amygdala.

B. Gelder in a Nature article, Towards the neurobiology of emotional body language, 2006:
People's faces show fear in many different circumstances. However, when people are terrified, as well as showing emotion, they run for cover. When we see a bodily expression of emotion, we immediately know what specific action is associated with a particular emotion, leaving little need for interpretation of the signal, as is the case for facial expressions. Research on emotional body language is rapidly emerging as a new field in cognitive and affective neuroscience. This article reviews how whole-body signals are automatically perceived and understood, and their role in emotional communication and decision-making.
Some of the interactions between emotion and cognition will emphasize the brain systems involved in the interactions between emotion and i) perception and attention; ii) learning and memory; and iii) behavioral inhibition and working memory.

Jaak Panksepp, 2009: The emotional antecedents to the evolution of music and language.
The emotional power of music may have strong linkages to the evolution of basic motor and emotional systems of the brain, ... may have been critically important pre-adaptations for the emergence of the melodic stream of music in humans. If so, the social emotions (playful joy, sadness, maternal care, sexual lust, and territorial/dominance imperatives) surely had more influence than the non-social, self-preservative emotions such as anger and fear, providing a substrate for harmony and discord. ... it is possible that the communicative intent integral to social emotional vocalizations, and gradual utilization and musical reutilization of such communications in group-activities, prepared the way for the emergence of linguistic competence within largely general-purpose association cortex. From this perspective, there may be no “music instinct” nor “language instinct” evolutionarily programmed into the higher reaches of the neocortex — our preeminent organ of cognitive intelligence — that is developmentally independent of our emotional urges. The evolutionary infrastructure for music may be largely subcortical, and the emergence of emotional proto-musical communications in our species (e.g., motherese) may have set the stage not only for the eventual discovery of music but also for the emergence of propositional language.
WAU. What are he saying? Harmonies and discord, as emotions, are basis for working memory and cognition?

And 2011, together with C. Cromwell, in Rethinking the cognitive revolution from a neural perspective: How overuse/misuse of the term ‘cognition’ and the neglect of affective controls in behavioral neuroscience could be delaying progress in understanding the BrainMind,
Words such as cognition, motivation and emotion powerfully guide theory development and the overall aims and goals of behavioral neuroscience research. Once such concepts are accepted generally as natural aspects of the brain, their influence can be pervasive and long lasting. Importantly, the choice of conceptual terms used to describe and study mental/neural functions can also constrain research by forcing the results into seemingly useful ‘conceptual’ categories that have no discrete reality in the brain. Since the popularly named ‘cognitive revolution’ in psychological science came to fruition in the early 1970s, the term cognitive or cognition has been perhaps the most widely used conceptual term in behavioral neuroscience. These terms, similar to other conceptual terms, have potential value if utilized appropriately. We argue that recently the term cognition has been both overused and misused. This has led to problems in developing a usable shared definition for the term and to promotion of possible misdirections in research within behavioral neuroscience. In addition, we argue that cognitive-guided research influenced primarily by top-down (cortical toward subcortical) perspectives without concurrent non-cognitive modes of bottom-up developmental thinking, could hinder progress in the search for new treatments and medications for psychiatric illnesses and neurobehavioral disorders. Overall, linkages of animal research insights to human psychology may be better served by bottom-up (subcortical to cortical) affective and motivational ‘state-control’ perspectives, simply because the lower networks of the brain are foundational for the construction of higher ‘information-processing’ aspects of mind. Moving forward, rapidly expanding new techniques and creative methods in neuroscience along with more accurate brain concepts, may help guide the development of new therapeutics and hopefully more accurate ways to describe and explain brain-behavior relationships.
Some conceptual distinctions that can be made between the affective and cognitive aspects of BrainMind functioning. These distinctions enable a separation between these psychological processes. The distinct properties include neural and functional processes that can guide how behavioral neuroscience research is completed and used by others ...

2001, in Evolution of cognition.
Cognition is a product of the evolutionary process. The functional aspects of cognition, like any other functional aspect of organisms, are the result of adaptation by natural selection, and are subject to its principles. Because the developmental processes that construct cognitive mechanisms during an individual's lifetime will also have reproductive consequences for the organism, cognitive development will also be a target of natural selection. Hence, developmental and evolutionary accounts of cognition are complementary and not mutually exclusive. Developmental processes are responsible for the proximate construction of cognitive mechanisms during the lifetime of the individual, while evolutionary processes play a prior role in shaping the design and end products of the developmental processes. The adaptive organization of cognition should be studied from a functional, ecological perspective, taking the species' natural history into account, and using a variety of methods, including laboratory studies of cognition, neuropsychological dissociations, developmental studies, and phylogenetic/comparative research.
So cognition could be a way to sweep away bad ideas and memes?

It appears that the right amygdala is more strongly involved in emotional memory formation, whereas the left amygdala is engaged by the retrieval of those memories (Sergerie et al., 2006), suggesting a potential hemispheric dissociation of amygdala involvement at different stages of emotional memory. In addition, amygdala responses are also linked to a novelty effect on memory tasks – i.e., the tendency to classify items as new as opposed to old (Sergerie et al., 2007).

And in 'Seven Sins of Evolutionary Psychology', he says: How the various abilities of the human mind were created during the long course of neural evolution. The conceptualization of a variety of special-purpose evolutionary solutions (e.g., genetically ingrained adaptive functions or ‘modules’) that may exist within the human brain. An uncritical enthusiasm for the gene’s-eye point of view can easily lead to conceptual excesses that go far beyond the available evidence.

Ye, genes are expressing harmony and discords? Singing genomes? WAU!
I found an Swedish Nature-article from 2011, H. Ellegren.
The genome size in birds is typically 30–50% of that of mammals and, similar to what was observed in chicken genome sequencing, in zebra finch this can largely be explained by the low frequency of mobile repetitive elements (7.7% of the genome). A set of these genes is differentially expressed in the auditory forebrain in song experiments and are thus candidates for involvement in vocalization and learning functions. Moreover, differentially expressed transcripts include a large number of non-coding RNAs, indicating that other types of sequences than protein-coding genes might mediate complex cognitive behaviours, for example, microRNAs.... yielding a catalogue of about 800 genes that alter their expression in response to a song.
A disproportionately high number of ion channel genes among the 49 genes in the finch genome that are suppressed, or turned off, in response to song. Ion channels allow the movement of ions (electrically charged particles) across cell membranes. Human ion channel genes have been shown to play key roles in many aspects of behavior, neurological function and disease.

What is this? Sound as egigenetic factor? Cognition as epigenetics, coming from the environment? A different spacetime affecting us?

The male finch's throat serves as a valuable model for studying human speech, communication and neurological disorders. "By comparing the finch genome with the human genome, we should now be able to expand our understanding of learned vocalization in humans. Such information may help researchers who are striving to develop new ways to diagnose and treat communication disorders, such as stuttering and autism," said NHGRI Director Eric D. Green. At first, a fledgling finch makes seemingly random sounds, much like the babble of human babies. With practice, the young bird eventually learns to imitate his father's song. Once the bird has mastered the family song, he will sing it for the rest of his life and pass it on to the next generation. Though female finches do perceive and remember songs, researchers suggest that their inability to learn songs may be due to differences in sex hormones, as well as chromosomal sex differences affecting the brain.

David Clayton was one of four leaders on the zebra finch genome central steering committee, along with colleagues from Washington University, UCLA, and Sweden.

“Biological organisms like ourselves have two main control systems,” Clayton explains. “There’s the genome and there’s the brain, and traditionally people have studied them as two different things. Neurogenomics tries to understand how these two control systems talk to each other—how they interact.”

Most recently, U of I neurogenomics research on zebra finches discovered that an enzyme, known primarily for its role in killing cells, also plays a part in memory formation. This research, by Clayton and former U of I colleague Graham Huesmann, could have implications in the treatment of memory impairments such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Stephanie Ceman, another professor of cell and developmental biology, is also using zebra finches to look at the fragile X syndrome gene and its effect on vocal learning. In addition to cognitive impairment, fragile X syndrome causes defects in speech production

p-adics and dark matter physics, says Matti in TGD, DNA as a Quantum Topological computer (tqc). (See also the new Three new physics realizations of the genetic code and the
role of dark matter in bio-systems
Tqc means that the braidings of braid strands de fine tqc programs and M-matrix, de fining the entanglement between states assignable to the end points of strands. This defi ne the tqc usually coded as unitary time evolution for Schrödinger equation. What happens in quantum jump, which at least in a formal sense can be regarded as quantum computation (the moment of realisation)? The DNA double strand for which sugar-phosphate backbone consists of XMPs, X= A,T,C,G containing negentropy carrying phosphate bonds can be seen as analogous to conscious brain with DNA strands representing right and left hemispheres.

The Nature article continues,
By integrating the data from the assembly and the genetic map, it is possible to estimate the rate of recombination in different parts of the genome. This revealed a highly heterogeneous recombination landscape with one of the most pronounced ‘telomere effects’ seen in any species (Backström et al., 2010; Stapley et al., 2010). Up to 90% of recombination events apparently occur in the terminal 10% of the larger chromosomes; the central parts of chromosomes thereby essentially form recombination desserts.
The degradome (Quesada et al., 2010) and immunogenetics (Balakrishnan et al., 2010)...
In a more detailed study, Nam et al. (2010) demonstrated an overrepresentation of glutamate receptors among positively selected and differentially expressed genes in zebra finch song control loci. Incidentally, the gene ASPM, which is associated with microcephaly in humans and has been implicated in the emergence of modern human cognition (a conclusion that has been questioned), is positively selected both in the zebra finch (Nam et al., 2010) and in the human lineage (Evans et al., 2004).
Glutamate receptors are ON. GABA is OFF. But in this care the ON is just disturbing noise? GABA may create coherence?

This could lead to better understanding of learning and memory, neural development and adaptation, and speech and hearing disorders."

If cognition comes from outside, what is then Mind?

Denis Noble, 2012.
The modern field of computational biology has expanded rapidly during the first decade of the twenty-first century and, through its contribution to what is now called systems biology, it is set to revise many of the fundamental principles of biology, including the relations between genotypes and phenotypes. Evolutionary theory, in particular, will require re-assessment. To succeed in this, computational and systems biology will need to develop the theoretical framework required to deal with multilevel interactions.
Today he can look at the interactions of 20,000 different genes in a single experiment, says Clayton. Complexity at work?

Mind mapping.
Mind works with categories and representations, more like a picture.

Mind Map is an amazing tool which can be applied to a variety of personal and family issues, decisions or dilemmas. Tony Buzan’s Mind Mapping techniques, gives you all the facilities you need to enhance your powers of self-analysis, problem solving and personal or family organisation.

I saw this on Plato Hagels page. He connected it to internet, and mandalas (the lotus flower of chakras?). Creating a Science of the Web,
The Web is the largest human information construct in history. The Web is transforming society. The Web Science Research Initiative brings together academics, scientists, sociologists, entrepreneurs and decision makers from around the world. These people will create the first multidisciplinary research body to examine the World Wide Web and offer the practical solutions needed to help guide its future use and design.
I have seen the same kind of tree describing the evolution of diseases. They can be categorized in clusters. Almost as Plato's picture of the internet connections.

Partial map of the Internet based on the January 15, 2005 data found on opte.org. Each line is drawn between two nodes, representing two IP addresses. The length of the lines are indicative of the delay between those two nodes. From Plato.

Impressive. Note the centeredness.

This was also on his post Neural connections on Evolution of a wiki. He writes:
the growth of wiki.tudelft.nl since its beginning in late 2004. Since then, it has grown to over 10,000 pages, and is now part of the officially supported ICT infrastructure of Delft University of Technology. This wiki is meant to be a free-form repository of information where people contribute content that helps with their research.

Brain connections.
Brain connectivity graph. Quantitative analysis of brain connectivity reveals several clusters of highly interconnected regions (represented by different colors). In this analysis, the amygdala (Amyg, centre of figure) was connected to all but 8 cortical areas. These connections involved multiple region clusters, suggesting that the amygdala is not only highly connected, but that its connectivity topology might be consistent with that of a hub that links multiple functional clusters. In this manner, the amygdala may be important for the integration of cognitive and emotional information. It is also important to consider the role of the ascending systems. There are also both feedback and feedforward loops that regulate the adaptations and homeostasis.

This map reminds me of Gerald Edelmans reentrant brain loops. He has won Nobel Prize on
his work on the immune system, and his later work is in neuroscience and in philosophy of mind and into the regulation of primary cellular processes, particularly the control of cell growth and the development in multi-celled organisms, focussing on cell-to-cell interactions in early embryonic development and in the formation and function of the nervous system. These studies led to the discovery of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs), which guide the fundamental processes that help an animal achieve its shape and form, and by which nervous systems are built. One of the most significant discoveries made in this research is that the precursor gene for the neural cell adhesion molecule gave rise in evolution to the entire molecular system of adaptive immunity.

asserts that morphogenesis is driven by differential adhesive interactions among heterogeneous cell populations and it explains how a single cell can give rise to a complex multi-cellular organism. Edelman has asked whether we should attempt to construct models of functioning minds or models of brains which, through interactions with their surroundings, can develop minds. His answer is that we should make model brains and pay attention to how they interact with their environment. Edelman accepts the existence of qualia and incorporates them into his brain-based theory of consciousness. He explicitly locates his theory within Darwinism and natural selection (neural Darwinism) with Daniel Dennet. He rejects dualism and the so-called 'computational' model of consciousness.

In Edelman's view, human consciousness depends on and arises from the uniquely complex physiology of the human brain:

  • the vast number of neurons and associated cells in the brain
  • the almost infinitely complex physiological variations in neurons (even of the same general type) and in their connections with other cells
  • the massive multiple parallel reentrant connections between individual cells, and between larger neuronal groups, and so on, up to entire functional regions and beyond.
Edelman's theory is strongly anti-reductionist and seeks to explain consciousness by reference to the extraordinarily rich and complex morphology of the brain. A newborn baby's brain comprises a massive population of neurons (approx. 100 billion cells) and those that survive the initial phases of growth and development will make approximately 100 trillion connections with each other. A sample of brain tissue the size of a match head contains about a billion connections, and if we consider how these neuronal connections might be variously combined, the number of possible permutations becomes hyper-astronomical—in the order of ten followed by millions of zeros.
Primary consciousness is a term the American biologist Gerald Edelman coined to describe the ability, found in humans and some animals, to integrate observed events with memory to create an awareness of the present and immediate past of the world around them. This form of consciousness is also sometimes called "sensory consciousness". Put another way, primary consciousness is the presence of various subjective sensory contents of consciousness such as sensations, perceptions, and mental images. Conversely, higher order consciousness can be described as being "conscious of being conscious". The waking self recognizes the dreaming and can be seen as having a sort of secondary consciousness in the sense that there is an awareness of mental state.

is the state or ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects or sensory patterns. In this level of consciousness, sense data can be confirmed by an observer without necessarily implying understanding. More broadly, it is the state or quality of being aware of something. In biological psychology, awareness is defined as a human's or an animal's perception and cognitive reaction to a condition or event. Awareness is a relative concept. An animal may be partially aware, may be subconsciously aware, or may be acutely unaware of an event. Awareness may be focused on an internal state, such as a visceral feeling, or on external events by way of sensory perception. Awareness provides the raw material from which animals develop qualia, or subjective ideas about their experience. Efforts to describe consciousness have focused on describing networks in the brain that develop awareness of the qualia developed by other networks.

Basic awareness of one's internal and external world depends on the brain stem, which supports an elementary form of conscious thought in infants. "Higher" forms of awareness including self-awareness require cortical contributions, but "primary consciousness" or "basic awareness" as an ability to integrate sensations from the environment with one's immediate goals and feelings in order to guide behavior, springs from the brain stem which human beings share with most of the vertebrates. Due to this discovery medical definitions of brain death as a lack of cortical activity face a serious challenge.
  • Merker, B. (2007). Consciousness without a cerebral cortex: A challenge for neuroscience and medicine. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 30(01), 63–81.

Jean-Pierre Changeux and Stanislas Dehaene attempted to describe the various states that can be observed in this connectionist model of consciousness and then tried to identify the mechanisms that let the mind pass from one of these states to another. In contrast to Baars’s model and to several other brain-imaging studies that simply distinguished one conscious state from multiple unconscious ones, Changeux and Dehaene’s model distinguishes three different possible states of activation:

After Dehaene et al., 2006 [and McGill here]

- a first, subliminal processing state in which there is not enough bottom-up activation to trigger wide-scale activation of the network;

- a second, preconscious state in which there is enough activation to access consciousness, but that is temporarily kept from doing so by a lack of top-down attention;

- a third, conscious state that penetrates the global workspace when a preconscious stimulus receives enough attention to cross the consciousness threshold.

Damasio separate the self into the proto-self, the core-self, and the autobiographical self, each one being more complex than the former.

Conclusion: from interactions to integration
; in order to understand how complex behaviors are carried out in the brain, an understanding of the interactions between the two may be indispensable. Indeed, some studies have suggested that it may be important to go beyond understanding interactions, some of which are suggested to be mutually antagonistic, to understanding how cognition and emotion are effectively integrated in the brain. As stated recently, at some point of processing functional specialization is lost, and emotion and cognition conjointly and equally contribute to the control of thought and behavior (Gray et al., 2002). While these statements were offered as a summary of specific findings concerning working memory performance following mood induction (see above), they may aptly characterize a vast array of real-world situations.

From: Billy Desmond, Angela Jowitt, (2012) "Stepping into the unknown: dialogical experiential learning", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 31 Iss: 3, pp.221 - 230

The Cartesian dualism.
Compare to an usual claim: "We just have to connect outgoing nerves with ingoing, and make a loop (of perception, is usually left out from this picture)

This image from 'Cartesian Dualism and Brains In Vats', of a free-floating brain is one that occupies the imagination of neuroscientifically aware philosophers and philosophically minded neuroscientists everywhere.
Human understanding about how the brain functions grows seemingly everyday. And as it does so the idea that our experience of the world exists exclusively in our brains gets stronger – at least in the eyes of some.

Descartes sat down, on his bed I have been told, and decided to doubt everything so that he could find whatever it is that he could be absolutely sure of and then build up a picture of reality from there. His famous treatise called The Meditations is his account of his thought process in this experiment.

One line of inquiry that he followed rested on the common experience of dreaming. In dreams we experience the world and ourselves very convincingly. While we lie in bed asleep and unconscious to the ‘real’ world we are running around and acting in the ‘dream’ world as our ‘dream’ self. And so Descartes wondered if his experience of waking reality and waking self might also be a kind of dream created in his mind. Descartes came to the solution that reality was split into two realms – a realm of inner experience or mind, and a realm of outer extension or matter. This split between mind and matter, inner and outer has become so habitually how we see the world today that it is hard to imagine that it was at one time a novel idea. This is the Cartesian dualism.
Descartes meant the Spirit? Antonio Damasio wrote 'Descartes mistake', claiming this view was wrong. He is not alone. Humans are made up of environment and 'Self', but what is that self? Genome? As we saw modifiated by environment and also hertied environment. Moving genes in and out of organisms? Travelling DNA. The 5% gene pool are shrinking?

We have also what he called as-if loops inside the brain, used in thinking about the future etc.
  • Damasio, A.R. Descartes' error: Emotion, reason, and the human brain (G.P. Putnam, New York, 1994).
On active information in physics: Recent developments in psychology have seen radical challenges to cognitivism, the Cartesian project to describe the mind in formal computational terms. One of these is ecological psychology, an approach that rejects the Cartesian separation of mind and world as unproductive and unrealistic. There are some suggestive resemblances between ecological psychology and Bohm's approach centred on meaning and active information. Classical mechanics is only productive in respect of relatively simple and isolated systems near to equilibrium. It is quite unproductive when dealing with complex organic systems, that are highly interconnected and far from equilibrium. Moreover, as Prigogine's work suggests, the distinction between past, present and future is intrinsic to physics. It is not a phenomenological illusion attached to the human condition.

The image is post-Cartesian, with the mind - matter division being replaced by a continuum.

Intution and collective mind.
Intutions are not thinking. They are percieved in a different way, free from brain? Intuitive thinking is a feeling (a sense) that doesn’t use rational processes such as facts and data. Good intuition comes from years of knowledge and experience...

Intution can also be linked to personality types.
Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason, says wikipedia. But reason is linked to formative causation. The "right brain" is popularly associated with intuitive processes.

An introverted intuitive type orients by images from the unconscious, ever exploring the psychic world of the Jungian archetypes, seeking to perceive the meaning of events, but often having no interest in playing a role in those events and not seeing any connection between the contents of the psychic world and him- or herself. Jung's analytical psychological theory of synchronicity is equal to intellectual intuition?

Rudolf Steiner postulated that intuition is the third of three stages of higher knowledge, coming after imagination and inspiration, and is characterized by a state of immediate and complete experience of, or even union with, the object of knowledge without loss of the subject's individual ego.

Intution may be defined as understanding or knowing without conscious recourse to thought, observation or reason.

Conscious intention comes too late to start (be the cause) of an action, but can it still play a role in voluntary action. Libet called this Readiness potential. The basic mistake (Dennett says): thinking of a “central headquarters” for consciousness.

From a disembodied mind? Empirical Evidence for Collective Intelligence. We found that there is a general effectiveness, a group collective intelligence, which predicts a group’s performance in many situations.”

Motivation and cognition.

There are many key cognitive theories of emotion, but all theories centre around the same point, that it is the cognitive appraisal of a situation, not the event itself, that causes the emotion.

Perceptions of meaning.
Bohm's concern with information and meaning as the vehicle for causality touches on something these critiques of cognitivism have in common. To propose that meaning is the modus operandi of causality implies that the physical, biological or cultural, systems that support the mind are fundamentally semiotic and historical. One part of a mutually evolved system acts on another semiotically rather than mechanically. Organic systems interact by the exchange of signs rather than mechanical impulses. This will be obscured if the natural organic action within such a system is stopped and its vehicle dissected. If action, physical or psychological (which are the same), is decontextualised and constrained, it reduces to mechanics. Physical and biological order, and the cultural order which has evolved from it, is intrinsically historical and creative. The systems that emerge from and which are supported by these orders are, in Maturana's term, autopoietic. They originate their own structure and actively maintain it. The internal structure of such systems is coupled to the wider system within which it appears (Maturana & Varela, 1987).

As Prigogine has indicated, such systems persist by obtaining energy from their surroundings and then dissipating it in degraded form. As such dissipative systems move further from equilibrium, the web of information exchange that supports them becomes more complex (Swenson & Turvey, 1991). It is because of this complexity and the nonlinear interactions it promotes that the past, present and future become more clearly distinguishable. It is this that marks the radical departure from the classical world view. Time is in nature, it is not a phenomenological illusion, and time is the medium of evolution. As Popper points out, evolution is a knowledge process (Popper, 1990).

Bohm emphasized that 'meaning' points two ways. It points to action, that is, what we 'mean' to do, and to perception, that is, what something 'means' to us. Meaning points from mind to world in the first case and from the world to mind in the second. For Bohm, meaning is the storehouse of accumulated action: "...

Evolution is accompanied by as increase in the semiotic bandwidth of organic systems as they move further away from thermodynamic equilibrium (Swenson & Turvey, 1991).

Electrons as well as human beings are sensitive to the meaning of their surroundings, not to meaningless mechanical impulses. However, this is not to attribute fully mind-like properties and potentials to elementary particles. This would be to promote the Cartesian error of taking mind to be an absolute, present in full human form or totally absent.

Mental life, as a matter of meaning, experience and feeling, is not localised. It is present to a greater or lesser extent at all levels of the explicate order and in the meaning bearing fields and actions that pass both up and down these levels. Semiotics will be fundamental in developing the treatment of meaning and of the quality of experience as legitimate scientific objects.

5 kommentarer:

  1. Ulla,

    a most comprehensive and excellent post with much I shall come to think about...

    you end on an informational quote- apparently the Cartesian error applies to matter also with these latest results- information is not a very well defined word.

    at the moment I vaguely see that our descriptions may yet be very far from our ability to understand- that just as we have found several new layers to the gene code there are still surprises that await us in the mental sphere.

    More later perhaps :-) and may all your chocolate bunnies not be hollow this holiday season, that is our expectations of wisdom will be found obtainable.

    The PeSla

  2. The Cartesian error is explicitly about matter, I guess. Information is of many kinds, and I want to come to the entropy in biological important terms.

    I think I will try another way to describe this than the consciousness directly. Maybe consciousness is a blind path? The genes are important, but maybe not in the way we think, and there may be more 'gene codes', especially if we reject the Cartesian duality, but what dowe get instead? What is a Mind? The usage of DNA in computers is interesting too. There are so many silent assumptions in this field of biology.

    I plan to make a set of posts on 'quantum perception'. This is the first introduction.

  3. http://www.eskesthai.com/2012/04/correlation-of-cognition.html

  4. Ontology of Mind http://majorityrights.com/weblog/comments/the_ontology_of_mind_the_goedelian_argument

    Penrose’s G¨odelian argument by Solomon Feferman http://math.stanford.edu/~feferman/papers/penrose.pdf

  5. A Refutation of Penrose's G¨odelian Case Against
    Arti cial Intelligence
    Selmer Bringsjord & Hong Xiao

    Having, as it is generally agreed, failed to destroy the computational conception of mind with the G¨odelian attack he articulated in his The Emperor's New Mind, Penrose has returned, armed with a more elaborate and more fastidious G¨odelian case, expressed in Chapters 2 and 3 of his Shadows of the Mind. The core argument in these chapters is enthymematic, and when formalized, a remarkable number of technical glitches come to light. Over and above these defects, the argument, at best, is an instance of either the fallacy of denying the antecedent, the fallacy of petitio principii, or the fallacy of equivocation. More recently, writing in response to his critics in the electronic journal Psyche, Penrose has o ered a G¨odelian case designed to improve on the version presented in SOTM. But this version is yet again another failure. In falling prey to the errors we uncover, Penrose's new G¨odelian case is unmasked as the same confused refrain J.R. Lucas initiated 35 years ago.