Notices
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Scientific explanation of feelings

  1. #1 Scientific explanation of feelings 
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,136
    Could somebody tell me, how close modern
    science came to metaphysical explanation of feelings?Is it neural impulses of certain frequency or chemical reactions or what?
    For example, scientists say, when we fill pain
    in our leg we have neural impulse of certain
    frequency (say 20 Hz) which come into our brain.But why this is 20 Hz frequency and no
    other frequency?What is "magical" connection
    between frequency and feeling?
    Or,they say,when we feel grief, chemical substance A is produced in our brain.And
    when we feel joy chemical substance B is produced.But why this is A and B but not contra?What is connection between feeling
    and chemical properties of substance?
    Could somebody explain?


    Antislavery
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    I'm not an expert in neuroscience, but there is definitely a lot of research that's been done on neurotransmitters in the brain that cause different emotions. As to you questions of why certain neurotransmitters cause certain emotions, you could also ask, why do we have two eyes instead of three? Why do we have four limbs instead of six? Why do we have five digits on each appendage and not seven?

    There are two very general answers to these kinds of questions. The first is that, for some reason, one trait is more adaptive than the other. Understanding the difference in adaptiveness is itself a very difficult task. The second is historical and/or developmental constraint. At one point in our evolutionary history, whether for adaptive reasons or through random mutation, a certain trait was incorporated into the population. Now that trait has been there so long, and so many other traits have evolved to work with it, that to change it would be impossible or extremely detrimental. We can't just pop another eye into our skull without seriously remodeling our entire cranial region, and that's a process that would require a long, long period of small gradual changes.


    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,136
    To Paralith:

    Probably you didn't understand my question correct.I'm sure that ultimately humans will
    try to model feelings in Artificial Intelligence,
    in some kind of neural networks, maybe.
    Question is how could we do it.How could we
    be sure that AI really feel something but not
    just imitate feelings?There is such term in
    philosophy as "a thing in itself".So what is
    ultimate physical carrier of feelings?
    Could we create real feelings so computer
    chip will be able to feel it?
    Also, question, maybe, concerned to "geometry of feelings".Because, if some modern scientists try to explain feeling from physical point of view only,all feelings could be regarded only
    as certain position of atoms in space.
    So ultimately we could be able to tell that (for example) square patterns of atoms linked
    to pain but round patterns linked to joy,etc...
    Or maybe it will not be atoms but rather electromagnetic impulses of certain frequency or something else.Your explanation about human adaptivity doesn't have lot of sense because currently there is no proof that only humans could have feelings.Animals in some degree could have them also,and maybe extraterrestrials could.
    Ultimately there should be some general
    principle for all biological creatures.
    Antislavery
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Stanley,

    Firstly, you didn't mention anything in your first post about AI. Secondly, I was not limiting my explanation to humans, only using us as an example. Everything I said in my post can be applied to any other organism.

    If I had to describe the basic essence of emotion it would be the current state and diversity of neurotransmitters in your brain. Emotions are behavioral motivators; if you feel happy after doing something, your body is essentially encouraging you to do that something again. If you feel sad after doing something, your body is essentially encouraging you to not do that something again. That is an extreme simplification of course, but if we can create a system that functions in this way in AI, then I would say they are truly experiencing emotion and not just imitating it.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,136
    If I had to describe the basic essence of emotion it would be the current state and diversity of neurotransmitters in your brain.
    If I no make mistake, neurotransmitters,from
    modern science point of view,are not ultimate physical carriers of feelings but rather mediators.Ultimate physical carriers are rather
    electromagnetic waves in a brain.At least there
    is no known physical process of higher order that they cause on their own.
    But how those electric wave form feeling is mystery for now.There also some information
    that different frequency of electric wave in a
    brain may be related to different feelings or
    psychic states.But why this relation exist I
    don't know.
    Antislavery
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,702
    I retract my stupid remark...
    Dick, be Frank.

    Ambiguity Kills.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,190
    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514
    If I had to describe the basic essence of emotion it would be the current state and diversity of neurotransmitters in your brain.
    If I no make mistake, neurotransmitters,from
    modern science point of view,are not ultimate physical carriers of feelings but rather mediators.Ultimate physical carriers are rather
    electromagnetic waves in a brain.
    Neurotransmitters are how electrical signals travel from one neuron to another. Without the neurotransmitters you would just have individual neurons that do not communicate with one another to form networks.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    323
    I really liked the explanation given by Dave Bowman in "2001":
    asked if HAL had feelings, Dave responded that he was programmed that way to make him easier for the crew to respond to. As to whether he had feelings or not, only HAL could answer that.

    In the same way, once we have the hard/software sufficiently developed to be self-aware, to the same extent an adult human is...the feelings incorporated into it would be something only the entity itself could answer.

    Do we not accept what the subject tells us about their own feelings, given the visible evidence? When a dog growls and shows its teeth, do you think it is remotely happy? Does any scientist nowadays deny that the dog feel rage inside his doggy-consciouness? We know that aggression, along with panic evolved very early - they were excellent motivators for self-preservation.

    Has anyone not seen a dog let down when he wants to go for a walk but we tell him later? So why should we deny emotions in a computer when they are included in the programming as part of its self-awareness package?

    Seems to me that science explains emotions perfectly well as part of a stimulus/response biofeedback mechanism, indeed incorporating many complex systems including all the senses. "Dogs smell fear" and indeed watch closely your body language, can probably hear your heartrate...
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Senior Booms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    The perceptual schematic known as earth
    Posts
    361
    could definately use some more space between questions, that was nearly painful to read

    this is the kind of questions I ask (i think) the why behind everything

    sadly there is no logical definitive answer, the only answer is simply, that's how we evolved

    our pain receptors transmit with 20Hz electrical impulses for two reasons, 1. it's the fastest way for signals to be sent to the brain without frying your circuits, so to speak.
    2. the faster way hasn't evolved yet, it's possible a chemical or different frequency is faster but for it to replace the 20Hz, someone has to have a mutation whereby this improvement appears, which he then passes onto his children, and through many generations (many many generations because human males have stopped seeding children from multiple females) it will spread throughout the species
    likewise with the chemical's

    I'm not sure if your asking this or not so I'll go ahead and answer anyway
    there is no connection between chemical A and anger, or Chemical B and love, the chemical doesn't make you feel, the chemical is simply a signal to the brain that tells it you should be feeling this right now, your brain then enacts the changes causing rage/passion/sadness etc the only reason chemical A is different to B is so that your brain can tell the difference (so that you don't cheer at a funeral for example)
    It's not how many questions you ask, but the answers you get - Booms

    This is the Acadamy of Science! we don't need to 'prove' anything!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10 Re: Scientific explanation of feelings 
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Nirgendwo und Ueberall
    Posts
    1,296
    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514
    Could somebody tell me, how close modern
    science came to metaphysical explanation of feelings?Is it neural impulses of certain frequency or chemical reactions or what?
    For example, scientists say, when we fill pain
    in our leg we have neural impulse of certain
    frequency (say 20 Hz) which come into our brain.But why this is 20 Hz frequency and no
    other frequency?What is "magical" connection
    between frequency and feeling?
    Or,they say,when we feel grief, chemical substance A is produced in our brain.And
    when we feel joy chemical substance B is produced.But why this is A and B but not contra?What is connection between feeling
    and chemical properties of substance?
    Could somebody explain?
    As you probably know, chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin are produced which help mediate several different things, emotions included, although they are not the only emotional mediators. Modern science can't come up with the "metaphysical explanation of feelings" you search for. Scientists measure empirical data primarily. Physical and emotional stress can lower and heighten emotional responses via your internal chemistry. Intensive adrenaline (epinephrine) release over time can suppress the immune system and lead to high blood pressure and is correlated to a higher cortisol output. The stress hormone cortisol gets a jolt from caffeine by stimulating release of hypothalamic CRH. So too much coffee can lead to too much stress which will lead to a blunted immune response. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal feedback loop will fail to keep cortisol production low enough to live comfortably. Depression and insomnia can follow. Autoimmune disorders can follow. Lack of cortisol due to adrenal problems that lead to diseases such as Addison's can cause severe mood swings among other things. The point is that many intricate pathways are often involved in emotion forming and that the mind-body (or brain/body, to avoid Descartes' error) connection runs deep. You can't seperate the physical from what you and many others refer to as the "metaphysical" and what scientists might call "unkown variables". The "magical connection" you refer to could be the speed of transmission along neuronal pathways...if neurons fire together rapidly and in near perfect harmony in a certain part of the brain, it means that you are healthy neurologically in that area.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •