Notices
Results 1 to 37 of 37
Like Tree20Likes
  • 3 Post By Weterman
  • 2 Post By dan hunter
  • 5 Post By DianeG
  • 2 Post By dan hunter
  • 1 Post By astromark
  • 2 Post By DianeG
  • 1 Post By Quantum immortal
  • 1 Post By DianeG
  • 1 Post By Weterman
  • 1 Post By Zwolver
  • 1 Post By Zwolver

Thread: Consciousness, real or fake?

  1. #1 Consciousness, real or fake? 
    Forum Senior Weterman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Canada Saskatchewan
    Posts
    325
    I am a human. I have free will... or do I? I make choices, I control my body. But, who is "I"? Where did my thoughts come from, why are they controlled by me? Really, where did my personality come from? If I grew up in a different country, if my thoughts, if my soul (don't hate on me) was put in another body, what would I be like?


    What I am asking, is where did my soul come from. By soul, I mean the person that controls my thoughts. So if my soul grew up a long time ago, I might have believed the sun went around the Earth. You know what I'm saying?


    So where did my soul come from? Does artificial intelligence have a soul? or is it just a combination of code and algorithms? Am I just a complex set of algorithms? I feel like I have a soul, I am typing right now, and thinking of what to type. But is my soul real?

    Let's just say my soul is real. Now let's say there is complex artificial intelligence. That acts very human, that has free will. Who controls that robot? Is it just code, or does the robot have a consciousness? If it does, then where did it get it from? Why do I control a human body, why is my soul in a human body, instead of a robot's body? How did it get here? That is what I'm asking.

    I hope you guys understand what I'm asking, it's hard to put into words.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2,408
    Try defining what conciousness is because it can be quite slippery once you start examining it.

    If you define it as the ability to respond to your environment you end up concluding that bacteria and trees are concious as well as the other animals that are close enough to us for us to credit with having minds.

    If you argue that conciousness is awareness then of self then you end up with conciousness being little more than memory.

    Conciousness also appears to lag the real decision making process in the human mind by up to seven seconds. In an experiment at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences subjects were asked to press a button. The subjects in the experiment just had to remember when they decided which hand they were going to press it with.
    The researchers monitored the brain activity and it turns out they could predict which hand would be used seconds before the subject was aware he had decided. So conciousness seems to be us explaining to ourselves what we already decided to do.
    A nice wikipedia article about this: Benjamin Libet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    You might enjoy the Youtube video The Neuroscience of Consciousness which is a lecture by uploaded by the University of Melbourne.
    The Neuroscience of Consciousness - YouTube

    "Baroness Susan Greenfield CBE, is a British scientist, writer, broadcaster and member of the House of Lords. Specialising in the physiology of the brain, Susan researches the impact of 21st century technologies on the mind, how the brain generates consciousness and novel approaches to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's."


    Last edited by dan hunter; February 8th, 2014 at 12:27 AM.
    sir ir r aj and grmpysmrf like this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    precious sir ir r aj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    668
    ok my interpretation of your scenario:

    Soul is a fictional concept. It explains how a Human body is alive. Same concept can be applied to dogs, cats, trees, everything alive. If we transfer the essence of a dog in your body and transmigrate yours in dog it will shift souls. At least this concept is in use in Hinduism.
    How you function is peculiar activity only associated with your brain. this is not an algorithm, its evolution. You are actually perplexed by its complexity while you compare it with supercomputers (AI).
    actually humans have no any third (independent) source to measure their intelligence level. they think they have utmost and invincible intelligence and are gods. We create concepts ourselves to keep that illusion alive. Like the concept of soul. If seen from vast perspective of this universe our soul is minuscule. And remember that we can create an artificial Intelligence better than our intelligence.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    504
    First off, I apologize if this post is long winded. It’s a topic I really enjoy.


    As Dan pointed out, the definition of consciousness is problematic. Some philosophers and neuroscientists try to prune it down a bit by eliminating certain mental functions, like intelligence, memory, problem solving, learning, sensation - functions that computers are able to do - and restrict it to that rather hard to describe state of being aware and self-aware of ones existence in time, and experiencing qualia. Qualia, if you're not familiar with the term, is the subjective, private experience of things like the redness of an apple (as opposed to lightwaves of a particular wave length) the smell of baking bread, the softness of velvet, the sound of piano music, the experience of pain and suffering. It's not simple sensation but the active experience of perception and the meaning our brains generate from these things.

    Qualia is important to philosophers, who debate endlessly about whether if your green was my red, would we be able to tell? Or could you ever effectively explain or communicate the experience of color to someone who never experienced it, even if you included every available bit of data about lightwaves and eyeballs and how color functions in nature and our response to it.

    But qualia is also important to scientists as well, because it is linked in the brain to consciousness. Here's an example:
    Some people with damage to the visual cortex of the brain and can see, without the conscious experience of seeing. They deny being able to see, but if asked to "guess" they can accurately identify objects and track movement of them. There are two visual pathways from the eyeballs to the higher centers of the brain. The evolutionarily older pathway, more prominent in some mammals and reptiles, goes to the brain stem, and then gets relayed eventually to the higher centers of the brain. The evolutionarily newer pathway goes from the eyeball through the thalamus to the visual cortex of the brain. In blindsight patients, the first pathway still works, and some kind of visual information is shared with other parts of the brain, but without the conscious experience of it. The second pathway, or part of the the visual cortex it leads to, doesn’t work, and the patient has no experience of the qulaia associated with vision. The patient really does feel as though he's just guessing or knows something without knowing how he knows it.

    There are lots of different theories about qualia, that qualia makes things stand out, both physically and in a meaningful sense - red nutritious berries against a green leafy background, for example. Qualia may be the brain's symbolic language. Qualia also seems to be useful in helping our brains distinguish reality from non reality. The qualia of seeing an actual monkey is vivid and clear cut. It's also irrevocable - I can't decide "not to see" the monkey. The qualia of a monkey that I imagine in my minds eye is fleeting and fuzzy. It's also revoccable - I can get rid of him by thinking of something else, or I can dress him up in a suit and top hat in my mind. (The qualia of a monkey in my dreams is some where in between real and imagined monkeys.)

    Without this difference in clarity of qualia, imagining that I am eating a delicious meal would be indistinguishable to my brain from actually eating a delicious meal, and I might starve. Qualia allows me to run virtual test simulations in my brain - to plan and remember - without confusing those simulations with reality.

    But these are just hypotheses.

    The second part of your question -the self - is also an important aspect of consciousness, to both philosophers and neuroscientists. Although the word "soul" doesn't have a scientific definition and has certain religious overtones, I don't find your reference to it silly. It does describe ones subjective experience of ones self, the individual "I-ness" and unified sense of self that exists in time, something humans have been trying to explain in various ways, probably ever since they became self-aware. It's a topic with a long religious and philosophical history, but it's important to neurologists and even computer scientists as well.

    Some hard core materialists like Dennet suggest that consciousness is an illusion, and there is evidence for this position. (But if it is an illusion, it's a stubborn one!) Neuroscient Antonio Damasio says consciousness is generated when the brain maps self-object relationships and then re-maps the maps of self-object relationships, but his critics say that is just a fancy way of saying the brain thinks about thinking and it doesn't really get you anywhere.


    In the brain, the structures most closely associated with consciousness (Reticular Activating system, the thalamus, the cingulate cortex and the somatosensory cortex) are the same ones associated with a core sense of self. Surprisingly, they are mid level brain structures, except for the somatosensory cortex. In older anatomy textbooks, they are described as just being like relay stations or switch boards, or controlling level of physiological alertness, but these areas seem to be getting more attention now.

    A primitive form of self awareness seems to come with any ability to distinguish self from non-self, and ours may simply be more developed, allowing us to better navigate the world, form complex social relationships, analyze our own behavior and the positive or negative outcomes of our choices. In an excellent book called "I Am a Strange Loop," Douglas Hofstadter sees consciousness as what happens when an intelligent animal turns its analysis inward, kind of like what happens when a video camara is pointed at itself, or an amplifier amplifies the sounds picked up by a microphone placed to close to a speaker. He looks at other similar loops in in nature or mathmatics.


    Some neuroscientists see the self as an illusion, as story the brain tells itself. They suggest that the brain is group of modules, running different programs, and competing for dominance. They argue that the“self” is which ever part of the brain presents the most convincing or loudest argument at the moment, and that there is no little “you” inside of your head making those decisions, and watching the world as if on a movie screen. There’s lots of good evidence for this view, including the experiments by Libet that Dan mentioned, as well as split-brain research by Gazziniga and others. Split brain patients do not have a connection between the left and right hemispheres and essentially have two “selves” that make different decisions and have different access to information and sensory input.

    Personally, I think the sense of self evolved from more primitive systems that distinguish self from non-self, and is also tied to feedback loops that monitor intentions and the actual results, compares them, and makes corrections. Of course these kind of feedback loops work below the level of conscious awareness in the cerebellum of the brain, to coordinate physical motor movements, so maybe they don't absolutely require consciousness. But if an animal only became aware of its actions after the fact with no sense of "I am the one who is doing this", it would have to constantly reason backwards about whatever occurred.

    Any way, if consciousness and the self are topics you are interested in, the Wikipedia article is not a bad place to start, and there are lots of cool books out there. Some ones I like in addition to Hofstadter are:

    Who's In Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain by Michael Gazziniga
    The Tell-Tale Brain by VS Ramachandran
    Igcognito -The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman
    Subliminal - How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behaviorl by Leonard Mlodinow

    One I haven't read yet but plan to get is "Self Comes to Mind" by Antonio Damasio. Daniel Dennet and Patricia Churchland also are big in consciousness and brain research.

    Good Luck!



    Last edited by DianeG; February 9th, 2014 at 12:24 PM.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Senior Weterman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Canada Saskatchewan
    Posts
    325
    Quote Originally Posted by DianeG View Post
    First off, I apologize if this post is long winded. It’s a topic I really enjoy.


    As Dan pointed out, the definition of consciousness is problematic. Some philosophers and neuroscientists try to prune it down a bit by eliminating certain mental functions, like intelligence, memory, problem solving, learning, sensation - functions that computers are able to do - and restrict it to that rather hard to describe state of being aware and self-aware of ones existence in time, and experiencing qualia. Qualia, if you're not familiar with the term, is the subjective, private experience of things like the redness of an apple (as opposed to lightwaves of a particular wave length) the smell of baking bread, the softness of velvet, the sound of piano music, the experience of pain and suffering. It's not simple sensation but the active experience of perception and the meaning our brains generate from these things.

    Qualia is important to philosophers, who debate endlessly about whether if your green was my red, would we be able to tell? Or could you ever effectively explain or communicate the experience of color to someone who never experienced it, even if you included every available bit of data about lightwaves and eyeballs and how color functions in nature and our response to it.

    But qualia is also important to scientists as well, because it is linked in the brain to consciousness. Here's an example:
    Some people with damage to the visual cortex of the brain and can see, without the conscious experience of seeing. They deny being able to see, but if asked to "guess" they can accurately identify objects and track movement of them. There are two visual pathways from the eyeballs to the higher centers of the brain. The evolutionarily older pathway, more prominent in some mammals and reptiles, goes to the brain stem, and then gets relayed eventually to the higher centers of the brain. The evolutionarily newer pathway goes from the eyeball through the thalamus to the visual cortex of the brain. In blindsight patients, the first pathway still works, and some kind of visual information is shared with other parts of the brain, but without the conscious experience of it. The second pathway, or part of the the visual cortex it leads to, doesn’t work, and the patient has no experience of the qulaia associated with vision. The patient really does feel as though he's just guessing or knows something without knowing how he knows it.

    There are lots of different theories about qualia, that qualia makes things stand out, both physically and in a meaningful sense - red nutritious berries against a green leafy background, for example. Qualia may be the brain's symbolic language. Qualia also seems to be useful in helping our brains distinguish reality from non reality. The qualia of seeing an actual monkey is vivid and clear cut. It's also irrevocable - I can't decide "not to see" the monkey. The qualia of a monkey that I imagine in my minds eye is fleeting and fuzzy. It's also revoccable - I can get rid of him by thinking of something else, or I can dress him up in a suit and top hat in my mind. (The qualia of a monkey in my dreams is some where in between real and imagined monkeys.)

    Without this difference in clarity of qualia, imagining that I am eating a delicious meal would be indistinguishable to my brain from actually eating a delicious meal, and I might starve. Qualia allows me to run virtual test simulations in my brain - to plan and remember - without confusing those simulations with reality.

    But these are just hypotheses.

    The second part of your question -the self - is also an important aspect of consciousness, to both philosophers and neuroscientists. Although the word "soul" doesn't have a scientific definition and has certain religious overtones, I don't find your reference to it silly. It does describe ones subjective experience of ones self, the individual "I-ness" and unified sense of self that exists in time, something humans have been trying to explain in various ways, probably ever since they became self-aware. It's a topic with a long religious and philosophical history, but it's important to neurologists and even computer scientists as well.

    Some hard core materialists like Dennet suggest that consciousness is an illusion, and there is evidence for this position. (But if it is an illusion, it's a stubborn one!) Neuroscient Antonio Damasio says consciousness is generated when the brain maps self-object relationships and then re-maps the maps of self-object relationships, but his critics say that is just a fancy way of saying the brain thinks about thinking and it doesn't really get you anywhere.


    In the brain, the structures most closely associated with consciousness (Reticular Activating system, the thalamus, the cingulate cortex and the somatosensory cortex) are the same ones associated with a core sense of self. Surprisingly, they are mid level brain structures, except for the somatosensory cortex. In older anatomy textbooks, they are described as just being like relay stations or switch boards, or controlling level of physiological alertness, but these areas seem to be getting more attention now.

    A primitive form of self awareness seems to come with any ability to distinguish self from non-self, and ours may simply be more developed, allowing us to better navigate the world, form complex social relationships, analyze our own behavior and the positive or negative outcomes of our choices. In an excellent book called "I Am a Strange Loop," Douglas Hofstadter sees consciousness as what happens when an intelligent animal turns its analysis inward, kind of like what happens when a video camara is pointed at itself, or an amplifier amplifies the sounds picked up by a microphone placed to close to a speaker. He looks at other similar loops in in nature or mathmatics.


    Some neuroscientists see the self as an illusion, as story the brain tells itself. They suggest that the brain is group of modules, running different programs, and competing for dominance. They argue that the“self” is which ever part of the brain presents the most convincing or loudest argument at the moment, and that there is no little “you” inside of your head making those decisions, and watching the world as if on a movie screen. There’s lots of good evidence for this view, including the experiments by Libet that Dan mentioned, as well as split-brain research by Gazziniga and others. Split brain patients do not have a connection between the left and right hemispheres and essentially have two “selves” that make different decisions and have different access to information and sensory input.

    Personally, I think the sense of self evolved from more primitive systems that distinguish self from non-self, and is also tied to feedback loops that monitor intentions and the actual results, compares them, and makes corrections. Of course these kind of feedback loops work below the level of conscious awareness in the cerebellum of the brain, to coordinate physical motor movements, so maybe they don't absolutely require consciousness. But if an animal only became aware of its actions after the fact with no sense of "I am the one who is doing this", it would have to constantly reason backwards about whatever occurred.

    Any way, if consciousness and the self are topics you are interested in, the Wikipedia article is not a bad place to start, and there are lots of cool books out there. Some ones I like in addition to Hofstadter are:

    Who's In Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain by Michael Gazziniga
    The Tell-Tale Brain by VS Ramachandran
    Igcognito -The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman
    Subliminal - How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behaviorl by Leonard Mlodinow

    One I haven't read yet but plan to get is "Self Comes to Mind" by Antonio Damasio. Daniel Dennet and Patricia Churchland also are big in consciousness and brain research.

    Good Luck!



    Thanks for that post. But if one would imagine, where does this "self" come from? Perhaps I am a player of some video game, and the world is the game. And reality is actually me sitting in a VR simulator.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1,839
    Quote Originally Posted by Weterman View Post
    I am a human. I have free will... or do I? I make choices, I control my body. But, who is "I"? Where did my thoughts come from, why are they controlled by me? Really, where did my personality come from? If I grew up in a different country, if my thoughts, if my soul (don't hate on me) was put in another body, what would I be like?


    What I am asking, is where did my soul come from. By soul, I mean the person that controls my thoughts. So if my soul grew up a long time ago, I might have believed the sun went around the Earth. You know what I'm saying?


    So where did my soul come from? Does artificial intelligence have a soul? or is it just a combination of code and algorithms? Am I just a complex set of algorithms? I feel like I have a soul, I am typing right now, and thinking of what to type. But is my soul real?

    Let's just say my soul is real. Now let's say there is complex artificial intelligence. That acts very human, that has free will. Who controls that robot? Is it just code, or does the robot have a consciousness? If it does, then where did it get it from? Why do I control a human body, why is my soul in a human body, instead of a robot's body? How did it get here? That is what I'm asking.

    I hope you guys understand what I'm asking, it's hard to put into words.
    I think these are powerful questions at least for me. I can remember asking myself some what similar questions some time in my younger days. I found myself stranded with those thoughts for a long time before I could move on.
    I am not sure if my take on it will work for you but it is at least food for thought.

    The main obstacle that was standing in my way was the knowledge of self, I did not know enough about myself to know how I was supposed to function, let alone function properly. I was guided by a teacher to start observing my body and my breath, he told me my breath is not only there to facilitate my lungs but it also conveys knowledge. He said if I observed how I take in air, there could come a time when I would be able to open certain portals in my brain and information would start to flow in. If I observed my body I would begin to make a picture in my mind how my body works. Well, as stupid as I was at the time I began to practice observing myself, and before long I was noticing so many things I did not notice before I went on the experiment.

    These questions are not the questions that can be easily answered on a forum like this, however, there might be some out there who can do better than I can.

    In reality you have to learn some more about you and some of these questions can be answered by your own brain and intuition.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    504
    Quote Originally Posted by Weterman View Post

    Thanks for that post. But if one would imagine, where does this "self" come from? Perhaps I am a player of some video game, and the world is the game. And reality is actually me sitting in a VR simulator.
    If I am a character in your video game, could you make me rich and gorgeous, if it's not too much trouble?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Senior Weterman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Canada Saskatchewan
    Posts
    325
    Quote Originally Posted by DianeG View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Weterman View Post

    Thanks for that post. But if one would imagine, where does this "self" come from? Perhaps I am a player of some video game, and the world is the game. And reality is actually me sitting in a VR simulator.
    If I am a character in your video game, could you make me rich and gorgeous, if it's not too much trouble?
    Just cause of valentine's day you want to be pretty?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Scunthorpe, UK
    Posts
    10,659
    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    he told me my breath is not only there to facilitate my lungs but it also conveys knowledge.
    Which should have been a good indicator that he was peddling woo.

    there could come a time when I would be able to open certain portals in my brain and information would start to flow in.
    See?
    Just like I said: woo.

    In reality you have to learn some more about you and some of these questions can be answered by your own brain and intuition.
    Evidently not...
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2,408
    Quote Originally Posted by Weterman View Post
    .... ... But if one would imagine, where does this "self" come from? Perhaps I am a player of some video game, and the world is the game. And reality is actually me sitting in a VR simulator.
    Self comes first from skin. (Think of yourself as a tubular creature.)
    Your skin is what separates you from the rest of the world.Everything outside of your skin is other.
    Inside the skin is self, except possibly for some internal parasites because they have their own skins, and what is inside your intestines because your guts are like more skin you wear on your inside.

    If by "Self" you mean your sense of identity then it is your memory.
    If there is no memory then there is no "self" because there is no continuity, no history of you being you.
    astromark and Stargate like this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Professor astromark's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    1,014
    As your brain grew and the decision processes began and you became a sentient being you LEARNED to be who you have become. We are a result of many things learned and remembered. The human brain is housed. Not the only animal of planet Earth that has a self awareness. I have read of intelligent computing, but as yet the healthy human brain has a greater experience to draw from. I have a confidence that a computer could be better than we think we are.. It just requires a awareness of self.
    " Hale would you open the air lock now please." -- No Dave. I do not need you anymore. -- .
    Stargate likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    504
    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Weterman View Post
    .... ... But if one would imagine, where does this "self" come from? Perhaps I am a player of some video game, and the world is the game. And reality is actually me sitting in a VR simulator.
    Self comes first from skin. (Think of yourself as a tubular creature.)
    Your skin is what separates you from the rest of the world.Everything outside of your skin is other.
    Inside the skin is self, except possibly for some internal parasites because they have their own skins, and what is inside your intestines because your guts are like more skin you wear on your inside.

    If by "Self" you mean your sense of identity then it is your memory.
    If there is no memory then there is no "self" because there is no continuity, no history of you being you.
    Most organisms need some kind of self-awareness to function, as in the jpeg below. (I tried to upload the picture, but for some reason it wouldn't attach)

    Google Image Result for

    But our sense of self seems more developed than simply detecting where the boundaries are between us and the rest of the world. We feel that other primates, and dogs and cats and dolphins have self awareness- what about rabbits, or chickens or frogs? Does a mosquito have self-awareness at some miniscule level, or is it just a tiny biological machine?

    Conscious self awareness also seems to involve understanding or believing that other people and animals are conscious and have minds. Mirror experiments with animals are interesting, and some animals can recognize themselves. They don't simply respond to the reflection like birds that sometimes attack their reflection in a window, mistaking the image for another bird. If you put a smudge of paint on a gorilla's face and show him a mirror, he will touch the smudge on his own face (and not the mirror). He knows that image is him.

    Other cool experiments show that primates can adopt another point of view, and that they can think about what another person or primate knows or doesn't know. For example, Chimp A sees something threatening but is in no danger himself. Chimp B is in danger, but chimp B cannot see what chimp A can see. Chimp A will signal Chimp B to alert him if he knows that Chimp B cannot see what he can see, but not if he thinks he can. And he has to adopt the point of view of chimp B in order to figure that out.

    The idea of the "self" seems simple and obvious enough when we talk about it in abstract, psychological terms. It seems logical and necessary when we look at the evolutionary advantages of having a concept of self, in self-preservation or social relationships. But it is pretty tricky to explain in adequate detail how 80 billion neurons and the associated brain structures achieve this unified sense of being "I". And yet we know when these structures don't function normally, that this sense of self can be greatly distorted or even go missing.
    Last edited by DianeG; February 11th, 2014 at 09:12 PM.
    astromark and Stargate like this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2,408
    Quote Originally Posted by DianeG View Post
    The idea of the "self" seems simple and obvious enough when we talk about it in abstract, psychological terms. It seems logical and necessary when we look at the evolutionary advantages of having a concept of self, in self-preservation or social relationships. But it is pretty tricky to explain in adequate detail how 80 billion neurons and the associated brain structures achieve this unified sense being "I". And yet we know when these structures don't function normally, that sense of self can be greatly distorted or even go missing.
    Good points.
    I wanted to avoid talking about self/mind as being emergent properties of neural complexity.
    Once I start down that path I can get quite wordy.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,148
    Imo Conciousness is an extension of Perception. A complex/refined/detailed Perception is improved by detailed models of comparison, which exist in your brain from past perceptions, hence memory which adds a level of detail/accuracy. It enables animals to act according to realities they cannot perceive, such as a predator that has prowled behind a rock and is not longer visible but memorized and Imagined to be there(a useful parameter for movement/action that enhances survival). The ability to create a representation for something that isnt there/seen probably helps create the representation something else of importance you might not see in the distance, you. The consciousness as we perceive it is not the same as a newborn that has few patterns and has not learned that the strange shapes moving around and disappearing to the sides are his own hands. When we sleep we loose partial (conscious) perception of our surroundings but perceiving a strong signal raises conciousness. Our ability to vocalize (imagine, create the sounds of words in our brain like I am doing before I type) and imagine, also allows/cause us to loose partial perception of our surroundings when we internalize thoughts (absent minded can be actively thinking about something), but our ability to shape/reshape ideas/concepts/images/words enable us to do much more than we could if we were just reacting to the environment. Thats just my layman view at this time.

    (there's no soul afaik)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    504
    [QUOTE=dan hunter;524768]
    Quote Originally Posted by DianeG View Post

    Good points.
    I wanted to avoid talking about self/mind as being emergent properties of neural complexity.
    Once I start down that path I can get quite wordy.
    Go ahead and get wordy. I love wordy! And I often learn things I didn't know or never thought about before. That is what's fun about the topic of consciousness and the brain. It overlaps so many different areas and can send one off in all sorts of different directions.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    195
    We are literally just biological robots. Consciousness is just an illusion. Qualia is also an illusion.


    Its like a riddle, you can't solve it, if you stand too close to it. The trick is, to observe some one else from the out side. What he says is the true observation, not what he thinks he experiences. Don't introspect, listen what others say, and don't take it at face value.


    How do you know, that other people are "conscious" beens? You can't know that. Actually, they aren't conscious, they are just machines following there programming. Same thing with your self, you are a machine, following your programming. That people say that they are conscious is a mix up in the way humans are programmed by natural selection.


    What do you think an intelligent robot could say about it self? It would start saying the same stuff as us.


    About qualia. You can explain the observation( what people say), by assuming that neural nets encode colors in some way, but the encoding is not accessible by the neural nets that decide what we will do next. In a similar way, that colors are encoded as numbers in the computer and you use a drawing program that abstracts that fact.
    Weterman likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2,408
    Quote Originally Posted by Quantum immortal View Post
    We are literally just biological robots. Consciousness is just an illusion. Qualia is also an illusion.


    Its like a riddle, you can't solve it, if you stand too close to it. The trick is, to observe some one else from the out side. What he says is the true observation, not what he thinks he experiences. Don't introspect, listen what others say, and don't take it at face value.


    How do you know, that other people are "conscious" beens? You can't know that. Actually, they aren't conscious, they are just machines following there programming. Same thing with your self, you are a machine, following your programming. That people say that they are conscious is a mix up in the way humans are programmed by natural selection.


    What do you think an intelligent robot could say about it self? It would start saying the same stuff as us.


    About qualia. You can explain the observation( what people say), by assuming that neural nets encode colors in some way, but the encoding is not accessible by the neural nets that decide what we will do next. In a similar way, that colors are encoded as numbers in the computer and you use a drawing program that abstracts that fact.
    I take it you have been concious of being a machine for a while now.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18  
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    195
    :P
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19  
    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    504
    Quote Originally Posted by Quantum immortal View Post
    We are literally just biological robots. Consciousness is just an illusion. Qualia is also an illusion.

    Okay, it's an illusion, you're still stuck having to explain why the illusuion exists and what purpose it serves. Philosophers like Chalmers ponder whether a philosophical zombie could exist - a machine like copy that behaves and processes exactly like us, without the experiential quality of existing and perceiving. Neurologist Daniel Dennett says philosophical zombies exist, and we're it. He feels consciousness is an illusion.

    What interests me, though, is there are zombie-like neural pathways, such as those involved in blindsight I described earlier. And even in normal people, when you touch a hot stove element, you jerk your hand away because of a reflex arc that only goes to the spinal cord. You've already done this long before the CC of the message reaches your brain, resulting in pain and probably a swear word or two.

    So if we do in fact have perfectly good zombie programs that in someways are even faster and more efficient at saving our asses, what is the purpose of the conscious ones, whether you believe they're an illusion or not? And what's different about the how these neurons work compared to the other neural pathways, since they seem to be made of the same stuff?



    “I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.” -Stephen Hawking
    astromark likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    Forum Senior Weterman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Canada Saskatchewan
    Posts
    325
    Quote Originally Posted by Quantum immortal View Post
    We are literally just biological robots. Consciousness is just an illusion. Qualia is also an illusion.


    Its like a riddle, you can't solve it, if you stand too close to it. The trick is, to observe some one else from the out side. What he says is the true observation, not what he thinks he experiences. Don't introspect, listen what others say, and don't take it at face value.


    How do you know, that other people are "conscious" beens? You can't know that. Actually, they aren't conscious, they are just machines following there programming. Same thing with your self, you are a machine, following your programming. That people say that they are conscious is a mix up in the way humans are programmed by natural selection.


    What do you think an intelligent robot could say about it self? It would start saying the same stuff as us.


    About qualia. You can explain the observation( what people say), by assuming that neural nets encode colors in some way, but the encoding is not accessible by the neural nets that decide what we will do next. In a similar way, that colors are encoded as numbers in the computer and you use a drawing program that abstracts that fact.
    But, don't you need to be concious to be tricked by an illusion?
    Stargate likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    281
    Go on dan! Get wordy! I'm quite curious as to explanations of consciousness in terms of neural connections.
    I can never know I'm right, but I can know that I'm wrong.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    1,631
    Quote Originally Posted by Quantum immortal View Post
    We are literally just biological robots. Consciousness is just an illusion. Qualia is also an illusion.


    Its like a riddle, you can't solve it, if you stand too close to it. The trick is, to observe some one else from the out side. What he says is the true observation, not what he thinks he experiences. Don't introspect, listen what others say, and don't take it at face value.


    How do you know, that other people are "conscious" beens? You can't know that. Actually, they aren't conscious, they are just machines following there programming. Same thing with your self, you are a machine, following your programming. That people say that they are conscious is a mix up in the way humans are programmed by natural selection.


    What do you think an intelligent robot could say about it self? It would start saying the same stuff as us.


    About qualia. You can explain the observation( what people say), by assuming that neural nets encode colors in some way, but the encoding is not accessible by the neural nets that decide what we will do next. In a similar way, that colors are encoded as numbers in the computer and you use a drawing program that abstracts that fact.
    WOW, slow down here. We are not biological robots. We can make our own decisions. We have had the same programming since the stone age, still we have progressed by building layer over layer of knowledge. If this knowledge was already there, it would be instantaneously, and we would have a set goal. We obviously don't have a set goal. Every person is significantly different, and if we were programmed to do things, who did it?

    We have random error. It's a power, this gives us the ability to make mistakes. With mistakes comes random undefinable succes. And with succes comes progress. We are totally random, not programmed. If this is consciousness or not, we don't know.

    We are not programmed by natural selection.. We are programmed by environmental effects on our own life. How else can 2 people be totally different, while DNA wise the same (twins).
    astromark likes this.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #23  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    281
    Zwolver, could you please expand on what you mean by your statement of 'we are not programmed by natural selection'. I assume for sake of fairness, that you don't mean that natural selection is completely separate from our behaviour. And to the point on DNA identical people being totally different, we now come to the field of epigenetics whereby environmental factors interact with DNA expression, by means of acetyl groups (COCH3) binding to DNA histone molecules.

    I'd love to add more to this discussion by going through a book I'm currently reading, The Neural Basis of Free Will, by Peter Tse, will have to grab some references from it.
    I can never know I'm right, but I can know that I'm wrong.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #24  
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    1,631
    Quote Originally Posted by Curiosity View Post
    Zwolver, could you please expand on what you mean by your statement of 'we are not programmed by natural selection'. I assume for sake of fairness, that you don't mean that natural selection is completely separate from our behaviour. And to the point on DNA identical people being totally different, we now come to the field of epigenetics whereby environmental factors interact with DNA expression, by means of acetyl groups (COCH3) binding to DNA histone molecules.

    I'd love to add more to this discussion by going through a book I'm currently reading, The Neural Basis of Free Will, by Peter Tse, will have to grab some references from it.
    Natural selection is not completely separate no. But there was a claim that we were pre-programmed to do everything, which is baloney.

    Epigenetics is a semi-random occurrence at inheritance (birth), and at storage (life) so this does not disprove my theory. I have yet to see evidence that epigenetics has a direct effect on our behavior. Indirect, yes, i doubt there is any influence that doesn't interfere or stimulate the formation of neural axons or the bio-electric cycles in the brain.

    The main claim i have to support that natural selection can not cause the way we behave is because it happens too fast. We can simply not change this quickly due to natural selection. Also because at this point there is barely any natural selection apart from the very sick, very ugly, or infertile people.
    astromark likes this.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
    Reply With Quote  
     

  26. #25  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    281
    I agree with you in that the idea that we are pre-programmed to do everything sounds ridiculous. If an individual engaged in violent behaviour, does this not impact on ability to reproduce, and by this mechanism, alter the commonality of biological precursors to violent behaviour?
    I can never know I'm right, but I can know that I'm wrong.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  27. #26  
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    1,631
    Quote Originally Posted by Curiosity View Post
    I agree with you in that the idea that we are pre-programmed to do everything sounds ridiculous. If an individual engaged in violent behaviour, does this not impact on ability to reproduce, and by this mechanism, alter the commonality of biological precursors to violent behaviour?
    Being violent does not impact a persons ability to reproduce. Not significantly. You will have women drawn to the aggressive guys and those who are appalled by violence. And the number of aggressive guys that get hit in the nuts is not high enough to have any impact on the fertility. Aggression is hard to define, simply because it is partly hormonal and actually genetic, and partly conditioning.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
    Reply With Quote  
     

  28. #27  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    281
    Given that selective breeding in animal studies, has led to strains of animals that are more aggressive than others, there is therefore a biological influence on aggression. Aggression, defined by observed behaviour, is, a behaviour :P Therefore, natural selection influences the way we behave. On a different note, would the human species have gotten to where we are, if we were far less cooperative and didn't have the cognitive faculties, to deduce between members of our group?
    I can never know I'm right, but I can know that I'm wrong.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  29. #28  
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    1,631
    This is not necessary. Humans can lie. So we can be assholes, and still be considered nice, by lying about it. Lying would be acting okay, while you are mad, or discharging your frustrations on an innocent bystander. It is also well known that less intelligent people are more aggressive. And it could even be defined back to penis size. A man with a small penis will be more likely to be aggressive than a man with a regular sized penis. This is all about self image.

    So a self image could be the cause of aggression, then why aren't lesser attractive people less nice than the attractive people. Well this is because that's visible, and those people have been conditioned to be nicer, and humbled. While the attractive people have been worshipped so are mainly very sure of themselves, which could result in being a giant asshole.

    I truly think we should look more into the things we can see, and how people see themselves, than genetics (on the question how someones personality formed). And as a geneticist myself that's saying something.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
    Reply With Quote  
     

  30. #29  
    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    504
    The research in this article linked below doesn't really have anything directly to do with consciousness and sense of self - it's intended to eventually help people with spinal cord damage. Never the less it did make me wonder whether if you maintained the connection between the two monkeys, if the "master monkey" would eventually incorporate the other monkey into his idea of "self" or if it would be more like driving a car.
    Monkey Think, Other Monkey Do | I Fucking Love Science
    Reply With Quote  
     

  31. #30  
    HTM fan
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    227
    Quote Originally Posted by Quantum immortal View Post
    We are literally just biological robots. Consciousness is just an illusion. Qualia is also an illusion.
    I know that you just care about the fact that we are a set of mechanisms, but just to make sure I want to say something. We are absolutely not robots! Robots are computers. Computers execute (literally) several billion instructions per second, such as moving data from one set of off/on memory circuits to another, or adding the values of two memory locations or comparing to numbers to see if they are the same. Does anyone here think we work like that? You shouldn't. We are a set of (literally) many billion neurons. Neurons take some inputs, check if enough are on, and if so they send outputs to the inputs of thousands of other neurons. These are not simply different building blocks of the same device. Neurons check totals, transistors (of computers) check combos. Neurons learn, transistors are programmed by some guy. Computers do gateway-based mathematics, humans do reason-based mathematics. Computers are made to execute useful algorithms, humans are made to survive.
    Of course, in the future you could simulate the brain on computers. We don't even know how the brain works yet.

    I'm not really sure how you guys defined consciousness (I'm too lazy to figure that out.) I think consciousness is the ability to perceive. I don't mean representing something by a physical state simply. I mean thinking without experiencing your own neurons firing. I have absolutely no idea how this works, but I personally experience this. You experience this too. If the ability to experience were an illusion, then that wouldn't happen.

    I'm kind of confused why most people here are so sure that we aren't conscious. I know there are a lot of mystical connotations to consciousness, but the same might seem true of quantum physics. I'm not saying there is evidence that we are conscious. There just isn't any hefty evidence that we are conscious or unconscious. In my opinion, we're arguing quantum physics (consciousness) before we understand Newtonian physics (the brain).

    Quote Originally Posted by Curiosity View Post
    Go on dan! Get wordy! I'm quite curious as to explanations of consciousness in terms of neural connections.
    Not enough information in my opinion, even to create a reasonable hypothesis.
    "It is the ability to make predictions about the future that is the crux of intelligence."
    -Jeff Hawkins.
    For example, you can predict that 3+5=8. You can predict what sequence of muscle commands you should generate during a conversation, or whether an object is a desk or a chair. The brain is very complicated, but that is essentially how intelligence works. Instinct, emotions, and behavior are somewhat seperate.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  32. #31  
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    1,631
    Quote Originally Posted by NNet View Post
    We are absolutely not robots! Robots are computers. Computers execute (literally) several billion instructions per second, such as moving data from one set of off/on memory circuits to another, or adding the values of two memory locations or comparing to numbers to see if they are the same. Does anyone here think we work like that? You shouldn't. We are a set of (literally) many billion neurons. Neurons take some inputs, check if enough are on, and if so they send outputs to the inputs of thousands of other neurons. These are not simply different building blocks of the same device. Neurons check totals, transistors (of computers) check combos. Neurons learn, transistors are programmed by some guy. Computers do gateway-based mathematics, humans do reason-based mathematics. Computers are made to execute useful algorithms, humans are made to survive.
    Of course, in the future you could simulate the brain on computers. We don't even know how the brain works yet.
    Well... Incorrect.. Because we are more complex does not imply we cannot be robots. Our brain works pretty much the same as a computer, actually the computer is based upon the model of the brain.

    Neurons do not learn. Not by themselves. One neuron is just as intelligent as one transistor. But by grouping neurons you get something else. Because of the random error, which doesn't occur in computers. And if it does, it is not used intelligently, it is always bugged out, not saved etc.

    Our brain is gateway based just like computers.. This is the reason this comparison was made in the first place.

    Humans were made to survive? Not quite, we still exist because we have learned how to survive. We weren't made by anything or anyone, without any set goal in mind. Survival is a possibility, not a must.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
    Reply With Quote  
     

  33. #32  
    Forum Senior Weterman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Canada Saskatchewan
    Posts
    325
    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by NNet View Post
    We are absolutely not robots! Robots are computers. Computers execute (literally) several billion instructions per second, such as moving data from one set of off/on memory circuits to another, or adding the values of two memory locations or comparing to numbers to see if they are the same. Does anyone here think we work like that? You shouldn't. We are a set of (literally) many billion neurons. Neurons take some inputs, check if enough are on, and if so they send outputs to the inputs of thousands of other neurons. These are not simply different building blocks of the same device. Neurons check totals, transistors (of computers) check combos. Neurons learn, transistors are programmed by some guy. Computers do gateway-based mathematics, humans do reason-based mathematics. Computers are made to execute useful algorithms, humans are made to survive.
    Of course, in the future you could simulate the brain on computers. We don't even know how the brain works yet.
    Well... Incorrect.. Because we are more complex does not imply we cannot be robots. Our brain works pretty much the same as a computer, actually the computer is based upon the model of the brain.

    Neurons do not learn. Not by themselves. One neuron is just as intelligent as one transistor. But by grouping neurons you get something else. Because of the random error, which doesn't occur in computers. And if it does, it is not used intelligently, it is always bugged out, not saved etc.

    Our brain is gateway based just like computers.. This is the reason this comparison was made in the first place.

    Humans were made to survive? Not quite, we still exist because we have learned how to survive. We weren't made by anything or anyone, without any set goal in mind. Survival is a possibility, not a must.
    He means we were designed to survive. Everything about our bodies help us survive. The only reason we have legs is so we can run after food. If we didn't need to run to get food, we wouldn't have legs.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  34. #33  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    985
    This is not original to me but gets to the point well, "Anything that is worried about the existence of its' soul, has one." Which neatly cut's out the dogs and trees, but may leave in AI's.

    Now there is a slightly different question: Is your soul, ie your Ego, the being that answers to "me", unique to you. Could it be an extention of a larger organism that is aware of it but of which it is not aware?

    We can't prove that this is not the case, but there is no evidence that it is.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  35. #34  
    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    504
    Quote Originally Posted by NNet View Post
    Of course, in the future you could simulate the brain on computers. We don't even know how the brain works yet.
    Not only do we not know enough about how how it works, we don't have adequate ways of observing or measuring it. FMRIs, PET scans, and EEGs are big advances since the days of Freud, allowing us some insight into mental processes that were once considered subjective, unmeasurable, and beyond the realm of true science. But they still aren't good enough.

    The March issue of Scientific American has an article about attempts to find new technology to observe or measure the brain.

    The article explains current limitations of technology - "Fine scale recordings currently made be inserting needle like electrodes into the brains of laboratory animals to record the firing of a single neuron" but that is somewhat like trying follow the plot of a movie "while viewing only a single pixel." EEGs measure oscillating waves the combined electrical activity of more than a 100,000 nerve cells, but can't tell you what individual neurons are doing. FMRIs don't track nerve activity directly but records blood flow through the brain. We can map brain circuits and have done so for simpler organisms, but the connections cannot explain very much if you can't see them in action.

    Some new methods being investigated are calicium imaging (measuring when calcium enters the cell after firing) fluorescent voltage imaging, computational optics, optogenetics, and optochemistry. Optogenetics and optochemistry involve tagging DNA or neurotransmitters with light sensitive proteins. And possibly nanosize measuring devices.

    It's an interesting article and not overly technical if anyone is interested.

    Oh, and since NNet mentioned, there is a current effort to simulate the entire brain on a computer. It's called the Human Brain Project, a 10 year, 1.6 billion dollar project funded by the European Union.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  36. #35  
    HTM fan
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    227
    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by NNet View Post
    We are absolutely not robots! Robots are computers. Computers execute (literally) several billion instructions per second, such as moving data from one set of off/on memory circuits to another, or adding the values of two memory locations or comparing to numbers to see if they are the same. Does anyone here think we work like that? You shouldn't. We are a set of (literally) many billion neurons. Neurons take some inputs, check if enough are on, and if so they send outputs to the inputs of thousands of other neurons. These are not simply different building blocks of the same device. Neurons check totals, transistors (of computers) check combos. Neurons learn, transistors are programmed by some guy. Computers do gateway-based mathematics, humans do reason-based mathematics. Computers are made to execute useful algorithms, humans are made to survive.
    Of course, in the future you could simulate the brain on computers. We don't even know how the brain works yet.
    Well... Incorrect.. Because we are more complex does not imply we cannot be robots. Our brain works pretty much the same as a computer, actually the computer is based upon the model of the brain.

    Neurons do not learn. Not by themselves. One neuron is just as intelligent as one transistor. But by grouping neurons you get something else. Because of the random error, which doesn't occur in computers. And if it does, it is not used intelligently, it is always bugged out, not saved etc.

    Our brain is gateway based just like computers.. This is the reason this comparison was made in the first place.

    Humans were made to survive? Not quite, we still exist because we have learned how to survive. We weren't made by anything or anyone, without any set goal in mind. Survival is a possibility, not a must.
    I'd like to see your evidence.
    The brain is a computer? Have you looked at the biology? Neurons cannot learn? I strongly disagree with these claims.

    Here's an example.
    The optic tectum is a somewhat primitive part of the brain which causes orienting responses toward stimuli. It is essentially composed of 3 layers (in my opinion. It varies across species, but the original principal of operation must still be there for the structure to be consistent throughout species.) The first layer is the superficial layer. It receives visual input from both retinas, as well as some other parts of the brain. One of these causes a winner-take-all mechanic, which means that the most active X neurons of various subsets are the only ones which activate.
    It is composed of columns. The functional significance of this is not clear, but there is more research on cortical columns. The cortex also uses a winner-take-all mechanism and layers, which suggests that tectal layers are similar. They each have a specific function determined by the way they operate and their inputs. (For example, one layer might make predictions while another uses correct predictions to form a stable representation over time.)
    Quote from wikipedia: "Another important input comes from the substantia nigra, pars reticulata, a component of the basal ganglia. This projection uses the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, and is thought to exert a "gating" effect on the superior colliculus. The intermediate and deep layers also receive input from the spinal trigeminal nucleus, which conveys somatosensory information from the face, as well as thehypothalamus, zona incerta, thalamus, and inferior colliculus."

    Does this sound like a computer? Computers execute a sequence of commands. That requires a bunch of connections, but those connections convey 1s and 0s whereas some neural connections have a widespread modulating effect.

    A lot of people assume that the brain works like a computer, because it processes information. Computers are just one of trillions of possible ways to process information, they just happen to be the only one we really understand. The brain uses its own methods. I can explain some theories to you if you aren't convinced.


    Just so you know, this isn't my job and I'm not an expert.
    "It is the ability to make predictions about the future that is the crux of intelligence."
    -Jeff Hawkins.
    For example, you can predict that 3+5=8. You can predict what sequence of muscle commands you should generate during a conversation, or whether an object is a desk or a chair. The brain is very complicated, but that is essentially how intelligence works. Instinct, emotions, and behavior are somewhat seperate.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  37. #36  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2,408
    Quote Originally Posted by NNet View Post
    A lot of people assume that the brain works like a computer, because it processes information. Computers are just one of trillions of possible ways to process information, they just happen to be the only one we really understand. The brain uses its own methods.
    NNet happens to be pretty much right.

    One of the major differences is the nervous system is very noisy. Nerves are constantly firing randomly. Your brain uses the noise as a way to amplify signals. It then sums the signals in a statistical fashion that accounts for how many neurons are firing and at what level of power. Large numbers of neurons firing at a level just above the noise threshold can equal one neuron firing far above the background noise level.

    I don't think it is possible for binary chips to do this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  38. #37  
    HTM fan
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    227
    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    One of the major differences is the nervous system is very noisy. Nerves are constantly firing randomly. Your brain uses the noise as a way to amplify signals. It then sums the signals in a statistical fashion that accounts for how many neurons are firing and at what level of power. Large numbers of neurons firing at a level just above the noise threshold can equal one neuron firing far above the background noise level.

    I don't think it is possible for binary chips to do this.
    Neurons perform a function which requires a certain amount of excitation for the neuron to activate. Dendritic segments (not sure if this is true, it's an obscure hypothesis of someone) require at least 30 inputs to activate. A huge number of neurons represent something, so even if synapses don't work half the time, activation will be fairly consistent overall. There are 3 other reasons why noise doesn't matter. The brain doesn't represent things perfectly anyway. The brain makes various levels of generalizations. The brain uses many redundancies, i.e. similar information is encoded similarly so noisy representation is still recognizable by the rest of the brain.

    I think most of those facts are true though. Neurons often create series of pulses because of certain input requirements, though.
    "It is the ability to make predictions about the future that is the crux of intelligence."
    -Jeff Hawkins.
    For example, you can predict that 3+5=8. You can predict what sequence of muscle commands you should generate during a conversation, or whether an object is a desk or a chair. The brain is very complicated, but that is essentially how intelligence works. Instinct, emotions, and behavior are somewhat seperate.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. Restless Leg Syndrome: Is This Real Or Fake?
    By MoonCanvas in forum Health & Medicine
    Replies: 54
    Last Post: August 26th, 2013, 02:33 PM
  2. Consciousness is real.
    By Nick Hosein in forum Philosophy
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: October 26th, 2012, 05:38 PM
  3. Did We Fake the Mars Landings Too?
    By Cosmored in forum History
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: August 12th, 2008, 05:32 AM
  4. Poll: OOPARTS: real of fake?
    By Sciler in forum Pseudoscience
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: May 16th, 2008, 12:28 PM
  5. Water powered cars, real or fake?
    By (In)Sanity in forum Mechanical, Structural and Chemical Engineering
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: July 16th, 2006, 08:36 PM
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
  •