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Thread: where does the individual self lie?

  1. #1 where does the individual self lie? 
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    think about this:
    a human consists of zillions of emotionless single cell organisms.
    so how can we perceive individuality?
    which part of our body does our individuality lie?
    if you get your arm cut off, you still have a feeling of "i"
    ilose your eyes, you won't be able to see anymore,
    get brain damaged, and you're not able to think, but you still have an "i"
    how many functions can be cut off, before we no longer feel like an "i"?
    is there an individuality seed?
    or is there, if you simply turn off each subsystem one by one, our individual self disappears gradually, until theres nothing left.¨

    so how come we're individual thinking beings, and not a large unison thinking organism?

    during a month, the skin completely changes itself out.
    not a single cell is left, that was there at the beginning of the month.
    so basically, everyone is in constant change. and yet, we remain individual.
    the skin that has flaked off, the intestinal cells, braincells that has died, and been excreted.. its amazing that during all this, you can still remain a single thinking, being.

    how come people who are touching eachother, does not become unison,
    with the same thoughts and feelings?
    why is it i feel, you feel, but not we feel?
    after all, the bodies are millions of individual cells.
    you have two individual colonies of cells.


    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
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    Deja, I think it's one layer of skin you lose per month not the whole lot, the difference is that we have several layers (avg 7 I think).


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    It is worth remembering that neurons are not exchanged. Although there is a continuance of growth of brain cells, this is mostly related to new memories, not replacing dead brain cells.

    The binding problem, which you seem to refer to, exists on multiple levels. There is the binding problem of a unified experience of consciousness, which due to its nature will likely never be explained: consciousness itself lies outside of the domain of science since its existence can not be falsified even though it seems so apparent.

    However, on the level of brain modules, there is a very promising hypothesis. Imagine you have a A and B. How is it possible that the A appears red and the B appears blue? How can we bind these two stimuli when they are located in different parts of the brain?

    Neurons fire in those sections responsible for A and for those of B, but also in areas responsible for red and blue. Though the strength of their fire is relatively equal, the moment of their firing is intriguing. The A and the red areas fire synchronous, whilst the B and the blue fire synchronous as well.
    Attention, some argue is the degree of synchronous firing. The more attention we have for a certain stimulus, the more synchronous the various areas that make you experience that stimulus become.

    An interested piece of research: a patient with the connection between his two hemispheres severed (the two brain halves could no longer communicate) demonstrated a somewhat puzzling answer to a simple question. When asked whether he believed in God, one half said yes, while the other said no.

    Some psychologists gather that our consciousness is mainly located in our left hemisphere of the brain, because that is where we process language, and they believe language to be the largest foundation of consciousness. However, there are numerous objections to this, of which I will not go into detail here, but there is definite psychological research going on in the area of binding that you are talking about.
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  5. #4  
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    When it comes to the brain, clealy the sum is greater than the total of the parts (I think that's how it's said) if your mind were 'chopped' into 4 pieces, would each piece still have consciousness? - A complete 'I' certainly requires a complete brain, I can't see there is any gain in 'slicing' off parts (metaphorically) to decide at which point 'I' dissappear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    When it comes to the brain, clealy the sum is greater than the total of the parts (I think that's how it's said) if your mind were 'chopped' into 4 pieces, would each piece still have consciousness? - A complete 'I' certainly requires a complete brain, I can't see there is any gain in 'slicing' off parts (metaphorically) to decide at which point 'I' dissappear.
    Splitting the brain was used - not too long ago - against epilepsy. Not experiments as to the nature of the ego. Moreover, any further laesions, halving the two halves of the brain will result in death of the subject.
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    so basically, you believe theres a "seed", and not that the self is the sum of its functions.
    imo, after thinking about it, i think you'd have to remove all the parts of the brain for someone to not be concious of himself anymore,
    because each part contributes to conciousness.
    a person without eyes and ears, hands, is simply not as concious as someone else, because they cannot hear, see and feel.
    but say, if it was possible, you took one half of the brain from one person, and the same half of the brain from another person, and
    put them in the opposite heads..
    where does the "selfs" lie now.
    could you drill a hole in someones skulls, put a cable, or neurons between those 2 brains, and have 2 selfs become 1 self?
    or would you be able to think what the other is thinking?
    or are different brains operating at different "frequencies" and therefore incompatible?
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
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    but say, if it was possible, you took one half of the brain from one person, and the same half of the brain from another person, and
    put them in the opposite heads..
    In these kinds of cases, you would likely result in mixture of two people. Of course, this is entirely hypothetical. Surgically, this is rather impossible. Moreover, the neural network that combines the two hemispheres is more than just some wiring. It is practically impossible to recreate them without some 'guideline' as to combine which to which. It involving many millions of neurons, it is impossible.

    or are different brains operating at different "frequencies" and therefore incompatible?
    No, but neurons are interconnected. Severing the two halves is not just cutting two or three wires, it is severing millions of connections that in themselves play a role in cognition.

    could you drill a hole in someones skulls, put a cable, or neurons between those 2 brains, and have 2 selfs become 1 self?
    One would expect that the two brains would develop a unified consciousness, one consciousness, where similar areas fire similarly when exposed to different cues. Possibly, when different cues are exposed to the different individuals, they would ignore the cues presented to one individual, only using the other. It would render them unable to properly interact with their environment.

    However, this is all VERY unscientific and more an educated guess than anything else.
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  9. #8 Tough questions 
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    What you are asking are some of the most fundamental questions in all of cognitive science. The short answer is we just don't know yet—but a lot of smart people are working on this problem. In his book called Society of Mind, MIT's Marvin Minsky attempts to explain how what we call intelligence could be a product of the interaction of non-intelligent parts. It's a fascinating read.

    Another scientist, Johnjoe McFadden, proposes an even more radical theory to the binding problem. He believes that the brain's em information field is the physical substrate of conscious awareness. In other words, he feels that consciousness is the sum total of the electromagnetic fields generated by the human brain. He first outlined his theory in a very readable book called: Quantum Evolution.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomoUniversalis
    but say, if it was possible, you took one half of the brain from one person, and the same half of the brain from another person, and
    put them in the opposite heads..
    In these kinds of cases, you would likely result in mixture of two people. Of course, this is entirely hypothetical. Surgically, this is rather impossible. Moreover, the neural network that combines the two hemispheres is more than just some wiring. It is practically impossible to recreate them without some 'guideline' as to combine which to which. It involving many millions of neurons, it is impossible.

    or are different brains operating at different "frequencies" and therefore incompatible?
    No, but neurons are interconnected. Severing the two halves is not just cutting two or three wires, it is severing millions of connections that in themselves play a role in cognition.

    could you drill a hole in someones skulls, put a cable, or neurons between those 2 brains, and have 2 selfs become 1 self?
    One would expect that the two brains would develop a unified consciousness, one consciousness, where similar areas fire similarly when exposed to different cues. Possibly, when different cues are exposed to the different individuals, they would ignore the cues presented to one individual, only using the other. It would render them unable to properly interact with their environment.

    However, this is all VERY unscientific and more an educated guess than anything else.
    yes, they'd probably end up as a mix of 2 different people.

    but if YOU were one of the people, and I was the other person,
    and we had half a brain mixed like that.
    who would be YOU, and who would be ME?

    if we completely swapped brains, would i be me in your body, and you be you in my body?
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
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  11. #10 Re: where does the individual self lie? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejawolf
    think about this:
    ...
    you have two individual colonies of cells.
    Great, I love this. I think that we are all of our cells and one of our cells at the same time. Think about what the cell contains and this idea of indentity. All cells have the same DNA (well mostly) and it seems that no matter what is lost we still know who we are unless all is lost. We are like a collective effort of all our stuff. Personally I believe that the entire body is responsible as opposed to just the nervous system. Each cell is in communication with another cell and the whole body is like a vast network creating a vast consciousness. What makes us seperate from animals? Not so sure.

    I love the note on being in contact with another. Although when you touch someone it's generally with dead tissue. What about transplants though. An organ of another has to comunicate with the patients system. Don't most transplants eventually fail? Does this mean something? I'm not so sure.
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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  12. #11 Re: where does the individual self lie? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejawolf
    how come people who are touching eachother, does not become unison,
    with the same thoughts and feelings?
    why is it i feel, you feel, but not we feel?
    Because that would be creepy...

    Quote Originally Posted by dejawolf
    so how come we're individual thinking beings, and not a large unison thinking organism?
    You clone a human being from birth. Not just once but lets say you were able to clone three separate emryo's from the original giving you a total of four. Four girls with brown hair and and green eyes. Not quadruplets mind you but clones. Same cells, same DNA, same genetic mak-up entirely. The four girls are then separated at birth. One grows up in London the second grows up in Tokyo the third grows up in Cape Town and the fourth grows up in Los Angeles. Finally, after twenty years, the four girls are brought togather and they meet each other for the first time. Again, these are not sisters they are essentially four of the same individual. Now of course such an experiment has never been done before, at least not to my knowledge, but if I had to guess I would say that these four girls would have very little in common. They might very well be four strands of the same genome they might each be made of the same exact material yet, contrary to popular belief, it is not material that defines the girl - or - any other living thing for that matter.

    Life is not difined by life. Life is difined by its environment. And with that said, it is crucial to understand that "No two environments are ever the same". No two individuals will ever experience the same environment or the same situation. Thats why we call them "Individuals" Each human experience is a one of a kind. As is each human memory. Our memories are what constitute our identity. Even if the four girls were, in fact, treated as regular sisters - If they grew up as one family under the same house with one set of parents. Even if they were forced to dress the same and go to the same school and socailize with the same people, never-the-less, they would still eventually grow up as individuals. They might share some of the same habbits or common social/cultural points of view but there would be no single sentient organism. There would be no unison of thought or feeling.

    Two bowling balls. Both of the same exact weight and dimension. You take bowling ball 1. walk down fifty yards to the end of your block and roll it back down the street and it runs over a cat or slams into the rim of your neighbors Trans Am or whatever. Now even if you were to roll bowling ball 2. from the same spot with the same exact vector and trajectory the odds of that ball fallowing the same exact path as the origianal are slim to nothin'. Within the realm of Space/Tme(which pretty much accounts for everything) there is an infinite amount of fluxuations, variations and overall differences. No two bowling balls - no two human beings can maintain the same exact existence.

    Marching to the beat of your own drum

    Human memory is not like computer memory because human beings are emotional beings. We do not record data we interperate it. Therefore your memories and experiences are yours and yours alone. And since your emotions can never be truly completely separate from your thoughts then as a result, your thinking process is a process that operates on its own unique wave length.
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  13. #12  
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    Here's an interesting article:
    'Mind and brain seem to be separate' says professor
    http://thepsychictimes.com/articles/fenwick.htm
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  14. #13 Re: where does the individual self lie? 
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    Kolt, you're completely missing the point.
    i don't want to know that we are all thinking individually,
    i want to know WHY we are all thinking individually, when clearly, we're made up of billions of parts ourselves.
    i want to know what individual conciousness is, and where it lies.

    i'm sorry for embarrassing you, but i couldn't find another word than "touch"
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejawolf
    i want to know what individual conciousness is, and where it lies.
    So do I. So far as current science goes, the only answers we get are something like "It emerges from the activity of the brain". That doesn't tell us what it is. The fact is, no one yet knows. The real scientific answer may come as a result of a radical revolution in science; or perhaps it won't.
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    I agree. This is not a practical question, for now. If you really want the answer(s), you'll either have to wait a long time(maybe not a long time...as said above, the knowledge could come as an enlightenment sometime in the near future), or do your own research to find the answer(s). It's quite obvious the answer is not here yet.
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  17. #16  
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    The following is a very helpful archive of articles on cognition, many of which deal with this consciousness "binding" problem. It has helped me to learn about what current research is up to. This binding problem gets into the area of artificial intelligence as well, because if we can learn how our mind works, we may very well be able to create one from scratch.

    Religion comes into play, too, because some feel that only God is able (or should be able) to create artificial minds that can think for themselves—while others believe that humans will eventually be able to do it.

    View archive
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by NLN
    The following is a very helpful archive of articles on cognition, many of which deal with this consciousness "binding" problem. It has helped me to learn about what current research is up to. This binding problem gets into the area of artificial intelligence as well, because if we can learn how our mind works, we may very well be able to create one from scratch.]
    We already can, it's called: "having babies".
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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  19. #18 Re: where does the individual self lie? 
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    You are not of your body. We can lose limbs, replace hearts with electric pumps and so on and you would still be you. What we are is the information in our brains, our memory coupled with the processing that takes place between the neurons. We think of ourselves as children grown to adults because we retain our memories of our childhood. Yet pretty much all the cells in your body have been replaced since childhood. You have a sence of continuation because you retain memory.

    Similarily if you were to lose your memory you'd be a different person. Outwardly you would look the same, but you would feel and act differently about things.

    Also people who have minor brain damage, through an accident or what not, will go through a change of personality. There are many documented cases of people with frontal lobe damage who cease to care about loved ones, or who become angry and violent new people who are no longer recognized as the same person by their family. In these cases the information locked in their brains in the form of hard wiring has been altered.

    Alter the information stored, and you alter you own consciousness. Even if you still retained your memories, you'd be processing them differently and it wouldn't be the same you any more.

    We as entities are more fragile than you would think, and information is more of a tangible substance than anyone is trully aware of.

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  20. #19  
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    Maybe it is something as simple as combinations. Like the combination on a padlock or a briefcase. A spacific number of electrons run through your brain at a certain rate with a certain frequency. So we are each given our own combination so to speak.
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  21. #20 Life from Scratch 
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaBOB
    We already can, it's called: "having babies".
    That's not true, DaBOB. When you think about it, we don't create life; we simply combine existing eggs and sperm to pass on pre-existing life from one generation to the next. So far there has (probably) been only one life on earth—which has been perpetuated since it was first formed in ancient times.

    Someday, I hope that we will be able to create life from scratch.

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    Trust me, I know what you are saying because I argue it often. However, what I was saying is not that we create life but, that in the prcoess of reproduction we "create a mind from scratch". Unless you believe it is God's work.
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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    Dog,
    its the the conciousness/awareness i want to know more about.
    what you are describing is personality.
    of course, if you are severely braindamaged, you're not the same person you were before, but you are still using the brain, the eyes, everything else.
    you still have that awareness. not someone elses.
    i regularly forget things. memory can be lost just as easily.
    pondering about being knocked unconcious.
    when you are, 5 hours can pass, and it will seem like barely a second.

    i want to know the essence of what binds my awareness to this body.
    you haven't been aware your whole lives. why is it impossible to remember anything that happened the first year of life?
    only traumatic experiences seems to stick from those years. and rarely can you actually picture the event.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
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    The individual self emerges from sufficiently complex neural assemblies (my opinion and others). Are you familiar with "emergent properties"? These are properties of a system which cannot be deduced by studying the properties of the individual components. Here's the Wikipedia reference:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergen...ent_properties

    The quintessential example of emergent properties is the termite mound: no instructions by a supervisor termite, no blue print, no genetic component yet a wonderfully complex clay cathedral emerges as a consequence of non-linear interactions between termite, mud, and pheromone. So too does mind (in my opinion) as a consequence of non-linear dynamics of neural assemblies. For me, it makes wonderful sense.

    Oh yea, know about Blue Column? Folks at IBM trying to model a mammalian cortex with hodgkin-huxley equations (which are non-linear).
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  25. #24 Emergent properties 
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    A list of articles pertaining to consciousness as being an emergent property of the brain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejawolf
    Dog,

    i want to know the essence of what binds my awareness to this body.
    you haven't been aware your whole lives. why is it impossible to remember anything that happened the first year of life?
    only traumatic experiences seems to stick from those years. and rarely can you actually picture the event.
    You are not bound to your body. Thats the whole point. You think you are because all your memories are referenced to your body. If you were to take your memories and plug them into a machine that had sensory input like your body, and processed your thoughts in the same way that your brain did, you'd think you had been transported into a new, mechanical, body. Your conciousness would now abide somewhere else other than your original body.

    This is why if you want your conciousness to survive your body it is essential that your memories (amongst other things) are preserved. And memories are just information encoded in your brain cells. If you think of yourself as information stored and processed things start to make more sense. You are the information.

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    Quote Originally Posted by p1drobert
    You are the information.
    I like this.
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
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    dejawolf, i think that if the two brains were swapped as you show in your picture then the two brains would eventualy mesh together much like an immigrant in American culture or however you want to picture it. you self in the past has no meaning because you did this.

    if you chop a worm in half dont both halves live? which one was the orginal? which one is the "true" self for the worm.
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    well, certain worms you can chop into 250 parts and each will grow into a new individual worm.
    ok lets make it simpler. if i chopped you in half, and your 2 halves kept living, which one would be you and which one would be "you",
    in that its also you, act like you, and such, but you only experience life through the you, whereas the "you" experience life on its own.

    i think we've established that you cannot be both halves, like you have a left and right arm, when one gets chopped off an attached to someone else, it belongs to someone else then.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
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    i think whatever comes from you is yours... if you donate a heart that is still your heart even though the other person uses it. i think the same goes with your brain too. if you get half of somebody else's brain then thats exactly what it is-somebody else's brain. not yours. it doesnt belong to you because it never came from you. you just use it. also if you give half your brain away it's still your brain and that is still part of you.

    i guess what im saying is "you" are the sum of all your parts...

    btw, this is a creepy topic lol
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    Descartes suggested the soul lies in the pineal gland. Of course he was wrong...but I'm just throwing that out there...

    To answer the original question: it all depends on how you define "self".
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

    http://www.atheistthinktank.net/thinktank/index.php

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    Quote Originally Posted by dejawolf
    well, certain worms you can chop into 250 parts and each will grow into a new individual worm.
    ok lets make it simpler. if i chopped you in half, and your 2 halves kept living, which one would be you and which one would be "you",
    in that its also you, act like you, and such, but you only experience life through the you, whereas the "you" experience life on its own.

    i think we've established that you cannot be both halves, like you have a left and right arm, when one gets chopped off an attached to someone else, it belongs to someone else then.
    You're not getting it.
    The "you" that you are aware of is quite malleable. The sense of you being you is a sort of allusion. The truth is, you become a different person on a daily, or even minute by minute basis. Each time you learn something or make a decision based on new information you as an entity has changed. You instantly become a different person from the one you were a moment ago. You "feel" that you are the same entity, but in truth you have become different than you were a moment ago.

    In your pictured example, person A, and B swap half a brain. After the swap , A and B both share half of each others memories. Now both A, and B have become different persons. The A and B that were before are now vague memories. New A might now love B's wife, while B has a likeing for wearing womens underwear where as before he didn't. As entities they are new.
    If you were B before then afterwards you are not in either A, nor B. The old B has ceased to exist, being replaced with the evolved B.

    So now B's wife approaches B. She's not aware of the switch but notices that B behaves slightly differently. He's wearing womens underwear amongst over things. He doesn't appear to be the man she's married but doesn't make the connection that he's a new entity. She loves him nonetheless.

    Meanwhile the New A, seems to recall living at B's place and goes there, to see his wife with B. Lets call her Alice. She's holding B's hand. New A can't make sense of the fact that Alice is holding the hand of a man that looks surprisingly like him, and yet not like him. His memory of what he himself should look like is suddenly murky and confused.
    So now we have a situation where New B is holding hands with Alice. Her hand feels like he remembers it and he's vaguely content. And theres New A, which is seeing Alice holding hands with New B. And this is the important part **** even though New A feels that Alice is his wife, as does New B, its only New B that can actually feel her hand on his. The information being sent to New B, via the hand holding" is not reaching New A. After the brain swap the link between A and B is severed. No information continues to pass between A and B. As a result A, and B are separate entities.
    Even though they share memories, your "new" conciousnes does not skip from body to body, thinking that its in A one moment, or B the next. Because as soon as the half brain swap occurs both A, and B start receiving different information from their environment. New A, and B continue to evolve from moment to moment, but separately.

    If however a cable remained between the two brains, then A could see and feel what B saw and felt, and vice a versa. In that case A, and B would become a single entity, not two separate ones. With a cable link they both have access to each others memories, and sensory input on a moment to moment basis and so would evolve in unison. They would be the same person.

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    Robert
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    this.. AGAIN, moves over to personality.
    of course personality is an important part of who you are, but not whose brain you're using.
    so if i was in body 1 to start with, and half my brain was swapped, would i be using the brain in body A or body B?

    if you put person 1's brain in person 2s body,
    you'd agree person 1 would be person 1 in person 2's body.
    both personality, and consciousness

    if half the brains were swapped, half personality would be swapped,
    but theres no way that this person would move over 50% consciousness.
    so person 1s consciousness must be in either person 1s body, or person 2s body.
    so is consciousness linked to only 1 body when only part of the brain is moved, and linked to the brain when the whole brain is moved?
    or is there an "essence of consciousness" center in the brain, that links everything?

    i understand you need eyes and feel to be conscious of your surroundings.
    you need emotions to be conscious of your fellow human, and danger.
    you need the brain to be conscious of your consciousness.
    and you'll need a brain to be conscious.

    but where... which body... is there an essence of consciousness in the brain somewhere? are you still self-aware after the brainswap, or are you hurdled into the big nothing, while something else becomes conscious?
    i guess you'll notice where i'm going. because after you die, you lose consciousness.
    i'm wondering if theres a possibility that you'll become re-aware after death. not in that you have the same personality, and get deja-vu all over the place, but in that you become re-aware.
    if personality is so ductile that even after half your brain has been swapped out, you are still conscious in your one brain, then it could be ductile enough that after you die and rot, you can still become re-aware.

    i recently read even a fly has consciousness, and the ability to make simple decisions.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
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  35. #34 the subject of I 
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejawolf
    if half the brains were swapped, half personality would be swapped,
    but theres no way that this person would move over 50% consciousness.
    so person 1s consciousness must be in either person 1s body, or person 2s body.
    so is consciousness linked to only 1 body when only part of the brain is moved, and linked to the brain when the whole brain is moved?
    or is there an "essence of consciousness" center in the brain, that links everything?
    Firstly, you can't split a personality in half (as in alter 1/2 its memories and behaviour) and still think its the same person. Your personality is you.

    Both bodies are conscious, and self aware. They both have functioning memories and sensory input, and brains to process the information. They are both alive, and looking at the world as if they are the centre of the universe. They each feel the world as we feel it, as something real. Unfortuneately neither one is the you that you started with. Its like they're your twin brothers. Similar, but not the same. When you started to tinker with you memories you effectively killed yourself and replaced yourself with a person that was similar to you but not you.

    Now to the real answer that you're fishing for. If you want to cast yourself to another location, as in "after you die can you go somewhere else", you need to be able to do the following.

    - You need to preserve all your memories. Not just some, but all, or afterwards you wouldn't feel about things the way you did before.
    - These memories need to be able to be "running" on some sort of computing system, biological or otherwise, that allows them to be processed and added to.
    - The computing system needs sensory input which it processes along with your stored memory in a continous positive feedback loop.

    All of these things make up your conciousness and are necesssary for you to get that "me looking at the world" feeling.

    Then, and only then, would your conciousness be transported somewhere else. For the purposes of the excercise we'll assume the old you was destroyed in an anti-matter explosion so as to limit your confusion.

    For you to understand whether you can survive death, you need to understand what you are, as an entity. The problem that pretty much everyone seems to have is that they don't really understand what it is that they are. The question of "what am I" has to be answered before you can ask, where "do I go". I've been trying to get you to understand that you are your information, and that in order for you to "go" somewhere you need to preserve and relocate that information into a suitable processing system.

    Where you can find such a system is another question. I have my theories but now is not a good time to go into it.

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    Robert
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  36. #35  
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    no, you could be bashed braindead, you could lose all your memories, and you forget things on a regular basis, and i think you could lose all your memories, and still be able to perceive things of the world.
    what you need is something to write your thoughts to, so you can process the information you perceive.
    from this, i'll deduct i am the processing of information, based on inputs.
    NOT the stored memory.
    its each brains unique way of processing the stored memory that makes each person unique.

    this is still not a sufficient answer.
    why did i become exactly this processing of information, and not some other processing of information?
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
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  37. #36  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SealOtter
    i think whatever comes from you is yours... if you donate a heart that is still your heart even though the other person uses it. i think the same goes with your brain too. if you get half of somebody else's brain then thats exactly what it is-somebody else's brain. not yours. it doesnt belong to you because it never came from you. you just use it. also if you give half your brain away it's still your brain and that is still part of you.
    I believe you are right to a certain extant. Am I my father or my mother? Maybe I'm an amoeba. We are all nature. If we weren't we wouldn't work.
    What about this:
    You're walking by a bicycle rack and you see someone steal a bike from an old guy. This old guy's heart is not strong enough to chase down a bike so you chase down the thief and get the bike back. Or you could have given the old guy your heart so he could run faster and longer. I think that this whole brain/body part switch doesn't mix the experiences. If you give someone a kidney, it is still your kidney. It doesn't have to be connected to you. What about a blood cell? It is just floating in a solution and not necessarily in contact with any other cell. Does this mean it isn't yours? Let's get real deep. Think of the spaces between every single atom/molecule. Your body is practically nothing and in contact with nothing. I don't think we can define something as ours just by simply saying it is connected to us.
    Think about it.
    If half your brain goes in someone else it is still half your brain. Unless they somehow manage to take control of it. It it this control that we are trying to identify. I like lizards. They sometimes have eyes on the sides of their heads. Does that mean that there is a big black spot in their vision? No. So maybe if are brain was sepperated (assuming it could still function) it would stiill be our experiance. There could be one half on each side of the world but there would be a big empty space.

    Quote Originally Posted by SealOtter
    btw, this is a creepy topic lol
    'tis
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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  38. #37  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejawolf
    no, you could be bashed braindead, you could lose all your memories, and you forget things on a regular basis, and i think you could lose all your memories, and still be able to perceive things of the world.
    what you need is something to write your thoughts to, so you can process the information you perceive.
    from this, i'll deduct i am the processing of information, based on inputs.
    NOT the stored memory.
    its each brains unique way of processing the stored memory that makes each person unique.

    this is still not a sufficient answer.
    why did i become exactly this processing of information, and not some other processing of information?
    If you were bashed brain dead you would still perceive but it would not make sense. People who are born blind and then for some reason regain their sight do not immediately understand what they are seeing. At first its all a jumble of colors. They may see a statue but it makes no sense to them ( I saw this in a documentary on the brain once). They have no memory of colors and they can't process the information. Its not until they touch the statue that their brains are able to link their old memories with their new perceptions. Perceiving information is not enough to understand it. To feel it. Memory alone is not enough for you to have conciousness. I never said it was. You need to connect the memory and the perceiving and processing of information together for you to have conciousness.

    When you look at a chair, part of your brain subconciuosly recalls all the other times you saw a chair, while another part remembers what a chair is used for, while another part is remembering about the way your muscles have to move to get into that chair, while another part conjuctures up all the emotions that you associate with that chair. All this stuff is happening at once, and subconciously, makes you "see" the chair. Without the previous experiences and memories about chairs you would not be able to see a chair and understand what you were seeing. It would be a meaningless jumble of colors. .

    If you separate your memories from what you are seeing, then nothing you see will make sense to you. Memory and perception go hand in hand or their will be no conciousness. Its as simple as that.

    What makes you different from another person that processes information is that you've had different experiences from moment to moment. Different information input into your brain. Your brain changes with each piece of information that comes in. New connections are formed and the next time you perceive the same information you will process it differently because of the memory of the previous time.

    Why you are not your brother/sister,uncle etc is because you saw and felt different things as your brain was forming, and is still forming.

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    Robert
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    I think that this whole brain/body part switch doesn't mix the experiences. If you give someone a kidney, it is still your kidney. It doesn't have to be connected to you.
    Why are you getting caught up with ownership. What difference does it make if its your kidney or not. If your kidney is doing stuff for someone elses body, can you really call it yours, and if so what significance can it have to your conciousness. Are you still aware of your kidney in somebody elses body, can you feel it? Is it still of any benefit to you.

    I'm thinking, its a piece of machinary, and not relevant to your conciousness, or your sense of self.

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  40. #39  
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    If you were bashed brain dead you would still perceive but it would not make sense.

    this is exactly the part which i want to know more about.
    the perception of the world. the sense of being only one person, not the "i am unique" personality trait,
    and why exactly, i became this batch of processing, and not another.

    you'd agree that even if i'm braindead, i still have a sense of being this person, and not george bush.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
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  41. #40  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejawolf
    you'd agree that even if i'm braindead, i still have a sense of being this person, and not george bush.
    no, how would you know.
    braindead people are too braindead to realize how braindead they really are.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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  42. #41  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejawolf
    If you were bashed brain dead you would still perceive but it would not make sense.

    this is exactly the part which i want to know more about.
    the perception of the world. the sense of being only one person, not the "i am unique" personality trait,
    and why exactly, i became this batch of processing, and not another.

    you'd agree that even if i'm braindead, i still have a sense of being this person, and not george bush.
    The reason you're having trouble understanding this is because you keep thinking of yourself as a rock solid entity that doesn't change, and is present all the time. That isn't true.

    If you want to undestand this try thinking yourself as an entity made from information only. No body, just a bundle of information that has the ability still access data from the environment. Its a mental stretch I know, but its the key to understanding this. Just to help you along, you mentioned in a previous post something about sleeping. About how you go to sleep, and then wake up later as if the time in between didn't exist. You're right about that, for a while there you didn't exist.

    Your true self is a bunch of information. During your waking hours the information is continually being processed and modified. Its called thinking and living. When you sleep though you stop processing pretty much most of the information from your environment. This is called an altered state of conciousness. Your sensory input mostly stops. At that point you really do cease to exist. The entity that was you when awake has vanished,temporarily. However you body keeps the information preserved. Its still there but the processing system isn't interacting with it.
    When you wake up you start to receive information from the environment and the information and processing system is re-activated. You once again come alive, not having realized that for a short time there you ceased to exist.

    You want to know why you are the "I" that is you and not someone else. As I said before, its because the information in your head is different from the information in everyone elses head. I can't access your memories, and you can't access mine. You don't process information the way I process information because our brains are connected up differently. And the way that they connect up varies according to our experiences.
    Other than that, we're actually not different from each other. We are all a bundle of information being processed. We are not our bodies.

    I know you don't think that information is a tangible substance, like steel or concrete, but it is. Information is the building blocks of the conciousness.

    Geezer is correct, if you are brain damaged you lose your sense of self.
    You no longer think that you are still you. If all your memories were erased then theres no reason to think that you couldn't have been George bush.
    What is it that makes George bush think that he's who he is. The information stored in his head.

    I bet you're still thinking you would still perceive things if you lost your memory. Visualize this. When your eyes sees something, like a chair, the information from your eyes gets preprocessed by your nuerons. The image gets stripped down into colors and shapes. This information isn't registered by your conciousness yet. You still don't see the chair yet. The stripped down information gets passed to your memory system. From here separate circuits start to identify various structures of the chair. One circuit will signal that its see a leg, another signals that it recognizes the color, while another memory circuit associates function, etc . This information is then passed on in a process I won't even pretend to understand that results in you "seeing" the chair, of being concious of the chair. This is why you can't see the chair until your memory helps processes the information for you first. Memory and processing must work together for you to be concious of your environment.

    Try to let go of the notion that you are a solid flesh and blood entity. You are an information entity and if your information is lost, you are lost.

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    Robert
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  43. #42  
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    The way i see it self is split into personality, consiousness and perception. Personality traits ect are found at the frontal lobes of the brain we know this as they are what causes behaviour chnages when they develop in adolecents and lobotomy patients often lose all their personlity after "succesful" operations. Consiousness is a far tricker thing noone really knows what it is or how it is caused i mean mental counsiousness of your surroundings being able to think ect. I think that this is closely linked to perception which is the electrical inputs from the bodies various sensors , eyes nerves ears, without these i doubt consiousness could be developed as after all we all think in our mother tongue suggesting it is developed as the brain grows as without these stimulas what sort of consiosness is there a deaf person may think in pictures but what of someone completely devoid of sensation? I would seuggest that counsiousness is developed to normal extent somewhere around 4 or 5 just on the fact that most peoples oldest memories are from that time whereas a complete blank before. Perception is a nothing to do with self any animal or living creature can percieve the world around it and reply to it with "hard wired" instincts it is rather the way our developed consiousness regards this perseption which makes us who we are and also human So to conclude i would say that what we deem as "self" is all held in the brain more importantantly the parts which develop over time not what we are born with. suggesting self is more to do with nurture than nature but thats a different thing. I think experiments have already shown this through those russian experiments int the 50's grafting varius heads of dogs to other animals bodies you could look it up if interested i think
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    p1drobert, just want you to know i've got some pretty harsh discussion methods, before you might get angry at me.
    anyways
    i've believed memories are tangible from the beginning of this thread.
    i noted that the body changes continuously in the beginning of this thread.
    i know that the way i process the world, is again, with tangible matter.
    and i know that all the above, will rot when i die.
    now note this about computers.
    without electricity, they are nothing.
    similar with humans. without electricity, we are nothing.

    as of right now, i imagine my consciousness as the result of a series of collisions. for each collision, i become more conscious.
    sort of like a reciprocal engine.
    thinking like that.. its weird.
    imagining a vast flat gridmesh landscape, where a collision in the landscape of matter and energy creates a hill, and each of those hills are one separate personality.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
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  45. #44  
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    INTERESTING STUFF,
    i`m with Robert on this,seems to be going round in circles though.Can I open up the debate a bit.
    I was reading some stuff regarding ferrel children and it confirms that without exposure to normal human society and nurture we would be grunting animals.These rare and terrible stories are enlightening,these children brought up by dogs and wolves are unable to function,talk or think in any abstract way we could recognise as human.Concepts of time or self are missing and they do not exist as real people.
    This obviously leads onto questions of the nature of the individual,what we are, what it is to be I.
    Would it be logical to state that the I we experience is a sort of vessel that recieves a deluge of imput seamlessly flowing over it from birth and through a hardwired instinct strives for survival and betterment.Differences between the 'I's are down to the varied environments we are born into and the different imput exposed to.
    Evidence of 'hardwired' behaviour is found in captive beavers who apparently will attempt to build a dam when caged in an empty enclosure.They will carry out all the actions to create the structure with imagionary invisible logs,they are genetically programed mentally just as there bodies are genetically programed to develope and grow in a certain way.
    Have we developed a similar striving, questioning behavior which keeps our nose to the grind stone even after we have longsince mechanized it.
    Is it a mixture of this social ether washing over a well refined ape hard wired to keep up with the Jones which defines the 'I'.
    If we do not exist outside our thoughts can we develop eventually a cyber reality of communication which allows us a higher level of being

    Maybe off the subject a bit,
    but what d`you think
    macc
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  46. #45 new directions 
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    Quote Originally Posted by macc
    INTERESTING STUFF,
    i`m with Robert on this,seems to be going round in circles though.Can I open up the debate a bit.
    I was reading some stuff regarding ferrel children and it confirms that without exposure to normal human society and nurture we would be grunting animals.These rare and terrible stories are enlightening,these children brought up by dogs and wolves are unable to function,talk or think in any abstract way we could recognise as human.Concepts of time or self are missing and they do not exist as real people.
    This obviously leads onto questions of the nature of the individual,what we are, what it is to be I.
    Would it be logical to state that the I we experience is a sort of vessel that recieves a deluge of imput seamlessly flowing over it from birth and through a hardwired instinct strives for survival and betterment.Differences between the 'I's are down to the varied environments we are born into and the different imput exposed to.
    Evidence of 'hardwired' behaviour is found in captive beavers who apparently will attempt to build a dam when caged in an empty enclosure.They will carry out all the actions to create the structure with imagionary invisible logs,they are genetically programed mentally just as there bodies are genetically programed to develope and grow in a certain way.
    Have we developed a similar striving, questioning behavior which keeps our nose to the grind stone even after we have longsince mechanized it.
    Is it a mixture of this social ether washing over a well refined ape hard wired to keep up with the Jones which defines the 'I'.
    If we do not exist outside our thoughts can we develop eventually a cyber reality of communication which allows us a higher level of being

    Maybe off the subject a bit,
    but what d`you think
    macc
    Sure Macc, What you said is pretty much true. So you want to divert the discussion, as in
    If we do not exist outside our thoughts can we develop eventually a cyber reality of communication which allows us a higher level of being
    What are you asking with this? I'm not clear. We actually expand our conciousness when we go online on the web. Suddenly we have access to information not within our immediate surroundings. Or we can play an online game like everquest and be submerged in an alternate reality.
    Or did you mean adding electronics to our bodies to supplement our senses? Or perhaps your talking about leaving the body?


    To dejawolf, I wasn't angry. I just get animated on this subject because I've given it a lot of thought through out my life.

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    Robert
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