• T Clark
    10.3k
    A way to sharpen your approach would be to look at the issue through the eyes of function rather than merely just process.

    You have started at the reductionist end of the spectrum by conceiving of the mind as a collection of faculties. If you can break the mind into a collection of component processes, then of course you will be able to see how they then all "hang together" in a ... Swiss army knife fashion..

    Instead, think about the question in terms of the holism of a function. Why does the body need a nervous system all all? What purpose or goal does it fulfil? What was evolution selecting for that it might build such a metabolically expensive network of tissue?

    ...A functional approach leads instead to "whole brain" theories, like the Bayesian Brain, where the neurobiology is described in holistic architecture terms.
    apokrisis

    A Baysian brain is one set up to deal with uncertainty in a way consistent with Baysian statistics. So - the brain's function is as an optimally effective predictor of future events. I guess the question then is "but why?" What is the overriding function of the brain. One source said the minimization of free energy, whatever that means. Is that the kind of thing you're talking about.

    As is usual for you and me, I'm coming from a different direction. I like to deal with concrete, pragmatic ideas. In my experience, I can't really figure out how the big picture works until I get a feel for how the parts do. I see the world as bottom up rather than top down. That doesn't mean I don't recognize the disadvantages of looking too closely at the trees.

    You are appealing to a metaphysics of localised process. I am saying go one step further and employ a metaphysics of global function.apokrisis

    As I said, I think I understand the value of your approach, but I always find myself most interested in looking up close. Obviously, the answer is to do both.

    While you are at it, I would add that the scientifically grounded approach would be being able to say why some "this" is a more specified version of "that" more general kind of thing. So if the mind is the specific example in question, to what more fundamental generality are you expecting to assimilate it to.

    So if you are saying the mind is some kind of assembly of component processes, then what is the most general theory of such a "thingness". I would say rather clearly, it is a machine. You are appealing to engineering.
    apokrisis

    I need to think more about this before I respond further. Your mountain-top view is fine, but is it the one I'm interested in. This is just like that discussion we had about the hierarchical nature of knowledge. Maybe I want to talk about cells and not semiotics.
  • T Clark
    10.3k
    do you have anything of your own to add?Philosophim

    I just wanted to paint a picture for myself so I could see what it looks like. I don't necessarily think this has any philosophical consequences or broader implications.
  • Agent Smith
    8.1k


    Nice!

    It seems that we are in full control of only movement vis-à-vis our bodies - walking/grasping/etc (we can move + modulate the speed of our movements).. The rest of our bodily functions are usually in autopilot mode unless you're a yogi with decades of training under your belt!

    To cut to the chase, we, the part of the brain we identify as us is, well, motion-oriented. Solvitur ambulando. :snicker: Make your move!
  • apokrisis
    6.4k
    So - the brain's function is as an optimally effective predictor of future events. I guess the question then is "but why?"T Clark

    I think Darwin’s book gives you the obvious answer.

    One source said the minimization of free energy, whatever that means. Is that the kind of thing you're talking about.T Clark

    That means reducing uncertainty or error.

    Obviously, the answer is to do both.T Clark

    Yep. But you can waste years reading the wrong books if your sources are seeking mechanical parts to fit a story of mechanical wholes. I’m just giving you a heads up.

    Maybe I want to talk about cells and not semiotics.T Clark

    Whatever you believe is a wise investment of your energy I guess.
  • Enrique
    848
    The idea that thought is the same thing as language is an example of what can be called a conventional absurdity: a statement that goes against all common sense but that everyone believes because they dimly recall having heard it somewhere and because it is so pregnant with implications...etc.T Clark

    The claim that thought in general does not require verbalization seems undoubtedly accurate to me, and I essentially agree with all you've written in the post. But even though language doesn't necessarily determine what an organism thinks, the verbal stream can be involuntary enough that some thoughts can't be had without it, especially if language was involved in acquiring the informational content of that thought to begin with.

    Thoughts might tend to resemble the cognitive form in which their content was assimilated to memory, but that is merely intuition and of course needs to be verified by studies. Anyways, you can comment on that if you want or we can proceed to more research-based insights.
  • Agent Smith
    8.1k
    That means reducing uncertainty or error.apokrisis

    That's it! :up:

    the brain's function is as an optimally effective predictor of future events.T Clark

    Awesome! Prognostication subsumed under pattern-recognition I suppose. A complex web of a multitude of patterns interacting with/informing each other to produce even more complex + interesting daughter patterns, these then doing the same, so on and so forth. I digress. Pardon, monsieur, pardon. Nothing I said is new though! :sad:
  • T Clark
    10.3k
    I don't have time to explore this in any depth and forgive my awkward phrasing - but a continuing question I have (which may be of relevance to mental processes) is the idea that the world has no intrinsic properties and that humans see reality in terms of neutrally generated matrix of gestalts. These generate what we know as reality. An example would be an understanding that space and time are a product of generalized neurocognitive system that allows us to understand the world. Or perhaps 'a' world - the one we have access too.

    Maybe this is too Kantian and feel free piss it off if you find it superfluous. My understanding of Kant in the Critique is that he viewed space as a preconscious organizing feature of the human mind - a critic, (I forget who) compared this to a kind of scaffolding upon which we're able to understand the physical world. I suspect joshs would say that we don't understand it as such; we construct the semblance of an intelligible world based on shared values. Or something similar.
    Tom Storm

    Funny you should mention Kant, whom I have never liked and sometimes disparaged. I recently watched an interview on Kant between Brian Magee and Geoffrey Warnock. Magee does great interviews. Warnock said something that surprised and struck me. He said Kant was the first philosopher to recognize the reality we perceive, what he calls appearances or phenomena, comes from the interaction between our limited bodies and minds and a deeper reality made up of noumena, things that exist independent of our perception and are thus unknowable. That's something very similar to what Lao Tzu wrote in the Tao Te Ching.

    The nature of the interaction between our reality and the unknowable one, noumena or the Tao, is something I've struggled with. The fact that Kant was fully aware of the implications of the consequences of that relationship was what surprised me most. Warnock specifically identified time and space as human overlays on reality that Kant identified. In a sense, this discussion is my attempt to work back to an understanding of that interaction from the other direction, i.e. looking at the mechanisms of how humans divide the indivisible world.

    I think that means you and I are somewhere on the same page, or at least the same chapter. As I mentioned in the OP, another book I'm reading may have more to say about that. “Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking” by Douglas Hofstadter and Emmanual Sander has a lot to say about how the human mind classifies phenomena and creates categories using analogy. If I have time maybe I'll try to fit some of that in here too.
  • T Clark
    10.3k
    From what I gather, the model of the mind as offered for critique and/or endorsement seems (too) machine-like for my taste. True that our brain probably is the mind and neuroscience has proven to some extent that our brains are basically (bio)electrochemical devices; nonetheless, the model is, in my humble opinion, too simplistic.Agent Smith

    I think that feeling you have is a common one and it's probably a big reason it's so hard to get people to agree on this issue. For what it's worth, I don't think the information I included presented any kind of unified model of how the mind works. As I noted, I picked out particular aspects of the mind that interest me and for which I had information I consider credible.
  • T Clark
    10.3k
    Highly substantive OP and followup comments.Bitter Crank

    Thank you.

    Some brain scientist (if only I remembered correctly) noted that the primary function/purpose of the brain is "maintaining bodily processes" which needs to be understood broadly. Small clusters of cells in the brain stem are responsible for such essentials as heart beat, respiration, and waking up from sleep.Bitter Crank

    I think this is what Damasio meant when he was talking about the proto-self.

    But most of the brain considerable resources are applied in making sure the body gets fed, watered, sheltered, mated, and so on. We have seen what happens to people whose brains don't tend to business.Bitter Crank

    I guess this part is more about what Apokrisis was writing about - the greater purpose of our minds.
  • Gnomon
    2.7k
    I made a mistake. I stuck my nose into the quantum effects on thinking trap when I didn't have to. I should have kept my mouth shut. That's not what this thread is about. It's about scientifically supported ways of thinking about mental processes not including consciousness.T Clark
    Oh, I see! You are interested in Neurobiology instead of Psychology -- neural nets & nodes instead of meanings & feelings. Apparently, you have a novel philosophical angle on that topic -- using plumbing metaphors -- that has not already been covered by Neuroscientists, who normally use flow charts & wiring diagrams. Unfortunately, by referring to "Mind" instead of "Brain", you opened the door to metaphysical philosophical concepts, instead of physical engineering diagrams.

    I apologize, if my link to Enrique's posts has deflected your thread off-course. But I thought his expressed intention was similar to yours : The Physics of Consciousness. Maybe he sees a broader scope for Physics than you do. Even so, he also felt, at first, that my inclusion of Quantum and Information theory was off-topic. I suppose that's because he was thinking of "mental phenomena" in terms of classical Physical Phenomena : visually observable things and events.

    However, as the OP expressed it, Mind is a continuous "process" (movie), not a single thing or event (snapshot). And ongoing processes cannot be observed via the physical senses. We only know Change by means of the the eye-of-the-mind, Reason, which cognizes (sees) invisible relationships between things & events. Yet, Cognition is not itself a material object, or a string of events, but something more ethereal : awareness, or as Damasio put it : "the feeling of what happens".

    Consequently, trying to explain "mental processes" in terms of physical events seems to be a category error. But Shannon inadvertently gave us a clue to the Mind, when he applied the traditional word for the intangible contents of Mind, Information, to the coded data of computers. But those codes (strings of 1s & 0s) are merely symbols for meanings, such as "something" or "nothing". And meanings & feelings are hard to represent in still-shot graphic diagrams. Which is why philosophers and theoretical scientists resort to fanciful Analogies & Metaphors. :cool:


    Neural engineering is an emerging interdisciplinary field of research that uses engineering techniques to investigate the function and manipulate the behavior of the central or peripheral nervous systems.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/neural-engineering

    NEUROMORPHIC ANALOG IMPLEMENTATION OF NEURAL ENGINEERING
    627221_Thumb_400.jpg
  • T Clark
    10.3k


    I just realized I hadn't responded to this.

    While you are at it, I would add that the scientifically grounded approach would be being able to say why some "this" is a more specified version of "that" more general kind of thing. So if the mind is the specific example in question, to what more fundamental generality are you expecting to assimilate it to.

    So if you are saying the mind is some kind of assembly of component processes, then what is the most general theory of such a "thingness". I would say rather clearly, it is a machine. You are appealing to engineering.
    apokrisis

    Well, I am an engineer, which may have something to do with the differences between your and my ways of looking at this. I certainly don't see the mind as a machine in general, but it doesn't bother me to think about mental processes as actual processes, which end up seeming a bit mechanistic.

    And I am arguing that mind is a particularised example of the more general thing that is an organism. Or indeed, if we keep digging down, of a dissipative structure. And ultimately, a semiotic relation.

    So clarity about ontology is critical to seeing you have chosen an approach, and yet other approaches exist.
    apokrisis

    You and I are in agreement on this. I think I've put my attention at a level that is of particular interest to me, but I think it's also relevant to how things fit together at other levels. In the end, most of my information about mind comes from my interactions with other people on a social level where I see it in action as a unified whole.

    Cutting to the chase, we both perhaps agree that the mind isn't simply some variety of substance – even an exotic quantum substance or informational substance. But then do you think biology and neurobiology are literally machinery? Aren't they really organismic in the knowing, striving, intentional and functional sense?

    In simple language, an organism exists as a functioning model of its reality. And it all depends on the mechanism of a semiotic code.

    The genes encode the model of the body. The neurons encode the model of the body's world. Then words encode the social model of the individual mind. And finally numbers have come to encode the world of the human-engineered machine.

    So it is the same functional trick repeated at ever higher levels of organismic organisation and abstraction.

    Organismic selfhood arises to the degree there is a model that is functionally organising the world in play.
    apokrisis

    Do I think biology and neurobiology are literally machinery? I'm not sure anything is literally anything, but I have no problem applying a mechanical model to biology when it makes sense. But then even machinery isn't really machinery. It is subject to constraints from above from it's operator, other factory processes, and ultimately the economy as a whole.

    Anyway, the point is that we want to know what is the "right stuff" for constructing minds. It ain't exotic substances. It ain't mechanical engineering. But what holds for all levels of life and mind is semiosis - the encoding of self~world models that sustain the existence of organismic organisation.apokrisis

    I remain a skeptic about biosemiosis. Not so much about the processes included or the level of observation, but rather about the implication of meaning to biological processes. For me, meaning is something humans overlay onto reality, not something built into reality itself.
  • T Clark
    10.3k
    But even though language doesn't necessarily determine what an organism thinks, the verbal stream can be involuntary enough that some thoughts can't be had without it, especially if language was involved in acquiring the informational content of that thought to begin with.Enrique

    It would be silly for me to claim that language doesn't have anything to do with thought. I don't know if you read what Apokrisis wrote in an earlier post.

    So - contra Pinker - language may not create "thought", but it does transform it quite radically. It allows the animal mind to become structured by sociocultural habit. Humans are "self consciously aware" as social programming exists to make us include a model of the self as part of the world we are functionally engaged with. A higher level viewpoint is created where we can see ourselves as social actors. Animals just act, their selfhood being an implicit, rather than explicit, aspect of their world model.apokrisis
  • T Clark
    10.3k
    I apologize, if my link to Enrique's posts has deflected your thread off-course.Gnomon

    It was completely my fault, not Enrique's or yours.

    Oh, I see! You are interested in Neurobiology instead of Psychology -- neural nets & nodes instead of meanings & feelings. Apparently, you have a novel philosophical angle on that topic -- using plumbing metaphors -- that has not already been covered by Neuroscientists, who normally use flow charts & wiring diagrams. Unfortunately, by referring to "Mind" instead of "Brain", you opened the door to metaphysical philosophical concepts, instead of physical engineering diagrams.Gnomon

    I was clear. This is a discussion about mind from a scientific point of view, so there is no door open to "metaphysical philosophical concepts" unless they have specific, direct scientific consequences.
  • Gnomon
    2.7k
    But this is exactly what the people I have referenced are doing successfully. They are using standard scientific methods to study the "basic building block of Mind." apokrisis has suggested looking at mind from point of view of function rather than of process. I think that's similar to what you are proposing - a more holistic understanding. I'm still working on my response to him.T Clark
    Yes. I think of Mind as the "function" of the brain : what it does instead of what it is. In that case, the "basic building block" of mind will be an action instead of an object. That's why standard (reductive) scientific methods have given way to the novel (holistic) methods of Systems Theory, which is more like ancient theoretical & speculative Philosophy than classical empirical & factual Science.

    Essentially, I view Mind as more closely related to causal Energy than to malleable Matter. Maybe the atom of Mind is an Erg (unit of work). But, I have coined my own philosophical terms, to describe Mind's relationship to Information, and the power to Enform (to cause change). However, I will follow your thread to see where it leads. :smile:

    Systems Theory is the interdisciplinary study of systems, i.e. cohesive [holistic] groups of interrelated, interdependent components that can be natural or human-made. ___Wikipedia
  • Gnomon
    2.7k
    I was clear. This is a discussion about mind from a scientific point of view, so there is no door open to "metaphysical philosophical concepts" unless they have specific, direct scientific consequences.T Clark
    Ironically, the "scientific point of view" has changed since the 20th century, in order to grapple with the non-classical & counter-intuitive aspects of Quantum & Information theory. For example, "quantum mechanics" is a misnomer, because that sub-atomic realm is neither quantized nor mechanical. Instead, it seems to be fuzzy & acausal. Hence, more amenable to philosophical methods. :smile:
  • T Clark
    10.3k
    it seems to be fuzzy & acausal. Hence, more amenable to philosophical methods.Gnomon

    No.
  • T Clark
    10.3k
    Essentially, I view Mind as more closely related to causal Energy than to malleable Matter. Maybe the atom of Mind is an Erg (unit of work). But, I have coined my own philosophical terms, to describe Mind's relationship to Information, and the power to Enform (to cause change). However, I will follow your thread to see where it leads.Gnomon

    If you have specific, credible, referenced, scientific information that describes or explains mental processes, please post it. That's what this thread is about.
  • Bitter Crank
    11.2k
    Regarding language and thinking... I've been reading Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art by Rebecca Wragg Sykes (2020). Great read, by the way, Neanderthals were physically capable of speech but we don't know whether they possessed spoken language like that of Homo sapiens.

    Neanderthals possessed considerable technology in stone, wood, and bone; knowledge of the natural world necessary for finding and killing food; preparing clothing; and possibly an aesthetic sense. Injuries to bones that crippled individuals healed and the individual lived--with help--for years afterward, If they didn't have a spoken language like ours, how did they transmit information? Could we transmit information without a spoken language? Could we innovate (anything) without language?

    Neanderthals didn't innovate; during their long existence they maintained what they had. If they lacked language, perhaps they could not innovate, adapt. Their population was always small--they didn't have the means to rear more of their own kind (apparently).

    If it's a chicken (innovation) and egg (language) situation, I think the chicken comes first. With language, the innovation can be distributed and expanded. Without, innovation stops with the innovator.
  • Tom Storm
    5.3k
    The nature of the interaction between our reality and the unknowable one, noumena or the Tao, is something I've struggled with. The fact that Kant was fully aware of the implications of the consequences of that relationship was what surprised me most.T Clark

    This is very interesting. Thanks.

    I found this essay by Steven R. Palmquist on a comparison between aspects of Kant and Tao.

    https://philarchive.org/archive/PALADM-4
  • Enrique
    848
    So - contra Pinker - language may not create "thought", but it does transform it quite radically. It allows the animal mind to become structured by sociocultural habit. Humans are "self consciously aware" as social programming exists to make us include a model of the self as part of the world we are functionally engaged with. A higher level viewpoint is created where we can see ourselves as social actors. Animals just act, their selfhood being an implicit, rather than explicit, aspect of their world model.apokrisis

    Neanderthals possessed considerable technology in stone, wood, and bone; knowledge of the natural world necessary for finding and killing food; preparing clothing; and possibly an aesthetic sense. Injuries to bones that crippled individuals healed and the individual lived--with help--for years afterward, If they didn't have a spoken language like ours, how did they transmit information? Could we transmit information without a spoken language? Could we innovate (anything) without language?Bitter Crank

    A couple years ago I gave human cognition's evolution a lot of thought and published a paper on the topic in an anthropology journal, so I have some decent insight into this area. Most of these points can be challenged, but the general outline seems plausible to me.

    I don't think language initially arose to fulfill explicit social purposes, as a technology of culture, for various reasons. This is not how mutations happen, to provide a holistic benefit, a function. Reliance on language makes it harder to deceive and less efficient to engage in basic perception: hunting, rudimentary toolmaking etc. either are mostly silent or must be silent. But language is key to the development of a self: personality, aesthetic experiencing of the world, connection with the spiritual dimension of existence, self-expression, essentially life's meaning are all enhanced by language.

    I suspect some kind of auditory stream of consciousness as a primitive "mentalese" was present in the vertebrate mind prior to extinction of the dinosaurs, but reasoning was not developed enough in most lineages to make this more than a novelty that may have slightly improved memory and provided some scaffolding for self-aware thought. This was enough to keep the trait near universal despite minimal selection pressure from the environment. Auditory stream of consciousness was a luxury that allowed organisms to better identify as a self, more richly perceiving and possessing the thought process as a will.

    At first, the only selection pressure for humanlike language was libido - internal to the organism - and some relatively compulsive self-expressions of libido. This is manifest by how most vertebrates in the wild vocalize to discharge or express states of arousal rather than to analyze in detail. Thinking in sounds has universal benefit for evolutionary development of the mind, though to a very limited degree, but vocalizing those sounds immediately tends to vestigialize and gravitate towards baseline functionality in most lineages whenever a mutation conferring more advanced ability occurs, with some rare, modest exceptions which usually coincide with idleness and opportunity for recreational thinking.

    From various causes, hominid reasoning ability, complexity of intention, and opportunity for recreational creativity advanced to the point where these species began deliberately resolving auditory stream of consciousness into a logiclike form. This is when thought and social behavior began to select for aesthetic superiority, so that by the time hominins such as the Neanderthals had evolved, joking, basic narrative, and perhaps singing had developed as a recreational luxury. Whenever a mutation produced superior ability, strong social selection pressure caused linguistic memes to spread through hominin communities, resulting in a steady ascent of facility with vocal expression.

    Far moreso than with dinosaur remains, most of the evidence for hominin lifestyle was geologically shallow and effaced by dense human populations, but we do know that a huge decline in biodiversity paralleled hominin assent, probably due to nonsustainable hunting and overpopulation. Early Homo sapiens were just one lineage among many hominins, most likely with comparable linguistic abilities to begin with. What I strongly suspect, but which of course hasn't been conclusively proven, is that a string of rather dramatic mutations took place in prehistoric humans that induced synesthesia between auditory, visual and especially logical stream of consciousness, what @Gnomon refers to when he talks of nonphysical ideas. This greatly increased our capacity to conceive the world technologically and think symbolically, one of multiple factors allowing human culture to master almost every ecological niche on Earth, regardless of which species were already present, and embark upon civilization. This analytical kind of thinking, first selected mostly as a superfluity by personal relationships, was then coopted for engineering, writing, economy, institutions, etc.

    I doubt it's language or any specific set of selective conditions so much as underlying synesthesias that make human thought different while uncommonly effective for civilizing, and a broad spectrum exists in the degree and type of synesthesia due to ongoing development in relatively flexible societies, though with a fairly universal basic template.
  • T Clark
    10.3k
    Neanderthals were physically capable of speech but we don't know whether they possessed spoken language like that of Homo sapiens.Bitter Crank

    Pinker says something similar about Neanderthals. Apparently their larynx and related organs were not as well developed for speech as modern homo sapiens, but it wouldn't have stopped them from being able to speak at all. Pinker points out that speech evolved sometime after the last common ancestor between humans and chimpanzees about 5 million years ago. Since all other intermediary species are extinct, including our common ancestor with Neandertals, there is no way to know for sure which of them might have had language.
  • T Clark
    10.3k
    I found this essay by Steven R. Palmquist on a comparison between aspects of Kant and Tao.Tom Storm

    A couple of years ago I made a similar search for a connection between Taoism and Kant. I found a, not very good, paper called "Kant's Thing in itself, or the Tao of Konigsberg." So we're not the first ones to make the connection.
  • Daniel
    426
    The neurons encode the model of the body's world.apokrisis


    @T Clark, although I do not have any papers on the topic, I would like to bring up a point that I think is often overlooked (I might be wrong here, again I have not done much research on the topic) when talking about the relationship between mind and brain. I am quoting apokrisis because I think I can use his wonderful example as a tool to explain what I wanna say.
    Following the structure of the quoted sentence, we could say that the rates at which neurons perform their functions and their change (of the rates) in time encode the model of the self. I know it is a pretty bold statement, but my main objective here is to steer your thought/thinking towards the rates of change of physiological processes concerning brain cells (neurons and supportive cells). If the number and organization of brain cells within the brain encode the model of the body's world, changes in their organization, number, and physiology might encode something else, and we gotta keep in mind that these changes are maintained within certain ranges (homeostasis) so that there is some constancy, as seen in the mind. We could say that the change in the model of the body's world encoded by neurons encodes the mind or affects it to some degree. So, in addition to the spatial distribution, number of cells, and the change in these two factors, there are also physiological processes taking place in these cells which are also changing in time (they are not constant), and this change is kept within certain ranges. Is there a relationship between rates of change of physiological processes and the mind/self?
  • T Clark
    10.3k


    The genes encode the model of the body. The neurons encode the model of the body's world. Then words encode the social model of the individual mind. And finally numbers have come to encode the world of the human-engineered machine.apokrisis

    This is Apokrisis' whole quote. I think I have some idea what he's talking about, but I didn't dig in to it in my response to him.

    Following the structure of the quoted sentence, we could say that the rates at which neurons perform their functions and their change (of the rates) in time encode the model of the self. I know it is a pretty bold statement, but my main objective here is to steer your thought/thinking towards the rates of change of physiological processes concerning brain cells (neurons and supportive cells). If the number and organization of brain cells within the brain encode the model of the body's world, changes in their organization, number, and physiology might encode something else, and we gotta keep in mind that these changes are maintained within certain ranges (homeostasis) so that there is some constancy, as seen in the mind. We could say that the change in the model of the body's world encoded by neurons encodes the mind or affects it to some degree. So, in addition to the spatial distribution, number of cells, and the change in these two factors, there are also physiological processes taking place in these cells which are also changing in time (they are not constant), and this change is kept within certain ranges. Is there a relationship between rates of change of physiological processes and the mind/self?Daniel

    I have to admit I'm not sure what you're trying to say here or how it ties in with what Apokrisis wrote.
  • Agent Smith
    8.1k
    I think that feeling you have is a common one and it's probably a big reason it's so hard to get people to agree on this issue. For what it's worth, I don't think the information I included presented any kind of unified model of how the mind works. As I noted, I picked out particular aspects of the mind that interest me and for which I had information I consider credibleT Clark

    Hallelujah!

    The possibility remains that I'm mistaking ignorance for complexity. There are many occasions when what one thought was complicated turns out to be quite simple.
  • Enrique
    848
    Is there a relationship between rates of change of physiological processes and the mind/self?Daniel

    Greater rates of oscillation in the brain's electric field generally correlate with higher arousal: delta, theta, alpha, beta, gamma waves, from least to most rapid.

    Slight increase in thermal energy (temperature) of brain tissue correlates with most kinds of awareness, involving changes to both wavelength of light radiation within the EM field and vibrational properties of molecules. I've hypothesized that molecular vibrations are induced by and bound into emergent, multiscaled structures by infrared light fluctuations resulting from electrical currents produced by ion concentration differentials within the aqueous solution of neurons, and these arrays are at least a major component of the percept itself. So if you hear a symphony in your mind, it might be in part molecular vibrations modulated within an infrared field. This could be the case for most sensory experiences, differing based on which molecules and cells are involved. Interestingly, habituation reduces temperature, suggesting that relatively unconscious neglect of a stimulus or conversely less focused awareness of a percept are associated with alterations to the infrared spectrum. In visual cortex, temperature so far appears to reduce when focused awareness on a stimulus is happening, so perhaps the infrared field is modulated to a different, less vibration-inducing wavelength such as visible light in this case. Rate of light oscillation as generated by neuron firing, interacting with molecules, could be tied to sensation, perception, imagination, the substance of emotion and thought. This remains to be conclusively proven of course.

    So that is one certain and one speculative instance where rate variations appear to correlate with mind.
  • T Clark
    10.3k
    So that is one certain and one speculative instance where rate variations appear to correlate with mind.Enrique

    As I wrote in the OP:

    I would like to look at specific scientific sources for the ideas we discuss.T Clark
  • Enrique
    848


    The OPs of my The Physics of Consciousness thread which I might as well link to again are part of the rough draft for a scientific paper I'm publishing in September. It's a specific scientific source, and you get a sneak preview! That thread contains all the material about infrared radiation and molecular vibration.
  • T Clark
    10.3k
    The OPs of my The Physics of Consciousness thread which I might as well link to again are part of my rough draft for a scientific paper I'm publishing in September. It's a specific scientific source, and you get a sneak preview!Enrique

    As far as I could see, you do not provide any specific scientific references for the information you provided in the posts you linked. I am highly skeptical of your hypotheses and I don't see how they apply to the subject of this discussion. Also, as I expressed strongly in the OP, this is not a discussion about consciousness.

    Please don't continue discussion of your theories here.
  • Enrique
    848
    As far as I could see, you do not provide any specific scientific references for the information you provided in the posts you linked.T Clark

    I omitted the 25 source reference list as it was kind of much for a message board.

    I am highly skeptical of your hypotheses and I don't see how they apply to the subject of this discussion. Also, as I expressed strongly in the OP, this is not a discussion about consciousness.T Clark

    I don't think I'm beyond the scope of this thread, participants raised a specific issue and I addressed it directly.

    Please don't continue discussion of your theories here.T Clark

    I'm just talkin about what you guys talk about. We all gotta theorize, or what are we gonna talk about? I'm as interested in reading what you have to say as contributing myself, but it's all very vague at this point, we need facts and I provided some.
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Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.