The Neuroscientific Basis of Consciousness?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by JBeukema, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. JBeukema
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    The Neuroscientific Basis of Consciousness

    http://thesciencenetwork.org/progra...ss/the-neuroscientific-basis-of-consciousness
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
  2. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    No linky??
     
  3. JBeukema
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    oops

    there now
     
  4. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    This topic interests me immensely. I have been trying to understand thinking, language, and consciousness. The topics get sticky and complex quickly. I could not listen as it was choppy and broken on this old portable. But I think I side with Dennett mentioned in URL below. Consciousness brain mind is a process tool that takes inputs and gives outputs.

    The problem with a purely physiological explanation is so what. Analogy, if I look closely at a computer hard disk it tells me nothing of the information stored there. I have to see it work. And even if I break it down to all its pieces it still doesn't help. So what if that is stored there.

    Watching our grandchildren learn language and develop thinking is much more insightful - see an answer to 'how children learn language' I wrote sometime ago below. I am also reading Hofstadter, Dennett, Wittgenstein, and Pinker. Can a person think without any language. I have to go back and check Helen Keller's experiences.

    Quantum Consciousness

    >I think for a while at a biological, inherited, nature level, but because we are social creatures they quickly adapt and interact with the humans who take care of them, primarily mother. Thinking comes both from within, the core personality components and from your care and interaction with them. I am watching my 19 month old granddaughter develop both language and behavior and it is the most fascinating thing because today I have more time. Her language for a while was just expressive, meaningless imitative sounds, she is extremely verbal. That shifted to naming things, cars and momma and dada, and soon to conceptual naming, all women were momma, all men dada. She has categories of things now, things she fears, the dark, things she likes, going by by. Next step was putting things together, dada's coat, grandpop's house, momma's car. At this stage she is putting all those things together and I would call that thinking, and as some have argued I think her language use is the essential piece of that beginning thinking, that and her human nature. Today she can actually know where she is and where she is going and react to both according to what she wants.<
     
  5. JBeukema
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    Knowing how it works helps you care for it and repair damage to it, though. Imagine if we could restore memory lost to Alzheimer's or trauma, or prevent dementia? Understanding how the brain really works could give us the insight to develop such medicine- as well as satisfying curiosity.

    I accept the 'Language Inst int' model. as I have hear strong arguments and read texts regarding very strong evidence for it.

    Define 'language' I can think of a beer and want it without 'speaking' the word 'beer' consciously in my mind. Also, one must not assume that not knowing an 'outside' language used to communicate between individuals means one doe snot possess any 'interior' anguge of the mind unto itself.
     
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  6. dilloduck
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    Does consciousness even required a language or does using an invented one preclude us from even recognizing other communication forms especially self -recogintion.
     
  7. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    True but cells are cells and we have to know what they do, how they grow die, and how they interact. We certainly need to figure out Alzheimer's etc but I view these as degenerative diseases. A friend's mother has A and that new medicine helps but tearing open a brain and doing a valve job on the engine is still hard. It is change and prevention, but I wonder if like cancer, age and biology will have the upper hand.

    Not sure what the LI model is? You have a good link that simplifies the model.

    The only reason you can think of beer is you sure as heck know what it is and why you drink them. That is embedded in your head brain mind. Now do this, imagine a doodad drink, now tell me what it is? Actually saying 'drink' gives hints that just the word does not. Or do something Hofstadter suggests explain to a primitive, 'soap digest rack' (soap opera) and do that explaining the technology behind TV soaps. Remember your audience and the thing you are describing. (Actually he give the example differently.)

    That's hard, is a fly conscious you are about to swat it or does it just know something is coming its way by some other means? Is a dog more conscious than the fly as it knows (?) you are eating something it would like too as it sits and looks up at you and bays softly? Is the baby conscious of happiness as it smiles happily even though it hasn't a clue what happy is, nor what a smile is nor even why it is smiling? What would I be conscious of if I had no words (concepts). On a low level are all higher level animals conscious?

    Wittgenstein wrote there can be no private language, most think he meant language can only occur in a social setting.
     
  8. dilloduck
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    I knew it was a hard question--that's why I asked it ! :lol:
     
  9. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    I cannot listen to this lecture right now but I am of the opinion that EGO DEVELOPMENT requires an ability to communicate.

    Our best human tool for grasping reality is really langugage. (math being just another form of language BTW)

    Mostly we understand the world based on an increasingly complex set of metaphors.

    As our language skills advance we build on those metaphorical understandings making them more and more complex, perhaps more and more accurate, too.

    I believe that our egos are really artifical constructs based on our ability to metaphorically grasp reality through shared understanding that we mostly get through understanding that one thing can be LIKE another. (for you math guys think SET THEORY)

    Basically everything we understand (including our own being) is based on our ability to find some linguistic ability to capture the concept of reality in language.

    I'm not explaining this well because why?

    Because I lack the words necessary to make the metaphors work for most of you, I suspect.

    Let me try using computer language to explain what I'm saying (more metaphors, eh?)

    I suspect that the ID and unconscious are hardwired parts of our brains, but the EGO is a software program that is created as we learn to communicate.

    To some extent that's exactly why the dream state is so difficult for the conscious EGO to fully understand.

    They speak entirely different languages. Babies have IDs but not egos.

    The ID is easier for us to understand because it is our animal motives.
     
  10. JBeukema
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    TLI
    (too lazy to look up a better source ;) )
    Universal Grammar

    Universal Grammar



    Once one has been consumed, or the smell has stimulated the senses,, the body can trigger a desire and craving for something, without need for words.

    Allow me to taste one once time, and I could- without name for or image of it- desire the taste again.



    Language, as the term is generally used, allows for interpersonal communications only. Consider Helen Keller, or any other deaf mute. Did they not think, were they not self-aware before they had the ability to communicate with the outside world? If they were not, then they would not have been able to process the incoming information in order to learn to communicate with others in the first place.



    IN the video, she discusses the potentiality of measuring consciousness and some physical occurrences that may be associated with it. I cannot adequately paraphrase, due to my own limited graasp of the phyiological and neurological matters she discusses.

    The child is fully aware of the subjective experience of its own happiness; it merely lacks the ability to speak (just like walking, it is an instictive behavior that still must be develioped over time and truly mastered with guidence) and does not know the word 'happines' any more than most on this board 'have no idea what &#24184;&#31119; is, though you may encounter or experience is within your subjective reality

    ?

    smiling is an instinctive act ;)


    word = concepts


    all evidence to the contraryl; we simply don't seem fully aware of it, as we substitute our own language for it during much of concious thought
     

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