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From Brain to Consciousness to Mind--the biological basis

 
 
Alan McDougall
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Apr, 2010 05:05 pm
@KaseiJin,
AHHH!!!!!!!! Who is the ghost in my machine me of course?, where do I live in that machine, in every atom of the composite machine we call our mortal bodies
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Apr, 2010 03:29 am
@KaseiJin,
one thing we should learn, Alan, leaving aside all the philosophical and scientific complexities, is that there is no 'me'.
0 Replies
 
xris
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Apr, 2010 04:21 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;151552 wrote:
AHHH!!!!!!!! Who is the ghost in my machine me of course?, where do I live in that machine, in every atom of the composite machine we call our mortal bodies
That, me, Alan is something that no one can take from you.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Apr, 2010 04:30 pm
@KaseiJin,
what happens to your fist when you open your hand?
0 Replies
 
KaseiJin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Apr, 2010 02:28 am
@Alan McDougall,
amer;151117 wrote:

1.the brain/mind/thought and consciousness are essentially information processing activities that take place in temporal space. (bold mine)


I'll take this portion of amer's post, and pull out the first part of it to tie in the summary level of the background I had been working towards.

The organ which we call the brain occupies space, and is totally a matter of physical concern--within the realm of knowing. Temporal concerns come into play, as can be seen in studies of multiplexed encoding, phase of firing encoding, and oscillation to synchronizing patterns, but exactly work within the spatial distribution of pathways, loops, and maps. All sensory cognition is due to physcial opration of brain and is substantially understood on the practical level.

Conscious is the state, and most of that is at levels 'pre' to that of consciousness--thus they are not reportable although they may be recognised by the third person (3P) as a cause for certain actions. (Even the first person (1P) may come to realize that such 'preconscious,' thus conscious below the threshold of consciousness brain events had occurred, upon thinking about a certain action executed.) This much is very much the same across brain builds of other mammal species, and applies to non-mammals to a good extent as well; with largely only relative size to body, lobe size, and connectivity differences. Across H. Sapiens there is a great similarity, along with the individuality of each specific build, so predictions from well supported research and testing results will most largely hold in the far most number of cases.

With this much settled (as it is, in fact, settled to the satisfactory and practical degree), it might help to look a little at the grey area of that threshold--areas such as sleep, fringe consciousness, and by extension denial, and delusion.


Alan McDougall;151552 wrote:
AHHH!!!!!!!! Who is the ghost in my machine me of course?, where do I live in that machine, in every atom of the composite machine we call our mortal bodies


This is incorrect, however, Alan, in the non-poetical, practical sense. For example, in the first place (and since we are looking at 'brain, consciousness, and mind' )the molecular structural components of copper, iron, zinc, potassium, sodium, phosphate, water and oxygen, and so on, that are at work in you at any given moment are exactly the same as those which are at work in me at any given moment. Thus those units themselves, as members of that class, do not 'hold' our sense of self.

Any particular atom there, is of course, not here (on any practical level, as always)--just as the air you have just inhaled is not the very exact and same volume of air that I will inhale at the exact same moment, so I'm talking about that sense. An atom of calcium is an atom of calcium, so it does not have a personal attachment, thus in that way any individual living entity we experience in our day-to-day lives (including 1P, 2P, and 3P) does not retain itself in whole, as that entity, within the atoms all stuck together at any particular moment of the entity's being (whether dead or alive, until decomposition).

The 'YOU' in you, Alan, operates within the confines of the brain within your skull.

xris;151732 wrote:
That, me, Alan is something that no one can take from you.


This is incorrect, on the practical level, xris, regarding brain, consciousness, and mind. The sense of 1P identity can be taken away, and at times happens by failure of neuronal systems, maps, pathways, and or loops or, quite possibly, multiplexed encoding. In fact, it happens to most of us for nearly a third of our lives--(depending, of course, on lifespan).

It is true, however, in another sense, in which sense the entire accumulation of environment and experience, including and along with the brain build which allowed for that, within the more basic environmental field (and I include genetics within this), which equates 'Alan' cannot be erased from external reality. There was a person who lived in the general geographical location of Europe some 35,000 years ago who not a single one of us living today knows, but that single individual's individual identity will always be a 'have been' external reality. So no, no one 'took it away' from him, but that individual has been totally forgotten (although the material is pretty much still around).
Pepijn Sweep
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Apr, 2010 03:34 am
@KaseiJin,
[CENTER]:bigsmile:
I understand roughly the biology of the material brain as part of our body, the presence of a consious self in relation to the out-side world, but fail to see how this creates the mind.

In Dutch we call it Geest, which has the same root as Ghost in English. So I always understood it to be the immortal, godly sparkle. The rest we call Ziel (soul) which goes to Heaven or Hell after death as I understood.

Since this is about biology I wondered if other cultures/languages make this distinction as well. I thought of the next questions, but could not find sufficient answers:

How would you call the Mind ?
Is the soul a biological entity ?
Is a computer a soul-less Mind ?
Is a demented human still a person ?

Hopefully some-one can answer these questions.

[/CENTER]
0 Replies
 
KaseiJin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Apr, 2010 07:25 am
@KaseiJin,
Thanks for your explanation there, Pepijn Sweep. I might point out (as I had earlier in the thread, which could have been missed), that our language is old and somewhat insufficient in this area. I'm very sure that'd go for any language (except perhaps Esperanto?) on earth. It would not be a good idea to automatically take out-of-date subscriptions which had been attached to words in past times, simply because the word itself is still used.

The mind, is better held as a portion of activity within the realm of consciousness. Much of the round 80% of brain activity, of course including interneuronal 'talk' (which is cognition) could be forced, perhaps (if one so wished to do so) into the scope of the definition, 'mind,' but it best be left out. I hope to get more to that later, but would like to build up to it--and consciousness comes first.

'Soul,' again is an old word which has had a certain prescribed definition range attached to it from days long gone. We could take the Greek psyche, and contrast any difference between that and pneuma, and look for differences of definition. We could also take, if we were to keep our range within the Judeo-Christian religious belief-system range, the Hebrew nephesh, and contrast that with ruach. However for the older Hebrew usage, interestingly enough, we'd find a usage which agrees with what is known today, as shown to be by far the most likely correct understanding. In this usage, our English soul is what will be used for the Hebrew nephesh, and that is simply earth material--which is the person or the animal itself, with the very same eventuality...to be recycled.

The computer is not a mind, yet...and it may be a long, long way before any such machine ever would be; and it's a little out of line with the main theme of the thread.

When you say 'demented,' I hope I am correct in taking that to mean a person who has been afflicted with one of the several types of dementia or mild cognitive degeneration, or Alzheimer's Disease. That point, that such patients are very much still to be held as people, is a very important one which needs to be impressed more upon the minds and hearts of the public at large. Yes, they are still very much people, and still much them, even though it can neither be recognized by them cognitively, nor by others...the brain build is still there (in one sense of speaking) but the neurons (and some glial cells too) have died...and do not function, or uphold the proper connections.
0 Replies
 
realshocks
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2010 07:21 am
@KaseiJin,
Why does matter tend towards complexity (which is the foundation of consciosness)? Oh that's right, "there is no 'why'".
Pepijn Sweep
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 01:06 pm
@xris,
From Emotie to Magic... Well, a different perspective on the world would be nice. Respect 4 All ! Respect 4 Ali ! Gay ! Et Cetera's

From Hart to Mind to Understanding.

Understanding Each Other
:bigsmile:
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 04:44 pm
@realshocks,
realshocks;153554 wrote:
Why does matter tend towards complexity (which is the foundation of consciosness)? Oh that's right, "there is no 'why'".



Have a look at this thread....


http://www.philosophyforum.com/philosophy-forums/secondary-branches-philosophy/philosophy-science/7188-evolutionary-philosophy-reasons-existence.html
xris
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 May, 2010 02:00 am
@jeeprs,
Belief and science spar forever in the ring of consciousness. Belief will forever say there is more and science will always condemn that view for lack of evidence. I have followed this thread and science makes the most convincing case that we are all just electrochemical blobs communicating with similar blobs. It could be right but I just dont believe it , I believe in the possibility of a separate entity that occupies this mortal frame for its term here on earth. Can science disprove this? I dont think so.
Pepijn Sweep
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 May, 2010 02:54 am
@xris,
:bigsmile:
xris;160248 wrote:
Belief and science spar forever in the ring of consciousness. Belief will forever say there is more and science will always condemn that view for lack of evidence. I have followed this thread and science makes the most convincing case that we are all just electrochemical blobs communicating with similar blobs. It could be right but I just dont believe it , I believe in the possibility of a separate entity that occupies this mortal frame for its term here on earth. Can science disprove this? I dont think so.

Liberation Day in IAmsterdam; Iris:lol:
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 May, 2010 03:10 am
@xris,
xris;160248 wrote:
Belief and science spar forever in the ring of consciousness. Belief will forever say there is more and science will always condemn that view for lack of evidence. I have followed this thread and science makes the most convincing case that we are all just electrochemical blobs communicating with similar blobs. It could be right but I just dont believe it , I believe in the possibility of a separate entity that occupies this mortal frame for its term here on earth. Can science disprove this? I dont think so.


any kind of telepathic communication shoots wide holes in the materialist theory of mind. This is why the so-called skeptics are always so hysterical about parapsychology - prove that it has happened once, and the whole theory collapses. I don't want, or need, to go into bat for parapsychology, but I know these things happen.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 May, 2010 05:13 am
@jeeprs,
I think we all have our reasons ,some personal others close witnesses. I cant argue the science its totally beyond me and it is very convincing for those who have no experiences to ponder on.
0 Replies
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 May, 2010 06:17 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;160259 wrote:
any kind of telepathic communication shoots wide holes in the materialist theory of mind. This is why the so-called skeptics are always so hysterical about parapsychology - prove that it has happened once, and the whole theory collapses. I don't want, or need, to go into bat for parapsychology, but I know these things happen.


Me doubt IT :sarcastic:
0 Replies
 
KaseiJin
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jun, 2010 08:37 pm
In that I had been (and still am, to a slightly lesser degree, for now [at least]) quite busy with a number of things...especially my own research...I had decided to let this particular thread sit for a while. As many will recall, on the old (I guess we can use that modifier now) forum [PhilForum], it had been held as a sticky at the top of the 'philosophy of mind' sub-forum page, which fact made it easy to just let it sit for a while...it'd always be right where one would know it to be, and one would not have to go searching for it. (1)

One thing that I want to make quite clear now, in this 're-start' post, is that while one may wish to consider this thread as being under the heading of 'philosophy of mind,' it is no longer so specifically so. The investigation into the practical, real matters of what this most wonderful and fascinating organ does, is one of putting hard, cold, and demonstrable facts out on the table, along with the extensions of theory which can be materially substantiated by them. For that reason, simply having a dream, or a vision, or exercising a thought experiment such as 'Mary the scientist who studied the light spectrum of red,' has no weight at all, until it can be shown to have weight as material evidence for a claim, assertion, or understanding.

Now if anyone viewing this thread anew (or for the first time) were to wish to cut through some of the 'side talk' and 'small talk,' I would suggest at least taking the following posts into account (and this list is NOT exhaustive):

Post number one-opening and explanation
Post number three-the neutral time-flow approach to the organ, brain
Post number five-further layout of, and explanation on the range of, concepts held by general membership on past forum
Post number 60-further expounding on description of consciousness
Post number 101-Further expounding and precision on description of consciousness in the later third of post
Post number 103-Entry into explanation for new sense of the noun 'conscious' (as opposed to the adjective usage which is far more commonly known)

These posts represent the general building so far...with some in between left out (but one can check that if they so wish). Now, I wish to point out here again, that the title represents the general line of spatial, chronological development. Thus, conscious is a state of brain which is basement to that of consciousness, and consciousness is nested within what we call mind. Then, while some backtracking may occur, I'll raise (although it would actually be premature for my original lay out to this particular thread...and thus the likely backtracking to come) the matter brought out about the definition/description of mind--as brought up on that other thread which raised a concern about the location of mind.

KaseiJin wrote:
I will present the range of the more realistic and pragmatic working definition for the term 'mind,' as follows:

Quote:
1. memory; recollection or remembrance 2. what one thinks; opinion 3. a)that which thinks, perceives, feels, wills, etc.; seat or subject of consciousness b) the thinking and perceiving part of consciousness; intellect or intelligence; c) attention; notice d) all of an individual's conscious experiences e) the conscious and the unconscious together as a unit; psyche. (Webster's New World Dictionary 2nd. Ed.)

Mind is the aspect of intellect and consciousness experienced as combinations of thought, perception, memory, emotion, will and imagination, including all unconscious cognitive processes.

1. The element or complex of elements in an individual that feels, perceives, thinks, wills, and especially reasons; 2. the conscious mental events and capabilities in an organism; 3. the organized conscious and unconscious adaptive mental activity of an organism
( Stedman's Medical Dictionary)




1. Now, however, anyone can easily find it by clicking my profile page, and clicking that 'topics' button, and get the location, however.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 02:56 am
@KaseiJin,
I have followed your expert and very interesting posts, in this thread, with great interest. From a purely physical and academic perspective you make very good case to dismiss the dual ethereal position. But you cant prove conclusively your view , you have not shown the place where consciousness actually resides as many, scientists, say it is like an electromagnetic field surrounding the brain. This subject is not so easily decided by science, even by its own admission, so please, lets not continue this with the assumed certainty of biology giving us our conscious ability.
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 03:27 am
@xris,
Quote:
the assumed certainty of biology giving us our conscious ability


is the point of the thread. I will be returning with some scientifically-based arguments for the opposing case in a short while.
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 03:37 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs wrote:
Quote:
the assumed certainty of biology giving us our conscious ability
is the point of the thread. I will be returning with some scientifically-based arguments for the opposing case in a short while.
The phrase "biology giving us our conscious ability" is nonsense. Biology is a human endeavour, there is nothing given or done, in any way, by biology. Further, statements made by biologists are limited to the methods of that endeavour, at best they can adequately describe a subset of whatever biologists consider to constitute life. Science is not metaphysics.
0 Replies
 
xris
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 03:40 am
@jeeprs,
But as it can not be proven to be purely biological, then the thread should have been ended before it started. If it appears as an electromagnetic effect how does the brain induce this field in a biological fashion ? You might assume that the electrochemical activity would create this field but also a field could induce an electrical current within the brain. If we cant see the actual activity that creates the conscious state, we could then say the field is responsible, not the result.
 

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