What is "Mind?"

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High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Jul 29, 2014 - 01:00pm PT
tvash, that's probably going to be the weirdest one I see all day!

I mean from the "science types." ;)

.....

As for complicated systems, I doubt you studied the complexity of the human brain.

That's okay. I doubt you studied geology or fossil fuels in regard to discovering them or extracting them.

So we're even!!!
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Jul 29, 2014 - 01:06pm PT

PSP

I find a lot of discursive sense in the article, but I'm not impressed by the catchfrases at the start. The article is out fishing souls, they're salesmen...

Look at our modern life! Everything is moving quickly, and it’s hard to keep up with the dizzy tempo. You try to find satisfaction, but no matter how great your effort, it seems you hardly make any progress. Finally you recognize that you cannot keep up with the bewildering, quick changes of time. That doesn’t feel good. You feel uncomfortable, upset, or sad, and you want to escape. So you cover your eyes, turn your mind away from your dissatisfaction, and live your life based on having pleasure. That is modern life. I don’t mean to criticize modern life, but something is missing.

I seldom feel "uncomfortable, upset, or sad" and when I do, it's all right. I don't "want to escape".
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Jul 29, 2014 - 01:20pm PT
A feeling, at least as described by Damasio, isn't a direct autonomic sensation - pain, hunger, heat - it is a partly deliberate reaction to that sensation - and a whole lot of other stuff.

Example: I hit my thumb with a hammer. The pain is not a 'feeling' (sure, I 'feel' it, ) - it's an autonomic sensation. The two are different processes that require different definitions, even if they share a word. Two definitions, one word. OMG!

I may have an initial autonomic emotional response - a flash of anger, etc. - but then, how do I feel?

Well, I might actually find it funny (I did last time - even though I was howling in pain). This is a feeling. It is, in part at least, a choice, and one that can be trained one way or the other over time.

I may go with raging frustration - another feeling, then throw my project against the wall - an action. I wanted to do this while laughing, but chose not to.

I may assess how well the project is going, or not, with regards to my recent change in injury status - again, a feeling. I may continue it or not - a chosen action.

You get the idea.

BTW, the way to deal with an innernut bully is simply not respond. They'll continue to bully, and you'll continue to not give a rip and appropriately ignore them.

A coo coo clock will continue attempting to bully long after they realize they've got zero influence but hey, the world is full of coo coo clocks.
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Jul 29, 2014 - 01:27pm PT
That's why I said "In the end, you usually know about how you feel about something", Mike L.

Before you finally figure it out, you often don't know f*#k all about how you feel about something.

Every word is a special snowflake.

Regarding the chaos component - a very little chaos goes a long way given a long enough time scale. With the brain or weather - it doesn't take very long at all before things become not so predictable.
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Jul 29, 2014 - 01:30pm PT
Cavemen would see a drone and think:

"Dayum, bugs are getting bigger these days"
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 29, 2014 - 01:42pm PT
getting around to reading Science...

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/345/6194/313.abstract
Science 345, 313 (2014)
Vol. no. 6194 pp. 313-317
Role of synaptic phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase in a behavioral learning response in C. elegans

Hayao Ohno, et al.
Abstract
The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway regulates many cellular functions, but its roles in the nervous system are still poorly understood. We found that a newly discovered insulin receptor isoform, DAF-2c, is translocated from the cell body to the synaptic region of the chemosensory neuron in Caenorhabditis elegans by a conditioning stimulus that induces taste avoidance learning. This translocation is essential for learning and is dependent on the mitogen-activated protein kinase–regulated interaction of CASY-1 (the calsyntenin ortholog) and kinesin-1. The PI3K pathway is required downstream of the receptor. Light-regulated activation of PI3K in the synaptic region, but not in other parts of the cell, switched taste-attractive behavior to taste avoidance, mimicking the effect of conditioning. Thus, synaptic PI3K is crucial for the behavioral switch caused by learning.



what does it mean?

the researchers subjected the nematodes to a situation in which they were starved in an environment with a particular taste factor present (worms can taste), a taste they would usually be attracted to.

however, the worms learned to associate that taste with a bad thing, starving, and became averse to the taste.

the researchers could then track down what changed in the worm, how the memory association worked as a mechanism...

The first line of the paper:
"Signaling through the insulin-PI3K pathway is widespread in the mature brain, where it has been implicated in memory performance and neurological disorders (1, 2). However, the regulation and roles of this signaling in the central nervous system are largely unknown."

and their last paragraph:
"Our data demonstrate that the CASY-1 and kinesin-1 complex that is regulated by the Ras-MAPK pathway confers functional specificity to the insulin receptor long isoform through rapid translocation to the synaptic region (Fig. 4G). The mammalian insulin receptor also localizes to the synaptic region of neurons (24), and both insulin signaling and calsyntenins have been considered relevant to memory performance and Alzheimer’s disease in humans (1, 2, 17, 25). Our findings may lead to further understanding of the mechanisms underlying human memory formation and dementia."



memory of an experience is just that... a memory, processed to extract the pertinent information can be stored and used at a later time. Once again, this is a very nice way of "programming" where you don't have to "hardwire" in all possible conditions... and the architectures for this sort of computation are accessible to the evolution as well as expressed by von Neumann's stored program computer architecture.

this is such a fundamental aspect of organisms with a "complex" nervous system (C. elgans has 302 neurons and about 5000 synapses) that the advantages conveyed are still relevant.

Here the research is digging into the detailed mechanisms that create memory, and associative memory.
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Jul 29, 2014 - 01:59pm PT
I see your "to wit" and raise you "perforce", JL.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 29, 2014 - 02:04pm PT
A feeling, at least as described by Damasio, isn't a direct autonomic sensation - pain, hunger, heat - it is a partly deliberate reaction to that sensation - and a whole lot of other stuff.

Example: I hit my thumb with a hammer. The pain is not a 'feeling' (sure, I 'feel' it, ) - it's an autonomic sensation. The two are different processes that require different definitions, even if they share a word. Two definitions, one word. OMG!
-


I remember when I was initially doing work with EEGs and qEEGS and so forth, one of the profs had us all go and bone up on all the triune brain material - brain stem, limbic system, and neocortex. Each has it's own language or data that presents itself to awareness, to lesser or greater extents. Standard theory says that each layer or story of the triun brain can be viewed as a gear.

The brainstem is by far the largest and exerts the most crucial stuff per our survival and behavior. All of our involuntary processes and instinctual responses and impulses, from teritorialism to regulating blood pressure et al. The "language" of the brain stem is body sensations. The limbic system generates emotions - also known as (e)nergy IN motion. Feelings never arise one at a time but move throug the net of awareness like schools of fish (hence, energy in motion). There is an energetic bio-energy aspect to feelings that we can get dialed into with enough work ("Felt Sense" and all that). Hence the term, what are you "feeling." What we are feeling is energy, in this case, emotional energy. Emotions are meant to move through us and when one gets stuck, we become "emotional" and it can become pathological.

Trying to "know" a feeling is challenging for several reasons. First, it is usually a moving target and so is ever shifting. Grief may feel heavy, but anyone who has gone through it knows it too comes in waves (bio eneregy in motion). But feelings are not things in the normal sense of the word and we sometimes can get a sense of them only by way of what they do to us. You can describe senstations like heat and pins and needles and pain and so forth, but describing what maudlin or joy feels like is often only possible by describing the attending sensations. The emotions themselves remain evanescent and strangely ungraspable - like grunyon.

Learning to separate out instinctual energies like aggression, sexuality and so forth from emotions involves some heavy lifting, but emotions are much bigger drivers per our behavior than thoughts, a fact largely unconscious to people, but dead obvious to psychologists who deal with it day in and day out.

JL
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 29, 2014 - 02:09pm PT
Does this refer to discursive thought or simple awareness or imagery of yourself performing the action? How do you define "thought?"

my previous statements are a "gross speculation" that what we take to be our "thoughts," in the discursive mind aren't the thoughts that lead to action, but the explanation of those thoughts and actions, neither of which are accessible to the discursive mind, at least not directly.

our "narrative" is essentially a third person explanation of what we did, but this third person is associated with our brains. this narrative is a behavior used to inform others of our intention, which is an important aspect of living together in large social groups.



Largo doesn't want to recognize "information" because it is a physical thing, it can be manipulated physically, but the result of those operations, while physical, may not be interpreted as a description of a physical thing...

confusing, no doubt.

But we can think of traveling faster than the speed-of-light, a physical impossibility (as far as we know). Largo would ask the question "how can a process that is physical result in an unphysical answer?"

The point is that the manipulation of information follows physical rules. Those rules are all followed, and the result is the physical answer. The interpretation of the resulting information doesn't have to be something that can be physically realizable, that's not a necessary requirement of the manipulations.

Memory is information, the information that our nervous system uses in decision making. That decision making is the manipulation of information through a model of the world, our perception, and how we animate our decisions, the result of information processing into action.

Not only is the information, and that model "not the actual experiences and the actual world" but that that is further abstracted, both in the way our senses limit our experience and in the limitations of our perceptions. Those things can never be the "raw" experience.

But the amazing thing is that they are good enough to sustain the species, to allow it to survive and reproduce, even with no idea what so ever of the "raw" experience. It isn't necessary, our perceptions, our memories, and all that just have to be good enough.

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 29, 2014 - 03:04pm PT
Largo doesn't want to recognize "information" because it is a physical thing, it can be manipulated physically, but the result of those operations, while physical, may not be interpreted as a description of a physical thing...

-

Not so. What I am pointing out here and elsewhere is that there are always two sides of the coin, physical and non-physical, and reality (the coin, so to speak) is impossible to know looking at only one side.

The obsession of many here is that only the physical side is "real," and sources every thing. What follows is the misguided question: What is NOT physical?

JL
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jul 29, 2014 - 03:21pm PT
Marlow said "I find a lot of discursive sense in the article, but I'm not impressed by the catchfrases at the start. The article is out fishing souls, they're salesmen..."

Yes he is a zen priest so he does sell Zen. The cost is to watch your experience at a set time each day in a formal manner and then attempt to do it the rest of the day. He knows there won't be too many takers because most people are not willing to give up "their" time. Which is what the article is about. People find their time to be extremely valuable and hence the root of the suffering is created.

I think the article does a good job dicussing "no-thingness" which is so difficult to communicate a correct understanding of it.

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 29, 2014 - 03:22pm PT
faster-than-light travel is non-physical...

next!

jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Jul 29, 2014 - 03:32pm PT
Ectoplasm*



*J Wilson, R Gildman, "Ectoplasm and Raw Awareness", J. Spiritual & Metaphysical Studies (2013), Vol XXXI, PP 123-123.




;>)
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Jul 29, 2014 - 03:38pm PT
I have yet to see proof of the non-physical.

DMT
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jul 29, 2014 - 03:59pm PT
I gotta hand it to Largo, he's got tenacity! Sheesh, I would have caved a long time ago. I'm convinced that there is no evidence...no conceivable evidence in the world that could possibly convince him of the error in his ways. And the thing of it is, as much as he as he focuses on the pitfalls of "scientific measurement", so much of why he is wrong falls squarely in the "logic" camp.
WBraun

climber
Jul 29, 2014 - 04:29pm PT
why he is wrong falls squarely in the "logic" camp

Truth is far beyond the limitations of gross material logic.

You have poor fund of knowledge of the limitation of logic in relation to "LIFE" itself.

This is why the gross materialists are so bewildered here and do so much theory, projections and mental speculations (guessing) .......
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Jul 29, 2014 - 04:30pm PT
feelings are more like clouds than speedometers, fo shiz
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jul 29, 2014 - 04:33pm PT
Ed wrote...

whether or not the nervous system follows "chaotic" dynamics is certainly an open question, and at this point is a possibly interesting speculation.

Although it is speculation, I’m gonna go with the nervous system being chaotic. Insights from software development suggest to me that there is some threshold of independent variables that results in chaos (although it wouldn’t surprise me if Ed has some citation to the contrary). A chaotic system is fundamentally unpredictable at the individual event level, but lends itself to statistical analysis if you have enough events. I’m assuming that there must be a large number of independent variables involved in our experience of sentience, although that’s just a guess. Like I was saying earlier about my cat exhibiting this range of behaviors in the event of some general, outside stimulus like an unexpected sound; the best computer may never be able to predict exactly what her response is 100 percent of the time. On the other hand, anyone who’s observed her for a while could easily bat .750 (hint, err on the “she’s lazier than I think side”).
MikeL

Social climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 29, 2014 - 04:38pm PT
Ed: you can always choose not to be discursive...

You have me there.


I don't know who I'm arguing with here (it might be Largo . . . I am confused), but the most interesting thing about Damasio's research (even though it be based upon abnormalities alone) is that what is perceived by the mind triggers physically a mind to perceive things physically. Mind over matter. When someone tells a person a gripping story (like climbing Ahab or what not), the person hearing the story will begin to tense their muscles and FEEL an experience. This is the basis for the growth of the idea of "embodied cognition." It is something that all of us experience. What makes such experiences identical to the supposed actual experience is simply a lot more triggers cognitively.

The oft-heard joke here on this thread about "phantasms of the mind being real," is real . . . "apparently" (get it?).

Ed: Largo doesn't want to recognize "information" because it is a physical thing, it can be manipulated physically, but the result of those operations, while physical, may not be interpreted as a description of a physical thing...

Er, again, I don't know who I'm arguing with, but everything is "information" be it physical or mental or emotional or visual or squiggly little lines I see in my wood floor, even if I know of no interpretation of them. All "things" are flat out projections, constructions, displays that are seen as a light on a sheet. This is the same model as the allegory of the cave. There is an immense energy source (let's just call it light), and that light is shown through what might be naively called a personality. That personality is in large part due to karma.

What you see is what you are.
WBraun

climber
Jul 29, 2014 - 05:04pm PT
These scientists here want to grasp everything with their senses.

When they can't grasp with their material senses it doesn't exist to them and they shut down.

Thus they reach their limitation of their own material bodies which they really are not although modern science so foolishly believes "I am this material body" .....
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