On Monday, January 7, 2013 6:19:33 AM UTC-5, telmo_menezes wrote:
>
>
>
>
> On Sun, Jan 6, 2013 at 8:55 PM, Roger Clough <rcl...@verizon.net<javascript:>
> > wrote:
>
>>  Hi Craig Weinberg 
>>  
>> Sorry, everybody, I was snookered into believing that they had really 
>> accomplished the impossible.
>>
>
> So you think this paper is fiction and the video is fabricated? Do people 
> here know something I don't about the authors?
>

The paper doesn't claim that images from the brain have been decoded, but 
the sensational headlines imply that is what they did. The video isn't 
supposed to be anything but fabricated. It's a muddle of YouTube videos 
superimposed upon each other according to a Bayesian probability reduction. 
Did you think that the video was coming from a brain feed like a TV 
broadcast? It is certainly not that at all.
 

>
> The hypothesis is that the brain has some encoding for images. 
>

Where are the encoded images decoded into what we actually see?
 

> These images can come from the optic nerve, they could be stored in memory 
> or they could be constructed by sophisticated cognitive processes related 
> to creativity, pattern matching and so on. But if you believe that the 
> brain's neural network is a computer responsible for our cognitive 
> processes, the information must be stores there, physically, somehow.
>

That is the assumption, but it is not necessarily a good one. The problem 
is that information is only understandable in the context of some form of 
awareness - an experience of being informed. A machine with no user can 
only produce different kinds of noise as there is nothing ultimately to 
discern the difference between a signal and a non-signal.


> It's horribly hard to decode what's going on in the brain.
>

Yet every newborn baby learns to do it all by themselves, without any sign 
of any decoding theater.
 

>
> These researchers thought of a clever shortcut. They expose people to a 
> lot of images and record come measures of brain activity in the visual 
> cortex. Then they use machine learning to match brain states to images. Of 
> course it's probabilistic and noisy. But then they got a video that 
> actually approximates the real images. 
>

You might get the same result out of precisely mapping the movements of the 
eyes instead. What they did may have absolutely nothing to do with how the 
brain encodes or experiences images, no more than your Google history can 
approximate the shape of your face.
 

> So there must be some way to decode brain activity into images.
>
> The killer argument against that is that the brain has no sync signals to 
>> generate
>> the raster lines.
>>
>
> Neither does reality, but we somehow manage to show a representation of it 
> on tv, right?
>

What human beings see on TV simulates one optical environment with another 
optical environment. You need to be a human being with a human visual 
system to be able to watch TV and mistake it for a representation of 
reality. Some household pets might be briefly fooled also, but mostly other 
species have no idea why we are staring at that flickering rectangle, or 
buzzing plastic sheet, or that large collection of liquid crystal flags. 
Representation is psychological, not material. The map is not the territory.

Craig

 
>
>>   
>>  
>> [Roger Clough], [rcl...@verizon.net] <javascript:>
>> 1/6/2013 
>> "Forever is a long time, especially near the end." - Woody Allen
>>
>> ----- Receiving the following content ----- 
>> *From:* Craig Weinberg <javascript:> 
>> *Receiver:* everything-list <javascript:> 
>> *Time:* 2013-01-05, 11:37:17
>> *Subject:* Re: Subjective states can be somehow extracted from brains 
>> via acomputer
>>
>>  
>>
>> On Saturday, January 5, 2013 10:43:32 AM UTC-5, rclough wrote: 
>>>
>>>
>>> Subjective states can somehow be extracted from brains via a computer. 
>>>
>>
>> No, they can't.
>>  
>>
>>>
>>> The ingenius folks who were miraculously able to extract an image from 
>>> the brain 
>>> that we saw recently 
>>>
>>  
>>  
>>> http://gizmodo.com/5843117/**scientists-reconstruct-video-**
>>> clips-from-brain-activity<http://gizmodo.com/5843117/scientists-reconstruct-video-clips-from-brain-activity>
>>>  
>>>
>>> somehow did it entirely through computation. How was that possible? 
>>>
>>
>> By passing off a weak Bayesian regression analysis as a terrific 
>> consciousness breakthrough. Look again at the image comparisons. There is 
>> nothing being reconstructed, there is only the visual noise of many 
>> superimposed shapes which least dis-resembles the test image. It's not even 
>> stage magic, it's just a search engine.
>>  
>>
>>>
>>> There are at least two imaginable theories, neither of which I can 
>>> explain step by step: 
>>>
>>
>>
>> What they did was take lots of images and correlate patterns in the V1 
>> region of the brain with those that corresponded V1 patterns in others who 
>> had viewed the known images. It's statistical guesswork and it is complete 
>> crap.
>>
>> "The computer analyzed 18 million seconds of random YouTube video, 
>> building a database of potential brain activity for each clip. From all 
>> these videos, the software picked the one hundred clips that caused a brain 
>> activity more similar to the ones the subject watched, combining them into 
>> one final movie"
>>
>> Crick and Koch found in their 1995 study that
>>
>> "The conscious visual representation is likely to be distributed over 
>>> more than one area of the cerebral cortex and possibly over certain 
>>> subcortical structures as well. We have argued (Crick and Koch, 1995a) that 
>>> in primates, contrary to most received opinion, it is not located in 
>>> cortical area V1 (also called the striate cortex or area 17). Some of the 
>>> experimental evidence in support of this hypothesis is outlined below. This 
>>> is not to say that what goes on in V1 is not important, and indeed may be 
>>> crucial, for most forms of vivid visual awareness. What we suggest is that 
>>> the neural activity there is not directly correlated with what is seen."
>>>
>>
>> http://www.klab.caltech.edu/~koch/crick-koch-cc-97.html
>>
>> What was found in their study, through experiments which isolated the 
>> effects in the brain which are related to looking (i.e. directing your 
>> eyeballs to move around) from those related to seeing (the appearance of 
>> images, colors, etc) is that the activity in the V1 is exactly the same 
>> whether the person sees anything or not. 
>>
>> What the visual reconstruction is based on is the activity in the 
>> occipitotemporal visual cortex. (downstream of V1 
>> http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0079612305490196)
>>
>> "Here we present a new motion-energy [10,
>>> 11] encoding model that largely overcomes this limitation.
>>> The model describes fast visual information and slow hemodynamics
>>> by separate components. We recorded BOLD
>>> signals in occipitotemporal visual cortex of human subjects
>>> who watched natural movies and fit the model separately
>>> to individual voxels." 
>>> https://sites.google.com/site/gallantlabucb/publications/nishimoto-et-al-2011
>>>
>>
>> So what they did is analogous to tracing the rectangle pattern that your 
>> eyes make when generally tracing the contrast boundary of a door-like image 
>> and then comparing that pattern to patterns made by other people's eyes 
>> tracing the known images of doors. It's really no closer to any direct 
>> access to your interior state than any data-mining advertiser gets by 
>> chasing after your web history to determine that you might buy prostate 
>> vitamins if you are watching a Rolling Stones YouTube.
>>
>> a) Computers are themselves conscious (which can neither be proven nor 
>>> disproven) 
>>>     and are therefore capable of perception. 
>>>
>>
>> Nothing can be considered conscious unless it has the capacity to act in 
>> its own interest. Computers, by virtue of their perpetual servitude to 
>> human will, are not conscious.
>>  
>>
>>>
>>>     or 
>>>
>>> 2) The flesh of the brain is simultaneously objective and subjective. 
>>>     Thus an ordinary (by which I mean not conscious) computer can work 
>>> on it 
>>>     objectively yet produce a subjective image by some manipulation of 
>>> the flesh 
>>>     of the brain. One perhaps might call this "milking" of the brain.   
>>>
>>
>> The flesh of the brain is indeed simultaneously objective and subjective 
>> (as are all living cells and perhaps all molecules and atoms), but the 
>> noise comparisons being done in this experiment aren't milking anything but 
>> the hype machine of pop-sci neuro-fluff. It is cool that they are able to 
>> refine the matching of patterns in the brain to patterns which can be 
>> identify computationally, but without the expectation of a visual image 
>> corresponding to these patterns in the first place, it is meaningless as 
>> far as understanding consciousness. What it does do though is provide a new 
>> hunger for invasive neurological technologies to analyze the behavior of 
>> your brain and draw statistical conclusions from...something which promises 
>> nothing less than utopian/dystopian level developments. 
>>
>> Craig
>>  
>>
>>>
>>> [Roger Clough], [rcl...@verizon.net] 
>>> 1/5/2013   
>>> "Forever is a long time, especially near the end." - Woody Allen 
>>>
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