Hi Telmo Menezes  

Presumably the brain works with analog, not digital, signals.  
But the redisplay of the brain image requires a digital image signal. 
How can that happen ? 

If the recponstructed brain image has no sync signal, 
how couold it display in a digital device ?  


[Roger Clough], [rclo...@verizon.net] 
1/8/2013  
"Forever is a long time, especially near the end." - Woody Allen 
----- Receiving the following content -----  
From: Telmo Menezes  
Receiver: everything-list  
Time: 2013-01-07, 17:34:21 
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Subjective states can be somehow extracted 
frombrainsviaacomputer 


Hi Roger, 


Imagine a very simple brain that can recognise two things: a cat and a mouse. 
Furthermore, it can recognise if an object is still or in motion. So a possible 
perceptual state could be cat(still) + mouse(in motion). The visual cortex of 
this brain is complex enough to process the input of a normal human eye and 
convert it into these representations. It has a very simple memory that can 
store states and temporal precedence between states. For example: 


mouse(still) -> cat(in motion) + mouse(still) -> cat(still) + mouse(in motion) 
-> cat(still) 


Through an MRI we read the activation level of neurons that somehow encode this 
sequence of states. An incredible amount of information is lost BUT it is 
possible to represent a visual scene that approximates the meanings of those 
states. In a regular VGA screen with a synch signal I show you an animation of 
a mouse standing still, a cat appearing and so on. Of course the cat may be 
quite different from what the brain actually perceived. But it is also 
recognised as a cat by the brain, it produces an equivalent state so it's good 
enough. 


Now imagine the brain can encode more properties about objects. Is is big or 
small? Furry? Dark or light? 


Now imagine the brain can encode more information about precedence. Was it a 
long time ago? Just now? Aeons ago? 


And so on and so on until you get to a point where the reconstructed video is 
almost like what the brain saw. No synch signal. 





On Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 5:22 PM, Roger Clough  wrote: 

Hi Telmo Menezes  
  
Yes, but the display they show wouldn't work if there were no 
sync signal embedded in it. There's nothing in the brain to provide that, 
so they must have. 
  
  
[Roger Clough], [rclo...@verizon.net] 
1/7/2013  
"Forever is a long time, especially near the end." - Woody Allen 
----- Receiving the following content -----  
From: Telmo Menezes  
Receiver: everything-list  
Time: 2013-01-07, 09:33:30 
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Subjective states can be somehow extracted from 
brainsviaacomputer 


Hi Roger,  



On Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 1:28 PM, Roger Clough  wrote: 

Hi Telmo Menezes 

Well then, we have at least one vote supporting the results. 



Scientific results are not supported or refuted by votes.  

I remain sceptical because of the line sync issue. 
The brain doesn't provide a raster line sync signal. 



The synch signal is a requirement of a very specific technology to display 
video. Analog film does not have a synch signal. It still does sampling. 
Sampling is always necessary if you use a finite machine to record some visual 
representation of the world. If one believes the brain stores our memories (I 
know you don't) you have to believe that it samples perceptual information 
somehow. It will probably not be as neat and simple as a sync signal. 


A trivial but important point: every movie is a representation of reality, not 
reality itself. It's just a set of symbols that represent the world as seen 
from a specific point of view in the form of a matrix of discrete light 
intensity levels. So the mapping from symbols to visual representations is 
always present, no matter what technology you use. Again, the sync signal is 
just a detail of the implementation of one such technologies. 


The way the brain encodes images is surely very complex and convoluted. Why 
not? There wasn't ever any adaptive pressure for the encoding to be easily 
translated from the outputs of an MRI machine. If we require all contact 
between males and females to be done through MRI machines and wait a couple 
million years maybe that will change. We might even get a sync signal, who 
knows? 


Either you believe that the brain encodes images somehow, or you believe that 
the brain is an absurd mechanism. Why are the optic nerves connected to the 
brain? Why does the visual cortex fire in specific ways when shown specific 
images? Why can we tell from brain activity if someone is nervous, asleep, 
solving a math problem of painting? 


[Roger Clough], [rclo...@verizon.net] 
1/7/2013 

"Forever is a long time, especially near the end." - Woody Allen 
----- Receiving the following content ----- 

From: Telmo Menezes 
Receiver: everything-list 
Time: 2013-01-07, 06:19:33 
Subject: Re: Re: Subjective states can be somehow extracted from brains 
viaacomputer 







On Sun, Jan 6, 2013 at 8:55 PM, Roger Clough ?rote: 

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


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


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. 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? 

? 
? 
? 

[Roger Clough], [rclo...@verizon.net] 
1/6/2013 
"Forever is a long time, especially near the end." - Woody Allen 
----- Receiving the following content ----- 
From: Craig Weinberg 
Receiver: everything-list 
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
 

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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