On Monday, September 2, 2013 7:54:45 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:
> On 9/2/2013 4:45 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> On Monday, September 2, 2013 7:31:57 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:
>> On 9/2/2013 3:56 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
>> On Monday, September 2, 2013 6:11:51 PM UTC-4, chris peck wrote:
>>> Hi Craig
>>> Highlighting the word 'spontaneous' with astereixes doesnt show
>>> anything. Here 'spontaneous' just means 'originates in the brain in the
>>> absence of external stimuli'. This kind of activity is often refered to as
>>> 'task unrelated' which is to say it is not activity that is bound to some
>>> external task. Daydreaming and remembering past events are common examples.
>>> You shouldn't confuse it with the idea of uncaused activity which evidently
>>> you have done.
>> I highlighted them to show that the word is not being used in any cryptic
>> specialized sense, but rather it is used often, and in the general sense of
>> being wholly unanticipated. Spontaneous in this case means originating in
>> the brain in the absence of external stimuli but it also means originating
>> in the brain in the absence of any known cause.
>> Absence of knowledge is not knowledge of absence.
> Sure, but absence of knowledge about brain activity cannot be construed to
> rule out personal intention. Spontaneous can mean exactly what it implies.
>> The study goes to considerable lengths to make this clear.. note the
>> gist of the headings:
>> Intrinsic Activity Accounts for Behaviorally Relevant Left SMC BOLD
>> Ruling Out Evoked Activity
>> Ruling Out Stimulus-Evoked Activity
>> Ruling Out Attention and Anticipation
>> and finally, to directly address your claim:
>> "Ruling Out Other Potential Confounds
>> While sensory evoked activity and attention/anticipation are the most
>> concerning potential confounds, other mechanisms should be considered. For
>> example, global arousal might cause fluctuations in neuronal activity and
>> behavior. *However, our BOLD-behavior effect should then be present in
>> all regions or at least regions implicated in arousal (Critchley et al.,
>> 2000), not localized to the somatomotor system*. Similarly,
>> after-effects such as the BOLD undershoot could persist from the previous
>> trial, influencing early BOLD time points and confounding our results
>> (Buxton et al., 1998). However, this possibility is excluded by the lack of
>> a relationship between our BOLD measurement and ISI."
>> Do daydreaming and remembering take place in the somatomotor system?
>> Probably not.
>> HA! You never had a daydream that produced an erection?
> Are you suggesting that the presence of spontaneous activity in the
> somatomotor system is more likely to indicate daydreams that cause button
> pushing behavior? It couldn't be the simple, obvious cause of our own
> personal intent.
> Of course it could be the cause of your intent.
The activity isn't the cause of our intent, I mean that our intent is the
cause of (some of) the activity.
> Must be some ridiculous sideshow.
>> Another conclusion from the study:
>> " Finally, it provides support for the intrinsic perspective on brain
>> function, showing that the brain not only exhibits intrinsic organized
>> fluctuations in neuronal activity, but that these fluctuations impact brain
>> function and behavior in interesting and important ways."
>> Not really anything there to support anything that you are claiming.
>> And there's nothing to support the thesis that the brain activity is not
>> part of a causal chain extending back to the embryo.
> There's nothing to support the thesis that the brain activity is part of a
> causal chain either.
> Sure there is, the detailed study of neurons and other brain structures
> which all points to them obeying exactly the same physics as everything
Without a completed physics, we have no idea what that means. Human
intention is part of "everything else". Spontaneous activity is part of
physics. All that we know is that when we measure neuronal activity
personally, it looks like images, sounds like music, etc. When we measure
it with instruments which are deaf to music and blind to images, we get
narrowly quantitative measures. That should not be a surprise. The surprise
is why anyone would presume that it means that the blind instruments must
be correct, and that our own direct experience must be an
'illusion'...which is somehow other than physics in some sense, yet can
only be physics in another.
> What I would say supports the thesis that the brain activity may
> originate in the private, intentional experience of the individual, is the
> fact that we, you know, experience private intentional experiences as
> individuals...pretty much every waking moment.
> Where's the evidence that experience is not part of the causal chain?
The evidence is that we can tell the difference between something that we
are doing intentionally and something we are doing accidentally. Our
ordinary experience is that we personally dictate causality as well as
respond to it. The evidence of this study is that the obvious causal chain
accounts for less than half of the brain activity involved in simple
> There's plenty of experimental evidence showing that a little
> electrostimulation of one's brain will produce an experience specific to
> the point stimulated. So it certainly doesn't require your intention to
> have an experience.
Yes, and a little magnetic stimulation of one's computer will produce
changes in your computer's behavior, but that doesn't mean that your
computer generates users or the internet.
> I'm not sure how much of my every waking moment in 2013 is part of a
> causal chain extending back to an embryo in 1968, but my guess is, not very
> That's your guess because you wish it to be so.
Not at all, I'm observing that the majority of content of my awareness does
not seem to relate to an embryo's legacy. On what grounds do you deny that?
> I haven't felt much like an embryo lately, but I do feel pretty certain
> that I am intentionally writing these words to convey an understanding
> which I intend to convey, for personal reasons, not because of any
> evolutionary or neurochemical domino effects.
> But you don't know that your intention is not the consequence of a
> deterministic causal chain (which of course is personal because part of it
> is inside your head).
If there is a deterministic causal chain, it cannot have a "consequence"
which suspects that it might not be part of the chain. Why would it? What
possible justification could such a thing have? I don't even need to know
that my personal feeling of intention is independent of all deterministic
causes, I just need to recognize that the conclusion that my experience of
rubber stamping determined events has all the earmarks of bad assumption.
Nothing about it makes sense. A delusional epiphenomenon that presents
itself continuously to satisfy the expectations of something whose
expectations could only matter if it were not delusional or epiphenomenal.
It's as absurd as any idea from religion.
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