On Monday, October 28, 2013 10:10:45 PM UTC-4, cdemorsella wrote:
> *From:* everyth...@googlegroups.com <javascript:> [mailto:
> everyth...@googlegroups.com <javascript:>] *On Behalf Of *Craig Weinberg
> *Sent:* Sunday, October 27, 2013 4:23 PM
> *To:* everyth...@googlegroups.com <javascript:>
> *Subject:* Re: Neural activity in the brain is harder to disrupt when we 
> are aware of it
> On Sunday, October 27, 2013 7:12:01 PM UTC-4, cdemorsella wrote:
> Very interesting – and illustrative of how our perception is an artifact 
> of our mind/brain. It reminds me of an earlier study in which test subjects 
> were told they were being scored on their ability to perform some complex 
> two levels of order visual task – say pressing a button whenever a diagonal 
> red bar appeared on their visual field… so they need to focus on both color 
> and shape in this case. Afterwards they had to report on what they saw. 
> What they were really being tested on was whether or not – absorbed as 
> their minds were in this complex visual task – they saw the man in the 
> gorilla suit who clearly walked across their field of view during the 
> sequence in which they were being tested on.
> What is surprising in the results was how many subjects never saw the man 
> in the gorilla suit…. How their brains helpfully edited this unimportant 
> (for the task) data stream, excising the gorilla from the world that they 
> saw. How much of what we see, smell, hear, taste, touch even is something 
> that has become subtly changed as it has become manufactured in our 
> perception.
> From what I have been able to read it sounds like the brain is very 
> efficient about throwing out information it has “decided” is redundant, 
> unimportant or distracting… the brain/mind as an editing machine… turning 
> the raw film into the finished movie.
> >> I don't think that finished movies come from raw film, they come from 
> recording the images and sounds of actors and scenery. The raw film is 
> actually the public medium between one rich private experience and another. 
> What personal awareness lacks in sub-personal fidelity to appearing 
> gorillas it makes up for a thousand fold in fidelity to the totality of 
> experienced anthropology. It's odd to me that the worldview which expects 
> sense to be a solipsistic simulation within the brain is surprised that the 
> brain makes mistakes that seem real rather than that it can compose high 
> fidelity reality out of senseless mistakes.
> Craig
> When you use the term “the public medium” you seem to be invoking some 
> kind of shared super-consciousness or at the very least a shared repository 
> of everything that is (or the even more extended set “everything that is or 
> that could have been”), in which case, yes the snippets of film that ended 
> up on the cutting floor and are conspicuously absent from our experience – 
> do still exist in this universal medium.
> But the point is that they do not exist, in so far as the personal 
> experience of reality is concerned – they have been excised by the 
> brain/mind and removed from the sense streams before the brain/mind’s 
> edited experience is flowed into the metaphorical spring within our minds 
> from which we perceive reality as a state of emanating being and a dynamic 
> current world – the now (not the metaphysical spiritual now, especially, 
> but rather the quotidian now of common experience)

Right, but I am saying that everything else does that editing too. There is 
no unedited perspective that 'simply is', all there can ever be is what 
seems to be relative to some inertial frame of perception. Even then, we 
may be able to access some things that may seem to be edited out (under 
hypnosis for example). But yeah, sure, our human experience does not 
include (and would not include) the sum total of all non-human experiences. 
We don't perceive magnetically like a bird might, but that doesn't mean 
that our lack of awareness as humans means that the awareness that we do 
have is lacking in some way. It can't by definition. Each person has 
exactly one human experience of living a human life and there is no unit of 
comparison beyond what it actually is to define what it should be. That's 
just how relativity works, like c - it's absolutely anchored.

> The point that interests me is that our brain/mind is a superb on the fly 
> editing and reality reification engine;
I disagree there. I propose that should be flipped. There is no 
reification. It is not a simulation of any kind. It is the expectation of 
external reality that is misguided from the absolute perspective. There is 
no editing in time, because human time is not neurological time. Our 
perceptual window is larger gauge. Like c, within any inertial frame the 
velocity is infinite. Our range of perception attenuates near the border of 
the window, but it is more like a radio losing a station as the dial moves 
off of it than a computer moving building an image out of insufficient 
pixels. There is no image built, what we see is a genuine human experience 
of a human world, and there is no more real a world possible.

> that our experience is the result of various complex and multi-variant 
> processes that occur within us and that a measurable lag time has elapsed 
> by the time we first experience the well-spring of our “now” – that is we 
> experience reality post facto.

It's only a lag time because our window of perception permits multiple 
resolutions of sensitivity.

> Far from denigrating the mind – I am quite fascinated by it; by how it has 
> evolved; by how it seems to work; by its algorithms. I also believe it is 
> fruitful to try to work out how the mind/brain works down to the basic 
> logic and memory operations and the essential algorithms. In fact one of 
> the reasons to study the mind is to learn how the brain mind goes about 
> doing things – and possibly even develop a radical alternative chip 
> architecture that will be far more energy efficient (at the tradeoff of 
> introducing random noise as less and less energy is used to flip gates). 
> The brain uses around 20 watts – so clearly there is room for improvement 
> in the silicon toasters we use to do logic operations and store data.
> I am especially interested in learning how the brain manages to so clearly 
> discern signal from noise (and it’s a very noisy environment). 
Neurons are alive. Their discernment is based on aesthetic significance 
just like ours is (and everything else).

> How the brain arrives at executive decisions – and how it does this at 
> different scales of complexity.
This is the schizophrenic perspective that we have come to from 
misinterpreting neuroscience. The brain is us. It thinks when we think. It 
feels when we feel. We feels on multiple levels (as seen in split brain 
patients) and we are the brain in many ways and in other ways the brain is 
many other sub-personal and super-personal receptions.

> Does it use quorum based consensus building algorithms? How does the brain 
> decide when and how much to edit out; or conversely amplify a signal? Does 
> the brain work primarily within local micro-regions doing discreet tasks 
> and reporting up to higher order network nodes; or is a lot more of the 
> brain’s activity than might at first seem intricately bound up with all 
> manner of other threads of networked activity that is happening in the 
> brains hundred trillion node wide area network. Is consensus and the rise 
> of consciousness mostly a forebrain activity or is this also a gestalt that 
> while perhaps primarily located in neural activity in the forebrain is 
> dependent on consensus and influence from many other regions in the brain’s 
> cortex?
> The brain is fascinating for me also because of its orthogonal dimensions 
> of complexity – it is electrical but also chemical; it is neuronal, but 
> also has a wide area white matter connectome… even the humble glial cells 
> appear to play a role in the formation of memories by potentiating synaptic 
> connections – cementing the memory. Each – of the plethora of neuron types 
> that exist – is a pretty complex system in its own right – and there are 
> around one hundred billion of them with a synaptic connectome in the 
> hundreds of trillions. It is also a weird place (anatomically speaking) 
> with strangely named regions and organs and is a visible result of 
> evolution building onto pre-existing structures and re-purposing ancient 
> systems to new ends. I am fascinated by the speed with which the wet 
> chemistry in the brain happens in those synaptic areas and in the – what I 
> feel must be very interesting – interplay between electrical and chemical 
> based messaging systems.

Imagine that you are looking at Paris (the city, not the Hilton). The world 
marvels at the tremendous contributions to world culture that Paris 
produces. The art, the films, fashion, etc. You research Paris using the 
latest satellite images and analyze traffic patterns, architectural 
details, every tree on the Champs-Élysées, etc.  You become fascinated with 
how foot traffic is processed by the Arc de Triomphe and the Louve. The 
Louve itself seems to be where the greatest masterpieces are stored, and 
they produce signals which are carried by the pedestrian particles that 
flow through its halls. What algorithms does it use to decide which 
masterpieces to buy? What accounts for all of the different kinds of 

These are all interesting things to explore, and very important, especially 
if a plane crashes into the Louvre and you want to rebuild it. The real 
understanding of art, of Paris, of the world that Paris and its population 
over the centuries has contributed is still completely untouched - obscured 
even by looking at the landscape view of what can only be a portait.


> *From:* everyth...@googlegroups.com [mailto:everyth...@googlegroups.com] *On 
> Behalf Of *Craig Weinberg
> *Sent:* Wednesday, October 23, 2013 1:46 PM
> *To:* everyth...@googlegroups.com
> *Subject:* Neural activity in the brain is harder to disrupt when we are 
> aware of it
> http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-10-neural-brain-harder-disrupt-aware.html
> We consciously perceive just a small part of the information processed in 
> the brain – but which information in the brain remains unconscious and 
> which reaches our consciousness remains a mystery. However, neuroscientists 
> Natalia Zaretskaya and Andreas Bartels from the Centre for Integrative 
> Neuroscience (CIN) at the University of Tübingen have now come one step 
> closer to answering this question.
> Their research, published in *Current Biology*, used a well-known visual 
> illusion known as 'binocular rivalry' as a technique to make visual images 
> invisible. Eyes usually both see the same image – binocular rivalry happens 
> when each eye is shown an entirely different image. Our brains cannot then 
> decide between the alternatives, and our perception switches back and forth 
> between the images in a matter of seconds. The two images are 'rivals' for 
> our attention, and every few seconds they take turns to enter our 
> consciousness.
> Using this approach the two scientists used a moving and a static picture 
> to cause perceptual alternations in their test subjects' minds. 
> Simultaneously they applied magnetic pulses to disturb brain processing in 
> a 'motion <http://medicalxpress.com/tags/motion/> area' that specifically 
> processes visual motion <http://medicalxpress.com/tags/visual+motion/>. 
> The effect was unexpected: 'zapping' activity in the motion area did not 
> have any effect on how long the moving image was perceived – instead, the 
> amount of time the static image was perceived grew longer.
> So 'zapping' the motion area while the mind was unconsciously processing 
> motion meant that it took longer for it to become conscious of the moving 
> image. When the moving image was being perceived, however, zapping had no 
> effect.
> This result suggests that there is a substantial difference between 
> conscious and unconscious motion representation in the 
> brain<http://medicalxpress.com/tags/brain/>. 
> Whenever motion is unconscious, its neural representation can easily be 
> disturbed, making it difficult for it to gain the upper hand in the 
> rivalry. However, once it becomes conscious it apparently becomes more 
> resistant to disturbance, so that introducing noise has no effect. 
> Therefore, one correlate of conscious neural codes may be a more stable and 
> noise-resistant representation of the outside world, which raises the 
> question of how this neural stability is achieved.
> Indeed. It is almost as if consciousness is actually trying to make sense 
> *on purpose* ;) Could it be that consciousness is actually *conscious???*
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