On 3/2/2018 2:36 PM, Dirk Van Niekerk wrote:
It looks as if individual neurons keep firing and small local (< 4mm) neural networks remain intact during general anesthesia (at least due to propofol).  However, large scale network integration is lost.  So I don't think general anesthesia is very similar to death at the neural level at all.-  http://www.pnas.org/content/109/49/E3377?etoc=

On a different note.  I have read some of the discussion and literature about computation and consciousness on various fora.  There is a school of thought that matter does not actually exist and that everything can be explained by the existence of natural numbers and computations related to operators acting on these.

Yes, that's Bruno Marchal's theory that he holds forth on in the Everything list, everything-list@googlegroups.com.  It's an interesting idea and I post there as does Lawrence, but it requires reifying all computation in the abstract "Turing machine" sense. And it "predicts" things like indeterminancy and maybe linear superposition, but I can't see that it predicts anything surprising.


Direct correlates between measurable brain function and reported subjective consciousness seems difficult to reconcile with this strictly computational interpretation.  Also, the computational approach seems to suffer from the same problems as many "theories of everything" including religious ones in that they explain everything but cannot make any predictions because that cannot predict which events will NOT happen.


On Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 4:50:52 PM UTC-8, meekerdb wrote:

    On 3/1/2018 2:03 PM, spinozalens via Free Thinkers Physics
    Discussion Group wrote:
Anesthetic is as close to death you can get without doing the dying.

    I don't think so.  Under anesthetic there is still plenty of blood
    flow to your brain and no reason for neurons to shut down to
    conserve resources.  In fact many neurons continue to fire; but I
    don't know which ones or what their function is.

    You get a lot closer to dying if your heart stops for a few
    minutes, which the Annals of Neurology paper says causes all the
    neurons to shut down, but notes that: "...this shouldn’t be used
    as an end-all marker of death. Past research has shown that if
    blood and oxygen return to the brain quickly enough after the
    spreading wave, the neurons resume activity and recover their
    chemical charge. It takes several minutes for the depolarized
    neurons, sitting in this chemical cocktail, to reach a “commitment
    point” beyond which they cannot restart their function."

    To your question I think it depends what you die of. Feynman on
his death bed remarked that dying was boring

    The one time I thought I would die I just felt a kind of
    curiosity...like "So this it?"


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