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(New Scientist)   Neurobiology research finds that consciousness arises from the coordinated interplay between all portions of the brain. Descartes seen tugging his collar, looking around nervously   (newscientist.com) divider line
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1486 clicks; posted to Geek » on 17 Mar 2009 at 5:26 PM (10 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



31 Comments     (+0 »)
 
 
2009-03-17 09:43:26 AM  
Cool.

I was hoping I'd be the one to discover this though. :(
 
2009-03-17 09:48:07 AM  
It has been known for some time that neuroscience denial is the next creationism. It's a bit depressing to know that our grandkids are going to be arguing with Bevets' grandkids over the implications of neuroscience.
 
2009-03-17 03:51:46 PM  

Zamboro: It has been known for some time that neuroscience denial is the next creationism. It's a bit depressing to know that our grandkids are going to be arguing with Bevets' grandkids over the implications of neuroscience.


Yeah, but at least they'll get to do it from floating VR interfaces instead of in front of stupid LCDs. That makes it WAY better.
 
2009-03-17 05:40:29 PM  
Bevets is going to go to the page and read the article on the "a great, hypercosmic God" a freak out or believe in it. I started to read it but became bored with the article.
 
2009-03-17 05:46:57 PM  
Julian Jaynes is unimpressed.
 
2009-03-17 06:19:45 PM  
Descartes walks into a bar. The bartender asks if he would like a drink, to which he replies, "I don't think..." and vanishes in a puff of logic.
 
2009-03-17 06:36:47 PM  
This doesn't really disprove "I think therefore I am".

It will however result in a democratic agreement about what consciousness is, which will result in X amount of coma patients being considered not conscious and therefore "plug-pullable".

Unless you're talking about the Pineal Gland thing which was already known to be BS.
 
2009-03-17 06:41:36 PM  
The headline is misleading. Neurobiology research finds a putative "consciousness signature" which provides evidence for a "global access" theory of consciousness.
 
2009-03-17 06:43:46 PM  
This is extremely cool.
 
2009-03-17 06:49:28 PM  
brassknizz

This doesn't really disprove "I think therefore I am".

It will however result in a democratic agreement about what consciousness is, which will result in X amount of coma patients being considered not conscious and therefore "plug-pullable".

Unless you're talking about the Pineal Gland thing which was already known to be BS.


Dr. Pretorius disagrees.
[image from metawerks.net too old to be available]
/link as hot as Barbara Crampton in leather
 
2009-03-17 07:25:34 PM  

brassknizz: This doesn't really disprove "I think therefore I am".

It will however result in a democratic agreement about what consciousness is, which will result in X amount of coma patients being considered not conscious and therefore "plug-pullable".

Unless you're talking about the Pineal Gland thing which was already known to be BS.


Oh noes, no more EEGs times 2 24 hours apart? No more calorie tests? Us simple folk are gonna be pulling plugs left and right cause that's what happens to unconscious people. FSM save us, you're our only hope.
 
2009-03-17 07:35:40 PM  
If you're drunk you are not conscious so you can be killed.
/flame on.
 
2009-03-17 07:54:37 PM  

Bender The Offender:
Oh noes, no more EEGs times 2 24 hours apart? No more calorie tests? Us simple folk are gonna be pulling plugs left and right cause that's what happens to unconscious people. FSM save us, you're our only hope.


Ahhh...I got owned, I shouldn't have used the coma example without actually knowing anything about coma patients =]

-1 for me
 
2009-03-17 08:40:50 PM  

Space_Fetus: Descartes walks into a bar. The bartender asks if he would like a drink, to which he replies, "I don't think..." and vanishes in a puff of logic.



YES!
 
2009-03-17 08:41:40 PM  
Neurobiology research finds that consciousness arises from the coordinated interplay between all portions of the brain.



Well no shiat. I could have told you this and I'm not even a scientist.

What's next? The more complex the brain gets the more dynamic consciousness becomes? Things that are in motion stay in motion unless acted upon? The speed of light is not relative? Plants use the sun to make food? Penis and vagina is how babby formed?
 
2009-03-17 10:00:15 PM  

j_twelve: Neurobiology research finds that consciousness arises from the coordinated interplay between all portions of the brain.

Well no shiat. I could have told you this and I'm not even a scientist.

What's next? The more complex the brain gets the more dynamic consciousness becomes? Things that are in motion stay in motion unless acted upon? The speed of light is not relative? Plants use the sun to make food? Penis and vagina is how babby formed?


Except that the scientists didn't say that, the hack submitter that wrote the headline said that and was wrong. Your opinion is equally puerile, and it's no wonder you're no scientist.
 
2009-03-17 11:49:57 PM  
brasskinz: This doesn't really disprove "I think therefore I am".

The intended meaning was that Descarte's concept of dualism is invalidated by evidence vindicating the materialist model of consciousness. Supernatural alternatives which assert a "spirit" or "soul", separate and extricable from the brain, have been dealt a serious blow by findings which explain how the brain actually goes about producing conscious thought. No brain, no conscious thought, which means no soul, no afterlife, and death is final.

The implications for spiritualists cannot be overstated.
 
2009-03-18 01:20:58 AM  

Zamboro: The intended meaning was that Descarte's concept of dualism is invalidated by evidence vindicating the materialist model of consciousness. Supernatural alternatives which assert a "spirit" or "soul", separate and extricable from the brain, have been dealt a serious blow by findings which explain how the brain actually goes about producing conscious thought. No brain, no conscious thought, which means no soul, no afterlife, and death is final.

The implications for spiritualists cannot be overstated.


"You might try then, as I did, to find a sky so full of stars it will blind you again. Only no sky can blind you now. Even with all that iridescent magic up there, your eye will no longer linger on the light, it will no linger trace constellations. You'll care only about the darkness and you'll watch it for hours, for days, maybe even for years, trying in vain to believe you're some kind of indispensable, universe-appointed sentinel, as if just by looking you could actually keep it all at bay. It will get so bad you'll be afraid to look away, you'll be afraid to sleep.

Then no matter where you are, in a crowded restaurant or on some desolate street or even in the comforts of your own home, you'll watch yourself dismantle every assurance you ever lived by. You'll stand aside as a great complexity intrudes, tearing apart, piece by piece, all your carefully conceived denials, whether deliberate or unconscious. And then for better or worse you'll turn, unable to resist, though try to resist you still will, fighting with everything you've got not to face the thing you most dread, what is now, what will be, what has always come before, the creature you truly are, the creature we all are, buried in the nameless black of a name.

And then the nightmares will begin."

I'll miss my books. Well, not really.
 
2009-03-18 01:37:47 AM  
Descartes: Space_Fetus: Descartes walks into a bar. The bartender asks if he would like a drink, to which he replies, "I don't think..." and vanishes in a puff of logic.

YES!


So, Rene Descartes is a drunken fart?
 
2009-03-18 03:16:47 AM  
Dammit.

'I think, therefore I am" was not meant to be reflexive - it in no way implies that what doesn't think is not. He was making the (to him) self evident statement that he could not think if he did not exist. Reading anything else into it is sheer M. Bachmanism.

And Descartes has been dead since he got run over after they put that cart in front of him, so he probly ain't doing much of anything.
 
2009-03-18 06:39:13 AM  
Is this a Rodney Dangerfield reference? In a neuroscience headline? Wow. Just wow.
 
2009-03-18 08:17:25 AM  
Oh wow, the same Descartes who thought that the soul came from the Pineal gland and then decided to intentionally overlook the fact that animals also have the Pineal gland, and somehow they managed to not have a rational soul?
 
2009-03-18 08:48:21 AM  
Daddy's big pink man squirrel: "Dammit.

'I think, therefore I am" was not meant to be reflexive - it in no way implies that what doesn't think is not. "


See:

Zamboro: "The intended meaning was that Descarte's concept of dualism is invalidated by evidence vindicating the materialist model of consciousness. Supernatural alternatives which assert a "spirit" or "soul", separate and extricable from the brain, have been dealt a serious blow by findings which explain how the brain actually goes about producing conscious thought. No brain, no conscious thought, which means no soul, no afterlife, and death is final.

The implications for spiritualists cannot be overstated."



For all newcomers: The threat title has nothing to do with that particular quote. Descarte was responsible for far more than just that. It may be what first comes to mind when you hear his name, but I had intended to refer to his concept of dualism instead. Sorry for the confusion.
 
2009-03-18 09:59:43 AM  
If anybody thinks that humans don't operate this way, that their day-to-day lives aren't a response to the stimuli the consciousness obtains, or some outside "soul" or mysterious magic force is controlling you instead, DIAF.
 
2009-03-18 12:14:34 PM  

hjalmarsson: Zamboro:

"You might try then, as I did, to find a sky so full of stars it will blind you again. Only no sky can blind you now. Even with all that iridescent magic up there, your eye will no longer linger on the light, it will no linger trace constellations. You'll care only about the darkness and you'll watch it for hours, for days, maybe even for years, trying in vain to believe you're some kind of indispensable, universe-appointed sentinel, as if just by looking you could actually keep it all at bay. It will get so bad you'll be afraid to look away, you'll be afraid to sleep.

Then no matter where you are, in a crowded restaurant or on some desolate street or even in the comforts of your own home, you'll watch yourself dismantle every assurance you ever lived by. You'll stand aside as a great complexity intrudes, tearing apart, piece by piece, all your carefully conceived denials, whether deliberate or unconscious. And then for better or worse you'll turn, unable to resist, though try to resist you still will, fighting with everything you've got not to face the thing you most dread, what is now, what will be, what has always come before, the creature you truly are, the creature we all are, buried in the nameless black of a name.

And then the nightmares will begin."

I'll miss my books. Well, not really.


... I Love you.
 
2009-03-18 12:33:14 PM  

rjShadow: If anybody thinks that humans don't operate this way, that their day-to-day lives aren't a response to the stimuli the consciousness obtains, or some outside "soul" or mysterious magic force is controlling you instead, DIAF.


Maybe.

But our entire society keeps running on the premise that people can choose their own actions. If the brain is mechanistic and "consciousness" is determined by the brain processing information in the only way it's capable, then people are no more responsible for their actions than they're responsible for getting cancer. And how can you lock someone up for something they had no choice in?

It's certainly possible that the brain works that way, but it's going to require a complete overhaul of our justice system if so.
 
2009-03-18 12:55:34 PM  
As if graduating this year with a philosophy degree wasn't any more worthless, they have to go and prove materialism. Argh
 
2009-03-18 03:48:29 PM  

GlassWalker: rjShadow: If anybody thinks that humans don't operate this way, that their day-to-day lives aren't a response to the stimuli the consciousness obtains, or some outside "soul" or mysterious magic force is controlling you instead, DIAF.

Maybe.

But our entire society keeps running on the premise that people can choose their own actions. If the brain is mechanistic and "consciousness" is determined by the brain processing information in the only way it's capable, then people are no more responsible for their actions than they're responsible for getting cancer. And how can you lock someone up for something they had no choice in?


It's certainly possible that the brain works that way, but it's going to require a complete overhaul of our justice system if so.


In the event that it's overwhelmingly obvious that choice's are illusions granted ill-given credence by our experience of consciousness it won't change much except for capital punishment in the immediate, the rest would stay the same for the time it takes until we are capable of changing, literally correcting the neurological mechanistic defects of a criminal mind. The upside is more funding will go into the research that will create these developments.


A no belief, but belief in belief situation?



Furthermore I doubt that the deterministic view would ever penetrate the zeitgeist very far, or as of yet, should regarding self. I remain very skeptical on this front. It's known that even if people don't have control over a given situation believing that they do does have great influence regarding self control, therapy, even illness and life expectancy. It goes beyond placebo effect when considering a patient undergoing psychological therapy and the patients crucial belief that they can change an incorrect behavior b/c of their approach to "choice making," or that some other magical type of thinking they have leads to good/corrected behavior, less stress, and a longer happier life, wherein determinism just may lead the "average Joe" to a defeatist position, or a prematurely, even if it's in the wrongheaded that they do, developmental hopelessness. It would be hard to explain then to a layman that self-fulfilling thinking still operates in the same way it always has with or without freewill.

As was told to Sam Harris, and I find that despite the respect I have for Sam and most of his statements as true, that not everyone is Sam Harris, and that not everyone may be capable of the type of thinking, paradigm, what have you, that he is.

Humans aren't totally rational animals, and our minds didn't evolve for rationalities sake but in fitness for long and short term group and individuals reproductives sake. This it would seem opens up a can of worms when it comes to the "how should we go about" dealing with what's real in connection to the average humans thinking about it, the best way for societies optimum health in all regards may not be logical or reasonable at all.


Anyway, discuss, I'd like to hear (or read rather) what, and particularly with regards to free-will, your positions are on a "belief in belief."
 
2009-03-19 09:38:15 AM  
GlassWalker: "But our entire society keeps running on the premise that people can choose their own actions. If the brain is mechanistic and "consciousness" is determined by the brain processing information in the only way it's capable, then people are no more responsible for their actions than they're responsible for getting cancer. And how can you lock someone up for something they had no choice in?"

The same reason that animal control workers subdue and contain dangerous animals. The animal isn't really responsible, it doesn't know what the fark is going on and it's only reacting naturally with fear and anger as you would expect. And yet we tranquilize, detain and then release these animals because it's necessary for everyones safety.

There are good reasons for maintaining our justice system that have nothing to do with revenge/punishment, and everything to do with practicality.
 
2009-03-20 08:24:22 AM  
But our entire society keeps running on the premise that people can choose their own actions. If the brain is mechanistic and "consciousness" is determined by the brain processing information in the only way it's capable, then people are no more responsible for their actions than they're responsible for getting cancer. And how can you lock someone up for something they had no choice in?

It's certainly possible that the brain works that way, but it's going to require a complete overhaul of our justice system if so.


I disagree, even if free will is an illusion, and our experiential existence is the result of our brain reacting to stimuli based upon an extremely complex neural network, people will still be held accountable for their actions. Your statement 'people can't be held accountable for their actions if they do not truly have free will' (paraphrased) is still creating the phallacy of dividing the *person* from the *brain*- If the brain decides our actions with or without freewill, then the brain is the person. If the brain is the person, then punishment/reward are methods of changing the neural network to change it's response to stimuli and ergo changing the person; this is the original purpose of the penal system- to provide a punishment stimulus to deter criminal acts and reform transgressors. The biggest change that the loss of free will would produce in the penal system is a reformation of the penal system towards something that will more effectively produce it's original intent.
 
2009-03-20 08:31:46 AM  
I don't trust NewScientist as a single source for science articles, and this article proves that point. Effectively they're stating 'conscious observation of words that provoke emotional responses produces reactions in those portions of the brain that process visual information, emotional response, and linguistic skills.' We've known this for a while, this is just the first time it's been directly observed. I can say that the frontal cortex, occipital lobe, and thalamus would all be activated by this test. It's neat that they're using electrodes though, very nifty method- if a bit grainy.
 
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