New stuff in neuroscience

#1
Scientists uncover the neural basis of confidence in the rat brain
Life is a series of decisions, ranging from the mundane to the monumental. And each decision is a gamble, carrying with it the chance to second-guess. Did I make the right turn at that light? Did I choose the right college? Was this the right job for me?
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-09-scientists-uncover-neural-basis-confidence.html
'Dimmer switch' for mood disorders discovered
Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a control mechanism for an area of the brain that processes sensory and emotive information that humans experience as "disappointment." http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-09-dimmer-mood-disorders.html
 
#2
Interesting stuff, to me this is perfectly compatible with panpsychism or neutral monism. Both of which argue that for human type awareness you need a human brain. The filter thing is hard for me to argue here. That said, I would be cautious here. It rather brings to mind Talis et al's comments on neuromania. Moreover, the studies act like the brain is a block of concrete rather than plastic. The fact that other parts can take over various functions in the case of injury shows imho, that we should be cautious before saying "this part controls or mediates this".
 
#3
Interesting stuff, to me this is perfectly compatible with panpsychism or neutral monism. Both of which argue that for human type awareness you need a human brain. The filter thing is hard for me to argue here. That said, I would be cautious here. It rather brings to mind Talis et al's comments on neuromania. Moreover, the studies act like the brain is a block of concrete rather than plastic. The fact that other parts can take over various functions in the case of injury shows imho, that we should be cautious before saying "this part controls or mediates this".
I would say that certain parts of the brain are evolved to handle particular functions normally. When it has been damaged, the brain can rewire itself, but the rewiring hardly ever returns the function to what it was before. Stroke victims attest to this fact.
 
#4
I would say that certain parts of the brain are evolved to handle particular functions normally. When it has been damaged, the brain can rewire itself, but the rewiring hardly ever returns the function to what it was before. Stroke victims attest to this fact.
Some functionality appears to be capable of having functionality restored with a little help [artificial hippocampus research, circa 2003], indicating that its likely that the connections have been broken and the brain may not realize those functions are not processing properly.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#5
Interesting stuff, to me this is perfectly compatible with panpsychism or neutral monism. Both of which argue that for human type awareness you need a human brain. The filter thing is hard for me to argue here. That said, I would be cautious here. It rather brings to mind Talis et al's comments on neuromania. Moreover, the studies act like the brain is a block of concrete rather than plastic. The fact that other parts can take over various functions in the case of injury shows imho, that we should be cautious before saying "this part controls or mediates this".
Good point on Tallis. Larkin posted the Neuromania lecture before (here):


As a neuroscientist/atheist/immaterialist Tallis provides an interesting essay on the limits of his field.

Wrong ideas about what human beings are and how we work, especially if they are endlessly repeated, keep us from thinking about ourselves in ways that may genuinely advance our self-understanding. Indeed, proponents of the neuroscientific account of human behavior hope that it will someday supplant our traditional understandings of mind, behavior, and consciousness, which they dismiss as mere “folk psychology.” According to a 2007 New Yorker profile of professors Paul and Patricia Churchland, two leading “neurophilosophers,” they like “to speculate about a day when whole chunks of English, especially the bits that constitute folk psychology, are replaced by scientific words that call a thing by its proper name rather than some outworn metaphor.” The article recounts the occasion Patricia Churchland came home from a vexing day at work and told her husband, “Paul, don’t speak to me, my serotonin levels have hit bottom, my brain is awash in glucocorticoids, my blood vessels are full of adrenaline, and if it weren’t for my endogenous opiates I’d have driven the car into a tree on the way home. My dopamine levels need lifting. Pour me a Chardonnay, and I’ll be down in a minute.” Such awkward chemical conversation is unlikely to replace “folk psychology” anytime soon, despite the Churchlands’ fervent wishes, if only because it misses the actual human reasons for the reported neurochemical impairments — such as, for example, failing to get one’s favored candidate appointed to a post.

Moreover, there is strong reason to believe that the failure to provide a neuroscientific account of the sufficient conditions of consciousness and conscious behavior is not a temporary state of affairs. It is unlikely that the gap between neuroscientific stories of human behavior and the standard humanistic or common-sense narratives will be closed, even as neuroscience advances and as our tools for observing neural activity grow more sophisticated.
Most interesting to me is his assertion in his book of essays that the brain cannot account for human memories:

...Neurophilosophers will not be impressed by my objection. The difference between the shock-chastened sea snail and my feeling sad over a meeting that passed so quickly, is simply the difference between 20,000 neurons or a hundred billion; or, more importantly, between the modest number of connexions within Aplysia’s nervous system, and the unimaginably large number of connexions in your brain (said to be of the order of a 100 trillion). Well, I don’t believe that the difference between Kandel’s ‘memory in a dish’ and my actual memory is just a matter of the size of the nervous system or the number or complexity of the neurons in it. Clarifying this difference will enable us to see what is truly mysterious in memory...

...Making present something that is past as something past, that is to say, absent, hardly looks like a job that a piece of matter could perform, even a complex electrochemical process in a piece of matter such as a brain. But we need to specify more clearly why not. Material objects are what they are, not what they have been, any more than they are what they will be. Thus a changed synaptic connexion is its present state; it is not also the causes of its present state. Nor is the connection ‘about’ that which caused its changed state or its increased propensity to fire in response to cues. Even less is it about those causes located at a temporal distance from its present state. A paper published in Science last year by Itzhak Fried claiming to solve the problem of memory actually underlines this point. The author found that the same neurons were active in the same way when an individual remembered a scene (actually from The Simpsons) as when they watched it.

So how did people ever imagine that a ‘cerebral deposit’ (to use Henri Bergson’s sardonic phrase) could be about that which caused its altered state? Isn’t it because they smuggled consciousness into their idea of the relationship between the altered synapse and that which caused the alteration, so that they could then imagine that the one could be ‘about’ the other? Once you allow that, then the present state of anything can be a sign of the past events that brought about its present state, and the past can be present. For example, a broken cup can signify to me (a conscious being when I last checked) the unfortunate event that resulted in its unhappy state.

Of course, smuggling in consciousness like this is inadmissible, because the synapses are supposed to supply the consciousness that reaches back in time to the causes of the synapses’ present states. And there is another, more profound reason why the cerebral deposit does not deliver what some neurophysiologists want it to, which goes right to the heart of the nature of the material world and the physicist’s account of its reality – something that this article has been circling round. I am referring to the mystery of tensed time; the mystery of an explicit past, future and present...
 
#8
Is his claim a reasonable claim?
I don't know, are reasonable claims claims that only follow steve001s religious dogma? Or can reasonable claims be made contrary to Steve's dogma? Here you are calling a neuroscientist a fool while having presumably little to no education yourself. If this was an intellectual boxing match, your claim is tantamount to a toddler stepping into the ring against Muhammad Ali. If you want to fight that fight, you had better wrap yourself up more than just ' then he is a fool '.
 
#9
Which specific claim? Because in the video he makes many more than one.
Post number five.
Most interesting to me is his assertion in his book of essays that the brain cannot account for human memories:
In his own words he writes:
There is more to perceptions, memories, and beliefs than neural impulses can explain.
I have to agree with Sci; he seems to imply memories are somewhere else.
At first I didn't recognize this man, but having done a search is bringing it back to me whom this fellow is. The more I read the less impressed I am. In this particular example I stand by what I said.
 
#12
I would say that certain parts of the brain are evolved to handle particular functions normally. When it has been damaged, the brain can rewire itself, but the rewiring hardly ever returns the function to what it was before. Stroke victims attest to this fact.
Actually, with the right therapy, people with brain injury can come back from a lot of damage.

http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2014/05/features/game-your-brain/viewall

http://bigthink.com/think-tank/brain-exercise

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/11039266/The-man-with-the-missing-brain.html

The full recovery is uncertain, sometimes it happens sometimes it doesn't http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Stroke/Pages/recovery.aspx

In addition:
 
#13
Post number five.

In his own words he writes:
I have to agree with Sci; he seems to imply memories are somewhere else.
At first I didn't recognize this man, but having done a search is bringing it back to me whom this fellow is. The more I read the less impressed I am. In this particular example I stand by what I said.
I can't really see any problems with the idea that past brain states influence future brain states.

The problem is when we start insisting that memory is stored as some spatial structure of the brain, or, that memory is stored completely external to the brain. These are the two classic polarised viewpoints I see on this forum day after day, and taking each in isolation is just wrong.

Stick with what we do know, that past brain states influence future brain states...

In my view the solution will almost certainly incorporate the observations used to argue both polarised viewpoints.
 
#14
I can't really see any problems with the idea that past brain states influence future brain states.

The problem is when we start insisting that memory is stored as some spatial structure of the brain, or, that memory is stored completely external to the brain. These are the two classic polarised viewpoints I see on this forum day after day, and taking each in isolation is just wrong.

Stick with what we do know, that past brain states influence future brain states...

In my view the solution will almost certainly incorporate the observations used to argue both polarised viewpoints.
I strike the parts I'm have no opinion on at this time. My beef is this man's idea, memories, are not in the brain, when all evidence says they are. To suggest memories are somewhere else like information in some metaphysical data cloud is a foolish idea unsupported idea. To change my mind on that would require direct evidence they are somewhere else. All the heartfelt, logical or whatever arguments won't.
Only polarized for the reason persons want the immaterial paradigm to over turn the material. In other words not willing to see the world as it is, but as they wish it to be.
 
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#15
I striked the parts I'm have no opinion on at this time. My beef is this mans idea memories are not in the brain when all evidence says they are. To suggest memories are somewhere else like data in some metaphysical data cloud is a foolish idea. To change my mind on that would require direct evidence they are somewhere else. All the heartfelt arguments won't.
Sounds like you are taking one of the polarised positions I mentioned earlier... I rather think he's gonna be part right, and your gonna be part right.
 
#16
I tend to agree with the view that memories are likely tied to brain states. However, Stevenson's evidence does show that perhaps memories are partly brain based, and partly not. That combined with psi where you can have information transfer. I'm not saying that they're 'non-physical'. After all, the definition of physical these days is becoming more and more tenuous, but to strictly restrict it to the brain seems brash.
 
#17
I tend to agree with the view that memories are likely tied to brain states. However, Stevenson's evidence does show that perhaps memories are partly brain based, and partly not. That combined with psi where you can have information transfer. I'm not saying that they're 'non-physical'. After all, the definition of physical these days is becoming more and more tenuous, but to strictly restrict it to the brain seems brash.
I don't know about Stevensons evidence, but generally I would say that we simply need to have a 2nd mechanism in the brain in addition to neuronal firing (what I call my 'read' mechanism) which has sufficient isolation from decoherance, to allow coherent waves to interfere with one another spatially and temporally. It's really quite simple.

The particular pattern of spatial activation of this 'read' mechanism in the brains spatial networks, would allow interference with other patterns where they matched.

[There is really no other reason for those dendritic spines (in my avatar) to grow or shrink so quickly over seconds. Depending on the aggregated fields of neuronal firing.]

Obviously the spatial pattern you are most likely to match up with over time is yourself... A past brain state is going to interfere with a future brain state. So that's you. That's who you are.

But where your spatial pattern of activation matches others, you will become coherent with others across space, and also across time, causing interference.

It is very simple... In my view it explains everything I have thrown at it so far.

So it both is, and isn't in the brain... Which is what I find people don't get very well.
 
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