(The)History of Neuroscience

Discussion in 'Critical Discussions Among Proponents and Skeptics' started by steve001, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. steve001

    steve001 Member

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    I have little to say about this other than as more became known it becomes increasingly apparent consciousness is local. And as more is learned with advanced high technology machines it becomes ever more apparent. The site gives a chronology from ancient times to 2000AD. Much has been learnt since then.


    Introduction

    The history of Neuroscience has been shaped by three major debates:

      • Mind vs. brain debate (monism/dualism): are mind (cognition/behavior) and brain (physical substance) separate (dualist) or unified monist) entities?
      • Localism vs. holism: do neurons and brain areas have specific functions (localism) or is it fairly undifferentiated, working more as an aggregate field (holism)?
    • Nature of neural communication: Is the mind completely "created" by the brain? Can consciousness be reduced to neurons? Is there a soul that exists beyond the neurons? These questions are still hotly debated. http://www.columbia.edu/cu/psychology/courses/1010/mangels/neuro/history/history.html
     
  2. radicalpolitik

    radicalpolitik New

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    I'd argue our personality is a brain thing. However we can only say it's entirely local if we blatantly ignore the para psychological evidence.
     
  3. steve001

    steve001 Member

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    I can say the brain has some mysterious ability to reach out to do those para psychological things. There's not a shred on evidence to the contrary.
     
  4. Bucky

    Bucky Member

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    Hmmm... well then it's settled. Not a shred, we're done!
    Fortunately we have Steve solving the mystery for us.

    God, what a relief :)
     
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  5. steve001

    steve001 Member

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    I've not solved any mystery. I've pointed out one is just as possible as the other.
     
  6. Haruhi

    Haruhi New

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    There is evidence that consciousness persists after brain death: NDEs, some apparitions, mediumship and children who remember previous lives. Only you do not agree with this evidence.
     
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  7. steve001

    steve001 Member

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    Let's agree consciousness exists after brain death. How does that invalidate the brain has some mysterious ability to do those para psychological things before death?
     
  8. EthanT

    EthanT Member

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    I think it potentially invalidates it in that the parapsychology evidence suggests very strongly that the phenomenon is non-local - in space and time.

    Now, I can see framing much of this in a QFT-like framework, because fields are non-local, as well. Fields are assumed to be spread out across all space (and time). In other words, they are inherently non-local. Brains are localized pieces of matter. All particles, once they're measured, decohere, or what have you, are just localized interactions of an inherently non-local field. This is where the appearance of the wave-particle duality comes from - it's from not realizing waves and particles are just different manifestations of the more fundamental field.

    Hopefully, you see where I am coming from. It doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, from a physics perspective, to assume a localized piece of matter can create non-local effects. It seems much more natural to assume something already non-local in nature (like a field) is what's responsible for a non-local phenomenon.

    In the end, I think our current view on fields isn't enough to explain psi either, but it is at least more suggestive of what might be going on. That combined with the psi evidence, makes the whole idea of the brain being solely responsible for psi not seem very compelling and perhaps even incoherent, imho. That doesn't mean the brain can't play some part in psi, but it seems like it would be a secondary role.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  9. Haruhi

    Haruhi New

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    It does not invalidate that some psi phenomena may be generated by the brain, but it invalidate that consciousness is entirely dependent on the brain.
     
  10. Imperial Philosopher

    Imperial Philosopher New

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    I think it's pretty safe to assume that there are strong correlations between the brain and consciousness. However, the oft-thrown around phrase "correlation does not equal causation" comes into play here. Hence why the possibility of psi makes for some interesting research, more interesting than the standard "brain=computer" which slams the door to questions shut like the lid on a coffin.
     
  11. radicalpolitik

    radicalpolitik New

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    You don't even need psi to show the brain isn't a computer. An estimate by physicist Jack Tuzinski postulates that to model one human brain, you would need the total power output of the earth to do so. Compared to 40W for a human brain, i.e. a lightbulb.
     
  12. Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

    Paul C. Anagnostopoulos Nap, interrupted. Member

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    That doesn't demonstrate that the brain isn't a computer, only that is a power-efficient one. Anyway, the Human Brain Project estimates a gigawatt using today's technology. The US generated 4 terawatts in 2013.

    It'll be a good impetus to reduce the power consumption of computers.

    ~~ Paul
     
  13. malf

    malf Member

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    Correlation and causation are not necessarily the same thing. However that does not mean they have to be different. Often they are the same. Very strong correlation is at least suggestive of causation.

    Smoking cigarettes correlated with lung cancer. Turns out there was causation there too. (Unless you're going to tell me that smoking opened a filter that transmitted cancer cells from another realm... I may think you bonkers, but I would have no way of arguing with this)
     
  14. steve001

    steve001 Member

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    Should quantum computers become ubiquitous, they likely will, then it will be a trivial matter too model the human brain I think.
     
  15. radicalpolitik

    radicalpolitik New

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    I should have said classical computer. It's becoming possible that the brain is a quantum computer.
     
  16. Imperial Philosopher

    Imperial Philosopher New

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    Science would definitely have its work cut out for it as to how(and why) the mostly blind forces of evolution would develop into a quantum computer without any other factors involved.

    A major distinction between the brain and computers is that computers are usually set to receive, and act upon, some range of data. If you want a computer to do anything else successfully, you have to manually install it from an outside source. The brain, when it faces new data or environmental stimuli, generates new operating parameters for the input on its own without necessarily needing to go all the way down and add to the source code.

    Not sure if that comparison makes as much sense as I think it does, so I'll be keeping my quantum computer running to translate if anyone needs clarification.
     
  17. steve001

    steve001 Member

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    As you are a student of physics it surprises me you use the term non-local incorrectly. We both know that term has a specific meaning having no reference to location. What it means is, for those that don't know is, things that happen faster than light. Quantum entanglement is non local. Every force, everything we can see with our naked eye the objects nears us to the most distant galaxies billions of lightyears away with instruments is all local because that information in the form of EM radiation travels at the speed of light as do other forms of information coming in as particles. The terms you should use is localized and non localized they being accurate by definition. There's not the tiniest piece of data pointing to consciousness being non localized within the brain and most definitely non-local properly. For the reason of using that term incorrectly I don't buy the argument the brain can't create consciousness and the position I used earlier remains a valid idea. In case you forgot, that idea is the brain has some mysterious ability to reach out and do psi. I don't necessarily subscribe to this idea. I'm attempting to make it apparent there's more than one way to look at it.
     
  18. Haruhi

    Haruhi New

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    I think consciousness is located in the brain most of the time. But there is evidence that sometimes consciousness is not located in the brain: some OBEs and NDEs.
     
  19. EthanT

    EthanT Member

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    Steve, I did use the term correctly. Non-local is often used in reference to fields in textbooks and within the classroom. The term is even used long before one even gets to a course on Quantum Physics, because the term non-local is also sometimes used to describe classical waves in Newtonian Physics, where one usually encounters it first. Non local is used to describe anything like a field, or like a wave, that cannot be assigned (localized!) to specific coordinates, like a particle can be. Hence one finds that the terms local, localized, non-local, non-localized, are all used interchangeably.

    In other words, non-local has more meaning than pop sci puts out there with all the modern day media hoopla over QM.

    Anyhow, the quantum entanglement phenomenon you mention above is ultimately a field phenomenon! If you're going to call that non-local, well then so is a field, by your own words.

    Still living in denial of the psi evidence, eh? ;-)

    Anyhow, nobody said consciousness is "non-localized within the brain", which is a contradiction in terms.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
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  20. steve001

    steve001 Member

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    1.I'm not reading popsci.

    2
    . No one knows what's taking place with entanglement. It appears to be a correlation taking place faster than light, maybe.
    3. Not seeing what is blatantly obvious for others, that's me. :)
    4.
    You've not heard of the brain is a filter for consciousness? Some members in the past have stated non local consciousness is plausible. Deepak actually co authored a book arguing consciousness pervades the universe.

    To avoid further confusion let's use the word delocalized not non local.
     

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