The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Google Science Fair Project Reviewed  (Read 5640 times)

Offline siochi

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
Google Science Fair Project Reviewed
« on: 03/02/2011 17:52:09 »
First of all, I want to thank all the people who posted their valuable comment on my previous thread.

For all those who are visiting my post for the first time, let me give you a briefing about what it is about.

I am participating in the google global science fair in the category of 14-15 year old students. To enter the competition, I am preparing a project on Cognitive psychology (Neuroscience, psychology, and a bit of philosophy included).

The aim of my experiment is to find out how the brain works. How does it process sensory information? What are the reasons for thoughts, creativity, consciousness and action? And if the knowledge gained thus is correct, then how can I use it to increase the intelligence of humans?

First off, I would like to introduce to you the current scenario in the sciences related to the brain and its functioning (neuroscience, psychology, etc)

Even after the advent of EEG, PET, and fMRI and other useful technologies, the realm of the brain still remains unexplored. There are several theories about how the brain process information, but there is no clear resemblance or similarity in them, and these theories seem to meet at no point. Most of the empirical evidences and experiments are in contradiction to the most prominent theories of brain and mind, and the neurological world seems much like an unexplored jungle.

The problem with most of the theories about brain and mind is that they assume that the human brain is capable of producing thoughts of its own. By producing thoughts of its own, I mean, that the human brain is able to produce thoughts of any scale and manner, in whatever way it chooses to do it and at whatever time it wants to do it.

But, logic and the law of causality teach us that there is always a cause for an effect and vice versa. If the human brain produces a thought, it is because of the external stimulation, and the produced thought is more like a response to the external stimulation.

Moreover, it is both logically and practically impossible to believe that the human brain possess a free will, as it is not able for the brain to produce thoughts in whatever way it chooses to do it.

Let me get you onto a thought experiment (Gendaken Experiment! ;D) to demonstrate the above point:

Close your eye, and imagine about anything, almost anything, anything insane or stupid.

Imagined?

Now, look back and analyze. The thing you imagined(your act of thought) was induced by an external factor (that is me who asked you to imagine) and the domain of your imagination is limited to your sensory input (You imagined a thing in terms of a picture, sound, touch, smell, and taste, and not in terms of the unknown 6th sense). And also, the thing you imagined about was just a combination of the sensory information byte (I will demonstrate this point later in the post :P)



My hypothesis of how the brain works in based on the assumption that the human brain possess no free will. After I state that the human brain possess no free will, I strip the human brain of the status of being complex and mysterious, and state that the working of human brain is much alike the working of a computer.


I have formed some metaphors to help you understand the matter better.

Below are some computer terms and their equivalent neurological term :D


RAM (Random Access memory) == the level of consciousness
ROM (Read Only memory)     == the neural connections
OS  (Operating System)     == Consciousness


I think it's a perfect time to introduce a subjective term which has eluded the neuro scientists for a long time :P.

The term is Intrinsic Stimulation. This is the factor that is responsible for all our intelligence, and capability to do things. This is the factor that is responsible for language, speech, musical ability, daydreams, and imagination.

Intrinsic Stimulation is the stimulations that are alike the external stimulations, and are produced by the brain itself.

Confused?  :P Read this then!

You all must be aware that the human brain receives electrical impulses from the various sense organs. This electrical impulse is responsible for our understanding of environment, our surrounding and the universe. All the sensory information that we receive from the senses comes under the category of external stimulation.

In contrast to this, the electrical impulse that the brain produces on its own without any relationship with the external factors is known as Intrinsic Stimulation.

The ability to imagine a picture in your head is due to Intrinsic Stimulation. When you imagine a picture, your brain produces the required intrinsic stimulation to give you the sensation as if you were seeing the picture.

The ability of sub vocalize or produce sounds in your head is also due to Intrinsic Stimulation.

Intrinsic Stimulations are essential for Intelligence as every intelligent task requires the reproduction of some or the other kind of sensory information. In other words, every intelligent task requires the recalling or recollection of some or the other kind of memory.

For eg: To solve a simple mathematical question like this: 5+5 =? : You would need to be able to recognize the symbol and sign (The brain matches the external stimulation with any of the available internal stimulation.). After you do this, the answer 10 automatically springs out into your brain. This is the magic of internal stimulation.



A noted phenomena about intrinsic stimulation is that it is highly specialized is some sensory fields, and not at all active in the others.

I conducted a survey on about 30 people and asked each one of them about their ability to imagine entities in various senses.

About 100% said that they were able to imagine a thing in terms of picture.
About 100% said that they were able to imagine a thing in terms of sound.
Only about 10% said that they were able to imagine a thing in terms of touch.
0% said that they were able to imagine a thing in terms of taste.
0% said that they were able to imagine a thing in terms of smell.


Coming back to the topic, I would like to introduce to you the concept of the level of consciousness.

The level of consciousness is the sum total of the part of your brain that is imparting consciousness to an organisms. All the sensory input and their interpretation are processed by the level of consciousness.

The brain works in coordination with the level of consciousness and Intrinsic stimulation to tackle any problem or task.

For eg: For solving the question: 5+5-? : The eyes converted the image into electrical impulses, and sent it to the brain. At brain, the level of consciousness interpreted the electrical signals, and commanded the Intrinsic Stimulations to find the answer.



The concept of creativity is also very similar. It goes thus

When the senses observe an object, they not only perceive the object as whole, but also in terms of its characteristics. For eg: An ball is not only perceived as a ball, but also as a round object which is green in color and which bounces when thrown from above. These characteristics are what I call the sensory information byte.

The brain combines these bytes in various forms, and this is how creativity is formed.

Let me demonstrate this concept to you:

Let's take any two objects: Apple and balloon.

We note down 3 characteristics of each substance, and write it under its name. After this we mix up the properties of the objects. For eg. if you wrote that the balloon contains air, if you mixed this property with Apple, then the resulting stuff is - An apple which contains air. The interpretation to this final sentence is what creativity is.

There are three essential entities required to produce a creative thought.

1. Database (Sensory information). In the above process, the knowledge of what apple and balloon are is known as database.
2. Interpretation (Understanding of an object) the understanding of the final object is what interpretation is.
3. Logic (Exchange of characteristics). This entity ensures that no similar characteristics are present in the same object (like- It is tall and short!)




-HOW CAN WE USE THE ABOVE FINDING IN A PRACTICAL SENSE?

The above finding can be used to increase the IQ of a person exponentially. With the focus on imagination, and intrinsic stimulation, the processing capability of the brain can be increased, and thus, the IQ of a person can be increased. Modern psychologist believe that there exist a relationship between the no. of neural connections and the IQ of the human brain, but Neuroscience evidence has proven it wrong. My theory states that the neural connections acts as a part to store memory, and are not directly related to IQ. Level of consciousness coupled with Intrinsic stimulation is the essential element in terms of Intelligence.

The above findings can be used to create a new genre of intelligent computer which act and behave similar to humans and are conscious. My hypothesis states that the consciousness is nothing but the state of an entity to process both external stimulations and intrinsic stimulations.
If a robot is given adequate amount of external stimulations (visual,audio cues) then it would be able to function in the same way as humans do.





_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you so much for reading all this. Please comment on the hypothesis!
« Last Edit: 05/02/2011 05:52:45 by siochi »


 

Offline imatfaal

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2787
  • rouge moderator
    • View Profile
Re: Google Science Fair Project Reviewed
« Reply #1 on: 03/02/2011 18:45:08 »
I will get back to you - too much to read and digest at one sitting.
 

Offline graham.d

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2208
    • View Profile
Re: Google Science Fair Project Reviewed
« Reply #2 on: 04/02/2011 11:52:22 »
Siochi, you have obviously given this some thought. I think you are on the right track but, and please don't take this as a criticism, the concepts are far from new. If you are 14-15 years old, your understanding and reasoning are admirable and you would do well to pursue them. You should try to read more on the subject by people in this field of research. The view you have adopted is that of proponents of "Strong AI". Simply put, it is that the brain is a "Turing machine" and, as such, all its operation can be mapped onto any other Turing Machine of which the familiar electronic computer is an example, allbeit that the requirements for the computer specification would be rather demanding, particularly in terms of the software. I also take this strong AI view although I would not underestimate the task of developing the software and self learning capabilities. I suggest reading work by Douglas Hofstadter.

The human brain has evolved over many milennia and does not start with a tabula rasa (blank slate) at birth; there is a huge amount of pre-wiring. If you want to use a computer analogy, I consider this to be analogous to ROM. There is much commonality in the way this ROM is configured - for example we all have mechanisms for processing visual images which are similar and, in fact, the whole structure of the brain and which part do what is very much the same for every human. It is preconfigured to a large extent in ways we do not fully understand, and this includes systems which work at quite a high level including language processing. However, it also appears that the brain is adaptable and "plastic" in that it is sometimes possible to "relocate" software to other parts of the brain. This has been shown to be the case in people who have suffered severe brain damage but have regained abilities previously utilising the damaged regions.

On the other hand there are people who do not think that the brain is a Turing machine at all or others that it maybe something much more sophisticated than we realise. Roger Penrose postulates that the brain may be a "quantum computer" for example. Personally I just think it is a very sophisticated Turing machine with a huge amount of preconfiguring - some innately genetic but common to humans, some, more locally, through inheritence and some due to learning (with the mechanisms for learning also built-in).

I would not dismiss Penrose's view though as he is a clever bloke (this is an understatement). His non-Turing concept is based on the idea (and this is simplified) that we humans can reach solutions to mathematical problems (we propose theorems which we are fairly sure are correct) that not only that we cannot prove but for which we can show that no proof is possible. This is getting a bit deep but it is all to do with a Turing machine not completing its program. This can get deeply philosophical but it does come down to the free-will ideas. I am happy to think there may be a lot of random stuff going on too and that this can result in the occasional good guess that we then reason is plausible - you could think of this as free-will too.

I wrote more than I intended but I hope this helps. Best of luck.
 

Offline siochi

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
Re: Google Science Fair Project Reviewed
« Reply #3 on: 04/02/2011 12:36:06 »
Siochi, you have obviously given this some thought. I think you are on the right track but, and please don't take this as a criticism, the concepts are far from new. If you are 14-15 years old, your understanding and reasoning are admirable and you would do well to pursue them. You should try to read more on the subject by people in this field of research. The view you have adopted is that of proponents of "Strong AI". Simply put, it is that the brain is a "Turing machine" and, as such, all its operation can be mapped onto any other Turing Machine of which the familiar electronic computer is an example, allbeit that the requirements for the computer specification would be rather demanding, particularly in terms of the software. I also take this strong AI view although I would not underestimate the task of developing the software and self learning capabilities. I suggest reading work by Douglas Hofstadter.

The human brain has evolved over many milennia and does not start with a tabula rasa (blank slate) at birth; there is a huge amount of pre-wiring. If you want to use a computer analogy, I consider this to be analogous to ROM. There is much commonality in the way this ROM is configured - for example we all have mechanisms for processing visual images which are similar and, in fact, the whole structure of the brain and which part do what is very much the same for every human. It is preconfigured to a large extent in ways we do not fully understand, and this includes systems which work at quite a high level including language processing. However, it also appears that the brain is adaptable and "plastic" in that it is sometimes possible to "relocate" software to other parts of the brain. This has been shown to be the case in people who have suffered severe brain damage but have regained abilities previously utilising the damaged regions.

On the other hand there are people who do not think that the brain is a Turing machine at all or others that it maybe something much more sophisticated than we realise. Roger Penrose postulates that the brain may be a "quantum computer" for example. Personally I just think it is a very sophisticated Turing machine with a huge amount of preconfiguring - some innately genetic but common to humans, some, more locally, through inheritence and some due to learning (with the mechanisms for learning also built-in).

I would not dismiss Penrose's view though as he is a clever bloke (this is an understatement). His non-Turing concept is based on the idea (and this is simplified) that we humans can reach solutions to mathematical problems (we propose theorems which we are fairly sure are correct) that not only that we cannot prove but for which we can show that no proof is possible. This is getting a bit deep but it is all to do with a Turing machine not completing its program. This can get deeply philosophical but it does come down to the free-will ideas. I am happy to think there may be a lot of random stuff going on too and that this can result in the occasional good guess that we then reason is plausible - you could think of this as free-will too.

I wrote more than I intended but I hope this helps. Best of luck.


Yeah, sure this helps !

I thought I had done some real research on the topic because I couldn't find any relevant document,research,or anything related to this stuff.

I am not sure if any psychologist, neuroscientist or philosopher ever concluded that we are able to think because of internal stimulations, stimulations that the brain produces.

Moreover, my research is basically concerned with the concept of free will, and that's why I tackled that point head on at the beginning. It poses a real problem to science when we say that the human brain possess a free will. It just sweeps all the problem and questions under the rug.

My final stuff in regard to this project is to conduct a real physical world project in which I will demonstrate the functioning of the above hypothesis. I would take two subject, test their iq , and then, choose one of the subject, and give him my intensive imaginative training, and then note the difference between the two !

« Last Edit: 04/02/2011 12:51:24 by siochi »
 

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8125
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
Re: Google Science Fair Project Reviewed
« Reply #4 on: 04/02/2011 13:38:03 »
I would take two subject, test their iq , and then, choose one of the subject, and give him my intensive imaginative training, and then note the difference between the two !

Two is not a statistically significant number of participants to determine if some sort of brain training has increased IQ score.

« Last Edit: 04/02/2011 13:47:42 by RD »
 

Offline siochi

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
Re: Google Science Fair Project Reviewed
« Reply #5 on: 04/02/2011 13:42:49 »
I would take two subject, test their iq , and then, choose one of the subject, and give him my intensive imaginative training, and then note the difference between the two !

Two is not a statistically significant number of participants to determine if some sort of brain training has increased IQ score.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistical_significance [nofollow]



yeah, right. But, it's not bad for a start. If it works, I'll have the test repeated for a satisfactory number of time.
 

Offline graham.d

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2208
    • View Profile
Re: Google Science Fair Project Reviewed
« Reply #6 on: 04/02/2011 13:43:13 »
The idea that the brain is a Turing Machine does result in the view that there is no free will. However, there can also be random effects which can be placed on top of the Turing Machine idea. It is rather like a computer where there are occasional decision statements, "IF, THEN, ELSE" types, that occasionally goes wrong randomly. This is no longer strictly a Turing machine of course, but it does not mean that a Turing Machine could not be adapted to introduce such effects. As far as an outside observer is concerned different machines would respond differently to the same problem and their adaptive, learning algorithms would diverge over time. It would look as though they each had a mind of their own even if their initial structures were the same. I am not sure that it would be possible to tell such behaviour from "free will".
 

Offline siochi

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
Re: Google Science Fair Project Reviewed
« Reply #7 on: 04/02/2011 13:48:56 »
what random effects are you talking about?

According to my hypothesis, I state that the brain works exactly like the turing machine, and though it uses different processes and procedures, it's basic function is the same, i.e. to run a program.

 

Offline graham.d

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2208
    • View Profile
Re: Google Science Fair Project Reviewed
« Reply #8 on: 04/02/2011 14:00:29 »
Neurons are not like flip-flops. They are rather more "analog" in the way they work. The equivalent digital circuit may be similar to something with multiple inputs each "voting" on which way to switch it. However it is not digital and the weights of the votes are unequal and vary with lots factors including those to do with brain chemistry at the time the action occurs. The outcome of a result is not certain but has a random element associated with it. This can still be modelled with a Turing Machine (computer) but with a random component added to it.
 

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8125
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
Re: Google Science Fair Project Reviewed
« Reply #9 on: 04/02/2011 14:04:48 »
I would take two subject, test their iq , and then, choose one of the subject, and give him my intensive imaginative training, and then note the difference between the two !

Two is not a statistically significant number of participants to determine if some sort of brain training has increased IQ score.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistical_significance



yeah, right. But, it's not bad for a start. If it works, I'll have the test repeated for a satisfactory number of time.

You’d have to repeat your experiment with a statically significant number of participants to tell if the brain training “works”:
 even if your two person trial showed no improvement in IQ you’d have to repeat the experiment with a significant number of participants to be confident that the brain training doesn’t work.
 

Offline grizelda

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 740
    • View Profile
Re: Google Science Fair Project Reviewed
« Reply #10 on: 04/02/2011 21:27:16 »
Is the concept of intrinsic stimulation any different from the concept of ego (which is a leveraging of our reactions to external stimulation)?
 

Offline siochi

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
Re: Google Science Fair Project Reviewed
« Reply #11 on: 05/02/2011 05:35:42 »
haha.. obviously it is!

Intrinsic stimulation is the factor which is responsible for imagination, language, and intelligence.

 

Offline grizelda

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 740
    • View Profile
Google Science Fair Project Reviewed
« Reply #12 on: 05/02/2011 08:31:52 »
Ego is the factor which is responsible for imagination, language, and intelligence. Fixed that for ya.
 

Offline siochi

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
Google Science Fair Project Reviewed
« Reply #13 on: 05/02/2011 08:57:47 »
Ego is the factor which is responsible for imagination, language, and intelligence. Fixed that for ya.

I don't get you. Are you referring to Sigmund Freud's ego model, or something else?
 

Offline grizelda

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 740
    • View Profile
Google Science Fair Project Reviewed
« Reply #14 on: 05/02/2011 09:19:45 »
Ego is a leveraging of the instincts which animals use to react to external stimuli. Because our species has too complex an existence to deal with though hard-wired instincts (we would require a massive brain to hold them all) nature has upgraded us to a more software-like operating system to deal with external stimuli. It's called an ego. Freud is the name that usually comes up in respect to this, even though he's from a hundred years ago. No doubt he will still be the name in another hundred years.
 

Offline yor_on

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 11993
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
Google Science Fair Project Reviewed
« Reply #15 on: 18/02/2011 13:02:51 »
Sorry, I think you're wrong :)

the brain is not 'digital' nor sequential, neither will any weighting software simulate a brain although it have been tried since the start almost. Look up Artificial intelligence. to see that concept. The brain is analogue and works with pattern recognition, not only faces but color, situations, you name it and you will find that it involves holistic perspectives, as well as chaos theory. It's no easy thing to define a brain.
 

Offline grizelda

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 740
    • View Profile
Google Science Fair Project Reviewed
« Reply #16 on: 19/02/2011 22:34:26 »
Well, it's not an easy thing to define a universe. The absence of a Grand Unified Theory or complete physical description of everything does not deny that mathematics is the operating system of the universe. Leveraging this concept, the ego is the operating system of consciousness. Artificial Intelligence is no less daunting a challenge than a Grand Unified Theory.
 

Offline yor_on

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 11993
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
Google Science Fair Project Reviewed
« Reply #17 on: 20/02/2011 02:51:03 »
Grizelda, I'm sorry, I keep forgetting to define who I'm answering. My reply was really meant to answer siochi. Reading you, as for if we have a ego. Yes, we have. If that is what we use? Oh yes, very few are without it, and what's the use of having it if you won't use it?:) Looking at it as some soft-ware taking over for our instincts? I don't know, depends how you look at I guess. Myself I believe animals have an ego too, just as they have emotions. I'm not really sure what differs us from other animals, more than I honestly believe that some of the things we humans have done, and do, to each other no decent animal ever would have contemplated, or found necessary. Don't mix having a ego with self-awareness though :)
« Last Edit: 20/02/2011 02:52:41 by yor_on »
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Google Science Fair Project Reviewed
« Reply #17 on: 20/02/2011 02:51:03 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums
 
Login
Login with username, password and session length