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Author Topic: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?  (Read 307517 times)

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #425 on: 05/10/2013 18:28:51 »
When is science proper gonna be delivered from that materialist bullshit : amazing .
...
Just imagine , imagine that big dream ...coming true : the sky would not even be the ...limit .
Dreams and imaginings are all very well, but perhaps you could explain how science will be done when it is free of 'materialist bullshit'?
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #426 on: 05/10/2013 19:03:15 »
When is science proper gonna be delivered from that materialist bullshit : amazing .
...
Just imagine , imagine that big dream ...coming true : the sky would not even be the ...limit .
Dreams and imaginings are all very well, but perhaps you could explain how science will be done when it is free of 'materialist bullshit'?

Well, materialism will be history : inevitable = just a matter of time  indeed , materialism that has been superseded even by the physical sciences, especially by quantum physics ...
How come you still do not get it yet , after all these lengthy kilometers of pages on this thread ?
Science will continue using its effective and unparalleled method that's like no other , but will be free from that materialist prison ,science has been confined to .
Science will have thus a non-reductionist meta-paradigm  at least  ...........
Science will then be able to approach the universe or reality as not exclusively physical biological processes ...
Consciousness  in all living organisms and in inanimate matter , the human mind, human cognition, feelings , emotions , love , ......in short : the mental side of nature will not be reduced to just physics and chemistry ....
What part of these statements can't you understand ?
« Last Edit: 05/10/2013 19:07:32 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #427 on: 05/10/2013 20:25:44 »


Deja-vu :
Damn : how come i can't  find Obama or his memories inside of my tv ? ,silly me : i did look for them  so hard though   there : i did even cause the malfunction of my tv as a result ,by trying to totally reverse -engineer my tv  , in vain :  the whole world would be at my mercy if i can get access to Obama's memory or secrets , to the US' state secrets ,or to the CIA's stored  memories inside of CNN news channel ,inside of my tv haha

Cheryl : you do owe me a tv : i destroyed mine during that search ,thanks to you.
I sincerly hope (kidding again ) that that simple minded Skyli is not watching right now haha : he would believe in the "obvious truths revealed by these links of yours" so easily without ever using his critical mind , if he happens to have one at least , no offense , just kidding , "revealed truths by these links of yours " as real breakthroughs humanity has been waiting for all along   , i am afraid : Skyli : don't haha = that would mean that everything is just chemistry and physics = God does not exist thus haha ,or maybe is God just physics and chemistry though .

Deja-vu thus :
 We get bombarded  by such materialist misinterpretations of scientific experiments , scientific results , all day and night  long , honey  :
Well, dear pretty charming sis ,or materialist nice magical wich : kidding :
The above is just a logical extension of the materialist misconception of nature , of the materialist dogmatic belief system dominating in science , and of the materialist meta-paradigm in science, we have been talking about all along : reducing everything to just physics and chemistry : memory , consciousness, life, human cognition, conscience , feelings , emotions   ...cannot be reduced to just physics and chemistry : love neither.


I can make the whole internet full of similar "findigns " ,sweetie : that's the mainstream dominant view or orthodox materialist belief in science  by the way  ,that materialist approach that has absolutely nothing to do with science proper , ,under that materialist dominance in science , that's what i have been talking about all along : i see that by just taking a quick look at the first parts of your first link here above = materialism in science at work : pleasant-unpleasant memories stored in some  area of the brain haha = hilarious materialist misinterpretation of scientific experiments that gets sold to the people as scientific findigns or scientific results : that's the core issue of this thread , if you haven't noticed yet ,love .
I will take a look at the rest of your links, but i am afraid , they will just be playing the same  boring false noisy music ,via those tasteless materialist false music notes .
Show me where memory is stored then in those specific areas of the brain : how does that memory looks like = just like physics and chemistry, or neuro-physiological-electrochemical processes "emerging " from those  ritual sexy synchronisations oscillations vibrations strip-tease harmonious dances of neurons or of enesemble of neurons haha  ?
Come on, be serious : how can memory that's not a physical thing or process emerge from just chemistry physics ,or that memory can be equated with physical biological processes ?
Hilarious ...
Thanks though .
Good night , sweet Alice : sweet dreams .
Oh, your dreams might be stored as well in your head somewhere : they are just physics and chemistry : you might as well store them in a tube somewhere ...
What kindda  sane intelligent person can see memory at least , as just physics and chemistry ? Right , only materialists can , ironically incredibly amusignly unbelievably enough .
Bye, love .



Well, since you bring it up again and again, I am curious about the details of your theory of the brain simply being a receiver of "real" consciousness which is generated non locally from a as yet unidentified transmitter, and I have a few questions which you will mostly ignore because they seem so silly to you.

Are there any tasks that you would delegate to just the brain? Like say, the control of motor functions, moving the arms and legs? Regulation of blood pressure perhaps or releasing hormones? I recall you saying that your brain informs your consciousness of sensory information it is receiving from sense organs but it is your immaterial consciousness that interprets, makes inferences, or decisions about it. Is that correct?

Here is a situation  you might want to mull over:

There are two kinds of impairment that result in patients not being able to see objects in half of their visual field. One is caused by a lesion in the optic nerve. The other is caused by a lesion in a part of the brain called the visual associative cortex, that materialists say processes visual information and produces the visual experience. Although both patients cannot see objects in part of their optical field, the patient with optic nerve damage is conscious of it - he will complain "Hey, doc, I can't see anything on my left side! What's up with that?" The patient with a lesion in the visual associative cortex does not. He doesn't know he cannot see an object in that part of the visual field, and he doesn't experience a blind spot there. The patient's brain no longer has an area responsible for processing what is going on in that area of the visual field, and for that patient, it ceases to exist consciously. The patient does not complain, because the part of the brain that might notice or complain is incapacitated, and no other part takes over.

So what? you say. In your interpretation, in either case, it's just a broken TV set. The real "you" or consciousness is out there in outer space some where. I'm wondering if that real you is aware of the lesion in the associative visual cortex, if it is disrupting his life in any way, if he's frustrated or annoyed by the lack of information in his visual field? It's odd that he can't communicate any of this back to your receiver; it's almost as if from the point of view of your brain or body, he didn't exist!

I also recall you saying that just because certain brain activities are associated with certain thoughts, correlation does not prove causality. So what is the alternative explanation for this? Do you not think it odd, that the brain has so many specific areas that correlate, so many complicated connections between billions of neurons just to reflect or react to work that is really being done by the immaterial, mysterious consciousness?

Although you may see higher level cognitive or creative processes as somehow ephemeral, different from say, vision or hearing,  a lesion in the lateral frontal lobes produces deficits in sequencing. The patient is unable to plan or multitask. Orbital frontal lesions result in a loss of the ability to judge right and wrong. A lesion in the left temporal lobe or Wernickes area destroys a person's ability to comprehend written or spoken language, although he can still, himself, speak normally. So what I'm wondering is, when these types of brain damage occur, can the non-local form of your consciousness still perform these tasks somewhere out in space? Again, it must be quite frustrating for him when his robot like receiver on Earth can't! He's up there multitasking and sequencing properly, making moral judgements, but that silly body on Earth isn't doing what he wants!
« Last Edit: 05/10/2013 20:37:30 by cheryl j »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #428 on: 05/10/2013 20:54:16 »


Deja-vu :
Damn : how come i can't  find Obama or his memories inside of my tv ? ,silly me : i did look for them  so hard though   there : i did even cause the malfunction of my tv as a result ,by trying to totally reverse -engineer my tv  , in vain :  the whole world would be at my mercy if i can get access to Obama's memory or secrets , to the US' state secrets ,or to the CIA's stored  memories inside of CNN news channel ,inside of my tv haha

Cheryl : you do owe me a tv : i destroyed mine during that search ,thanks to you.
I sincerly hope (kidding again ) that that simple minded Skyli is not watching right now haha : he would believe in the "obvious truths revealed by these links of yours" so easily without ever using his critical mind , if he happens to have one at least , no offense , just kidding , "revealed truths by these links of yours " as real breakthroughs humanity has been waiting for all along   , i am afraid : Skyli : don't haha = that would mean that everything is just chemistry and physics = God does not exist thus haha ,or maybe is God just physics and chemistry though .

Deja-vu thus :
 We get bombarded  by such materialist misinterpretations of scientific experiments , scientific results , all day and night  long , honey  :
Well, dear pretty charming sis ,or materialist nice magical wich : kidding :
The above is just a logical extension of the materialist misconception of nature , of the materialist dogmatic belief system dominating in science , and of the materialist meta-paradigm in science, we have been talking about all along : reducing everything to just physics and chemistry : memory , consciousness, life, human cognition, conscience , feelings , emotions   ...cannot be reduced to just physics and chemistry : love neither.


I can make the whole internet full of similar "findigns " ,sweetie : that's the mainstream dominant view or orthodox materialist belief in science  by the way  ,that materialist approach that has absolutely nothing to do with science proper , ,under that materialist dominance in science , that's what i have been talking about all along : i see that by just taking a quick look at the first parts of your first link here above = materialism in science at work : pleasant-unpleasant memories stored in some  area of the brain haha = hilarious materialist misinterpretation of scientific experiments that gets sold to the people as scientific findigns or scientific results : that's the core issue of this thread , if you haven't noticed yet ,love .
I will take a look at the rest of your links, but i am afraid , they will just be playing the same  boring false noisy music ,via those tasteless materialist false music notes .
Show me where memory is stored then in those specific areas of the brain : how does that memory looks like = just like physics and chemistry, or neuro-physiological-electrochemical processes "emerging " from those  ritual sexy synchronisations oscillations vibrations strip-tease harmonious dances of neurons or of enesemble of neurons haha  ?
Come on, be serious : how can memory that's not a physical thing or process emerge from just chemistry physics ,or that memory can be equated with physical biological processes ?
Hilarious ...
Thanks though .
Good night , sweet Alice : sweet dreams .
Oh, your dreams might be stored as well in your head somewhere : they are just physics and chemistry : you might as well store them in a tube somewhere ...
What kindda  sane intelligent person can see memory at least , as just physics and chemistry ? Right , only materialists can , ironically incredibly amusignly unbelievably enough .
Bye, love .



Well, since you bring it up again and again, I am curious about the details of your theory of the brain simply being a receiver of "real" consciousness which is generated non locally from a as yet unidentified transmitter, and I have a few questions which you will mostly ignore because they seem so silly to you.

Are there any tasks that you would delegate to just the brain? Like say, the control of motor functions, moving the arms and legs? Regulation of blood pressure perhaps or releasing hormones? I recall you saying that your brain informs your consciousness of sensory information it is receiving from sense organs but it is your immaterial consciousness that interprets, makes inferences, or decisions about it. Is that correct?

Here is a situation  you might want to mull over:

There are two kinds of impairment that result in patients not being able to see objects in half of their visual field. One is caused by a lesion in the optic nerve. The other is caused by a lesion in a part of the brain called the visual associative cortex, that materialists say processes visual information and produces the visual experience. Although both patients cannot see objects in part of their optical field, the patient with optic nerve damage is conscious of it - he will complain "Hey, doc, I can't see anything on my left side! What's up with that?" The patient with a lesion in the visual associative cortex does not. He doesn't know he cannot see an object in that part of the visual field, and he doesn't experience a blind spot there. The patient's brain no longer has an area responsible for processing what is going on in that area of the visual field, and for that patient, it ceases to exist consciously. The patient does not complain, because the part of the brain that might notice or complain is incapacitated, and no other part takes over.

So what? you say. In your interpretation, in either case, it's just a broken TV set. The real "you" or consciousness is out there in outer space some where. I'm wondering if that real you is aware of the lesion in the associative visual cortex, if it is disrupting his life in any way, if he's frustrated or annoyed by the lack of information in his visual field? It's odd that he can't communicate any of this back to your receiver; it's almost as if from the point of view of your brain or body, he didn't exist!



I also recall you saying that just because certain brain activities are associated with certain thoughts, correlation does not prove causality. So what is the alternative explanation for this? Do you not think it odd, that the brain has so many specific areas that correlate, so many complicated connections between billions of neurons just to reflect or react to work that is really being done by the immaterial, mysterious consciousness?

Although you see higher level cognitive or creative processes as somehow ephemeral, different from say, vision or hearing,  a lesion in the lateral frontal lobes produces deficits in sequencing. The patients is unable to plan or multitask. Orbital frontal lesions result in a loss of the ability to judge right and wrong. A lesion in the left temporal lobe or Wernickes area destroys a person's ability to comprehend written or spoken language, although he can still, himself, speak normally. So what I'm wondering is, when these types of brain damage occur, can the non-local form of your consciousness still perform these tasks somewhere out in space? Again, it must be quite frustrating for him when his robot like receiver on Earth can't! He's up there multitasking and sequencing properly, making moral judgements, but that silly body on Earth isn't doing what he wants!

No enough time now , sugar ,sorry :

 I will try to respond to the above another time then .
Thanks for bringing up these legetimate relevant issues  that should be addressed properly indeed , and that do puzzle me also ,obviously  .
I will just say the following though ,very quickly then,  for the time being at least :
The universe is certainly not a matter of just physical biological processes : it would make no sense if it was / is , simply because then it can certainly not account for such processes such as life , consciousness , feelings , emotions , memory ,love ....human cognition ...that cannot rise from physics and chemistry ,or cannot be equated with physics and chemistry , or cannot be physics and chemistry .
It makes no sense to say that memory is stored in the brain, or that the mind , consciousness ...just "emerged " from the evolved physical brain : that's just materialist magic that makes no sense .

That's 1 of the reasons  why   materialism is false .
As of the damaged areas of the human brain that seem to cause the loss of their corresponding parts of consciousness ....I just see that as being the case of the damaged receiver or brain that stops to receive those corresponding "signals " from  those corresponding parts of consciousness ...
Besides, the hard problem of consciousness can be only approached by a potentially non-reductionist approach,obviously  , in the sense that we can study the physical brain , while trying to figure out how it interacts with consciousness as such .....
Later then .

P.S.: No one yet , if ever , including Nagel, Sheldrake and the rest , were /are able to come up with a cristal-clear vision concerning how the potentially non-reductionist approach of consciousness , memory ,cognition, feelings , emotions ...can be done on the reality ground , or what that non-reductionist approach exactly is , how it might work ...
I already said though , on many occasions here , that that potentially non-reductionist naturalism as a possible alternative to reductionist naturalism ,is also a false conception of nature ....
I will try to elaborate on all that , later on thus .
Thanks , love .
Have fun .
Nice weekend .


« Last Edit: 05/10/2013 21:00:36 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #429 on: 05/10/2013 21:41:12 »
...perhaps you could explain how science will be done when it is free of 'materialist bullshit'?

Well, materialism will be history : inevitable = just a matter of time  indeed , materialism that has been superseded even by the physical sciences, especially by quantum physics ...
How come you still do not get it yet , after all these lengthy kilometers of pages on this thread ?
Science will continue using its effective and unparalleled method that's like no other , but will be free from that materialist prison...
Science will then be able to approach the universe or reality as not exclusively physical biological processes ...
...the mental side of nature will not be reduced to just physics and chemistry ....
What part of these statements can't you understand ?
I understand what you just said, but it didn't answer the question. Perhaps it was too general for you...

Let's be more specific; science involves observation, making hypotheses, and testing hypotheses; how do you propose that science observes the non-material, or tests a hypothesis about the non-material?

For someone who knows what they're talking about, it should be easy enough to give a realistic example; as that someone said recently, "when one pretends to know this or that  about something , one gotta prove that to be true".
« Last Edit: 05/10/2013 21:55:57 by dlorde »
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #430 on: 05/10/2013 22:04:03 »
... As of the damaged areas of the human brain that seem to cause the loss of their corresponding parts of consciousness ....I just see that as being the case of the damaged receiver or brain that stops to receive those corresponding "signals " from  those corresponding parts of consciousness ..
Oh dear. Did you miss the parts where Chery described brain injuries that affect the subject's knowledge and judgement without affecting movement or communication?

If your external consciousness hypothesis was correct, the external consciousness's knowledge & judgement would not be affected, and it would be able to communicate that, as it would still have control of the brain's communication facilities.

How do you account for this?
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #431 on: 06/10/2013 00:32:36 »




That's 1 of the reasons  why   materialism is false .
As of the damaged areas of the human brain that seem to cause the loss of their corresponding parts of consciousness ....I just see that as being the case of the damaged receiver or brain that stops to receive those corresponding "signals " from  those corresponding parts of consciousness ...
Besides, the hard problem of consciousness can be only approached by a potentially non-reductionist approach,obviously  , in the sense that we can study the physical brain , while trying to figure out how it interacts with consciousness as such .....
Later then .

P.S.: No one yet , if ever , including Nagel, Sheldrake and the rest , were /are able to come up with a cristal-clear vision concerning how the potentially non-reductionist approach of consciousness , memory ,cognition, feelings , emotions ...can be done on the reality ground , or what that non-reductionist approach exactly is , how it might work ...

Yes, that would seem to be a bit of a problem, wouldn't it?

It's also ironic, that by relocating consciousness, and removing consciousness from the physical being whenever its receiver is malfunctioning, you have managed to reduce human beings to biological robots in a way no materialist has ever dared to do. You've out done Dawkins, my boy!
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #432 on: 06/10/2013 16:48:27 »
Excerpts from "Science Set Free ..." By Sheldrake : Questions for materialists :


Experimenters’ expectations are known to affect the results of research in psychology, parapsychology
and medicine, which is why researchers often use blind methodologies. Do you think that
experimenter effects could play a role in other fields of science too?
Do you think that scientists and science students should write in the passive voice in their reports, or
use the active voice?
Most scientists publish only a small proportion of their results. Do you think that this is likely to
introduce serious biases into the scientific literature?
How should scientists deal with ideologically, politically or commercially motivated skepticism?
SUMMARY
Scientists are often imagined to achieve a superhuman level of objectivity. This belief is sustained by
the ideal of disembodied knowledge, unaffected by ambitions, hopes, fears and other emotions. In the
allegory of the cave, scientists venture forth into the light of objective truth and bring back their
discoveries for the benefit of ordinary people, trapped in a world of opinion, self-interest and illusion.
By writing in the passive voice (“a test tube was taken”) rather than the active voice (“I took a test
tube”) scientists tried to emphasize their objectivity, but many have now abandoned this pretense.
Scientists are, of course, people, and subject to the limitations of personality, politics, peer-group
pressures, fashion and the need for funding. Within medicine, psychology and parapsychology, most
researchers recognize that their expectations can bias their results, which is why they often use blind
or double-blind methodologies. In the so-called hard sciences, most researchers assume that blind
methods are unnecessary. This is no more than an assumption, and needs to be tested experimentally.
In most fields of science, researchers publish only a small proportion of their data, giving plenty of
scope for the selective presentation of results, and scientific journals introduce a further source of bias
through their unwillingness to publish negative findings. Fraud and deceit in science are rarely
detected by the peer-review system and usually come to light as a result of whistle-blowing.
Skepticism is a healthy part of normal science but is often used as a weapon in defense of politically
or ideologically motivated points of view, or to stave off the regulation of toxic chemicals. Productdefense
companies emphasize uncertainty on behalf of big business, influencing policy decisions in
favor of their clients. The separation of facts and values is usually impossible in practice, and many
scientists have to exaggerate the value of their research in order to get it funded. Although the
objectivity of science is a noble ideal, there is more hope of achieving it by recognizing the humanity
of scientists and their limitations than by pretending that science has a unique access to truth.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #433 on: 06/10/2013 16:52:01 »
Excerpts from "Science Set Free ..." By Sheldrake : Chapter 12 : Scientific Futures :


The sciences are entering a new phase. The materialist ideology that has ruled them since the
nineteenth century is out of date. All ten of its essential doctrines have been superseded. The
authoritarian structure of the sciences, the illusions of objectivity and the fantasies of omniscience
have all outlived their usefulness.
The sciences will have to change for another reason too: they are now global. Mechanistic science
and the materialist ideology grew up in Europe, and were strongly influenced by the religious disputes
that obsessed Europeans from the seventeenth century onward. But these preoccupations are alien to
cultures and traditions in many other parts of the world.
In 2011, the worldwide expenditure on scientific and technological research and development was
more than $1,000 billion, of which China spent $100 billion.1 Asian countries, especially China and
India, now produce enormous numbers of science and engineering graduates. In 2007, at BSc level
there were 2.5 million science and engineering graduates in India and 1.5 million in China,2 compared
with 515,000 in the United States3 and 100,000 in the UK.4 In addition, many of those studying in the
United States and Europe are from other countries: in 2007, nearly a third of the graduate students in
science and engineering in the United States were foreign, with the majority from India, China and
Korea.5
Yet the sciences as taught in Asia, Africa, the Islamic countries and elsewhere are still packaged in
an ideology shaped by their European past. Materialism gains its persuasive power from the
technological applications of science. But the successes of these applications do not prove that this
ideology is true. Penicillin will go on killing bacteria, jet planes will keep on flying and mobile
telephones will still work if scientists move on to wider views of nature.
No one can foresee how the sciences will evolve, but I believe recognizing that “science” is not one
thing will facilitate their development. “Science” has given way to “the sciences.” By moving beyond
physicalism, the status of physics has changed. By freeing the sciences from the ideology of
materialism, new opportunities for debate and dialogue open up, and so do new possibilities for
research.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #434 on: 06/10/2013 17:02:04 »
Excerpts from "Science Set Free ..." By Sheldrake : Are Memories Stored As Material Traces :

Are Memories Stored as Material Traces?
We take memory for granted, like the air we breathe. Everything we do, see and think is shaped by
habits and memories. My ability to write this book, and yours to read it, presupposes the memory of
words and their meanings. My ability to ride a bicycle depends on unconscious habit memory. I can
recall facts I have learned, like the year of the Battle of Hastings—1066; I can recognize people I first
met years ago; I can remember specific incidents that happened when I was on holiday in Canada last
summer. These are different kinds of memory, but all involve influences from the past that affect me
in the present. Our memories underlie all our experience. And obviously animals have memories too.
How does memory work? Most people take it for granted that memories must somehow be stored in
brains as material traces. In ancient Greece these traces were usually compared to impressions in wax.
In the early twentieth century they were compared to connections between wires in a telephone
exchange, and now they are thought of by analogy with memory-storage systems in computers.
Although the metaphors change, the trace theory is taken for granted by most scientists, and almost
everyone else.
From a materialist point of view, memories must be stored as material traces in brains. Where else
could they be? The neuroscientist Steven Rose expressed the standard assumptions as follows:
Memories are in some way “in” the mind, and therefore, for a biologist, also “in” the brain. But
how? The term memory must include at least two separate processes. It must involve, on the one
hand, that of learning something new about the world around us; and on the other, at some later
date, recalling, or remembering that thing. We infer that what lies between the learning and the
remembering must be some permanent record, a memory trace, within the brain.1
This seems obvious and straightforward. It might seem pointless to question it. Yet the trace theory
of memory is very questionable indeed. It raises appalling logical problems. Attempts to locate
memory traces have been unsuccessful despite more than a century of research, costing many billions
of dollars. For promissory materialists, this failure does not imply that the trace theory of memory
might be wrong; it merely means that we need to spend more time and money searching for the
elusive memory traces.
But memory traces are not the only option. Several philosophers in the ancient world, notably
Plotinus, were skeptical that memories were material impressions, and argued that they were
immaterial rather than material, aspects of the soul rather than the body.2 Likewise, more recent
philosophers, like Henri Bergson, Alfred North Whitehead, Bertrand Russell and Ludwig
Wittgenstein,3 saw memories as direct connections across time, not material structures in brains (see
Chapter 4).
My own suggestion is that memories depend on morphic resonance. All individuals are influenced
by morphic resonance from their own past. Morphic resonance depends on similarity; since organisms
are more similar to themselves in the past than to other members of their species, self-resonance is
highly specific. Individual memory and collective memory both depend on morphic resonance; they
differ from each other in degree, not in kind.
I start with the trace theory of memory, then discuss the resonance hypothesis, and finally ways in
which this hypothesis can be tested.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #435 on: 06/10/2013 17:04:25 »
Quote
I am , in fact , very skeptical about your allegation that you are a pro scientist : how can that be ?
Fortunately you are not my client, patient, bank manager or professional registrar, all of whom seem convinced that I do know what I am talking about (though my students are encouraged to disagree).
 
 
Quote
: you might be one , but a very ignorant one regarding the nature of science , its alleged objectivity,

alleged by whom? Only a fantasist. It's a process, so it can't have human characteristics like objectivity.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #436 on: 06/10/2013 17:05:14 »
Logical and Chemical problems :

Logical and chemical problems
Several modern philosophers have pointed out that the trace theory of memory runs into an insoluble
logical problem, quite apart from repeated failures to find memory traces.
In order for a memory trace to be consulted or reactivated, there has to be a retrieval system, and
this system needs to identify the stored memory it is looking for. To do so it must recognize it, which
means the retrieval system must itself have a memory. There is therefore a vicious regress: if the
retrieval system is endowed with a memory store, this in turn requires a retrieval system with
memory, and so on ad infinitum.4
There is a structural problem too. Memories can persist for decades, yet the nervous system is
dynamic, continually changing, and so are the molecules within it. As Francis Crick put it, “Almost all
the molecules in our bodies, with the exception of DNA, the genetic material, turn over in a matter of
days, weeks, or at the most a few months. How then is memory stored in the brain so that its trace is
relatively immune to molecular turnover?” He suggested a complex mechanism whereby molecules
were replaced one at a time so as to preserve the overall state of the memory-storage structures.5 No
such mechanism has been detected.
For decades, the most popular theory has been that memory must depend on changes in connections
between nerve cells, the synapses. Yet attempts to locate memory stores have proved unsuccessful
over and over again.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #437 on: 06/10/2013 17:07:39 »
The Fruitless Search For Memory Traces :


The fruitless search for memory traces
In the 1890s, Ivan Pavlov studied the way that animals such as dogs could learn to associate a
stimulus, such as hearing a bell, with being fed. After repeated training, merely hearing the bell could
cause the dogs to salivate. Pavlov called this a conditioned reflex. For many scientists at the time, this
research suggested that the animals’ memory depended on reflex arcs, in which the nerve fibers were
like wires and the brain like a telephone exchange. But Pavlov himself was reluctant to claim there
were specific localized traces. He discovered that conditioning could survive massive surgical damage
to the brain.6 Those who knew less about it were less cautious, and in the first few decades of the
twentieth century many biologists assumed that all psychological activity, including the phenomena
of the human mind, could ultimately be reduced to chains of reflexes wired together in the brain.
In a heroic series of experiments lasting more than thirty years, Karl Lashley (1890–1958) tried to
locate specific memory traces, or “engrams,” in the brains of rats, monkeys and chimpanzees. He
trained the animals in a variety of tasks ranging from simple conditioned reflexes to the solution of
difficult problems. After the training, he surgically cut nerve tracts or removed portions of the brain
and measured the effects on the animals’ memory. To his astonishment, he found that the animals
could still remember what they had learned even after large amounts of brain tissue had been
removed.
Lashley first became skeptical of the supposed path of conditioned reflex arcs through the motor
cortex when he found that rats trained to respond in specific ways to light could perform almost as
well as control rats after almost all their motor cortex was cut out. In similar experiments with
monkeys, he removed most of the motor cortex after they had been trained to open boxes with latches.
This operation resulted in a temporary paralysis. After two or three months, when they recovered their
ability to move in a coordinated way, they were exposed to the puzzle boxes again. They opened them
promptly without random exploratory movements.
Lashley then showed that learned habits were retained after the associative areas of the brain were
destroyed. Habits also survived a series of deep incisions into the cerebral cortex that destroyed crossconnections
within it. Moreover, if the cerebral cortex was intact, removal of subcortical structures
such as the cerebellum did not destroy the memory either.
Lashley started as an enthusiastic supporter of the reflex theory of learning, but was forced to
abandon it:
The original programme of research looked toward the tracing of conditioned-reflex arcs
throughout the cortex … The experimental findings have never fitted into such a scheme. Rather,
they have emphasised the unitary character of every habit, the impossibility of stating any
learning as concatenations of reflexes, and the participation of large masses of nervous tissue in
the functions rather than the development of restricted conduction paths.7
Lashley suggested that
the characteristics of the nervous network are such that when it is subject to any pattern of
excitation, it may develop a pattern of activity, reduplicated through an entire functional area by
spread of excitations, such as the surface of a liquid develops an interference pattern of spreading
waves when it is disturbed at several points.
He suggested that recall involved “some sort of resonance among a very large number of neurons.”8
These ideas were carried further by his former student Karl Pribram in his proposal that memories are
stored in a distributed manner throughout the brain analogous to the interference patterns in a
hologram.9
Even in invertebrates specific memory traces have proved elusive. In a series of experiments with
trained octopuses, learned habits survived when various parts of the brain were removed, leading to
the seemingly paradoxical conclusion that “memory is both everywhere and nowhere in particular.”10
Despite these results, new generations of researchers have tried again and again to find localized
memories. In the 1980s, Steven Rose and his colleagues thought they had at last succeeded in finding
traces in the brains of day-old chicks. They trained the chicks to avoid pecking at little colored lights
by making them sick, and the chicks duly avoided these stimuli when they encountered them again.
Rose and his colleagues then studied the changes in the brains of these chicks, and found that nerve
cells in a particular region of the left forebrain underwent more active growth and development when
learning took place than when it did not.11
These findings agreed with results from studies of the growing brains of young rats, kittens and
monkeys, which found that active nerve cells in the brain developed more than inactive nerve cells.
But the greater development of active cells did not prove that they contained specific memory traces.
When the region of active cells was surgically removed from the chicks’ left forebrains a day after
training, the chicks could still remember what they had learned. Therefore the region of the brain
involved in the learning process was not necessary for the retention of memory. Once again, the
hypothetical memory traces proved elusive, and once more those who searched for them were forced
to postulate unidentified “storage systems” somewhere else in the brain.12
In a more recent series of studies, mice were studied as they learned to negotiate a maze. The
formation of memories involved activity in the median temporal lobes of the brain, particularly in the
hippocampus. The ability to form long-term memories depended on a process called long-term
potentiation, which involved protein synthesis in hippocampal nerve cells. But yet again, the
memories proved elusive. Once the memories had been established, the destruction of the
hippocampus on both sides of the brain failed to wipe them out. Thus, the researchers concluded, the
hypothetical memory traces must somehow have moved from one part of the brain to another.
Erik Kandel, who won the Nobel Prize in 2000 for his work on memory in the sea slug, Aplysia,
drew attention to some of these problems in his acceptance speech:
How do different regions of the hippocampus and the median temporal lobe … interact in the
storage of explicit memory? We do not, for example, understand why the initial storage of
memory requires the hippocampus, whereas the hippocampus is not required once a memory has
been stored for weeks or months. What critical information does the hippocampus convey to the
neo-cortex? We also know very little about the recall of explicit (declarative) memory … These
systems properties of the brain will require more than the bottom-up approach of molecular
biology.13
Currently, in the Connectome Project researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and
elsewhere are trying to map some of the trillions of connections between nerve cells in mammalian
brains, using thin slices of brain tissue and sophisticated computer analyses of the images. There are
about 100 billion neurons in the human brain. As Sebastian Seung, the leader of the MIT team, pointed
out, “In the cerebral cortex, it’s believed that one neuron is connected to 10,000 others.” This is a
vastly ambitious project, but it seems unlikely to shed light on memory storage. First of all, a person
has to be dead before his brain can be cut up, so changes before and after learning cannot be studied in
this way. Second, there are great differences between the brains of different people; we do not have
identical “wiring.”
The same is true of small animals like mice. A pilot project in the Max Planck Institute in Germany
looked at the wiring diagrams for just fifteen neurons that control two small muscles in mouse ears.
Even though this work was a technical tour de force, it revealed no unique wiring diagram. Even for
the right and left ears of the same animal the patterns of connection were different.14
The most striking deviations from normal brain structure occur in people who suffered from
hydrocephalus when they were babies. In this condition, also called “water on the brain,” much of the
skull is filled with cerebrospinal fluid. The British neurologist John Lorber found that some people
with extreme hydrocephalus were surprisingly normal, which led him to ask the provocative question:
“Is the brain really necessary?” He scanned the brains of more than six hundred people with
hydrocephalus, and found that about sixty had more than 95 percent of the cranial cavity filled with
cerebrospinal fluid. Some were seriously retarded, but others were more or less normal, and some had
IQs of well over 100. One young man who had an IQ of 126 and a first-class degree in mathematics, a
student from Sheffield University, had “virtually no brain.” His skull was lined with a thin layer of
brain cells about a millimeter thick, and the rest of the space was filled with fluid.15 Any attempt to
explain his brain in terms of a standard “connectome” would be doomed to failure. His mental activity
and his memory were still able to function more or less normally even though he had a brain only 5
percent of the normal size.
The available evidence shows that memories cannot be explained in terms of localized changes in
synapses. Brain activity involves rhythmic patterns of electrical activity extended over thousands or
millions of nerve cells, rather than simple reflex arcs like wires in a telephone exchange or wiring
diagrams of computers. These patterns of nervous activity set up—and respond to—changes in the
electromagnetic fields in the brain.16 The oscillating fields of entire brains are routinely measured in
hospitals with electroencephalographs (EEG), and within these overall rhythms there are many
subsidiary patterns of electrical activity in different regions of the brain. If these patterns, or systems
properties, are to be remembered, resonance across time seems more likely than chemical storage in
nerve endings.
More than a century of intensive, well-funded research has failed to pin down memory traces in
brains. There may be a very simple reason for this: the hypothetical traces do not exist. However long
or hard researchers look for them, they may never find them. Instead, memories may depend on
morphic resonance from an organism’s own past. The brain may be more like a television set than a
hard-drive recorder. What you see on TV depends on the resonant tuning of the set to invisible fields.
No one can find out today what programs you watched yesterday by analyzing the wires and
transistors in your TV set for traces of yesterday’s programs.
For the same reason, the fact that injury and brain degeneration, as in Alzheimer’s disease, lead to
loss of memory does not prove that memories are stored in the damaged tissue. If I snipped a wire or
removed some components from the sound circuits of your TV set, I could render it speechless, or
aphasic. But this would not mean that all the sounds were stored in the damaged components.
 

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #438 on: 06/10/2013 17:09:57 »

Can a Moth Remember What It Learned as a Caterpillar?


Can a moth remember what it learned as a caterpillar?
Insects that undergo complete metamorphosis experience enormous changes in anatomy and lifestyle.
It is hard to believe that a caterpillar chewing a leaf is the same organism as the moth that later
emerges from the pupa. In the pupa, almost all the caterpillar tissues are dissolved before the new
structures of the adult develop. Most of the nervous system is dissolved as well.
In a recent study, Martha Weiss and her colleagues at Georgetown University, Washington, found
that moths could remember what they had learned as caterpillars in spite of all the changes they went
through during metamorphosis. They trained caterpillars of the Carolina Sphinx moth, Manduca sexta,
to avoid the odor of ethyl acetate by associating exposure to this odor with a mild electric shock. After
two larval molts and metamorphosis within the pupae, the adult moths were averse to ethyl acetate,
despite that radical transformation of their nervous system. Weiss and her colleagues carried out
careful controls that showed this was a real transfer of learning, not just a carryover of odors absorbed
by the tested caterpillars.17
This ability of adult moths to remember their experience as caterpillars may well be of evolutionary
significance. If the plants that moths have experienced as caterpillars influence the behavior of adults,
the female moths will tend to avoid laying eggs on harmful plants and favor nutritious ones, even if
members of the species have never encountered these plants before. New patterns of preference for
particular host plants could be established in a single generation, and would persist in their offspring;
a species could evolve new feeding habits very rapidly.
The carryover of learning from caterpillar to moth after the dissolution of most of the nervous
system would be very puzzling indeed if all memories were stored as material traces, but there is
already evidence from higher animals and humans that memories may not be stored in traces and can
survive substantial damage to brains.
 

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #439 on: 06/10/2013 17:12:24 »
Brain Damage and Loss of Memory



Brain damage and loss of memory
Brain damage can result in two kinds of memory loss: retrograde (backward) amnesia, forgetting what
happened before the damage, and anterograde (forward) amnesia, losing the ability to remember what
happens after the damage.
The best-known examples of retrograde amnesia occur after concussion. As a result of a sudden
blow on the head a person loses consciousness and becomes paralyzed for a few seconds or for many
days, depending on the severity of the impact. As she recovers and regains the ability to speak, she
may seem normal in most respects, but is unable to recall what happened before the accident.
Typically, as recovery proceeds, the first of the forgotten events to be recalled are those longest ago;
the memory of more recent events returns progressively.
In such cases, amnesia cannot be due to the destruction of memory traces, for the lost memories
return. Karl Lashley reached a similar conclusion years ago:
I believe that the evidence strongly favours the view that amnesia from brain injury rarely, if
ever, is due to the destruction of specific memory traces. Rather, the amnesias represent a
lowered level of vigilance, a greater difficulty in activating the organized pattern of traces, or a
disturbance of some broader system of organized functions.18
Although many memories return, the events immediately preceding a blow on the head may never be
recovered: there may be a permanent blank period. For example, a motorist may remember
approaching the crossroads where an accident occurred, but nothing more. A similar “momentary
retrograde amnesia” also occurs as a result of electroconvulsive therapy, administered to some
psychiatric patients by passing a burst of electric current through their heads. They usually cannot
remember what happened immediately before the administration of the shock.19
Events and information in short-term memory are forgotten because a loss of consciousness
prevents them being connected up into patterns of relationship that can be remembered. The failure to
make such connections, and hence to turn short-term memories into long-term memories, often
persists for some time after a concussed patient has regained consciousness, and is sometimes
described as “memorizing defect.” People in this condition rapidly forget events almost as soon as
they occur.
Everyone agrees that the formation of memories is an active process. Either the inability to
construct them prevents new memory traces being formed; or this inability prevents the formation of
new morphic fields, resonant patterns of activity, and if these patterns are not formed in the first
place, they cannot be recalled by morphic resonance.
Some kinds of brain damage have very specific effects on people’s abilities to recognize and
recall,20 and others cause specific disorders, such as aphasias (disorders of language use) resulting
from lesions in various parts of the cortex in the left hemisphere. These kinds of damage disturb the
organized patterns of activity in the brain,21 and affect the brain’s ability to tune in to skills and
memories by morphic resonance.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #440 on: 06/10/2013 17:14:33 »
Holograms and the Implicate Order


Holograms and the implicate order:
In a famous series of investigations carried out during brain surgery on conscious patients, Wilder
Penfield and his colleagues tested the effects of mild electrical stimulation of various regions of the
cerebral cortex. As the electrode touched parts of the motor cortex, limbs moved. Electrically
stimulating the auditory or visual cortex evoked auditory or visual hallucinations like buzzing noises
or flashes of light. Stimulation of the secondary visual cortex gave hallucinations of flowers, for
example, or animals, or familiar people. When some regions of the temporal cortex were stimulated,
some patients recalled dream-like memories, for example of a concert or a telephone conversation.22
Penfield initially assumed that the electrical evocation of memories meant that they were stored in
the stimulated tissue, which he named the “memory cortex.” On further consideration, he changed his
mind: “This was a mistake … The record is not in the cortex.”23 Like Lashley and Pribram, he gave up
the idea of localized memory traces in favor of the theory that they were widely distributed in other
parts of the brain.
The most popular analogy for distributed memory storage is holography, a form of lens-less
photography in which interference patterns are stored as holograms, from which the original image
can be reconstructed in three dimensions. If part of the hologram is destroyed, the whole image can
still be reconstructed from the remaining parts, although in lower definition. The whole is present in
each part. This may sound mysterious, but the basic principle is simple and familiar. As you look
around you now, your eyes are sampling light from all the parts of the scene in front of you. The light
absorbed by your eyes is only a small part of the available light, and yet you can see the whole scene.
If you move a few feet, you can still see everything, the whole scene is present there too, although you
are now sampling the light waves in a different place. In a similar way, the whole is enfolded into each
part of a hologram. This is not true of an ordinary photograph: if you tear off half the photo, you have
lost half the image. If you tear off half a hologram, the whole image can still be re-created.
But what if the holographic wave patterns are not stored in the brain at all? Pribram later came to
this conclusion, and thought of the brain as a “waveform analyzer” rather than a storage system,
comparing it to a radio receiver that picked up waveforms from the “implicate order,” rendering them
explicate.24 This aspect of his thinking was influenced by the quantum physicist David Bohm, who
suggested that the entire universe is holographic, in the sense that wholeness is enfolded into every
part.25
According to Bohm, the observable or manifest world is the explicate or unfolded order, which
emerges from the implicate or enfolded order.26 Bohm thought that the implicate order contains a
kind of memory. What happens in one place is “introjected” or “injected” into the implicate order,
which is potentially present everywhere; thereafter when the implicate order unfolds into the explicate
order, this memory affects what happens, giving the process very similar properties to morphic
resonance. In Bohm’s words, each moment will “contain a projection of the re-injection of the
previous moments, which is a kind of memory; so that would result in a general replication of past
forms.”27
Maybe morphic resonance will one day be included in an enlarged version of quantum theory, as
Bohm suggested. No one yet knows. The question “How can morphic resonance be explained?” is
open. In the context of a debate about the reality of memory traces, does morphic resonance—or
memory in the implicate order—fit the facts better than the trace theory?
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #441 on: 06/10/2013 17:16:18 »
Resonance Across Time:


Resonance across time:
The trace theory says that memories are stored materially in brains, for example as chemicals in
synapses. The alternative is the resonance theory: memories are transferred by resonance from similar
patterns of activity in the past. We tune in to ourselves in the past; we do not carry our memories
around inside our heads.
The resonance of memory is part of a much wider hypothesis. The hypothesis of morphic resonance
proposes a resonance across space and time of patterns of vibratory activity in all self-organizing
systems.28 Morphic resonance underlies habits of crystallization and protein folding (see Chapter 3).
It also underlies the inheritance of morphogenetic fields and of patterns of instinctive behavior (see
Chapter 6). It plays an essential role in the transfer of learning, as discussed below. Morphic
resonance provides a new way of looking at memories. There are at least five kinds of memory:
habituation, sensitization, behavioral memory, recognition and recalling.
 

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #442 on: 06/10/2013 17:19:05 »
Habituation and Sensitization:



Habituation and sensitization:
Habituation means getting used to things. If you hear a new sound, or smell a new smell, you may pay
attention to it to start with, but if it makes no difference, you soon cease to notice it. You don’t notice
the pressure of your clothes on your body most of the time, or the pressure of your bottom on the seat
on which you are sitting, or the sounds of a clock ticking, or the many other background noises around
you.
Habituation is one of the most fundamental kinds of memory and underlies all our responses to our
environment. Generally speaking, we do not notice what stays the same; we notice changes or
differences. All our senses work on this principle. If you are gazing over a landscape, anything that
moves immediately catches your eye. If there is a change in the background noise, you notice it. Our
entire culture works on the same principle, which is why gossip and newspapers rarely concern
themselves with things that stay the same. They are about changes or differences.
Other animals likewise become accustomed to their environments. They generally react to
something new because they are not used to it, often showing alarm or avoidance. This kind of
response even occurs in single-celled animals like Stentor raesilii, which lives in marshy pools. Each
Stentor is a trumpet-shaped cell covered with rows of fine, beating hairs called cilia. The activity of
the cilia sets up currents around the cell, carrying suspended particles to the mouth, which is at the
bottom of a tiny vortex (Figure 7.1). These cells are attached at their base by a “foot,” and the lower
part of the cell is surrounded by a mucus-like tube. If the surface to which it is attached is slightly
jolted, Stentor rapidly contracts into its tube. If nothing happens, after about half a minute it extends
again and the cilia resume their activity. If the same stimulus is repeated, it does not contract but
continues its normal activities. This is not a result of fatigue because the cell responds to a new
stimulus, such as being touched, by contracting again.29
FIGURE 7.1A: The single-celled organism Stentor raesilii, showing the currents of water around it
caused by the beating of its cilia. In response to an unfamiliar stimulus it rapidly contracts into its
tube (B). (After Jennings, 1906)
The cell membranes of Stentor have an electrical charge across them, just like nerve cells. When they
are stimulated, an action potential sweeps over the surface of the cell, very similar to a nerve impulse,
and this leads to the cell contracting.30 As it becomes habituated, the receptors on the cell’s membrane
become less sensitive to mechanical stimulation, and the action potential is not triggered.31 Since
Stentor is a single cell, its memory cannot be explained in terms of changes in nerve endings, or
synapses, because it has none.
Habituation implies a kind of memory that enables harmless and irrelevant stimuli to be recognized
when they recur. Morphic resonance suggests a straightforward explanation. The organism is in
resonance with its own past patterns of activity, including its return to normal following its
withdrawal response to a harmless stimulus. When the stimulus is repeated, the organism resonates
with its previous pattern of response, including the return to normal activity. It returns to normal
activity sooner, and responds less and less, until the harmless stimuli are ignored. It habituates
through self-resonance. A new stimulus stands out precisely because it is new and unfamiliar.
Habituation occurs in all animals, large and small, with and without nervous systems. The effects of
habituation have been studied in detail in the giant marine slug Aplysia, which grows more than a foot
long. Its nervous system is relatively simple, and is similar in different individuals. Normally the
slug’s gill is extended, but if the slug is touched, the gill is withdrawn. This reflex soon ceases if
harmless stimuli are repeated; the slugs habituate, just like Stentor. Eric Kandel and his group showed
that only four motor nerve cells are responsible for the gill withdrawal response. As habituation
occurs, the sensory nerve cells cease to excite the motor cells because they release fewer and fewer
packets of chemical transmitter at the synapses with the motor cells. But the fact that the synapses
function differently as a result of habituation does not prove that the memory is stored chemically in
the synapses. The entire system may habituate as a result of self-resonance, as in Stentor. Selfresonance
may underlie habituation in animals at all levels of complexity, including ourselves.
Sensitization is the opposite of habituation: animals become more responsive to stimuli that have a
harmful effect. Again, even single-celled animals like Stentor exhibit this kind of behavior. If a
stream of noxious particles is directed at Stentor, it contracts into its tube. The next time it is exposed
to the same particles it contracts more rapidly, and after several exposures, it goes on contracting
inside its tube until its foot is detached; it swims away until it finds a more peaceful place to settle
down, where it builds a new tube and resumes its normal life. Aplysia shows a similar kind of
sensitization, and Kandel and his group have described several changes that occur in the nerve cells as
this happens. Whereas habituation results in less neurotransmitter being released by sensory neurons
in their synapses with motor neurons, sensitization results in more being released.32
Again, there is no need to suppose that the memory that underlies sensitization is stored in the form
of chemical changes inside the cells. Like habituation, sensitization fits well with a self-resonance
model. When a stimulus that proved harmful in the past occurs, the organism resonates with itself,
responding to the same stimulus, resulting in a greater response. In addition, sensitization can reach a
threshold where the organism does something different. Stentor swims away.33 Aplysia releases toxic
ink containing hydrogen peroxide.34
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #443 on: 06/10/2013 17:20:30 »
Resonant Learning:


Resonant learning:
Many animals learn patterns of behavior from other members of their group through imitation. For
example, some species of bird, like blackbirds, learn parts of songs by listening to the songs of nearby
adults. This is a kind of cultural inheritance.
Cultural inheritance reaches its highest development in humanity where all human beings learn a
great variety of patterns of behavior, including the use of language, as well as many physical and
mental skills, like doing arithmetic, playing the flute or knitting. From the point of view of morphic
resonance, the transfer of these skills is a kind of resonance process.
In the 1980s, neuroscientists discovered that when animals watched other animals carrying out a
particular action, changes in the motor part of their brains mirrored those in the brains of the animals
they were watching. These responses are often described in terms of “mirror neurons”: the brain
activity mirrors that of the animal being watched, and involves the same sorts of changes that take
place in carrying out the action itself. But the term mirror neuron is misleading if it suggests that
special kinds of nerves are required for this activity. Instead, it is better thought of as a kind of
resonance. In fact, Vittorio Gallese, one of the discoverers of mirror neurons, refers to the imitation of
movements or actions by another individual as “resonance behavior.”35
Resonance behavior is a new phrase, but the phenomenon itself is not a new discovery. The entire
pornography industry depends on it. Watching other people engaged in sexual activity stimulates
erotic arousal by a kind of resonance.
Some neuroscientists have extended the idea of mirror systems to what they call a “motor resonance
theory of mind reading,” whereby the nervous system responds “to execution and observation of goaloriented
actions.”36 This resonance is not confined to the brain but to the entire pattern of movements
of the body as well, and no doubt plays a major part in the learning of skills, such as riding a bicycle,
and in other forms of “learning by doing.”
Through repetition, behavioral patterns and skills improve, and become increasingly habitual. Both
the acquisition of new patterns of behavior and remembering them fit well with a resonance model.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #444 on: 06/10/2013 17:21:40 »
Recognizing:


Recognizing:
Recognition involves the awareness that a present experience is also remembered: we know that we
were in this place before, or met this person somewhere, or came across this fact or idea. But we may
not be able to recall where or when, or recall the person’s or the place’s name. Recognition and recall
are different kinds of memory: recognition depends on a similarity between present experience and
previous experience. Recall involves an active reconstruction of the past on the basis of remembered
meanings or connections.
Recognizing is easier than recalling. For example, it is usually easier to recognize people than
remember their names. Most of us have remarkable powers of recognition that we usually take for
granted. Many laboratory experiments have demonstrated just how powerful this ability can be. For
example, in one study, subjects were asked to memorize a meaningless shape. When they were asked
to recall it by drawing it, their ability to do so declined rapidly within minutes. By contrast, most
people could pick out the test shape from a range of similar shapes weeks later.37
Recognition, like habituation, depends on morphic resonance with previous similar patterns of
activity. The pattern of vibratory activity within your sensory organs and nervous system when you
see a person you know is similar to the pattern when you saw the same person before. The sensory
stimuli are similar and have similar effects on the sense organs and the nervous system. The greater
the similarity, the stronger the resonance.
 

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #445 on: 06/10/2013 17:22:52 »
Recalling:



Recalling:
Conscious recall is an active process. The ability to recall a particular experience depends on the ways
we made connections in the first place. To the extent that we use language to categorize and connect
the elements of experience, we can use language to help reconstruct these past patterns. But we cannot
recall connections that were not made to start with.
Our short-term memory for words and phrases enables us to remember them long enough to grasp
their connections and understand their meanings. We usually remember meanings—patterns of
connection—rather than the actual words. It is relatively easy to summarize the gist of a recent
conversation but, for most of us, impossible to reproduce it verbatim. The same is true of written
language: you may recall some of the facts and ideas in the preceding chapters of this book, but you
will probably recall very few passages word for word.
Short-term memories provide the opportunities for elements of our near-present experience to be
connected with each other, as well as with past experience. What is not connected is forgotten. Shortterm
memory is often compared to a computer’s RAM (Random Access Memory), and has a very
limited capacity, typically 7±2 items. In the 1940s, the neuroscientist Donald Hebb pointed out that
such short-term memories, lasting less than a minute, were unlikely to be stored chemically and
suggested that they might depend on reverberating circuits of electrical activity—again implying a
process of resonance.
In the case of spatial recall—for instance, in remembering the layout of a particular house—the
connections between different spaces are related to movements of the body; for example, along a
corridor, climbing stairs and entering a room.
The principles of memorizing and recalling have long been understood; the basic principles of
mnemonic systems were well known in classical times and were taught to students of rhetoric,
providing techniques for establishing connections that enable items to be recalled more easily.38 Some
methods depend on verbal connections and involve coding the information in rhymes, phrases or
sentences. For instance, “Richard Of York Gained Battles In Vain” is a well-known mnemonic for the
colors of the rainbow (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet). Other systems are spatial
and rely on visual imagery. For instance, in the “method of loci” one first memorizes a sequence of
locations; for example, the various rooms and cupboards of one’s own house. Each item to be recalled
is then visualized in one of these locations, and remembered by imagining walking from one place to
the other and finding the object there. Modern mnemonic systems, such as systems for improving your
memory power advertized in popular magazines, are the heirs of this long and rich tradition.39
Memorizing spatial patterns in many animals depends on the activity of the hippocampus, as
discussed above, and the activity of the brain in this and other regions seems to be necessary for
connecting together the items to be recalled. Between being laid down and recalled, the memories are
usually supposed to be encoded in elusive long-term memory traces. The resonance hypothesis fits the
facts better. The pattern of connections established when the memories are formed is associated with
rhythmic patterns of brain activity. The memories are recalled through similar patterns of activity
established by morphic resonance. They are not stored as traces in the brain.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #446 on: 06/10/2013 17:24:50 »
Experimental Tests :



Experimental tests:
If memories are stored in individual animals’ brains, then anything an animal learns is confined to its
own brain. When it dies the memory is extinguished. But if memory is a resonant phenomenon
through which organisms specifically resonate with themselves in the past, individual memory and
collective memory are different aspects of the same phenomenon; they differ in degree, not in kind.
This hypothesis is testable. If rats learn a new trick in one place, then rats all over the world should
be able to learn the same trick quicker. The more rats that learn it, the easier it should become
everywhere else. There is already evidence from one of the longest series of experiments in the history
of psychology that rats do indeed seem to learn quicker what other rats have already learned. The
more that learned to escape from a water maze, the easier it became for others to do so. These
experiments, conducted first at Harvard, then at Edinburgh and Melbourne universities, showed that
the Scottish and Australian rats took up more or less where the Harvard rats had left off, and their
descendants learned even faster. Some got it right first time with no need for learning at all. In the
experiment at Melbourne University, a line of control rats, whose parents had never been trained,
showed the same pattern of improvement as rats descended from trained parents, showing that this
effect was not passed through the genes, or through epigenetic modifications of genes. All similar rats
learned quicker, just as the hypothesis of morphic resonance would predict.40
Likewise, humans should be able to learn more easily what others have already learned. New skills
like snowboarding and playing computer games should become easier to learn, on average. Of course
there will always be faster and slower learners, but the general tendency should be toward quicker
learning. Much anecdotal evidence suggests that this is so. But for hard, quantitative evidence, the
best place to look is in standardized tests that have remained more or less the same over decades.
Intelligence quotient (IQ) tests are a good example. By morphic resonance, the questions should
become easier to answer because so many people have answered them before. The scores in the tests
should rise not because people are becoming more intelligent but because the tests are becoming
easier to do. Just such an effect has in fact occurred and is known as the Flynn effect after the
psychologist James Flynn, who has done so much to document this phenomenon.41 Average IQ test
scores have been rising for decades by 30 percent or more. Data from the United States are in Figure
7.2.
FIGURE 7.2. THE FLYNN EFFECT: changes in average IQ scores in the United States, relative to 1989
values.42
There has been a long debate among psychologists about possible reasons for the Flynn effect.
Attempted explanations in terms of nutrition, urbanization, exposure to TV and practice with
examinations seem to account for only a small part of this effect. At first Flynn confessed himself
baffled, and has tried out a number of ever more complex explanations. His most recent attempt
ascribes this effect to a change in the general culture:
The best short-hand description I can offer is this. During the twentieth century, people invested
their intelligence in the solution of new cognitive problems. Formal education played a
proximate causal role but a full appreciation of causes involves grasping the total impact of the
industrial revolution.43
The trouble is that this hypothesis is vague, obscure and untestable. Morphic resonance provides a
simpler explanation.
Scientists in universities in Europe and America have already carried out a series of tests
specifically designed to test for morphic resonance in human learning, particularly in connection with
written languages. Most have given positive, statistically significant results.44 This is inevitably a
controversial area of research but, unlike Flynn’s hypothesis, morphic resonance is relatively easy to
test with animals and people.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #447 on: 06/10/2013 17:27:01 »
What Difference  Does It Make ? :




What difference does it make?:
I find it makes a big difference to think of tuning in to my memories, instead of retrieving them from
stores inside my brain by obscure molecular mechanisms. Resonance feels more plausible and fits
better with experience. It is also more compatible with the findings of brain research: memory traces
are nowhere to be found.
In research there would be a shift of focus from the molecular details of nerve cells to the transfer
of memory by resonance. This shift would also open up the question of collective memory, which the
psychologist C. G. Jung thought of in terms of the collective unconscious.
If learning involves a process of resonance not only with the teacher who is transmitting the skill,
but all those who have learned it before, educational methods could be improved by deliberately
enhancing the process of resonance, leading to a faster and more effective transfer of skills.
The resonance theory of memory also opens up a religious question. All religions take it for granted
that some aspect of a person’s memory survives that person’s bodily death. In Hindu and Buddhist
theories of reincarnation or rebirth, memories, habits or tendencies are carried over from one life to
another. This transfer of memory is part of the action of karma, a kind of causation across time;
actions bring about effects in the future, even in later lives. In Christianity there are several different
theories of survival, but all imply a survival of memory. According to the Roman Catholic doctrine of
Purgatory, after death believers enter an ongoing process of development, comparable to dreaming.
This process would make no sense unless the person’s memories played a part in the process. Some
Protestants believe that after death everyone goes to sleep, only to be resurrected just before the Last
Judgment. But this theory too requires a survival of memory because the Last Judgment would be
meaningless if the person being judged had forgotten who he was and what he had done.
By contrast, the materialist theory is simple. Memories are in the brain; the brain decays at death;
therefore all memories are wiped out forever. For an atheist, what could be a better proof of the folly
of religious belief? All religious theories of survival are impossible because they all rely on the
survival of personal memories, which are wiped out when the brain decays. The materialist theory
leaves the question of the survival of bodily death closed. By contrast, the resonance theory leaves the
question open. Memories themselves do not decay at death, but can continue to act by resonance, as
long as there is a vibratory system that they can resonate with. They contribute to the collective
memory of the species. But whether or not there is an immaterial part of the self that can still access
these memories in the absence of a brain is another question.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #448 on: 06/10/2013 17:30:41 »
Quote
I am , in fact , very skeptical about your allegation that you are a pro scientist : how can that be ?
Fortunately you are not my client, patient, bank manager or professional registrar, all of whom seem convinced that I do know what I am talking about (though my students are encouraged to disagree).
 
 
Quote
: you might be one , but a very ignorant one regarding the nature of science , its alleged objectivity,

alleged by whom? Only a fantasist. It's a process, so it can't have human characteristics like objectivity.

If you are a scientist , i am Elvis :

Excerpts from "Science Set Free ..." By Sheldrake : Chapter 12 : Scientific Futures :


The sciences are entering a new phase. The materialist ideology that has ruled them since the
nineteenth century is out of date. All ten of its essential doctrines have been superseded. The
authoritarian structure of the sciences, the illusions of objectivity and the fantasies of omniscience
have all outlived their usefulness.
The sciences will have to change for another reason too: they are now global. Mechanistic science
and the materialist ideology grew up in Europe, and were strongly influenced by the religious disputes
that obsessed Europeans from the seventeenth century onward. But these preoccupations are alien to
cultures and traditions in many other parts of the world.
In 2011, the worldwide expenditure on scientific and technological research and development was
more than $1,000 billion, of which China spent $100 billion.1 Asian countries, especially China and
India, now produce enormous numbers of science and engineering graduates. In 2007, at BSc level
there were 2.5 million science and engineering graduates in India and 1.5 million in China,2 compared
with 515,000 in the United States3 and 100,000 in the UK.4 In addition, many of those studying in the
United States and Europe are from other countries: in 2007, nearly a third of the graduate students in
science and engineering in the United States were foreign, with the majority from India, China and
Korea.5
Yet the sciences as taught in Asia, Africa, the Islamic countries and elsewhere are still packaged in
an ideology shaped by their European past. Materialism gains its persuasive power from the
technological applications of science. But the successes of these applications do not prove that this
ideology is true. Penicillin will go on killing bacteria, jet planes will keep on flying and mobile
telephones will still work if scientists move on to wider views of nature.
No one can foresee how the sciences will evolve, but I believe recognizing that “science” is not one
thing will facilitate their development. “Science” has given way to “the sciences.” By moving beyond
physicalism, the status of physics has changed. By freeing the sciences from the ideology of
materialism, new opportunities for debate and dialogue open up, and so do new possibilities for
research.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
« Reply #449 on: 06/10/2013 18:15:09 »




That's 1 of the reasons  why   materialism is false .
As of the damaged areas of the human brain that seem to cause the loss of their corresponding parts of consciousness ....I just see that as being the case of the damaged receiver or brain that stops to receive those corresponding "signals " from  those corresponding parts of consciousness ...
Besides, the hard problem of consciousness can be only approached by a potentially non-reductionist approach,obviously  , in the sense that we can study the physical brain , while trying to figure out how it interacts with consciousness as such .....
Later then .

P.S.: No one yet , if ever , including Nagel, Sheldrake and the rest , were /are able to come up with a cristal-clear vision concerning how the potentially non-reductionist approach of consciousness , memory ,cognition, feelings , emotions ...can be done on the reality ground , or what that non-reductionist approach exactly is , how it might work ...

Yes, that would seem to be a bit of a problem, wouldn't it?

It's also ironic, that by relocating consciousness, and removing consciousness from the physical being whenever its receiver is malfunctioning, you have managed to reduce human beings to biological robots in a way no materialist has ever dared to do. You've out done Dawkins, my boy!

Don't insult me , dear , by comparing me to ...Dawkins, please ...God ...
You know :
I was terrified once by experiencing the following :
After an agitated  night sleep , i was about to wake up , when i realised i could not move any part of my body : i panicked , i was terrified for a moment , and then i persuaded myself that this "paralysis " was just temporary and that i would overcome  it eventually  by just relaxing .
I calmed down while praying  ,full of hope and expectation,  and waited to see what happens next.
I felt like being imprisoned within my motionless body i could not control or move : i felt that  the powerless  me is inside of that motionless body cage prison of mine : i cannot even describe what i really and exactly felt and experienced during those terrifying short moments .
I was lucky enough to regain control of my body again  afterwards  .
A relative of mine was , once, declared clinically dead ,but , when he was about to be put to rest in his grave , he started suddenly ,luckily enough for him, to scream and move hysterically : then, he was delivered from that terrible predicament of his ...
There are many cases like that of people getting buried alive , while they are totally conscious , but cannot move any of their body parts ...They seemed  dead , but they were actually not .
There are also many cases of people who were struck by strokes , and eventually did recover ,partly or fully , from their paralysis , and they described their aweful experiences afterwards : they struggled with so much pain and frustrations to move their paralyzed bodies , in vain, but , after many attempts ,exercises , faith and hope ,determination, ...they succeeded in recovering , partly or fully thus,despite the fact that their doctors told them they would never recover from their paralysis  : you can read all about that and much more in this interesting book :
"You are not your Brain,The 4 -step solution for changing bad habits , ending unhealthy thinking ,and taking control of your life  " by Jeffrey M.Schwarts Author of  the bestseller  " Brain Lock " , and Rebecca Gladding .
I think that the human brain as a receiver is also responsible for unconscious reflexive instinctive survival motor and other functions .....but, cobsciousness is the real boss, i guess, relatively speaking : The mind is way more primordial and fundamental than matter or the physical brain can ever be :the physical brain might be just an executive tool for consciousness ...
I dunno: see those scientific studies regarding the placebo effect , even in surgery ...i provided you with a link for earlier , to mention just that , and there are many cases that proved the healing power of the mind to be true in relation to the body as well ...
You are asking me to tell you how the immaterial consciousness or transmitter , so to speak, can interact with the physical brain .....how consciousness in that sense can be studied scientifically ....I say : beat me, i do not know yet : I just think that when science proper will be delivered from that materialist primitive outdated  backward orthodox secular religion  prison it has been confined to for so long now , then and only then, science will  be able to offer some new ways of understanding consciousness and the rest , relatively speaking .
Besides, we cannot , obviously , know all what there is to know out there , simply because of our limited human faculties and capacities , despite the fact that science can extend the scope and reach of the latter ...
I am , in fact , pretty skeptical about the fact whether science can ever be able for that matter or not to explain anything regarding consciousness ...i dunno : even the so-called non-reductionist naturalism as a possible alternative to reductionist naturalism can, obviously , not account for consciousness, life , human cognition ... from within nature thus .
In other words :
I do not see how nature could ever have been able , so to speak, to generate mind , life , or consciousness ...that lunatic atheist Nagel does think otherwise though on the subject ,of course = makes no sense that nature can  ever able to accomplish such extraordinary performance , let alone how nature can ever do just that = makes no sense  ...
Read the above then .
« Last Edit: 06/10/2013 18:23:52 by DonQuichotte »
 

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Re: What, on Earth, is The Human Consciousness?
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