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Author Topic: Major Bombshell : Manifesto For A Post-Materialistic Science :  (Read 186462 times)

Offline DonQuichotte

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Evidence III : For How The Mind Can Change The Brain Through The Will via The Effort of Attention ::

"...The following year, another team of neuroscientists confirmed that attention exerts real, physical effects. This time, they looked not for increased neuronal activity but for something that often goes along with it: blood flow.

 After all, blood carries oxygen to neurons just as it does to every other cell in the body. Just as a muscle engaged in strenuous aerobic activity is a glutton for oxygen, so a neuron that’s firing away needs a voluminous supply of the stuff. In the 1991 experiment, some subjects were instructed to pay attention to vibrations applied to the tips of their fingers, while others were not. The researchers found that, in the subjects paying attention to the vibrations, activation in the somatosensory cortex region representing the fingertips increased 13 percent compared to activation in subjects receiving the identical stimulation but not paying attention. It was another early hint that paying attention to some attribute of the sensed world—colors, movements, shapes, faces, feels, or anything else—affects the regions of the brain that passively process that stimulus. Attention, then, is not some fuzzy, ethereal concept. It acts back on the physical structure and activity of the brain. Attending to one sense, such as vision, does not simply kick up the activity in the region of the brain in charge of that sense. It also reduces activity in regions responsible for other senses.

 If you are really concentrating on the little black lines and curves on this white page, you are less likely to feel someone brush against you, or to hear someone speaking in the background. When you watch a ballet, if you’re focusing on the choreography, you don’t hear the music so well. If you’re deep in conversation at a noisy party and your partner in dialogue has a deep baritone voice, it is probable that those parts of your auditory cortex that are tuned to low frequency will get an extra activation boost; at the same time, regions of the auditory cortex that process sopranos are likely turned down, with the result that you may literally not hear (that is, be conscious of) a high-pitched voice across the room.
Attention, as the neuroscientist Ian Robertson of Trinity College Dublin says, “can sculpt brain activity by turning up or down the rate at which particular sets of synapses fire.

And since we know that firing a set of synapses again and again makes [them] grow…stronger, it follows that attention is an important ingredient” for neuroplasticity, a point we will return to later. For now, it is enough simply to emphasize that paying attention to a particular mode of sensation increases cerebral activity in the brain region that registers that sensation. More generally, the way an individual willfully focuses attention has systematic effects on brain function, amplifying activity in particular brain circuits." 

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Offline DonQuichotte

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Evidence IV :

"....A growing body of evidence demonstrates that mindfulness itself may be a key factor in the activating process. In one fascinating experiment, Dick Passingham of Oxford University and colleagues at London’s Institute of Neurology compared the brain activity of a young man as he tried to figure out a mystery sequence on a keypad, to the brain activity after he had mastered it.

All the man was told was that he had to figure out which sequence of eight keys was correct. He did it by trial and error: when he pressed an incorrect key, a low-pitched tone sounded, much as hearing a sour note tells you that you have hit the wrong key on a piano. When he pressed a correct one, a high-pitched tone sounded. Now he both had to remember the correct key and figure out the next one, and the next six after that. Throughout his trial-and-error ordeal, PET scans showed, the man’s brain was ablaze with activity. In particular, the prefrontal cortex, parietal cortex, anterior cingulate, caudate, and cerebellum were very active; all are involved in planning, thinking, and moving.

When the young man finally worked out the correct sequence, he was instructed to keep tapping it out until he could do so effortlessly and without error. After an hour, though he was beginning to rebel at the boredom of it all, his fingers could fly over the keypad as if on automatic pilot. In fact, they were: he could tap out the sequence flawlessly while verbally repeating strings of six digits, or even while generating lists of verbs.

The effortless automaticity was reflected in a marked change in his brain: according to the PET scan, the man’s brain had shut off the lights in numerous regions as if they were offices at quitting time. Although his brain was still remembering the eight keys in order, and signaling the fingers how to move, the mental and cerebral activity behind that output had diminished dramatically. Only motor regions, which command the fingers to move, remained active.

Passingham then took the experimental step that really caught my eye because of its implications for my own nascent theory of directed mental force. What happens in the brain, he asked, if the person carrying out an automatic task suddenly makes a special effort to pay attention to that task? The PET scan kicked out the answer. When the young man again focused on the now-automatic keypad movements, his prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate jerked awake, becoming metabolically active once again. This is a finding of tremendous importance, for it shows that mindful awareness has an activating effect on the brain, lighting it up.

The take-home message of Passingham’s studies is that willfully engaging in mindful awareness while performing an automatic task activates the actionmonitoring circuitry of the prefrontal cortex. It is this activation that can transform us from automatons to members in good standing of the species Homo sapiens (from Latin sapere, “to be wise”). Given the strong evidence for the involvement of the prefrontal cortex in the willful selection of self-initiated responses, the importance of knowing we can modulate the brain activity in that very area with a healthy dose of mindfulness can’t be overstated."

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Offline DonQuichotte

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Evidence V:


"....More evidence for the capacity of willfully directed attention to activate a specialized brain region has come from Nancy Kanwisher’s lab at MIT. She and others had already demonstrated that a specific brain area, located where the temporal and occipital lobes meet, is specialized for processing the appearance of faces.

Kanwisher had named this the fusiform face area. Does the appearance of a face activate this area automatically, or can you modulate that activity through attention? To find out, Kanwisher’s team had eight volunteers view a screen that briefly displayed two faces and two houses simultaneously. Before the images appeared, the researchers told each volunteer to take note of the faces in some trials, or of the houses in others. All four images appeared each time but stayed on the screen for a mere one-fifth of a second. Then the volunteers had to determine whether the cued items (faces or houses) were a matching pair. They were able to do this accurately a little more than three quarters of the time.

The key finding: the brain’s specialized face-detecting area was significantly more activated when the subjects were actively looking at faces to see whether they matched than when the faces were only viewed passively because the houses were the cued target. In other words,although both the faces and the houses impinged on the retina and the rest of the visual system (including the fusiform face area), choosing actively to focus attention on the face instantly ramped up activity in the brain’s specialized face-recognition area. Its activity, that is, is not strictly automatic, “but depends instead on the allocation of voluntary attention,” as the MIT team stated it.

Their subsequent work has shown that attention can also ramp up activity in the brain’s specialized area for recognizing places, including houses and buildings. And it’s not only attention to the outside world that reaches us through our senses that causes such increased activity. Similar activations occur when you conjure up an image in your mind’s eye. Thus the willful act of forming a mental image of a familiar face or place with your eyes closed selectively activates the very same face or place area of the brain that seeing the face or place with your eyes does. “We are not passive recipients but active participants in our own process of perception,” Kanwisher summed up."

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Offline DonQuichotte

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Further Comment :



"...It is pretty clear, then, that attention can control the brain’s sensory processing. But it can do something else, too, something that we only hinted at in our discussion of neuroplasticity. It is a commonplace observation that our perceptions and actions do not take place in a vacuum. Rather, they occur on a stage set that has been concocted from the furniture of our minds.

If your mind has been primed with the theory of pointillism (the use of tiny dots of primary colors to generate secondary colors), then you will see a Seurat painting in a very different way than if you are ignorant of his technique. Yet the photons of light reflecting off the Seurat and impinging on your retina, there to be conveyed as electrical impulses into your visual cortex, are identical to the photons striking the retina of a less knowledgeable viewer, as well as of one whose mind is distracted. The three viewers “see” very different paintings. Information reaches the brain from the outside world, yes—but in “an everchanging context of internal representations,” as Mike Merzenich put it. Mental states matter.

 Every stimulus from the world outside impinges on a consciousness that is predisposed to accept it, or to ignore it. We can therefore go further: not only do mental states matter to the physical activity of the brain, but they can contribute to the final perception even more powerfully than the stimulus itself.

Neuroscientists are (sometimes reluctantly) admitting mental states into their models for a simple reason: the induction of cortical plasticity discussed in the previous chapters is no more the simple and direct product of particular cortical stimuli than the perception of the Seurat painting is unequivocally determined by the objective pattern of photons emitted from its oil colors: quite the contrary."

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Offline DonQuichotte

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Evidence VI :



"....I happened on a paper by Mike Merzenich and Rob deCharms that fortified my belief that attention is the mechanism by which the mind effects the expression of volition. The two UCSF scientists noted that when an individual pays attention to some stimulus, the neurons in the cerebral cortex that represent this object show increased activation.

But Merzenich and deCharms took this observation further. In addition, they noted, “the pattern of activity of neurons in sensory areas can be altered by patterns of attention, leading to measured shifts in receptive fields or tuning of individual neurons.” If individual neurons can be tuned to different stimuli, depending on the mind’s attentional state, they concluded, then “entire spatial maps across the cortical surface are systematically distorted by attention…[which] implies a rapid remapping of the representational functions of the cortex.”

The cortex, that is, is as subject to remapping through attention as it is through the changes in sensory input described in our survey of neuroplasticity. In addition, in all three of the cortical systems where scientists have documented neuroplasticity—the primary auditory cortex, somatosensory cortex, and motor cortex—the variable determining whether or not the brain changes is not the sensory input itself but, crucially, the attentional state of the animal.

 In 1993 Merzenich showed that passive stimulation alone simply did not cut it. He and his students repeatedly exposed monkeys to specific sound frequencies. When the monkeys were trained to pay attention, the result was the expected tonotopic reorganization of the auditory cortex: the representation of the repeatedly heard frequency expanded.

But when the monkeys were distracted by another task, and so were paying little or no attention to the tones piped into their ears, no such tonotopic expansion occurred. Inputs that the monkey does not pay attention to fail to produce long-term cortical changes; closely attended behaviors and inputs do. Let me repeat: when stimuli identical to those that induce plastic changes in an attending brain are instead delivered to a nonattending brain, there is no induction of cortical plasticity. Attention, in other words, must be paid.


Since attention is generally considered an internally generated state, it seems that neuroscience has tiptoed up to a conclusion that would be right at home in the canon of some of the Eastern philosophies: introspection, willed attention, subjective state—pick your favorite description of an internal mental state—can redraw the contours of the mind, and in so doing can rewire the circuits of the brain, for it is attention that makes neuroplasticity possible. The role of attention throws into stark relief the power of mind over brain, for it is a mental state (attention) that has the ability to direct neuroplasticity. In so doing, it has the power to alter the very landscape of the brain.

 “Experience coupled with attention leads to physical changes in the structure and future functioning of the nervous system,” Merzenich and deCharms concluded. “This leaves us with a clear physiological fact… moment by moment we choose and sculpt how our ever-changing minds will work, we choose who we will be the next moment in a very real sense, and these choices are left embossed in physical form on
our material selves.” "

Same source .
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Evidence VII :



"...Similarly, Ed Taub had shown that the more stroke patients concentrated on their tasks—the more they paid attention—the greater their functional reorganization and recovery. In stroke patients who sustain damage to the prefrontal cortex, and whose attention systems are therefore impaired, recovery is much less likely. Two months after the stroke, a simple measure of attention, such as the patient’s ability to count tones presented through headphones, predicts almost uncannily how well the patient will recover motor function.

The power of attention, that is, determines whether a stroke patient will remain incapacitated or not. Ian Robertson’s research group at Trinity College found much the same thing: “How well people can pay attention just after a right-brain stroke predicts how well they can use their left hands two years later.” If the attention circuits in the frontal lobes are damaged by the stroke, the patient recovers less well from injury to other regions of the brain than if the frontal lobes are spared."

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Offline DonQuichotte

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Read the above displayed short quotes and comments , guys ,and then i will be talking about  many scientific experiments ,afterwards , that showed /show the causal effect of the human volition through focus or attention -effort , the causal effect of volition on the structure or anatomy and physiology of the brain
Even by 2007 (prompted by specific volitional deficits due to brain impairments), sufficient specific studies of volition had been done to demonstrate that the sense of volition, free-will, and agency are (to many people's surprise) retrospective and post-hoc introspective. For example: Volitional Control of Movement: The Physiology of Free Will. Since then decision pathways have been traced at a neuronal level, and the origins of decision have also been extensively modeled, for example, Neuronal correlates of decisions to speak and act, or Selection and inhibition mechanisms for human voluntary action decisions to pick a couple of relevant papers at random.

These discoveries and ideas are no longer controversial in neurophysiology. As already mentioned, the empirical evidence that brain activity alone generates these behaviours and that the sense of agency, volition, self, etc., is not what it subjectively seems, is overwhelming. Regardless of the number of incredulous articles and papers you post, the evidence speaks for itself (a little ironic joke there). There are still gaps in our knowledge, but no space for magical immaterial volitional agencies. There's no need or place for any such influence - to paraphrase Laplace, 'We have no need of that hypothesis'.


Well, then read my above posted evidence to the contrary of what you were saying here above , to see for yourself : prepare yourself for a surprise, big time  :

Your baseless and blind confidence in all that related materialistic  non-sense on the subject will be shaken, big time :

It has been proved ,via many experiments mentioned here above and more , that the mind can alter the structure or anatomy and physiology of the brain through the effort of volition via the effort of attention or focus : that's called self-directed neuroplasticity .

Volitional effort is effort of attention thus .

That evidence that supports Schwartz' prior discovery in relation to the causal and active role of the effort of the mindful will through the effort of the focus or attention (It's all in the power of  focus ) , that Schwartz ' discovery thus in relation to the causal efficacy of the will through the effort of focus in changing the brain, has been used to help patients who suffer from obsessive-compulsory  disorder , for example , (OCD ) , or who suffer from anxiety , depression , phobias and many other disorders , in order to help them learn how to rewire their brains in healthy ways ,by using Schwartz' developed steps -therapy to relabel their intrusive or compulsory , habitual thoughts for what they actually are (just brain disorders )  , to learn to refocus away from them on healthier thoughts and action , to revalue them for what they are (brain disorders without reality or power ) ...

By regularily practicing those steps , for example, patients can rewire their brains in healthy ways  by strengthening the new neural pathways via the effort of mindful volitional focus away from those intrusive or compulsory thoughts ,and therefore by weakening the wired habitual old ones ...

Brain scans of those patients who underwent that therapy ,before and after the therapy thus, showed significant changes in their brains accordingly .
« Last Edit: 03/12/2014 17:47:38 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Answering the chicken-and -egg question : question of what's causing what ? : Does activity in the frontal lobes cause volition , or does volition trigger activity in the frontal lobes? : Evidence I :


"...Selectively focusing attention on target images significantly enhances neuronal responses to them. This is especially true when nearby stimuli, if not for the power of attention, would distract us....

Selective attention is a great example of top down control, and doesn't require any immaterial element.

The brain is set in a specific state or working mode according to requirements that are updated from the outside world dynamically.  The construction of a subjective percept (what am I looking for and why am I looking for it? ) involves making the best sense of sensory inputs based on a set of hypotheses or constraints derived by prior knowledge and contextual influences.

Top-down expectations and hypotheses are initially set by feedforward information, the sensory evidence. The brain has an abundance of two way tracts that allows complex information at higher stages of processing to influence processing, or select for information information to attend to, from lower stages. The flow of information from higher- to lower-order cortical areas plays a role equal in importance to the feedforward pathways. There is no starting point for information flow. You can't point to any part of the loop and say the cause is here, and the effect is there.

Criticism of material mechanisms in neuroscience always seem to be wildly neglectful of the dynamic nature of mental activity, and approach the material construction of the brain as if it were as unmodifiable and unvarying as a household appliance, ignoring learning, ignoring our constant interaction with a changing environment.

What's more, the immaterial version of will or volition that seems to exist in some acausal vacuum while violating all sorts of physical laws, is never specifically explained, either.
« Last Edit: 03/12/2014 17:53:50 by cheryl j »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Answering the chicken-and -egg question : question of what's causing what ? : Does activity in the frontal lobes cause volition , or does volition trigger activity in the frontal lobes? : Evidence I :


"...Selectively focusing attention on target images significantly enhances neuronal responses to them. This is especially true when nearby stimuli, if not for the power of attention, would distract us....

Selective attention is a great example of top down control, and doesn't require any immaterial element.

The brain is set in a specific state or working mode according to requirements that are updated from the outside world dynamically.  The construction of a subjective percept (what am I looking for and why am I looking for it? ) involves making the best sense of sensory inputs based on a set of hypotheses or constraints derived by prior knowledge and contextual influences.

Top-down expectations and hypotheses are initially set by feedforward information, the sensory evidence. The brain has an abundance of two way tracts that allows complex information at higher stages of processing to influence processing, or select for information information to attend to, from lower stages. The flow of information from higher- to lower-order cortical areas plays a role equal in importance to the feedforward pathways. There is no starting point for information flow. You can't point to any part of the loop and say the cause is here, and the effect is there.

Criticism of material mechanisms in neuroscience always seem to be wildly neglectful of the dynamic nature of mental activity, and approach the material construction of the brain as if it were as unmodifiable and unvarying as a household appliance, ignoring learning, ignoring our constant interaction with a changing environment.

What's more, the immaterial version of will or volition that seems to exist in some acausal vacuum while violating all sorts of physical laws, is never specifically explained, either.

Don't jump to premature conclusions , sis : Just try to read the above carefully first , please .Thanks .

Nothing happens in or comes from a vacuum : the effort of volition through the effort of focus triggers a physical force that changes the related activity of neurons accordingly by strengthening the related activity of the related neural correlates through the mindful volitional effort of focus , and by weakening the ones that don't get much attention ,simply put .

Many experiments mentioned here above and more proved that fact .
« Last Edit: 03/12/2014 17:54:29 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Don't jump to premature conclusions , sis : Just try to read the above carefully first , please .Thanks .


It's not a premature conclusion. By attributing thought or mindful effort or attention a priori to an immaterial element, the article blatantly begs the question. You can't use as proof that which you are trying to prove.

What's more, why should the immaterial need to produce a physical change in the brain in order to produce another change in the immaterial? Why should the OCD patient referred to above need to "rewire his brain" in order to express his already existing will to act or not act? It's just one contradiction after another, Don.
And how does the immaterial interact with the material?


 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Read the above displayed short quotes and comments , guys ,and then i will be talking about  many scientific experiments ,afterwards , that showed /show the causal effect of the human volition through focus or attention -effort , the causal effect of volition on the structure or anatomy and physiology of the brain :

How the mindful effort of volition through the power of focus or attention can change the brain ....

In short :

How the mind or mental force can change the brain through the dynamic effort of volition via the power of focus .

In other words :

Volitional effort is effort of attention.Effort of attention is thus the essential phenomenon of will.




As magical as will or volition might seem, there are disorders that interfere with volition and motivation (akinetic mutism, apraxia,)  as well structures in the brain associated with volition. According to Ramachandran, "Wanting, it turns out, is crucially dependent on the anterior cingulate."

And we've also discussed Libet's studies that show a choice has been made in the brain before a person becomes consciously aware of making it.

Or Beuregards studies that ironically showed the opposite of what he set out to demonstrate, as explained below:

For review:
Lets break down one of his studies, where he showed a series of erotic images to males and imaged the brain's response to these images. Unsurprisingly he found activation primarily in the limbic and paralimbic regions (amygdala, right anterior temporal pole and the hypothalamus). This region of the brain is long known to be associated with reward assessment and baser drives such as sex, hunger, thirst, fear, and anger. He then asked subjects to repress any sort of sexual thoughts or feelings in regard to the images and showed them again. This time he showed little to no activation in the paralimbic and limbic system, but saw extensive activation in prefrontal regions such as the superior frontal gyrus.[15] The prefrontal regions are associated with what many of us refer to as the normal day-to-day consciousness of ourselves. It is the executive controller and one of its primary roles is that of an inhibitor. It's the part of your brain that tells you when something is really not a good idea, and lets you control yourself; it's the part you use when you are "biting your tongue" to keep from saying what you really want to say.[17]

Working from the theory that it is the material constructs of the brain itself that alters firing patterns this is exactly what we would expect. We see an area of the brain that is activated by stimuli that are known to cause excitation in that region. When asked to inhibit that excitation subjects show brain activation in regions that have been demonstrated to be involved in inhibition. This is one area of the brain putting the brakes on another area of the brain. If we were working from the posit that it is the "psychological space" that is putting the brakes on the limbic system, why would we posit any other area of the brain needing to be activated? If Beauregard had shown that the only change when actively suppressing a response was that the previously activated regions did not show any activation it would be a lot more problematic to explain.


Read about the above mentioned empirical evidence through all those displayed experiments here above and more, that prove the active causal role of the effort of the human mindful will  through the effort of focus or attention in  changing  the brain accordingly , to see for yourself, Cheryl .

Stroke patients , for example, whose brain regions are damaged that are correlated with attention cannot make any recovery progress, unlike those whose same brain regions are intact  .

Once again : volitional effort is effort of focus or attention .

Not to mention the major example ( My emphasis  ) of the woman who changed her brain through informed determined trained mindful self-directed neuroplasticity , a woman who was born with severe brain disabilities , you have no idea : Barbara Arrowsmith Young .

The latter example was not a part of the above displayed experiments .

 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Cheryl :

Once again : read the above first , please .Thanks .

Schwartz discovered the active role of the effort of the mindful volition through the effort of focus or attention in changing the brain accordingly ( we already intuit and experience that fact on a daily basis ) , via what he called a mental force that triggers a physical force , before working with Henry Stapp who delivered that physical mechanism through which the mindful and active effort of volition through the effort of focus or attention , a physical mechanism through which volition acts on the neural correlates via what Stapp's called the quantum Zeno effect ("observed " or focused-on mental states or thoughts ...do not "decay " or fade, they stay in place , so to speak . ) that 'works " together with Hebb's law ( neurons that fire together connect together ) ..., grosso -modo .

You may reject Stapp's quantum theory of consciousness of course , but you cannot reject the empirical evidence that was delivered by  all those mentioned experiments here above and more that prove the causal and active efficacy of the mindful effort of volition through the effort of focus in changing the brain .

Schwartz ' work thus cannot be refuted by refuting that of Stapp : The former does not even need the latter ...

Read the above then : you're in for a major surprise , big time . Cheers .
« Last Edit: 03/12/2014 18:22:52 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Cheryl :

Once again : read the above first , please .Thanks .

Schwartz discovered the active role of the effort of the mindful volition through the effort of focus or attention in changing the brain accordingly ( we already intuit and experience that fact on a daily basis ) , via what he called a mental force that triggers a physical force , before working with Henry Stapp who delivered that physical mechanism through which the mindful and active effort of volition through the effort of focus or attention , a physical mechanism through which volition acts on the neural correlates via what Stapp's called the quantum Zeno effect ("observed " or focused-on mental states or thoughts ...do not "decay " or fade, they stay in place , so to speak . ) that 'works " together with Hebb's law ( neurons that fire together connect together ) ..., grosso -modo .

You may reject Stapp's quantum theory of consciousness of course , but you cannot reject the empirical evidence that was delivered by  all those mentioned experiments here above and more that prove the causal and active efficacy of the mindful effort of volition through the effort of focus in changing the brain .

I'm not rejecting the findings themselves, but your interpretation of them. They indicate that people can act to change what they attend to, but your authors don't prove that the shift in attention or "mindful effort" is non-biological or immaterial. In fact, their findings really suggest otherwise. Shift is always accompanied by a change in activity in another area of the brain, not just simple suppression by will acting in the "psychological space." Like Stapp, they completely ignore the question altogether, and assume will or volition is immaterial from the start. Stapp concedes this in his own articles.
 

Offline cheryl j

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"Stroke patients , for example, whose brain regions are damaged that are correlated with attention cannot make any recovery progress, unlike those whose same brain regions are intact "




And what does that tell you?
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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"Stroke patients , for example, whose brain regions are damaged that are correlated with attention cannot make any recovery progress, unlike those whose same brain regions are intact "




And what does that tell you?

lol

That says that self-directed neuroplasticity through the mindful and active causal effect of volitional effort through the effort of focus or attention in changing the brain cannot be accomplished by stroke patients whose brain regions that are related to  attention are damaged ,and vice versa:  it's only through the maintained volitional effort of focus or attention that self-directed neuroplasticity can be accomplished .

In short :

The materialistic intrinsic belief assumption (for which there is absolutely no empirical evidence whatsoever to support it, needless to add  ) that the mind and consciousness +their related processes and anomalies , like memory  and the rest  ...are just products of  brain activity , without any causal effects on the latter whatsoever , or that the mind and consciousness ...are just illusions, or just useful survival strategies illusions or computed by the brain simulations illusions that feel real though  is false : that's what all those above mentioned experiments and other ones as well  have been showing and proving : the mind can change the physical brain through volitional effort via  the effort of attention or focus thus  .

Mainstream materialistic epiphenomalism is a materialistic intrinsic joke that's just yet another extension of materialism = no empirical fact .

No wonder , since materialism was built upon the superseded approximately correct and fundamentally false classical deterministic mechanical Newtonian world view .

Bell's theorem and its related experiments showed that locality or separability do not exist as such , and proved that "spooky action at a distance " to exist as well + make room for free will through the kind of measurements , experiments , experiments' design , expectations or intentions held and applied by physicists at the quantum level at least .

Schrödinger called entanglement, for example,  the very essence, “the essential characteristic,” of quantum physics.

Entanglement that has been proved to occur even at the level of some large molecules ,not to mention wave/particle duality as well ,  and as the advance of technology will be allowing many further scientific experiments on the subject at the larger scale , entanglement and wave/particle duality might turn out to occur even at the larger scale thus,who knows .

Even cosmologists do treat, so to speak,  the whole universe as a whole or a big superposition state ( observation has to be made at the end of the measurement chain anyway , as Von Neumann showed , so : that's an inescapable fact .) , thanks to that absurd materialistic desperate attempt to rescue the false deterministic materialism : the MW interpretation theory of QM .

Nevertheless , and once again , Schwartz ' work has been supported by many experiments , like the ones mentioned above and many others as well , so, the fact that the mind can change the brain, can shape it ,and can   shape and alter the rest of the physical reality does not even need QM to support it thus .

QM that might get superseded in its turn too someday , who knows .
« Last Edit: 03/12/2014 19:20:59 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Cheryl :

Once again : read the above first , please .Thanks .

Schwartz discovered the active role of the effort of the mindful volition through the effort of focus or attention in changing the brain accordingly ( we already intuit and experience that fact on a daily basis ) , via what he called a mental force that triggers a physical force , before working with Henry Stapp who delivered that physical mechanism through which the mindful and active effort of volition through the effort of focus or attention , a physical mechanism through which volition acts on the neural correlates via what Stapp's called the quantum Zeno effect ("observed " or focused-on mental states or thoughts ...do not "decay " or fade, they stay in place , so to speak . ) that 'works " together with Hebb's law ( neurons that fire together connect together ) ..., grosso -modo .

You may reject Stapp's quantum theory of consciousness of course , but you cannot reject the empirical evidence that was delivered by  all those mentioned experiments here above and more that prove the causal and active efficacy of the mindful effort of volition through the effort of focus in changing the brain .

I'm not rejecting the findings themselves, but your interpretation of them. They indicate that people can act to change what they attend to, but your authors don't prove that the shift in attention or "mindful effort" is non-biological or immaterial. In fact, their findings really suggest otherwise. Shift is always accompanied by a change in activity in another area of the brain, not just simple suppression by will acting in the "psychological space." Like Stapp, they completely ignore the question altogether, and assume will or volition is immaterial from the start. Stapp concedes this in his own articles.

You couldn't have possibly read all what i posted on the subject on  such  a relatively short notice , unless you have some sort of a sophisticated scan implanted in your head lol :

One can choose intentionally and voluntarily either to make the necessary conscious mindful volitional effort through the effort of focus or attention or not : that's what actually makes the difference, either way thus = Volitional effort is effort of attention.Effort of attention is thus the essential phenomenon of will.. .

Those above mentioned experiments do speak for themselves in unmistakable ,cristal-clear and "eloquent " ways,so ,read them,and then try to report back on that , please , thanks .Cheers .
« Last Edit: 03/12/2014 19:48:56 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline cheryl j

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"Stroke patients , for example, whose brain regions are damaged that are correlated with attention cannot make any recovery progress, unlike those whose same brain regions are intact "




And what does that tell you?

lol

That says that self-directed neuroplasticity through the mindful and active causal effect of volitional effort through the effort of focus or attention in changing the brain cannot be accomplished by stroke patients whose brain regions that are related to  attention are damaged ,and vice versa:  it's only through the maintained volitional effort of focus or attention that self-directed neuroplasticity can be accomplished .


And yet, strangely, that volitional effort is completely ineffective and nonexistant without those intact structures, which again, tells you what?
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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"Stroke patients , for example, whose brain regions are damaged that are correlated with attention cannot make any recovery progress, unlike those whose same brain regions are intact "




And what does that tell you?

lol

That says that self-directed neuroplasticity through the mindful and active causal effect of volitional effort through the effort of focus or attention in changing the brain cannot be accomplished by stroke patients whose brain regions that are related to  attention are damaged ,and vice versa:  it's only through the maintained volitional effort of focus or attention that self-directed neuroplasticity can be accomplished .


And yet, strangely, that volitional effort is completely ineffective and nonexistant without those intact structures, which again, tells you what?

Don't be silly , Cheryl, please : that proves that without active determined sustained volitional effort of attention ,no dynamic self-directed neuroplasticity :

In other words :

No neural correlates of attention , no volitional effort of attention ,needless to add ,  and vice versa , since the mind has to work through its brain correlates .

See if you can see without your biological eyes , even though it is the mind that actually sees , not the eyes or the brain .

See if you can function at all without a brain or body ,in this life at least : consciousness or the mind do have to work through the brain and body , needless to add ,once again .

You should rather better concentrate or focus lol on the relevant issues at hand here through the above displayed experiments , instead of paying attention to minor ones that can be explained easily ,since they are no questions or issues .
 

Offline cheryl j

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Cheryl :

Once again : read the above first , please .Thanks .

Schwartz discovered the active role of the effort of the mindful volition through the effort of focus or attention in changing the brain accordingly ( we already intuit and experience that fact on a daily basis ) , via what he called a mental force that triggers a physical force , before working with Henry Stapp who delivered that physical mechanism through which the mindful and active effort of volition through the effort of focus or attention , a physical mechanism through which volition acts on the neural correlates via what Stapp's called the quantum Zeno effect ("observed " or focused-on mental states or thoughts ...do not "decay " or fade, they stay in place , so to speak . ) that 'works " together with Hebb's law ( neurons that fire together connect together ) ..., grosso -modo .

You may reject Stapp's quantum theory of consciousness of course , but you cannot reject the empirical evidence that was delivered by  all those mentioned experiments here above and more that prove the causal and active efficacy of the mindful effort of volition through the effort of focus in changing the brain .

I'm not rejecting the findings themselves, but your interpretation of them. They indicate that people can act to change what they attend to, but your authors don't prove that the shift in attention or "mindful effort" is non-biological or immaterial. In fact, their findings really suggest otherwise. Shift is always accompanied by a change in activity in another area of the brain, not just simple suppression by will acting in the "psychological space." Like Stapp, they completely ignore the question altogether, and assume will or volition is immaterial from the start. Stapp concedes this in his own articles.

You couldn't have possibly read all what i posted on the subject on  such  a relatively short notice , unless you have some sort of a sophisticated scan implanted in your head lol :

One can choose intentionally and voluntarily either to make the necessary conscious mindful volitional effort through the effort of focus or attention or not : that's what actually makes the difference, either way thus = Volitional effort is effort of attention.Effort of attention is thus the essential phenomenon of will.. .

Those above mentioned experiments do speak for themselves in unmistakable ,cristal-clear and "eloquent " ways,so ,read them,and then try to report back on that , please , thanks .Cheers .

I will happily discuss any particular example or experiment your authors refer to, and it is an area I am not wholly unfamiliar with already. But do not hand me a lengthy homework assignment just to ignore all my responses anyway, as you typically do. It's a waste of my time.

You speak as though these experiments in attention, perception, or learning is somehow new, uncharted territory and can't be explained without invoking the immaterial. It's been studied extensively for years.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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dlorde :

Volitional effort is effort of attention.Effort of attention is thus the essential phenomenon of will :

My take on the free will issue can be inferred from the above , in the sense that we do choose from all those existing infinite possibilities , eventualities, probabilities ...out there,and each chosen one of the latter opens up other infinite ones to us  (we do not create them from a vacuum : there is no such  thing as the latter ) ,which means basically that we deliberately ,voluntarily or intentionally choose to  pay attention to or focus on certain possibilities , eventualities , probabilities, thoughts , ideas  ... via the volitional effort of focus and action , or we just remain passive by not making the necessary choice , in the above mentioned sense at least , by not choosing is also a form of a choice .

Passivity turns us into some sort of mindless automatons, even though our related external behaviors would seem mindful , i don't know .

In short :

It's all in the power and effort of volitional focus or attention and action .
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Quote
author=cheryl j link=topic=52526.msg445828#msg445828 date=1417638226]

I will happily discuss any particular example or experiment your authors refer to, and it is an area I am not wholly unfamiliar with already. But do not hand me a lengthy homework assignment just to ignore all my responses anyway, as you typically do. It's a waste of my time.


Cheryl, You were just repeating the refuted materialistic stuff on the subject ,and that before reading my posted evidence also .

Well, you were asking for evidence , weren't you ?There it is then .
If i say things without evidence , you tell me : give me just 1 evidence , i just gave you some .

But , when i give you evidence , you say the above .
So, make up your mind , Cheryl .
What is it actually that you want ?

Quote
You speak as though these experiments in attention, perception, or learning is somehow new, uncharted territory and can't be explained without invoking the immaterial. It's been studied extensively for years

You haven't read about all those mentioned experiments here above yet , so, how can you tell then ?
Those experiments just prove the causal efficacy of the effort of mindful and active volition through the effort of focus or attention in changing the neuronal correlates  accordingly (The mind can change the brain , can have causal effects on the brain ...) , a fact that has been denied as such by the intrinsic reductionistic epiphenomalism of materialism , in the sense that the mind cannot have any causal effects on the physical brain , let alone on the rest of the physical reality .

And since materialism assumes that the mind and consciousness + their related anomalies and processes are just products of the brain, just products of the activity of the brain , without any causal effects whatsoever on the brain( There  is ,once again, no empirical evidence whatsoever that supports those materialistic claims , but , you do behave and think as if there is .) , then, no wonder that materialist scientists would deny the fact that the mind can change the brain via the active volitional effort of attention .

That's why , guys , i have been telling you that you have been confusing materialism with science all along .

In short :

The evidence for which you were asking all along is there above : you can either deliberately choose to check it out while  paying the necessary effort of attention to it through your mindful effort of volition , or not .

That's entirely up to you then .

I know it takes quite some time to read all that , but it's worth it .
« Last Edit: 03/12/2014 21:06:35 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline cheryl j

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.....James was scrupulously fair in giving equal time to the view that attention is a fully determined result of brain function rather than a causally efficacious force. As he notes, it is entirely plausible that attention may be “fatally predetermined” by purely material laws. In this view, the amount of attention we pay a stimulus, be it one from the world outside or an internally generated thought or image, is determined solely by the properties of that stimulus and their interaction with our brain’s circuits. If the words you hear or the images you see are associated with a poignant memory, for instance, then they trigger—automatically and without any active effort by you —more attention than stimuli that lack such associations. In this case, “attention only fixes and retains what the ordinary laws of association bring ‘before the footlights’ of consciousness,” as James put it.
That is, the stimuli themselves provoke neural mechanisms that cause them to be attended to and fixed on.
 This is the attention-as-effect school of thinking.
But James did not think that attention was always and only a fully determined effect of the stimuli that are its object...." 

Same source .

This paragraph would seem to illustrate the difference in interpretation quite well. Anti-materialists falsely attribute to neuroscience the view that the brain is a uniform, unvarying, unmodifiable structure, that should respond to the exact same stimulus the exact same way every time. It falsely assumes a materialist model of the brain that should only respond to the strongest stimuli without determining the significance or relevance of stimuli, based on prior knowledge or experience. It ignores prior knowledge and new information from the outside world which is updated continuously. It ignores the influence of transient emotional states on perception, or makes one response more likely than another.

When actually, neuroscience does not posit this static model at all, as I've already explained earlier. Topdown flow of information is as important as feed-forward pathways in the brain.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Cheryl, You were just repeating the refuted materialistic stuff on the subject ,and that before reading my posted evidence also .

You haven't read about all those mentioned experiments here above yet , so, how can you tell then ?
Those experiments just prove the causal efficacy of the effort of mindful and active volition through the effort of focus or attention in changing the neuronal correlates  accordingly (The mind can change the brain , can have causal effects on the brain ...) , a fact that has been denied as such by the intrinsic reductionistic epiphenomalism of materialism , in the sense that the mind cannot have any causal effects on the physical brain , let alone on the rest of the physical reality .

The evidence for which you were asking all along is there above : you can either deliberately choose to check it out while  paying the necessary effort of attention to it through your mindful effort of volition , or not .

That's entirely up to you then .

I know it takes quite some time to read all that , but it's worth it .


You are implying that I am rejecting a claim without adequately looking at your evidence, or not reading "carefully" enough, but what you don't seem to understand is that I am not rejecting the evidence itself. I am not rejecting the author's assertion that volitional acts can alter how information is perceived, or saying that the events observed in the experiments did not occur. I am objecting to the axiomatic assumption that volition requires the immaterial. As with Stapp, it's just assumed, not explained.
And oddly so, since their findings keep indicating that volition requires specific intact brain structures to effect any changes in neuroplasticity which are also required to create other changes in the expression of  will.
« Last Edit: 04/12/2014 02:54:28 by cheryl j »
 

Offline dlorde

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Well, then read my above posted evidence to the contrary of what you were saying here above , to see for yourself : prepare yourself for a surprise, big time  :

Your baseless and blind confidence in all that related materialistic  non-sense on the subject will be shaken, big time :

It has been proved ,via many experiments mentioned here above and more , that the mind can alter the structure or anatomy and physiology of the brain through the effort of volition via the effort of attention or focus : that's called self-directed neuroplasticity .
All those studies are quite consistent with what I posted already. The areas of the brain controlling attention, focus, and volition have been identified and some of the mechanisms and pathways by which they effect their influence on other areas of the brain have been identified and, in some cases, traced. As already mentioned, the research was originally prompted by the observation of specific deficits of those functions by damage to the areas concerned or to their connectivity.

That you are unable to conceive that your will and volition is neural activity in those executive areas of your brain is something we can't help you with. It is a counter-intuitive realisation on a par with that of the strangeness of quantum mechanics, but in both cases we must follow the evidence rather than intuition.
 

Offline dlorde

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dlorde :

Volitional effort is effort of attention.
Attention and volition are the effects of activity in particular (executive) areas of the brain.

Quote
Effort of attention is thus the essential phenomenon of will :
Therefore will is neural activity. You, as a conscious aware individual, are the activity of your brain. That's what the evidence tells us.

Quote
My take on the free will issue can be inferred from the above , in the sense that we do choose from all those existing infinite possibilities...
That's a reasonable interpretation. Ironically, like quantum mechanics, free will is a matter of interpretation. Consider why you make a particular choice - you have some reason or preference. Such reasons and preferences are the unique result of the person you are at the time you make the choice; and the person you are is the unique result of a lifetime of experiences, perceptions, memories; filtered and assimilated, having their dynamic influence on the development and organisation of your brain.

If, by accident or design, relevant parts of your brain are damaged, stimulated or suppressed, your choices can change. Your preferences may change, your reasons may change, your personality may change, your morals and ethics may change (this kind of damage has been observed and these experiments have been done).

Whether the results of all this complex neural activity can be considered deterministic is dubious - a certain degree of reliability and repeatability is necessary for effective function, but QM apart, the brain uses noise in its processing which can introduce a degree of randomness. It's certainly inherently unpredictable (despite the surprisingly high general predictability of human activity) due to the complexity of the system and its multiple feedbacks (and a degree of chaotic activity).
 

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