The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Is there a feedback loop of self awareness thatat helps us learn from our actions?  (Read 1260 times)

Offline thedoc

  • Forum Admin
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 511
  • Thanked: 12 times
    • View Profile
sowden ian  asked the Naked Scientists:
   Is there a theory of self awareness that it is a feedback loop to learn things
like manipulation using human hands as a child? Also in general it allows our
own actions and ideas to be examined "from outside" by using the same
 tools we use to experience our environment? Is it a valid theory/speculation?
Ian Sowden


   
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 15/04/2016 13:50:02 by _system »


 

Offline eeyore

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 41
  • Thanked: 2 times
    • View Profile
There is a variation of the Schartz-Meterklume method (Propounded by H.H. Munro) that my father found particularly appealing.

In essence, delivering about 10 whacks with a belt to the gluteus maximus of the child causes a reflux of highly oxygenated blood to the cerebral cortex causing a temporary increase in the child's IQ. Many people ( of a certain type) subscribe to this today. Some don't.


Possibly, however, there is no training loop such as you describe, because if there were such a loop, it would not sound like a vacuum cleaner torturing a bull moose whenever I practice the cello after all these years.
 

Offline evan_au

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4120
  • Thanked: 245 times
    • View Profile
Quote from: ian sowden
Is there a theory of self awareness that it is a feedback loop to learn things
like manipulation using human hands as a child?

In the tradition of the biological sciences, people tend to interpret over-complex systems using the popular technology of the day.
Now, Artificial Neural Networks are the technology of the day.

In this view, the brain is a multi-level "Deep" neural network, which must be self-training to a large extent, based on repeated presentation of stimuli which are associated with an outcome. In this hypothesis, nerves which are closer to sensory inputs mature first, to extract information from the flood of sensory data, followed by maturation of neuron layers farther from the sensory inputs, extracting information from early layers. This progresses towards development of "higher level" behaviors reflecting morality and social responsibility.

Quote
Also in general it allows our own actions and ideas to be examined "from outside" by using the same tools we use to experience our environment?

At a subconscious level, dreaming seems to play an important role in learning, replaying and reviewing previous events; strengthening the neural associations between events and outcomes, and weakening non-correlated events. Memory and recollection at a conscious level also allows us to learn less obvious patterns.
This allows a baby to mature with sensitivity to the significant factors in their environment, whether that be bears or smartphones.

Quote from: George Santayana
when experience is not retained... infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
 
The following users thanked this post: Ian Sowden

Offline eeyore

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 41
  • Thanked: 2 times
    • View Profile
One cannot help but wonder what Mr. Munro- or Lady Carlotta - would have made of this thread.

It is apparent that the state of British Science and British education would be very different today had due attention been given to the precepts of Schartz-Metterclume.
 

Offline Ian Sowden

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
I was trying to differentiate between information About ourselves which is fed directly into the brain like touch and balance and that which comes indirectly like sight and sound which is experienced in the same way that we experience our external environment. The point is that both types need to be brought together in the mind.

There are few species that manipulate their hands/paws in this way and self awareness may be a necessity for that. As opposed to a bird which just pecks. I have no support for this speculation but wondered if had been discussed elsewhere.
 

Offline evan_au

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4120
  • Thanked: 245 times
    • View Profile
Quote from: Ian Sowden
There are few species that manipulate their hands/paws in this way and self awareness may be a necessity for that.
What about elephants and their prehensile trunk??
And some monkeys have prehensile tails.

Don't limit your imagination to just what you do.

Quote
As opposed to a bird which just pecks.
Many parrots use their feet to hold items.
http://res.cloudinary.com/dk-find-out/image/upload/q_80,w_320/DCTM_Penguin_UK_DK_AL720697_oxbgzq.jpg

And the crows of New Caledonia are legendary for making tools.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8029933.stm

But I think that the most important way that a creature can manipulate the environment is by cooperating as a group, and this requires coordination and awareness of others and self.
  • So blue whales work together as a team to create bubble curtains to corral plankton.
  • Wolves hunt together in a pack.
  • Some species of fish, birds and bats travel in a school or flock
 

Offline Ian Sowden

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
I am aware of Scrub Jays, dolphins and many other animals which show intelligence and social awareness.

My speculation relates to any animal manipulating its paws (or trunk) and observing the results through its eyes. The animal will only know that the paws are its own if it links its visual experience to the sensations of touch that are occurring at the same time and that skill might lead to a different view of the environment and its position within it.

I am asking about one possible mechanism of many that might effect brain development of many animals. I wasn't restricting the observation to one specific species. I wondered if any studies had considered this.

Don't limit your imagination to just what you do.

I apologise if my example lead to misunderstanding. I am not making any assertions or assumptions, or value judgements about humanities (or my) position in the universe (or society).
 

The Naked Scientists Forum


 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums