- Slides: 42
Logistics • • Class Representative, Sam Rounds Format: Presentations and Open Discussion Participation (We are all Experts) Read “Consciousness, a very Short Introduction”, Susan Blackmore • Videos
CONSCIOUSNESS VIDEOS • • • The Secret life of the Brain, D. Grubin Consciousness, C. Koch Secrets of the Mind, V. Ramachandran Creativity and the Brain, O. Sacks Decisions, Responsibility and the Brain, P. Churchland • Neuroscience and Legal Responsibility, W. Sinnot-Armstrong
ADDITIONAL VIDEOS • Musicophilia, O. Sacks • Art and the New Biology of Mind, Columbia Univ • Brain and Mind, Columbia Univ • Others
An Experience Look at the spinning cube What is going on here
INTRODUCTIONS • • Who I am Background Goals in for taking course Specific questions you may have
OUTLINE • • Introduction and definitions Historical views, dualism vs monism Scientific methods for study of consciousness States of Consciousness Experience of the world and illusions Free will and decision making Art, creativity and neuroscience
KEY DEFINITIONS Physiology: How the body works (functions); biochemistry and biophysics, often at system level Philosophy: Investigation about existence, knowledge, ethics, thought, and aesthetics
Key methods • Physiology: Materialistic scientific method of description and hypothesis testing of nature through experiments. Data Rules! • Philosophy: Rigorous thoughtful examination of questions about concepts through logical thought, argument, and systematic doubting. Ideas Rule!
COMMON SENSE CONSCIOUSNESS • Awake vs dreaming vs deep sleep vs anesthesia vs coma vs death • Intentional, ie about something or what it is like to have an experience or feeling • Subjective and recursive, I am aware that I am aware and this is private
Problems of Consciousness • What are the neurologic bases and correlates of the aspects consciousness? • How do these rules function together? • Chalmer’s “Hard” problem. How can physical processes in the brain give rise to subjective experience? The MIND-BODY problem.
Ways of Knowing • Define mechanisms well enough to predict the future and to design and build something(classical and quantum mechanics) • Compare experiences by way of analogy and metaphor, intuition • Through reason
CLASSICAL MECHANICS • Laws of physics predict the future at macroscopic level (example orbit of earth around the sun, Newton, 2 body problem • Chemical knowledge of the state of nature at T 1 predicts state of nature at T 2 (example, oxidation) • Sometimes not so easily determined
Classical Mechanics • Unpredictable deterministic events are the result of sensitivity to initial conditions in non linear systems , measurement error, and inadequate models (example: deterministic chaos, 3 body problem) • Life could be understood if we could measure all the variables accurately and if we understood enough, and so for consciousness (example, Blackmore)
Quantum Mechanics • Makes statements about the probability of a given state of nature at the micro level • Predicts likelihood of outcomes at atomic levels not predicted by classical Newtonian determinism (example, dual particle wave theory of light, electron orbits around the nucleus of an atom) • Quantum theory of mind (example, Hameroff)
Intuitive • Existential awareness • What it is like to be , be aware of , or feel something • Often expressed by metaphor and analogy • Emily Dickenson “Wider than the sky”
Reasoning • • Deductive from assumptions Inductive from presumptions Subject to fallacies Descartes “I think, therefore I am”
EMERGENCE • Synthetic life is still a goal in spite of what we know • Maybe there is something else to life not explainable by its components. • Emergent events are not predictable • Example: Simple rules can lead to unanticipated complex behaviors. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, example, the weather? , the mind?
EMERGENCE contd • Emergence seems to occur only because we do not understand all the rules that connect behavior of systems at different levels. • Or, Emergence is a real phenomenon not relying on causality across different scales of understanding. • Implications for Hard Problem
ALBERT EINSTEIN • “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it” • “If you can’t explain it simply you don’t understand it well enough” • “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler” • “When the solution is simple, God is answering”
Thomas Nagel • “Any reductionist program has to be based on what is to be reduced. If the analysis leaves something out, the problem will be falsely posed”
Criteria for Consciousness • • EEG signature Thalamus and Cortex Widespread brain activity Wide range of contents
Criteria • Requirement for internal consistency • Need for informative stimuli • Fleeting nature of conscious scenes
CRITERIA • • Limited capacity and seriality Sensory binding or gestalt Self attribution Accurate reportability
Criteria • Subjectivity • Focus-fringe structure • Facilitation of learning
CRITERIA • • Stability of contents Allocentricity Decision Making and Knowledge From Seth, Baars, and Edelman , Criteria for Consciousness in Humans and Other Animals. Consciousness and Cognition (in press)
Neuroscience and Human Activities • • • Neuro-ethics Neuro-aesthetics Neuro-philosophy Neuro-mating Neuro-jurisprudence • • • Neuro-forensics Neuro-marketing Neuro-politics Neuro-psychiatry Neuro-pedagogy Neuro-
Questions about Consciousness • • What is consciousness? How can we tell if someone is conscious? Are animals conscious? What are the elements of consciousness? How can we study consciousness? What is consciousness for? Does Mind equal Brain?
Questions contd. • • • Did consciousness evolve? Can machines be conscious? Do we have free will? How “real” is the world we see? How much of our behavior is really conscious? • What are altered states of consciousness?
Questions • What can Neuroscience tell us about madness? • Art? • Music? • Psychotherapy? • Creativity? • Ethics?
Questions contd. • Can we “read” a mind? • Am “I” the same self as yesterday? • Many more?
Pre and Early History • • Cave Paintings approx 30, 000 BCE Skull trephination Egyptian mummies Heart
Plato 400 BCE • Idealism vs sensory input • Plato’s cave • Ideal Forms known through recollection and reason • Mind existed before birth (and after)
Aristotle 350 BCE • Mind (Soul) is embedded in the body • Knowledge comes through the senses allowing the soul to reason about • The soul is you and dies with the body
SCHOLASTICS 1100 -1400 CE • Followed on Aristotle’s ideas • Sought to incorporate Christian ideas • Emphasized argument empiricism and reason embedded in the soul • Existence of God and the soul can be proven • Soul is “form of the body” but is immortal.
DESCARTES 1625 CE • • Dualism, Dissection and Meditation Body is a machine Mind is a separate substance Pineal gland
Locke 1675 CE • All knowledge comes from experience • Mind is a blank slate at Birth • Mind is made up of a spiritual subtance
Berkeley 1725 CE • Only the mental exists • To be is to be perceived • Solipsism
Hume 1750 CE • Associations vs facts • Logical connections tell about relationships • Facts can only refer to themselves and therfore can’t tell us about other facts
Thomas Huxley 1875 CE • Epiphenomenalism • Consciousness is NOT causal • A useless by product
James 1890 CE • Principals of Psychology • Pragmatism, ideas that are useful are true • Mind and Nature are inseparable studied through physiological psychology
Freud 1900 CE • Unconscious ID, present at birth, molded by experiences • Ego, conscious, pre conscious and unconscious • Superego, internalized ideals
Kant 1775 c. E • Phenomena vs noumena • All Knowledge comes through experience • Judgements are made about experience to create knowledge • Judgements are relative and hence unreliable