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Everything posted by Cognition

  1. Yes, pain is in the head, and without the brain, there would be no sensation of pain. But what do you mean that pain is normally a subconscious reaction? pain is in its core conscious, so there can never be pain that is not conscious. You have to call it differently, perhaps some kind of reflex? That is not entirely correct: the experience of pain is something very different than "just" something chemical. It starts out as a chemical process, transmitting signals to the brain and there somehow (something still completely unknown) the sensation of pain is formed.
  2. That is a good description
  3. The basic question is not answered?? What kind of answer do you expect? It is our brain that determines what we think about and although human beings think they have free will, it has been shown a long time ago that free will is an illusion: the brain processes of a conscious thought are beginning a few hundred milliseconds before the conscious thought about it. The reason we think it is all voluntary is probably the gigantic difference between the objective processes and the subjective consciousness. But there is no definite answer to "WHY" we think we have free will as far as I know.
  4. I read all this and it sounds nice, although to freudian flavoured. But there are a few things I do not understand. We already have an understanding of the link between personality and brain, so when you talk about "the interface" it seems that you are saying our personality is one entity apart from the brain entity. That sounds dualistic. Furthermore, I think that scientific psychology is empirical, because it seems so very hard to say what Consciousness IS, and the only way to explore the brain is the empirical way. Are you saying that a rational analysis of consciousness would give us greater understanding as to what it "IS" (ontologically?) I read your text and I am not 1 nanometer closer to understanding what consciousness is...... I hope you are not saying that consciousness is different from brain function, and that this "thing" is causal.
  5. I don't think they do, because I use ZoneAlarm on my laptops with AVG and Avast. And I never had any problems there, but this is the second time I had this problem on the HP desktop (Norton came with the computer and it is very hard to remove it completely from the system)
  6. Hi, I have Norton running on my (old) HP desktop and since a few days, I was unable to go online. Now I turned off the firewall from Norton and it works fine. But also I have some kind of user-problem. I am unable to start programs by double-clicking on the short-cuts: I can start the program by right-clicking on the short-cut and start it from there, but it is more tedious. Also some of my option (e.g. software) in the control panel are just not working anymore. I remember having this problem before (a long time ago). My virus-scanner doesn't show any problems. What is wrong and what can I do about it??
  7. It would be more helpfull to explain all this as a way of conditioning. Consciousness has no causal powers, but the brain does. At the same time it is one thought activating another, so it is the "thought" process in the brain that has the causal powers, but your terminology is very confusing.
  8. It seems as if you wanna attribute some causal "thinking" powers to consciousness, or am I reading it incorrectly?
  9. There is something else I do not understand about the supposed toxicity of the seeds of (e.g.) apricots. If it is true that the hunzakuts are consuming large quantities of these seeds, I expect that they would have dropped dead by the thousands. But this presumably didn't happen. Why?
  10. I read some research from ages ago pointing out that in the fetus cells also divide very rapidly, just like in cancer. Is that the reason why eating b17 leads to miscarriages??
  11. I have been reading for two years now about b17 (leatrile) and its supposed effects on cancer. Online you can find lots of sites dedicated to it. The first one to state this effect was Dr. Krebs. But what has really bugged me always was the fact that I can also write some shit on my website. For a real good discussion about the subject here, we should provide solid articles about the subject that everyone agrees on they are telling the truth. Do any of you have extremely reliable papers in which some real research about B17 is undertaken??
  12. I wouldn't mind defining a human brain and human cognition as nothing more than just a whole lot of interconnected neurons and that's it.... If we would be an alien species that was extremely intelligent but didn't know anything about consciousness, would we discover it while exploring the human brain? I am not sure about it, since we have not discovered anything at all that seems to point to consciousness (at least the hard problem of consciousness which also seems to be the subjective most salient aspect of it). So, I agree with francis Crick that we are nothing more than neurons, but we still need to discover what causes consciousness. Some people maintain that we should not concern ourselves with it, since it is nothing more than an emergent property of the brain. Perhaps that is right, but if that is so, we still have this explanation-gap that is not present with other emergent properties. We can understand an emergent property like "driving" of a car that is caused by all the individual components of the car working together. But that kind of understanding is not (yet) available for the brain-components causing consciousness
  13. The basic constituents of thought are supposed to be concepts. We all have conceptual knowledge, and the big question still is how the brain stores and handles all this knowledge. We are quite sure that one "simple" natural concept, like "dog", or "bird" is not represented by the activation of 1 neuron. There are several arguments for this: one neuron is not able to activate one other neuron. Also, we lose lots of neurons everyday, and we don't suddenly lose the ability to think of common everyday concepts. The hypothesis that concepts are represented by cell-assemblies is much more tenable: cell-assemblies are probably clusters of neurons or several clusters of neurons working together throughout the brain. Together with an control-mechanism (in the frontal cortex) the complex interaction of clusters or neurons is the way humans are supposed to think.
  14. And the fact that he related anything to sex, was because at that time (Victorian), everything associated with sex was very repressed...
  15. Ofcourse not. Then you would also expect that people with damage to their hippocampus would eventually recover by itself, and that doesn't happen. The damage is permanent
  16. Muscles don't play a function in thinking, unless you have muscle-pain, and that (electrical) signal is transmitted to the brain and you start thinking about the pain. Thinking is done by the brain because neurons (brain-cells) are connected to each other and they communicate by electrical pulses. That complex interaction between thousands of neurons is what we call "thinking"...
  17. I agree with you that when in a clinical setting the correlates of consciousness can give a workable construct, then you should use it. Conscioussness is part of cognition and since I am a cognitive scientist, I have always been interested in consciousness, but I never did any real research in that field. I am reading a lot about in and I know the work of Dennett, Eccles, Penfield, McGinn, and ofcourse Searle. When Searle speaks about Intentionality, I can not get away from the strong intuition that he is speaking about consciousness, and we see that in these last years consciousness is more in his attentional spotlight
  18. There is a very good book about creativity by Margaret Boden, an English AI specialist and Philosopher. It is a great book, and it shows that creative behavior is not mystical as most people would like to believe. I think computers can be Creative and computers can be Artificial Intelligent. I know for a fact that I have created Artificial Intelligence and it is really not that hard. But ofcourse it is simple AI, a mechanism that learns to generalize from examples and when it is presented with something "new" it is able to categorize that almost perfectly. That is a definite form of intelligence and since it is not done by the human brain, it is AI. But I do not think that computers based on the Von Neumann structure will be able to be as intelligent as human beings, even when they are programmed with all the knowledge the world or even with immense processing power. I have another idea also. In the beginning of this thread it was argued that there will never be Machines more intelligent then us, because everything will be based on our brains....That is just the way to make a machine more intelligent then we are: we know that humans have a limited short time memory and thinking (creatively) is usually making associations and seeing similarities between two things. If we would understand what it is that makes our short term memory so limited, and we understand much more of the processes of reasoning, analogy and thinking, then we will definitely be able to create extremely artificial intelligence.
  19. Concepts and categories are mainly learned from experience. There are some good models about this, but there is in fact very little work relating concepts and categories to the brain. What we know from concepts and categories can be summarized in 2 current theories about it: one is that we learn from experience a prototype (i am sure you choose your name for that reason, right?), and this prototype is used also when we categorize new exemplars. The other theory says that we don't necessarily form a prototype from experience, but we store every exemplar of a category and then we use that information to categorize new exemplars of a category. There is quite a lot we understand about learning and categorizing, but also still a lot we don't know. People sometimes seem to use an "implicit model" when they are making categorizations and it is still not known how humans do that.
  20. No, there are no levels of consciousness. Give me one good link where levels of consciousness are proven. Then I believe you. As I said: I experience no levels, so there are no levels. I am not saying this to be arrogant, but it shows the trouble with what is said. I think Consciousness is only Qualia and that is why we can never say that there are levels. C is subjective and therefore the only definition can be a subjective one. If I feel there are no levels, then there are no levels No, there is an inconsequence in your reasoning. If part of consciousness (or a lower level) is responsivity, or if that is how C. is defined, then we can easily see why that must be wrong: a thermostat is responsive and no sane human being would say it is Conscious, or intentional, as we think we are (well, I think Dennett would, but there is his only mistake: in trying to be a physicalist so hard, he thinks he must take this "stance".... ) Yes, and that is what I am trying to argue. We can Qualia as a fundamental given (like gravity in physics), and work on cognition as we do already, trying to find out the way the brain thinks, memorizes, categorizes, etc. Then we can use this "stance" to give most of what is thought to be (part of) consciousness a good scientific explanation and admit that qualia have subjective properties which can not be explained physicalistically (yet). And then (almost) everyone will have a reasonable answer to everything: the best we can give with our current knowledge. Yes, I sleep, but i don't feel as if my subjective experiences change. My body is going into sleep-mode, but during dreaming my experience of my dreams is no different then my experience of my thinking and my memories during waking hours... Sure, I will admit that these functions are there most of the time when a human being is conscious, but what can they really tell about the difference in level of C.? I think nothing. I may be less responsive when I am asleep, but that is no reason to assume that my subjective experiences change also dramatically...
  21. The Ego and the Id were introduced to Psychology by Freud and he tried to explain the "abnormal" Mind with it. Cognitive Psychology is not about the abnormal mind, but it is about the cognition and the cognitive system where you find processes such as memory, learning and thinking. That is why you will not find the ego and the Id within cognitive psychology, but in clinical psychology
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