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Everything posted by DrmDoc

  1. Greetings, The greatest mysteries aren’t those that lay at our oceans’ deepest depths or beyond the furthest edge of our universe but in fathoming the seemingly infinite potential of our unconscious mind. We all exist in an Eden of ignorance considering the level of our current understanding and perception of the unconscious mind. We do not understand the true nature of the unconscious clearly and what we do understand is merely whimsy and conjecture without a firm foundation in brain function. Most of what is understood in science about our unconscious mind is based on behavioral studies and observations. To be clear, these studies and observations merely reveal expressions of the unconscious rather than its construct in brain function which, if understood, would explain how those expressions emerge as specific behaviors. So, what is the unconscious mind? In earlier comments, I described mind as the environment of cognitive activity in within the brain that arises from brain function. As I have described so many times before in this science forum, our brain function produces just two distinctive states of cognitive activity—conscious and unconscious. The conscious state is that level of awareness you are engaging now by reading my comments here as I have written them. The unconscious state is that level of your awareness that perceives all the noises and influences beyond your current reading space that has, until now, escaped your notice or, in other words, escaped your conscious awareness. Some authorities will use the term subconscious synonymously in reference to the unconscious mind. Don’t be deceived by these individuals because they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. Subconscious is not an observable or testable state of brain function and, therefore, subconscious is not a mind relative to brain function. Subconscious describes a mental influence or operative nature rather than the mind itself (e.g., our unconscious mind operates subconsciously). Previously, I referenced hemostasis as the biological basis and system for brain function that produces a mind. Within that system, the delivery of stimuli creates an imbalance that produces responses to restore that balance. Within the brain, the delivery of sensory stimuli requires and uses energy, which generates biological responses to restore the energy used persistent with that stimulus. Conscious awareness is a response to sensory stimuli that has reached those areas of our brain that generates and mediates our conscious responses. To be clear, all sensory stimulus reaches the brain; however, not all stimuli to the brain generates a conscious cognitive response. What we perceive and respond to consciously is unconsciously filtered and merely the smallest fraction of what our brain intakes from one micro moment to the next. Our unconscious brain function experiences everything and filters what reaches our conscious response system. At this moment, your conscious perceptions are merely a pinpoint on a mountain of sensory data that has not reached your conscious awareness—your unconscious mind has filtered and retains that data. In my next post, if interest persist, I will attempt to be more specific on how the unconscious mind is likely distinguishable through thalamic processes in the brain function. I welcome thoughts.
  2. Greetings, In previous discussions, I alluded to an "attribute" of consciousness. To further refine, consciousness describes the observable attributes of an organism's awareness suggested by that organism's responses to stimuli. Some of us may view consciousness as an esoteric, abstract quality of little to no scientific gravitas. Contrary to that view, these "observable attributes" places consciousness firmly within the realm of science. Mind emerges from consciousness and, I ask, how well do you understand your mind and yourself with little to no concept of either? We can categorize evidence of consciousness, if human equivalent, by two primary and observable attributes of awareness comparable to humans: Sensory awareness and mental awareness. Sensory awareness is evident by an organism's behavioral responses to stimuli and mental awareness is suggested by behaviors that infer a thought process. Behaviors that infer a though process are evidence that an organism possesses a mind. Although humans possess a mind, many of us have no knowledge or interest in how that quality evolved or how it emerges through brain function. Perhaps that's a good thing because we all routinely titter on the edge of rampant insanity due to the basic biological nature of our mind's emerge in brain function (see homeostasis). Maintaining mental stability is thrust upon an emerging mind from the moment of birth and, perhaps, invitro. It requires surprisingly little to unbalance a mind as imbalance is continually driven by the stimuli we experience every waking moment of life. A balanced mind is a quiet mind and mine, like most others, is very noisy. If there are no further inquiries or contrary arguments thus far, I would like to proceed to a discuss of the unconscious mind in my next post. There is disappointingly very little popularly understood about the unconscious that is true, precise, or rooted in empirical science. The unconscious mind and how it manifests is made remarkably clear by how it emerges in brain function. That clear perspective of the unconscious mind is suggested by our examination of brain activity amid the unconscious state of brain function. If permitted, we can explore this further in my next post. I welcome your continued interest.
  3. Indeed, the intent of my definition was to be broad because that quality isn't particularly special or unique to humans if one understands its emergence through biological systems. Others may not generally perceive trees as conscious because of their understanding of that quality, which may be incomplete or limited by an expressly human view of that quality. To refine my perspective further, which is an intent of this discussion, an organism must initially have a biological system in place that generates a physiological system from which measures of consciousness can emerge. Our brain is a product of our biological evolution and its physiological functions produce responses to stimuli that we interpret as evidence of mental awareness. Indeed, a mental level of awareness is an attribute of consciousness, but it's not the only measure of that quality's emergence in a organism. Stripped to its most basic level, consciousness is merely the measure of awareness an organism expresses. The question of whether chimpanzees are aware is answered by their responses to stimuli. Whether or not chimpanzees possess humanlike awareness is suggested by their humanlike responses to human equivalent stimuli. The question of how consciousness produces a mind is answerable by the biological components and attributes of consciousness. In humans, the biological system we've evolved to generate a physiological system that produces consciousness is homestasis. Essentially, homestasis is an internal system of checks and balances in the brain that maintain system stability. Maintaining system stability in our brain is what generates and powers our responses. In the simplest of terms, stimuli that creates an imbalance in brain function generates our responses to those stimuli. In the brain, the transference of sensory stimuli requires energy, which relies on and expend brain nutrients. The nutrient imbalances this stimuli causes in the brain initiates those biological processes to restore its functional balance. Our mental awareness and acuity are responses to the continual measures of stimuli our brain experiences. Mind is a product of how brain integrates its awareness responses to the stimuli it experiences.
  4. Your question appears to suggest a perspective of consciousness resigned to a human quality of expression. Indeed, a tree's responses to stimuli may not equate to a human's level of consciousness but it's biological responses to stimuli does at the very least express a tree's biological awareness of that stimuli. Consciousness is only special when it produces a mind--trees do not produce a mind as I have defined. Trees do not produce evidence of a mind because their responses are not known to produce behaviors independent of what we may ascribe to their intrinsic biological nature. For this discussion, consciousness isn't some grand quality but simply the level of awareness we observe through an organism's responses. Generally, our observations of an organism's responses to stimuli may suggest either a biological/physical awareness or some measure of mental awareness. You may not perceive a tree's response as evidence of consciousness because you may only be considering a mental perspective of consciousness. I welcome your further thoughts.
  5. Greetings All, If you’re up for a brief but insightful exchange of perspectives and, perhaps, withering criticism of same, then this is a discussion for you. Regardless of your IQ on the science and subject, I will make every effort to keep our brief discussion accessible to all knowledge levels. Let’s begin with a couple of definitions on which we should all agree: Mind – the environment of cognitive activity within the brain that arises from brain function and is quantified by a brain’s capacity to integrate dichotomous sensory information with memory through a process that produces behaviors independent instinct. Essentially, a mind enables proactive over reactive behaviors. Consciousness – the basic awareness suggested by an organism’s responses to stimuli. Mind and consciousness are not qualities unique to humans but remain worthy of our continued interest, study, and discussion here because of the advantages these qualities uniquely provide humanity. It may be a bit arrogant to suggest that your perspective may be a bit misguided and worthless if isn’t based on an understanding of brain function and its evolution, but don’t let this notion deter your contribution to this topic. I’ve learned much myself by opposing staid and established ideas, as well as the status quo. I’m student in a class that has lasted and will last my entire life. As I march through the twilight of my remaining years, with considerably more behind me than ahead, I still have more to learn and questions new or opposing perspective could answer. It’s my experience that exchanges in forums like this often reveal unique and interesting perspectives that have enhanced my own. I don’t particularly trust everything I read or so-called experts, but I do trust my ability to investigate and discern for myself whatever a truth might be. For many years now, I’ve been investigating the extraordinary nature of mind and consciousness with particular interest in the unconscious mind in brain function. Quantifying the distinction between our conscious and unconscious mind, their remarkable nature, and how they emerge distinctly in brain function are incredibly clear from my perspective. If this is your interest, I welcome your thoughts.
  6. If I may provide an opinion on just this bit, sport is an outlet for our natural aggression and baser drives. Although humanity is our world's pinnacle intelligence, we remain a primitive, primal species whose only predator is itself. We are driven by that predation to best each other in a continuous and unending struggle to prove we are superior and deserving of survival and our place above all others. Even our solitary efforts in sport, where our only opponent seems to be ourselves, we are driven by our insecurity against the mere appearance of vulnerability in eyes of observes.
  7. Although it may take about 16 mins for sunlight to travel to the moon and then reflect back to your position on the sun, the actual reflected light from the moon will only show the moon as it appeared 8 mins ago. Although the light from the sun to the moon and back to sun may require about 16 mins, the moon's reflection is only 8 mins old. Essentially, the light in that reflection is 16 mins old but the reflection itself is only 8 mins. Just to add a bit more, the moon's visage is not in the 8 mins of light that travels from the sun. Its visage is only in the 8 mins of light that is reflected back from the moon.
  8. Precisely; consciousness is a global quality that is not localized to the output of a specific brain structure. As I've commented, the consciousness or quality of awareness the evinces intelligence and identity involves a confluence of neural responses from all areas of the brain. To iNow's point, consciousness cannot be ascribed to the brain by how it "looks." Although you may consider the brain relatable to a CPU, it is infinitely more complex in its neural minutia and considerably less in its functional matrix from a perspective of its evolution. Constructing a brain that produces human consciousness involved a series of evolutional milestones over millions of years as the functional remnants of that evolution in contemporary brain structure suggest. It isn't that simple. Clearly, you have considerably more to research. For example, our second brain--The Enteric System.
  9. If we are discussing consciousness, we should all agree on how we define that quality. In its most basic form, consciousness is merely the awareness exhibited by an organism's responses to stimuli. In brain function, this basic awareness is suggested by our brain's efferent responses to afferent stimuli. Our brain produces two basic forms of awareness, which are the two basic forms of efferent responses our brain generates. We term these basic responses as conscious and unconscious. Conceptualizing consciousness as a type of frequency our brain generates may be a bit misguided. Indeed, consciousness may be observed by brainwave activity and that activity measured by its level of electrochemical exchanges but that only suggest how intently brain function may be engage rather that the quality that confers intellect or intelligence, personality or identity. Consciousness, as it relates to the sum of our intellect, personality or identity, involves a confluence of brain activity converging in reciprocal efferent responses to the array of stimuli we have continually experienced from birth. The level or frequency of our brainwave activity merely suggest how our brain is engaged. To be clear, consciousness in brain function is about the place where incoming stimuli triggers a reciprocal response. That reciprocal response signifies the awareness that an afferent stimuli has created. Consciousness, as I am defining here, does not infer intelligence or personality. Intelligence is inferred by a brain that produces a mind. Mind, as I have frequently defined, is the environment of cognitive activity in the brain that arises brain function and that is quantified by a brain's capacity to integrate divergent sensory information through a process that produces behaviors independent of instinct. Essentially, a mind is quantified by a capacity to engage proactive behaviors over reactive behaviors. Understanding the emergence of consciousness in brain function requires a consideration of how our brain likely evolved. Brain evolution should be at the foundation of your theories. Although not a linear evolution, our brain retains remarkably clear evidence of its contiguous path of functional evolution from brainstem to cortex. On that path, the thalamus emerges as an ancestral or proto-brain and the cortex as a functional extension of that brain, which is why the cortex may sustain considerable damage that doesn’t lead to death, while damage to the thalamus is deadly If you are looking for some resonant frequency of consciousness in brain function, that frequency is suggested by the overall activity of the brain in its continual electrochemical responses stimuli. If I may add, our brain responses to stimuli are a major component of its metabolic homeostatic processes. However, If you're looking for the place in brain function where these responses merge or emerge, the article link iNow provided is a good start...but you may find that the specific place is everywhere.
  10. I've commented on this subject before with actual evidence presented in an article link that iNow provided: About life and consciousness. - Page 9 - General Philosophy - Science Forums As I suggested, consciousness occurs in brain function where afferent (input) sensory stimuli merges with efferent (output) sensory responses.
  11. Hello All, I began my recent spade of discussions on dreaming as an effort to encourage exchanges, among interested minds, that would enhance my perspective of mind and consciousness in brain function and deepen my understanding of certain types or forms of dreaming. In that effort, I’ve shared my personal dream experiences which is, frankly, not very easy for me to do. Dreams convey so much information to me that sharing them is like publicly exposing one’s medical/psychological history. Fortunately, as I’ve learned, there are precious few who share my degree of insight or even interest in this subject. In my initial post in this discussion thread, I mentioned precognitive dreaming and ran afoul of our site’s moderators by not qualifying that description of a dream type. I said I could explain how this extraordinary type of dreaming occurs but not always why it does. I was charged by our moderators to “do the work” to support my claims and now, I believe, I have an opportunity to do so and demonstrate my meaning. In qualifying my description of precognitive dreaming, I said it’s like forecasting the weather where sufficient meteorological data could be gathered and assessed to predict or provide a future weather-related scenario or outcome. With precog dreaming, the data is unconsciously gathered, assessed and, primarily, it forecasts some aspect related to our social or mental environment. As I consciously pondered our moderator’s charge and the work that needed doing, I experienced the following dream response this past evening: In this dream, rather conveniently, I found myself as a meteorologist amidst reporting the oncoming week’s weather forecast for television viewers. I recall reporting the mid-week pollen count as 10, which I thought and said was low. The forecast in this probable precog dream is 10 with a predicted low probability of occurring about mid-week which, from my perspective, starts this coming Wednesday. For those who are unfamiliar, the United States permit two types of countrywide lottery drawings weekly, Mega Millions & Powerball. Of the various ways to win either drawing, one needs only the Megaball or Powerball number to have a winning ticket. My dream appears to forecast 10 as either the Megaball or Powerball number for this coming week. I believe this dream offers us a uniquely public opportunity to observe either the fallacy of precog dreaming, the profound nature and value of dream content or, perhaps, the nature of coincidence as MigL amusingly observed in a prior comment. I guess we'll all know by this time next week.
  12. I saw that documentary and I was engrossed from start to finish!
  13. Las Vegas developer, Robert Bigelow, is offering almost $1,000,000 to neurologists or psychologists as follows: "Specifically, the billionaire wants to know if it is possible "the survival of human consciousness beyond bodily death ." To do this, scientists, neurologists and psychologists have until August 1, 2021 to submit a response of up to 25 thousand words. A group of specialist judges will select the winner on November 1. Thus the first place will receive 500 thousand dollars, the second 300 thousand and the third 150 thousand." I think I can answer that question in 1 word but Mr. Bigelow requires 25,000. If you're up for easy money, here's your chance. Enjoy!
  14. If I understand correctly, you're presenting a position that correlates genetically based racial distinctions with variations in brain size that confer variations in intelligence. Let's start with the genetics, which does not confer intelligence unless their expression result in malformations that inhibit normal or average brain development or function. Homo sapiens, as a species, share a commonality of brain development, structure, and function that may only be altered invitro or after birth as a result of nutritional, environmental, or social influences and effects. What I'm stating here is that genetics do not influence our capacity to learn and innovate unless those genetics in someway effects brains developments that are inconsistent with average, atypical developments among the human species--which brings us to brain size. Indeed, genetics can affect brain size as evident by the brain cases of humans from extinct to modern emergences. However, brain size empirically does not confer "exceptional cognitive abilities". If brain size were an empirical measure of intelligence, we'd be a planet of Neanderthals whose brain size were larger than modern humans. Or, perhaps, we'd be ruled by species of whale or elephant whose brain volumes can measure as much as 9 kg and 7 kg respectively. Indeed, the idea that brain size confer intelligence is a ludicrous assertion. Lastly, race vs. ethnicity are not synonymous from how I understand and has used those terms. Race describes a purely physical distinction between humans primarily characterized by skin pigmentation, eye color, and hair texture. While ethnicity describes a social distinction rooted in tribalism and traditions relative to origins of religious and/or geographic significance. Race and ethnicity are not empirical scientific measures of intelligence because they do not constrict the basic cognitive capacity of humans. The basic cognitive capacity of humans may only be constricted by the prejudices we impose overtly and subvertly on our species--as suggested by the argument you have posed in this discussion.
  15. If there is some real or practical advantage to understanding dream content, one may ask, what is it? A primary advantage, as many mental healthcare providers could attest, is psychological. Dream content can provide remarkably clear insight on the psychological underpinnings of our thoughts and behaviors. However, for several years now, I've investigated whether there is any materially overt advantage to knowing anything about dream content. Well, the juries still out on the latter; however, at the very least, I've proven to my own satisfaction that the psychological advantages are real. Many years ago, amid a particularly painful divorce, I fell into an extraordinarily deep depression that lingered for several years. Being a typical male of that era with my upbringing, I did not seek the professional help I obviously needed with the belief that I would recover sufficiently without it. And I did recover, but not until after I experienced a particularly vivid dream about my mother who had died just a couple years before my divorce. It was a simple dream involving me crying profusely over her departure in the dream from my home. When I awoke, I immediately understood that dreams relevancy to my current psychological state at the time and I also new what that dream meant. The cause of my deep depressions during the years after my divorce was not my marriage dissolution but the loss of my mother whom I had not sufficiently grieved until the emotional buoyance my marriage provided dissolved in divorce. Over the years, I've had many such psychological revelations regarding the underpinnings of mind and emotion from the insight my perspective of dream content provides. In more recent years, I've investigated the material advantages of dream content with inconsistent results. The material advantages I seek are those dreams that provides some provably and overwhelmingly real physical or material result that cannot be dismissed by pure chance. I've devised experiments, based on my functional perspective of dreaming, that initially but do not consistently provide the type of unassailable results I seek. But, I remain in the hunt. If your interest remains, I welcome your thoughts and discussion of the relevant science.
  16. You're quite right, perhaps I should unearth and revisit whatever notes I may have jotted down at the time as reassurance. I kept a journal--diary as some may reference-- of my daily experiences as a record of significant events that I may reflect on in my later years. I now keep a sort of dream journal for a similar purpose.
  17. Over my long years I, as have many others, have had many such dream types that tend to reflect the resonant effects of stress and anxiety that persist amid the aroused state of dreaming in brain function. Dreaming is how our sleeping brain responds to stimuli in sleep, which means they don't occur without a cause that can't be traced back to some resonant influence of primarily mental significance. Precisely! Perhaps intuition is just a convenient or simpler way to describe the perception and thought processes our brain unconsciously engages amid our conscious wakeful focus on more immediate concerns or interests. Indeed, as time does embellish memory, it may be that my dream was not as vivid as I recall. However, I believe my memory of the experience is quite clear as I have revisited it obsessively since my moment of arousal from it. Interestingly, I remember more about that moment than I do my real life experiences at the time.
  18. Apologies, I should have qualified my use of "precognitive dream" as a reference distinguishable from some unproven psychic phenomena. It is not a suggestion that I or anyone possesses some extraordinary perceptual ability. As I perceive and use this reference, it describes the predictive nature of a dream type and content that isn't anymore extraordinary that weather forecasting. Meteorologists, for example, can forecast atmospheric occurrences within a relative degree of certainty with sufficient data. Likewise, there's a significant amount of sensory experiences that escape our conscious perception but not necessarily our unconscious awareness. As I understand, precognitive dreaming is about the unconscious nature of brain function and how that function accumulates, processes and accesses huge amounts of sensory data to produce predictive outcomes. Using my muddy shoe dream as a example, it's likely that I was unconsciously aware of the potential for someone stepping in some muddy area near my parent's home and that anyone leaving or entering that resident might muddy their shoes if not particularly attentive. Unfortunately, my sister was that person and my dream appeared to forecast that she would muddy her shoe. Further, it may be that I was unconsciously aware that the shoe she muddied was one of a pair she might have worn frequently at the time and that if she were to step in some mud puddle, that pair would be the ones soiled. I cannot now know for certain, given the number of years that have past since that dream, what I did or didn't know about the grounds of my parent's home or my sister's foot apparel preferences at that time. What I do know is that this dream experience compelled my many years of interests in the extraordinary nature of our unconscious--which is the focus of my interests here in these discussions. Amusing and yes, coincidence does indeed appear to be the most reasonable and applicable explanation as it relates to the general nature of real life experiences; however, coincidence is not a word that apply to the nature of dreaming and dream content in brain function. Empirically, the science suggests that dreaming is not a coincidental act of brain function in sleep and neither is dream content. On average occurring at 90 minute intervals, dreaming initiates as a consequence of atonia near the end of the deepest stages of NREM glymphatic cleansing. Dreaming emerge as a response to the increase sensitivity of brain function to stimuli in sleep due to the partial removal of sensory suppressing interstitial cell waste (adenosine) and brain chemistry (melatonin). Dream content is an interpretive response to the stimuli our brain experiences in sleep. The elements of my dream suggest something deeper, which I cannot now confirm given how long ago it occurred. Nevertheless, I appreciate your perspective.
  19. Understandably, most people of serious mind and interests would rather consign this topic of discussion to the trash bin. From an unstudied perspective, understanding the true nature of dreams and dreaming appears to offer no real or practical advantage to our material pursuits and interests. Many years ago, I was of similar mind until I experienced a curious dream involving a muddy shoe. A remarkably vivid experience, I dreamed about a shoe belonging to my younger sister that appeared as placed in a bathroom sink. I awoke immediately and, throughout that morning, I thought the dream very odd. I said to myself, “What care did I have for my sister’s muddy shoes?” She had several shoes and that shoe was not particularly noteworthy. As I went about my day, I thought no more of the dream and my sister’s errant shoe until that evening when I entered through the basement door of the home she shared at the time with our parents. As I crossed the threshold, there, on the floor, laid the exact muddy shoe exactly as it appeared in my dream the night before, though not in a sink. After finding her muddied shoe, I later told my sister about the odd dream and we both had a laugh. She said that she had inadvertently stepped in some mud earlier and didn’t want to track it through the house while rushing to use a bathroom toilet. Thereafter, I became increasingly curious about the nature of dreams and how it was possible to dream about a future experience I could not possibly know would occur. Over the years, I would learn that my muddy shoe dream was a precognitive dream and that such experiences are quite common. Although I can explain how such dreams occur, I can’t say that I completely understand why they do. In retrospect, there was nothing about that dream’s content that clearly explains why it occurred. Nevertheless, dreams and dreaming are not total mysteries to me or to science. They are remarkably predictive and descriptive of compelling unconscious mental and social influences. Understanding dream content opens a window on our unconscious mind in ways not commonly or well understood by many--particularly those in mainstream science, IMO.
  20. Hello All, Through my previous SFN posts (Progression of Sleep to Dreaming, Dreams and Dreaming, & Dreams and Memory), I believe I've sufficiently established the nature of dreaming in brain function and that dreams are meaningful. Yet some of you, who may still have some interest, may still have doubts regarding all or, specifically, the latter. Indeed, dreams are meaningful in that they uniquely interpret the resonant sensory influences unconsciously affecting the brain's response centers in sleep. So, one may ask more specifically, what are these "resonant influences and how are they interpreted by dream content?" If you still have interest or doubts, let us discuss them here as permissible by SFN rules. I welcome your thoughts.
  21. Quite right, thanks!
  22. If I may comment on just this bit, our moon is tidal locked meaning that one side of the moon always faces Earth and the other side always faces away from Earth. Both sides do receive sun exposure amid this locked rotation. The "dark side" of our moon is not a reference to its level of luminosity but rather to its unobservable position relative Earth.
  23. Although he may be barred from office, Trump's massive vote count in this past election and his insurrection inspiring popularity virtually assures his continued sway over Republican (conservative) politics. Stripped bare, I believe Trump's primary interest is power and his enormous potential sway over conservative politics is power. With that power he could, for example, threaten the electability of Senators who support a conviction for his seditious efforts to overturn the results of a legitimate election.
  24. Recent...as in the history made on the steps and in the houses of Congress just a few short weeks ago. It was a insurrection fostered by a false narrative propagated by Republican leadership in both the Legislative and Executive branches of our nation's government.
  25. I agree but I think Trump's threat is likely a veiled flexing of his potential political muscle against those Republicans who might support some future punitive action for his clearly seditious efforts against Biden's presidential confirmation.
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