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Where We Are
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Where We Are

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  1. Where We Are • Previously -introduction, definitions, ways of knowing, hard problem, survey of thought to 1900 • Today -methods of neuroscience and neuronal correlates of consciousness, tests for consciousness • To follow -states of consciousness, illusions and magic, psychotherapy, free will, music, art and ……

  2. Quotes • William James, “Man can alter his life by altering his thinking” • Suggested by Betty Jones, Albert Einstein, “there are two ways to live your life-one is though nothing is a miacle, the other is as though everything is a miracle”

  3. Basketball Game • What did you see • Inattention Blindness • Eyewitness testimony

  4. Types of Data • Third person, objective, measured from outside, subject to measurement error; examples temperature, weight, speed, relative location • First person, subjective, measured from within, not verifiable; examples feeling, a percept, idea

  5. William James • Empirical study of consciousness should include introspection and not rely just on third party observations like behavio • Supplanted in 20th century by behaviorism • The only relevant thing to study is what is observed, ie behaviors

  6. Behaviorism • Work of Watson and Skinner • Man is a machine that is governed classical conditioning and operant conditioning • Examples Pavlov’s dog and reward response • Materialistic view left out the subjective

  7. Current Methods • Combine both first and third person reporting • First you have to agree that there is something to be like yourself and that is reportable • Qualia, internally subjective aspect of our mental lives

  8. EarlyExamination of Structure • Comparative anatomy with animals and between individuals • Morphologic changes due to injury • Phrenology, ethnology (racism) • Histopathology (microscopic changes) • Histochemistry (localization of molecules)

  9. Clinical Exam of Structure • Angiography • X-Ray • CT scan • Nuclear scan • MRI

  10. Examination of Function • Physical examination • Intracranial pressure • Electrical activity (EEG) • Direct electrical or magnetic stimulation • Evoked potentials (somatosensory) • PET scans (metabolism)

  11. Function • fMR • PET scans (metabolism) • Direct reading from implanted electrodes • Psychometric testing • Subject reporting (can require specific training)

  12. fMRI example • url http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/200805022

  13. Neuronal Correlates Consciousness, Crick and Koch • Look for differences in neuronal states in different states of consciousness • Distinguish faciliating and modulating factors • Determine minimal differences • Problem of causality, sufficient and necessary

  14. Experimental Design • Gorilla basketball • Necker cubes • Motion blindness • Afterimage effects • Many other • No general agreement

  15. Afterimage Effects • url Lilac Chaser • www.michaelbach.de/ot/col_lilacChaser/ index.html

  16. Motion Induced Blindness • url for Motion induced blindness http://www.michaelbach.de/ot/mot_mib/index.html

  17. Consciousness Test • How can we tell whether someone or something is conscious? • No third party specific observation • Materialistic zombie problem(replicate neuronal mechanism in a machine)

  18. Machine Tests • Turing test for intelligence (Hal and other computers, machine psychotherapy,) • Zombie vs self awarenenss

  19. Animal Tests • Theory of mind(Ability to attribute mental states to others); children follow gaze or pointed finger at 18 months, at 3 years understand that others can see things they can not see (hide and seek behavior) • Deception is seen in primates(ability to understand what others see)

  20. Animal Tests • Self-awareness (Mirror test); children at 18 months, chimps, orangs, bonobos, but not gorillas, and not cats and dogs • Theory of mind (Banana test): children pass age three, primates no.

  21. Animal Tests • Behavioral versatility in animal tool making • Analogous EEG findings in mammals • Cortico-thalamic tracts in mammals • Intuition from expressions

  22. Animal Consciousness • Massive disageement on both empirical and philosophical ground • Use of language important for Descartes, Dennett, and others. Evidence generally against http://www.efluxmedia.com/news_Computers_at_Reading_University_Almost_Pass_Turing_Test_26461.html • true semantic and syntactical ability. • This is a whole other course

  23. Animal Consciousness • Like a light switch on/off • Like a dimmer? • Are all components needed? • Partial awareness, primary consciousness but not self consciousness

  24. Animal Consciousness • Analogous EEG findings and thalamo-cortical connections in mammals • Mirror self recognition, primates and dolphins • Behavioral versatility, mammals create tools

  25. Panpsychism • Avoid all the empiric arguments • Assume that consciousness is an essential feature of all matter like mass or spin • Results in a concept that everything is conscious • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Animism to Spinoza, Leibniz and Whitehead

  26. Turing Test • Loebner Prize 2008 Consciousness Quotes • “A mystery is a phenomeon that people don’t know how to think about,,,,, yet.” Daniel Dennett • “I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others and give them life, and not only life, but the great consciousness of life.” Jack Kerouac

  27. Consciousness Quotes • Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Technologies, from the National Research Council, identifies and explores several specific research areas that have implications for U.S. national security, and should therefore be monitored consistently by the intelligence community. These areas include:

  28. Consciousness Quotes • neurophysiological advances in detecting and measuring indicators of psychological states and intentions of individuals • the development of drugs or technologies that can alter human physical or cognitive abilities • advances in real-time brain imaging

  29. Consciousness Quotes • breakthroughs in high-performance computing and neuronal modeling that could allow researchers to develop systems which mimic functions of the human brain, particularly the ability to organize disparate forms of data. National Research Council

  30. Possible uses of fMRI • Marker for decision making • Marker for effective advertising • Lie detection and deception • Marker for pain • Marker for drug effect on mood • Marker for anxiety and fear • Decoder of thought

  31. DECODERS • Mind reader thought http://discovermagazine.com/videos/17-mind-reading-machine/?searchterm=mind • Mind reader action http://discovermagazine.com/videos/mind-control/?searchterm=mind

  32. fMRI in Pain Management • Biofeedback based on real time self induced fMRI changes • url http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/christopher_decharms_scans_the_brain_in_real_time.html

  33. Quest for Consciousness • Christof Koch • URL http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJA5NYoDeO4&eurl=http://www.uctv.tv/search-details.asp?showID=11508

  34. US ARMY • TIME Sept 14, 2008 • The Army's Totally Serious Mind-Control Project • Wired helmet to read thoughts and communicate • 4,000,000 $ contract Awards

  35. ONLINE Brain Primer • Society for Neuroscience • URL http://www.sfn.org/skins/main/pdf/brainfacts/brainfacts.pdf • Printable