It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Help ATS via PayPal:
learn more

How does the material brain initiate the material brain?

page: 2
<< 1    3  4  5 >>

log in


posted on May, 11 2015 @ 12:51 PM
In addition to your questions;

What is causing the electric surges through the brain and nervous system while one thinks before one does action kinetically, vocally emotionally etc..?

And my answer is, your consciousness

How does consciousness exist? That's what science really needs to look at. The elephant in the room...

The brain is a pretty simple organism in its anatomy. All it acts as, is a transmitter of thought and senses which are electrical signals via nervous system.

Back to consciousness..

posted on May, 11 2015 @ 01:03 PM
a reply to: Elementalist

Without you in there the body dies.
Seems it doesn't know how to decide to eat food if you don't do it for it..

People who are black out drunk are acting only on patterns they have made in their past, and in our ancestors pasts..
They don't remember later, not because some memory of themselves is missing, but only for the fact they themselves were not actually there.

Go on a hunger strike and die from hunger with food in front of you?
That proves free will.. Every cell in your body will SCREAM and SCREAM for food..
Your brain cannot decide against addictions and survival. YOU Can.
edit on 11-5-2015 by KnightLight because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 11 2015 @ 01:39 PM

originally posted by: neoholographic
a reply to: Box of Rain

You said:

Without doing the proper research, I have none. Maybe when I have time.

Everything else is noise. There's no explanation for this and the notion that the material brain can accomplish these things belong in the dustbin with Atlas holding up the celestial spheres.

Wait -- And your ideas about consciousness being it's own separate and distinct thing is not "all noise"?

OK, then.

I'm sure you will come back with some paper written by someone who says the soul/consciousness exists separate from the materialistic brian. However, for every paper you provide, there are counter papers that could be provide that suggests that consciousness DOES exist within the materialistic brain.

So don't just "poo poo" my ideas about consciousness and free will just being an illusion of a materialistic brain. That's intellectually disingenuous. I'm willing to entertain AND EXPLAIN my ideas about why I feel that what you call "consciousness/free will" is simply the interplay of higher brain functions interacting with the lower animalistic/instinctive brain functions that we all posses.

Maybe I haven't provided scientific papers, but that's not what I'm trying to do here; what I'm trying to do is give logical reasons why I feel free will is simply the interplay between higher thought processes of organisms of higher intelligence and the instinctive parts of the brain that control the lower forms of life, but still exists deep deep down in more intelligent brains.

You, on the other hand, don't seem interested in giving concrete reasons why you feel that consciousness and free will exist separate from the materialistic brain. At least I attempted an explanation, rather than just saying something like "I feel I have free will and a soul, therefore I must".

posted on May, 11 2015 @ 01:44 PM
a reply to: Box of Rain

You havn't explained anything.

I mean you have a thesis basically..

So what is it? The interplay... Where is pattern recognition?

posted on May, 11 2015 @ 02:17 PM
Each neuron in your brain is its own CPU, Memory, and processor. Look up "Micro-tubules" and Stuart Hameroff+ Penrose's theories.

Our brain is essentially a massively paralellelized(sp) architecture of neurons similar to a super computer with many cores. Imagine the computers processor and memory are small, but linked together as one unit. So instead of 1 1000ghz processor with 1gb of ram, we have 1000 1ghz processors, each with 1kb of ram they work with directly.

That is the accepted norm they are using in AI experiments trying to replicate Human thinking on silicon chips. Check out Google's AI projects that read captchas.

The newer theories are more along the lines of:

The information is stored, accessed, and processed on a neuron by neuron basis inside of microtubules. The methods by which this processing occurs are analogous to a quantum computer. The information sort of goes in infinitely complex and comes out collapsed down to one reality. One neuron is capable of storing and processing and infinite amount of data via quantum mechanisms.

Not, by any means, stating this as fact. Just an idea. I sort of hate to lump it together with the mysteries of quantum mechanics too.

posted on May, 11 2015 @ 02:22 PM
a reply to: neoholographic

When a person says,"Hi, my name is Al." How does the material brain initiate the person saying these words? Who or what tells the material brain that Al wants to say Hi my name is Al? How does the material brain know Al is Al? How does the material brain know what it means to be Al?

Cartesian materialism is fundamentaly no different than Cartesian dualism. In otherwords, neither the brain, nor some mind substance, can explain the "what its like" of human consciousness and experience.

The growing field of Embodied Cognition will supersede the computational theory of mind. Look into it.

Embodied Cognition Wikipedia
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Embodied Cognition
A Brief Guide to Embodied Cognition: Why You Are Not Your Brain
Embodied Cognition: What It Is & Why It's Important
edit on 11-5-2015 by Aphorism because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 11 2015 @ 02:27 PM

originally posted by: KnightLight
a reply to: Box of Rain

You havn't explained anything.

I mean you have a thesis basically..

Well, sure. I'm engaging in a discussion, not a scientifically detailed treatise on the workings of the human brain.

So what is it? The interplay... Where is pattern recognition?

a reply to: KnightLight

Are you saying pattern recognition is not a function of biological brain activity? If so, do you have anything to back up your claim? I'm not a neuroscientist, but it seems to me that brain scans have been studied to show where certain brain activities take place during tasks such as pattern recognition, this study, for example:

One-Class Pattern Recognition in Brain Activity via
Neural Networks (direct link to a PDF file)

As for the idea of consciousness and free will, my ideas are that all animals basic brains run on instinct. An insect or a fish instinctively knows how to do certain things, such as have sex in order to procreate. They instinctively know how to eat -- even breathe. Higher-level organisms have higher thought functions. These thought functions are no less part of a materialistic brain; they are just more of the problem-solving/critical-thinking parts of the brain that defines more intelligent animals as such.

But even with higher brain functions, I think the basic thing that drives what most higher-level organisms do and think are still rooted in the deep-down instinctive needs of that very basic brain -- the 'reptile brain', if you want to call it that, buried deep down in our human brain.

posted on May, 11 2015 @ 02:27 PM
A reply to: neoholographic

You ask:

How does the material brain initiate...

You have many answers, now.

And for fun, if you want to study "from where" our emotions come?
check the link in the first line of my signature !! B-)

Blue skies.

posted on May, 11 2015 @ 02:33 PM
a reply to: neoholographic

The brain does not create thought ... it processes thought
Where does thought originate from ?

posted on May, 11 2015 @ 03:00 PM
a reply to: C-JEAN

Have you checked out any of Ramtha's stuff?

posted on May, 11 2015 @ 06:05 PM
a reply to: Box of Rain

Again, you haven't provided nothing but gobbledy gook and not a shred of evidence to support it. You asked:

I'm sure you will come back with some paper written by someone who says the soul/consciousness exists separate from the materialistic brian.

Consciousness Does Not Compute (and Never Will), Says Korean Scientist:!

In his paper, "Non-computability of Consciousness," Daegene Song proves human consciousness cannot be computed. Song arrived at his conclusion through quantum computer research in which he showed there is a unique mechanism in human consciousness that no computing device can simulate.

Song's work also shows consciousness is not like other physical systems like neurons, atoms or galaxies. "If consciousness cannot be represented in the same way all other physical systems are represented, it may not be something that arises out of a physical system like the brain," said Song. "The brain and consciousness are linked together, but the brain does not produce consciousness. Consciousness is something altogether different and separate. The math doesn't lie."

Here's the link to the paper:

You have Penrose and Hameroff with the theories of the Quantum Mind. They have made predictions like quantum vibrations in microtubules.

Discovery of quantum vibrations in microtubules inside brain neurons corroborates controversial 20-year-old theory of consciousness ousness

Rupert Sheldrake was blackballed by Ted's advisory board of unnamed scientist because he dared to ask questions.

Here's a list of published Psi papers put out by Dean Radin.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications on Psi Research

The following is a selected list of downloadable peer-reviewed journal articles reporting studies of psychic phenomena, mostly published in the 21st century. There are also some important papers of historical interest and other resources. A comprehensive list would run into thousands of articles. Click on the title of an article to download it.

Here's s paper that says the wave function is a nonphysical reality.

The wave-function is real but nonphysical: A view from counterfactual quantum cryptography

Counterfactual quantum cryptography (CQC) is used here as a tool to assess the status of the quantum state: Is it real/ontic (an objective state of Nature) or epistemic (a state of the observer's knowledge)? In contrast to recent approaches to wave function ontology, that are based on realist models of quantum theory, here we recast the question as a problem of communication between a sender (Bob), who uses interaction-free measurements, and a receiver (Alice), who observes an interference pattern in a Mach-Zehnder set-up. An advantage of our approach is that it allows us to define the concept of "physical", apart from "real". In instances of counterfactual quantum communication, reality is ascribed to the interaction-freely measured wave function (ψ) because Alice deterministically infers Bob's measurement. On the other hand, ψ does not correspond to the physical transmission of a particle because it produced no detection on Bob's apparatus. We therefore conclude that the wave function in this case (and by extension, generally) is real, but not physical. Characteristically for classical phenomena, the reality and physicality of objects are equivalent, whereas for quantum phenomena, the former is strictly weaker. As a concrete application of this idea, the nonphysical reality of the wavefunction is shown to be the basic nonclassical phenomenon that underlies the security of CQC.

There's other Scientist working on this as well.

The point is, there isn't a shred of evidence that consciousness emerges from the material brain or that the material brain can do simple things like recall a specific memory without a USER initiating the recall of that memory.
edit on 11-5-2015 by neoholographic because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 11 2015 @ 10:29 PM
I’m not a neuroscientist. Nor am I particularly knowledgeable on the subject of brain functionality, or the mind-brain connection. Just wanna make that clear, as the rest of this post reflects only my opinions/interpretation from the bits and pieces I’ve read along the way.

Although it’s not the best analogy, I still think of the brain’s functionality as similar to that of a computer and it’s software. More analog than digital, but still a computer. I kind of see the low-level/subconscious/autonomic functioning as the operating system, the high-level/conscious/reasoning functions as the user/operator, and the physical tissue comprising the various lobes along with it’s neural circuitry as the machine (computer).

From what I understand, although we’ve made incredible progress in the past 10-20 years, there’s still no consensus on exactly what thought is or how it’s initiated. I have a feeling, however, that we’re not far off.

On a very basic level, and over many millions of years of evolution, the brain has established a very complex wiring (neural) scheme. No magic here. All our senses continually receive sensory inputs from the external world, which then excite the nervous system and initiate electrical impulses, which in turn signal appropriate responses that control various physiological functions.

We’ve come to realize that as our abilities evolve our brains are in a continuous state of remodeling/rewiring itself. It seems to strengthen connections that contribute to successful outcomes, while dropping connections associated with failed ones. It’s like a reward based system. When we experience something the brain interprets to be successful/enjoyable it rewards itself by releasing neural transmitters that in effect tell the brain, “Attaboy!!”, and then it strengthens the associated connections. As the “successful” experience/behavior is repeated over and over again, the associated connections get stronger and stronger, and we get better and better at it.

I’m probably not making much sense, but what I’m getting at is that perhaps most everything we do in life (big or small) is guided by the perceived reward in it. The computer (brain) is running 24/7, whether asleep or awake, and so never requires a hard boot in order to initiate functioning. Our sensory input, which never ceases entirely, may be the initiator. Once the initiation takes place, our instinctive need for a reward takes over and off we go; driven by our own selfish desires. In your case, neoholographic, maybe watching ESPN and HBO in the morning is reward-based behavior.

There’s a good chance I’m full of it, as I just made that stuff up (at least the last paragraph). But, it’s the best I could come up with off the cuff. Like I said at the outset, neoholographic, I don’t think there currently is a consensus regarding the answer to your question. Good question, though...

PS: In a nutshell, all we are is ambulating bags of ions...

posted on May, 11 2015 @ 11:04 PM
a reply to: neoholographic

This thread is... wow... brain-hurt stuff, but really cool to ponder.

Ok, this part below reminded me of something that occurred to me one day...

When I recall a specific memory where I went swimming for the first time, how does the material brain tell the material brain it wants the material brain to recall this memory? Where is this memory located and how does the material brain know where this memory is located and then how does the material brain distinguish and know the difference between these memories? let me throw it at you guys:
When I recall a memory, more often than not I see it from a third person perspective. For example, when I was about 5, our dachshund got into a scuffle with a stray dog that came into the yard (probably to protect me.) I reached down to pick Frieda up, and ended up getting bit by her.

When I recall that event, I am 'looking down' on myself as a child picking up the dog and getting bit. I don't remember it from the viewpoint from which I experienced it. (Otherwise, I wouldn't see my whole kid-body reaching down to pick up the dog, right?!)

It's weird. Try it. It's like I'm seeing it all from the perspective of the famed 'higher self.'

Wonder what's up with that?

posted on May, 12 2015 @ 12:36 AM
The whole line of thought was gnawed to the bone centuries ago, and you can follow the arguments if you go look up "homunculus consciousness" or "Cartesian theatre".

The weakness of any explanation for consciousness involving Cartesian dualism is that they inevitably lead to an infinite regression. So while it's all trendy to say "Oo, it's quantum, and there's really a spirit/soul/being/homunculus that's in quantum world linking to my brain through quantum tubules", it will progress to "then, how does THAT spirit initiate a thought?"

It's the same problem with "if elephants are holding up the world, then what do THEY stand on?", the answer, of course, being a giant turtle. Then what does that turtle stand on? Another giant turtle. It's turtles all the way down.

posted on May, 12 2015 @ 06:14 AM
a reply to: neoholographic

I really like your metaphor about the car. thinking about it a car isn't that much different from the human body in the way that it operates on a basic level. Both need fuel to move and both are machines. for a car to start or go anywhere it needs the driver to initiate it and direct it.

i would say that consciousness is the operator this bio machine and initiates all its functions with the help of the ego and ID.

But it would be amazing to know how it enters the vehicle and operates it.

posted on May, 12 2015 @ 06:35 AM
A good take-down of dualism by an actual neurologist:

There are two reasons to reject the brain-as-mediator model – it does not explain the intimate relationship between brain and mind, and (even if it could) it is entirely unnecessary.

To deal with the latter point first, I have used the example of the light-fairy. When I flip the light switch on my wall, the materialist model holds that I am closing a circuit, allowing electricity to flow through the wires in my wall to a specific appliance (such as a light fixture). That light fixture contains a light bulb which adds resistance to the circuit and uses the electrical energy to heat an element in order to produce light and heat.

One might hypothesize, however, that an invisible light fairy lives in my wall. When I flip the switch the fairy flies to the fixture where it draws energy from the electrical wires, and then creates light and heat that it causes to radiate from the bulb. The light bulb is not producing the light and heat, it is just a conduit for the light fairy’s light and heat.

There is no way you can prove that my light fairy does not exist. It is simply entirely unnecessary, and adds nothing to our understanding of reality. The physics of electrical circuits do a fine job of accounting for the behavior of the light switch and the light. There is no need to invoke light bulb dualism.

The same is true of the brain and the mind, the only difference being that both are a lot more complex.

More importantly, however, we have enough information to rule out the brain-as-receiver model unequivocally.

The examples often given of the radio or TV analogy are very telling. They refer to altering the quality of the reception, the volume, even changing the channel. But those are only the crudest analogies to the relationship between brain and mind.

A more accurate analogy would be this – can you alter the wiring of a TV in order to change the plot of a TV program? Can you change a sitcom into a drama? Can you change the dialogue of the characters? Can you stimulate one of the wires in the TV in order to make one of the on-screen characters twitch?

Well, that is what would be necessary in order for the analogy to hold.

As we have learned more and more about brain function, we have identified many modules and circuits in the brain that participate in specific functions. During the Afterlife debate I gave a few of my favorite examples.

Disruption of one circuit, for example, can make someone feel as if their loved-ones are imposters, because they do not evoke the usual emotions they should feel.

Disruption of another circuit can make a person feel as if they are not in control of a part of their body – so-called alien hand syndrome.

A stroke that leaves the ownership module intact but unconnected to the paralyzed limb can rarely result in a supernumerary phantom limb – the subjective experience of having an extra limb that you can feel and controlled (but that does not exist).

Seizures are also a profound area of evidence for the mind as brain theory. Synchronous electrical activity in particular parts of the brain can make people twitch and convulse, but also experience smells, sounds, images, feelings, a sense of unreality, a sense of being connected to the universe, an inability to speak, the experience of a particular piece of music, a sense of deja vu, or pretty much anything you can imagine. The subjective experience depends on the part of the brain where the seizure occurs.

There is also copious evidence from strokes and other forms of brain damage. As a practicing neurologist I can examine a patient with a stroke and with a high degree of accuracy predict exactly where the lesion will be in the brain on subsequent imaging. Everything you think, do, and feel has a neuroanatomical correlate in the brain, and if that function is altered or not working, that will predict where the lesion can be found.

The only limitation is the current resolution of our neuroanatomical and circuitry map of the brain. No one denies that the brain is fantastically complex, and that our current models are a long way from capturing this complexity down to its finest level of detail.

I think, however, that non-neuroscientists grossly underestimate the degree to which we have mapped the circuits in the brain. Also, as our technology improves (with the addition of fMRI and transcranial magnetic stimulation, for example) the materialist model of the brain is becoming more successful. If this model were ultimately wrong, then the materialist approach would be running into serious problems. It isn’t. It is a remarkably successful research paradigm.

posted on May, 12 2015 @ 08:25 AM
a reply to: Bedlam

Doesn't make any sense.

The above cited regress argument does not necessarily invalidate all forms of the homunculus argument. The regress relies on the idea that the homunculus 'inside' the brain must itself have a homunculus inside it but it is not clear that this is a necessary condition. A dualist might argue that the homunculus inside the brain is an immaterial one (such as the Cartesian soul), or a mystic might assert that the homunculus is a recharacterization of the infinite consciousness of God (or true self), and thereby does not require a homunculus (or any form, spiritual or material) to have sensory experience, since such experience is a self-aware expression of the universe requiring no end to the regress other than the present moment itself. A non-dualist may assert, similarly to the mystic, that a human life form (or any organism) is coterminous and indivisible from its environment, with this unified field of awareness (i.e., universal consciousness) mistaking itself for a homunculus (or an ego). Thus, the regress argument is only valid if there can be no other explanation of the homunculus's cognition supplied, and the arguments of a First Cause or a transcendental, formless consciousness (i.e., awareness underlying and beyond form) are rejected.

You can only make this argument WHEN SOMEONE MAKES THE CLAIM that there's a material component in the brain that gives rise to consciousness. Nobody is making that claim.

posted on May, 12 2015 @ 08:51 AM
a reply to: GetHyped

Sadly, this makes no sense because it has nothing to do with the debate. First it said:

More importantly, however, we have enough information to rule out the brain-as-receiver model unequivocally.

When ever you hear people talk like this run. They're basically making a statement that's just silly and it has more to do with their personal belief than Science. There's no way this could be ruled out UNEQUIVOCALLY and that's just wishful thinking. It can't be ruled out at all.

He made this analogy that makes no sense.

A more accurate analogy would be this – can you alter the wiring of a TV in order to change the plot of a TV program? Can you change a sitcom into a drama? Can you change the dialogue of the characters? Can you stimulate one of the wires in the TV in order to make one of the on-screen characters twitch?

This has nothing to do with what I'm saying and is just faulty thinking.

First, I never claimed that consciousness can change a drama to a sitcom. I said it consciousness that initiates and creates this reality by making a choice to turn on the TV or watch a program. Without consciousness INITIATING this then it wouldn't happen. The circuitry like the TV, DVD player, computer is operated by consciousness just like the material brain needs an operator.


The material brain can't carry out this simple task without an operator to initiate the recall of this specific memory.

What can be shown is what parts of the brain are active when these things are carried out. I can show you what parts of my DVD player that are active when I push play but that activity doesn't determine what DVD I will watch. It's just circuitry that carries out a specific tasks but that circuitry must be initiated by an operator.

What he is saying is that circuitry in the brain is responsible for the mind but there's not a shred of evidence to support this. It's an assumption that makes no sense.

For instance, he talked about seizures and how Synchronous electrical activity in particular parts of the brain can cause things like images, smells and feelings.


Who initiates feelings, images and smells when a person recalls a specific memory? It takes directed activity to a particular part of the brain to carry out a particular tasks. There has to be an operator to initiate this activity.


posted on May, 12 2015 @ 09:06 AM

originally posted by: neoholographic
a reply to: Bedlam

Doesn't make any sense.

Sure it does. Your cite's argument dances all around the point, but if you can say "it's a magical, mystical soul thing that doesn't require anything to, as you say 'initiate thought'", then one can apply the same argument to a brain.

The brain doesn't require a mystical quantum religious soul component, it just works. Same argument as your reference.

Seriously, there have been many actual philosophers bandy the homunculus thing for decades. They've covered all the ground some quantum-spiritualist blogger is going to hit.
edit on 12-5-2015 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 12 2015 @ 09:08 AM

originally posted by: neoholographic

How can the quanto-religious homunculus tell the quanto-religious homunculus that it wants to want the material brain to recall a specific memory when you got your first job?

new topics

top topics

<< 1    3  4  5 >>

log in