Human consciousness is much more than mere brain activity

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posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 03:30 PM
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The Problem of Consciousness - Roger Penrose


If you believe as I do, that whatever controls our actions and our brains and so on ... is the physics of the world, then that tells you there has to be something in the physics of the world that is not controlled computationally. It doesn't mean it's not mathematical, it's just not computational. And the distinction between those is important.


More here:





posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 03:35 PM
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reply to post by EthanT
 


Are you referring to the Observer Effect...when you're saying it's not computational, but is mathematical?
Because there are such things as quantum computers and they work under that same principle.
Seeing that binary language, there is only an on and off switch; In quantum computation it can be both 'on' and 'off' at the same time.
edit on 19-6-2011 by laiguana because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 03:48 PM
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reply to post by EthanT
 
Playing Devil's Advocate....

What we call consciousness is reliant on our physical status. Our bodies require nutrients, carbs, proteins and all the rest to function at a level that allows our lungs to provide the air that pumps the heart that keeps the brain going.

Like all mammals we are an intestine that has evolved to ensure that sustenance goes in one end and passes out the other. In a basic sense we are all alimentary canals with the benefits of arms and legs. Consumers...with teeth and genitals.

Our consciousness is dependent on the nutritional input and balance of synapses firing correctly, hormones being regulated and the structure of our brains. Whilst that might sound too simplistic, it's been demonstrated in psychological studies and some of the shadier experiments that pre-date the 60s introduction of ethics committees.

Brain damage alters our consciousness and so do the imbalances that generate clinical depression. Experiments have taken place whereby lobotomised patients have had needles inserted into their brains. The results have caused laughing, embarrassment and tears. Split-brain patients (the corpus collossum being severed) have been exposed to picture cards that generate blushing on one side of the face and nothing on the other.

You can google any of these points and find the studies.

I like to think that consciousness is something more than the sum of our parts. The Arts and Sciences seem to be so much more than the expression of a brain evolved to seek sustenance and reproduction. How does music help us to eat and have sex? What creates the imagination's urge to write books or philosophise about improving the human condition?

Despite what we like to believe, as far as our knowledge extends, our consciousness is seemingly reliant on the condition of that chunk of pale matter we call a brain.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 03:48 PM
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Originally posted by laiguana
If consciousness is the soul, then what is a soul? What is it made of? Why is it we can't seem to ever have evidence of the soul after a person has passed? I'm not saying it's not there...it could be tha we are so limited in our abilities and our awareness that we may not even know how to approach this.


There is much evidence of the soul with OBE and NDE etc. The problem is if one does not have the experience personally they are often sceptical. Also through meditation we can come to connect with their soul. it depends on ones evolution. much of humanity is like little children or teenagers in a sense that can't understand certain things till they become adults so they scoff at what they do no know or understand. In the meantime the scientific evidence on reincarnation is good hard evidence of the soul and quite compelling.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 03:53 PM
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reply to post by laiguana
 


Penrose is mainly trying to show that consciousness cannot be reduced to an algorithm, or ultimately is something that is not computable, or replicable by a computer. In other words, AI is doomed to failure on the grounds that it is preceeding now - that is, under the assumption that the brain is analogous to a computer.

It stems from the basic idea of computable numbers:


In mathematics, particularly theoretical computer science and mathematical logic, the computable numbers, also known as the recursive numbers or the computable reals, are the real numbers that can be computed to within any desired precision by a finite, terminating algorithm ...... Although the set of real numbers is uncountable, the set of computable numbers is countable and thus almost all real numbers are not computable


en.wikipedia.org...

It also ties back to Geodel's Theorem:


Why do I believe that consciousness involves noncomputable ingredients? The reason is Gödel's theorem. I sat in on a course when I was a research student at Cambridge, given by a logician who made the point about Gödel's theorem that the very way in which you show the formal unprovability of a certain proposition also exhibits the fact that it's true. I'd vaguely heard about Gödel's theorem — that you can produce statements that you can't prove using any system of rules you've laid down ahead of time. But what was now being made clear to me was that as long as you believe in the rules you're using in the first place, then you must also believe in the truth of this proposition whose truth lies beyond those rules. This makes it clear that mathematical understanding is something you can't formulate in terms of rules


www.edge.org...


The importance of Gödel's theorem for understanding of human mind was revived by Lucas (1961) and was brought in the scope of brain scientists recently by Roger Penrose (1989, 1994).

In 1989 Roger Penrose suggested that human mind is nonalgorithmic (noncomputable) and more powerful than any formal system and this follows from Gödel's first theorem


planetmath.org...



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 03:53 PM
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This is one of the essential questions of life. What is consciousness. How does ordinary matter give rise to this amazing phenomenon?

I assure you, the answer is more complex than any of us have assumed.

I know many people say consciousness is fully rooted and dependent of the brain. But isnt there a possibility that its not?

I have a hunch that consciousness is both local and non-local. It would make sense that in order for consciousness and a body to be integrated, you would need some type of hard-wiring or what i prefer to call, Mapping. Our brain, or neural net, is continuously mapping out our experience and existence. That is the road, or circuitry, or rules we operate on at this level.
Science can tell us partially how we perceive things, but it has yet to even touch what is perceiving reality.
our brain is just the instrumentation that captures and organizes our stimulus.

Obviously, if you were to damage that part of the brain, hearing for example, of course you would have problems hearing, because you have physically destroyed that part of the map. When you are doing "programming" or very complex systems such as this, an error in even one single byte of information can render an entire program completely useless.

When I was younger I had a very intense out of body experience due to a very strong concussion. Its kind of hard to have been floating around for 30 minutes and believe that consciousness is purely physical.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 03:58 PM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 





Brain damage alters our consciousness and so do the imbalances that generate clinical depression. Experiments have taken place whereby lobotomised patients have had needles inserted into their brains. The results have caused laughing, embarrassment and tears. Split-brain patients (the corpus collossum being severed) have been exposed to picture cards that generate blushing on one side of the face and nothing on the other.


No brain damage only alters the mechanism used to express the consciousness not the consciousness. Much like if your computer is damaged does not mean you are damaged as the intelligence who operates the computer



I like to think that consciousness is something more than the sum of our parts. The Arts and Sciences seem to be so much more than the expression of a brain evolved to seek sustenance and reproduction. How does music help us to eat and have sex? What creates the imagination's urge to write books or philosophise about improving the human condition?


With a statement like this you sense there is more to consciousness then just physical brain activity.


Despite what we like to believe, as far as our knowledge extends, our consciousness is seemingly reliant on the condition of that chunk of pale matter we call a brain.


How so? Are you reliant on your computer? The brain like the computer is only a physical mechanism for expressing the intelligence or consciousness in the physical world nothing more who you are does not die with the brain.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 04:10 PM
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I was watching this on tv just last night and it talks about consciousness. The guy has been dead for over 2weeks and still hasnt shown any decomposition (smell)

Someone could pls embed this video i don't know how
thanks!

tvnz.co.nz...



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 04:12 PM
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reply to post by hawkiye
 



No brain damage only alters the mechanism used to express the consciousness not the consciousness. Much like if your computer is damaged does not mean you are damaged as the intelligence who operates the computer


This is a poor analogy. It doesn't explain how perception and expression are affected by brain damage or chemical influences.



With a statement like this you sense there is more to consciousness then just physical brain activity.


My consciousness suspects that there is more than simple brain activity. My reasoning and knowledge can't rule out simple brain activity.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 04:36 PM
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S&F EthanT.

Can any of the "it's nothing but deterministic stuff going on in the meat" people answer the question posed in this thread? The thread got to 10 pages without a workable answer to the simple question posed in the OP.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 04:41 PM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
reply to post by hawkiye
 



No brain damage only alters the mechanism used to express the consciousness not the consciousness. Much like if your computer is damaged does not mean you are damaged as the intelligence who operates the computer


This is a poor analogy. It doesn't explain how perception and expression are affected by brain damage or chemical influences.



Something interesting that may apply here is to the recent studies on vegetative patients.

It was originally thought they were pretty much gone and were as the name suggests, nothing more than vegetables, as far as consciousness.

However, using fMRI scanners and asking the vegetative patient to visualize, or imagine, certain scenarios, such as playing tennis, or navigating through their house, they were able to show that some vegetative patients are every bit as conscious, as you, and I.

However, for some reason, the patients consciousness is no longer connecting to the physical brain and body in a way that allows the consciousness to "interact" with the physical environment.

So, although this is not evidence of consciousness existing outside the brain, it does show that consciousness depends on certain mechanisms in the brain to be able to operate and interact in the physical world. And, it also shows that consciousness isn't necessarily "destroyed" when the mechanisms are damaged.

This was discussed very well on a show in History International, called Science of the Soul.

I'll see if I can't find a link to the research, as well.

EDIT: Willful Modulation of Brain Activity in Disorders of Consciousness

edit on 19-6-2011 by EthanT because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 04:43 PM
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If we are more than just brains, then why do our memories fail us.

And why when there is a TBI, is there mental changes in any way.

I would understand the connections from us to brain to body not being perfect from injury and causing loss of body mobility.

But loss of memory?

If we are "more" why would we ever lose a memory it would be us not a phyical part of the brain. If we could lose a memory a part of us what else can we lose?

FYI- I do belive we are much "more", I do belive in a "soul". Just my own personl doubts above and I usually have to argue the other side for some sick reason. If there is nothing "more" to our life, ignorance is bliss I will choose to belive a fantasy.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 04:53 PM
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Originally posted by MaxNormal
If we are more than just brains, then why do our memories fail us.

And why when there is a TBI, is there mental changes in any way.

"More than just brains" does not mean the brain serves no purpose.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 04:59 PM
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Originally posted by NewlyAwakened
S&F EthanT.

Can any of the "it's nothing but deterministic stuff going on in the meat" people answer the question posed in this thread? The thread got to 10 pages without a workable answer to the simple question posed in the OP.



Hi NewlyAwakened, thanks! You may want to check out the first series of Hammeroff videos in one of my prior posts in this thread. He tackles the questions you ask, in the light of the Objective Reductionism, or Objective Collapse, interpretation of quantum mechanics by Roger Penrose. It's rather interesting.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 05:31 PM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
reply to post by EthanT
 
Playing Devil's Advocate....

What we call consciousness is reliant on our physical status [to be able to operate and interact in the physical world]. Our bodies require nutrients, carbs, proteins and all the rest to function at a level that allows our lungs to provide the air that pumps the heart that keeps the brain going.


Brain damage alters our consciousness [ability to operate and interact in the physical world] and so do the imbalances that generate clinical depression. Experiments have taken place whereby lobotomised patients have had needles inserted into their brains. The results have caused laughing, embarrassment and tears. Split-brain patients (the corpus collossum being severed) have been exposed to picture cards that generate blushing on one side of the face and nothing on the other.



Hi Kandinsky,

Note the rephrasing I added to your text above inserted in between the []'s. Here's why ....

Some studies have also shown that consciousness can in turn have an effect back onto the physical brain (and body) just as physical changes in the brain can have an effect on consciousness. It's a two way street.

So, basically, it seems like humanity often splits into polar, or opposite, camps on issues like these.

As an example, when Dark Matter first came around, one camp was for MACHOS (MAssively Compact Halo ObjectS) and the other camp was for WIMPS (Weakly Interating Massive ParticleS). Republicans vs Democrats, Evolution Materialism vs Creationism, etc, etc.

And, one side often times has a hard time seeing any truth in the other side, when in reality the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle

Seems like this has happened with consciousness too. One side says it's all brain, and another side says it's all "mind/spirit"

I think the consiousness that we see everyday in the world exhibited by humans is an amalgamation of both brain AND mind. It's the middle ground between those two camps. Consciousness needs the brain to function in the physical world. (The brain provides the signals from the 5 senses, and so much more)

When you die, I believe consciousness survives, but it will be different than what you are experiencing now. The brain is an instrument that focuses your consciousness into the subjective experience of an individual that we all have and this is relayed and referenced via the signals sent to you by the five senses.

When you die, the referneces creating the subjective experience we all have, courtesy of the brain, is gone. Things will be different, but consciousness will go on.

As the Swiss philosopher Amiel said:

“Nothing is more hidden from us than the illusion which lives with us day by day, and our greatest illusion is to believe that we are what we think ourselves to be.”

edit on 19-6-2011 by EthanT because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 06:09 PM
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How can anyone say that the conscience is limited to our brains?


Have they not heard of historical figures? Revolutionaries? Celebrities? Long after they are dead, they still live on through the hearts and minds of those who recite what they say, portray their characterisms, and fight for them.

Che Guevara is a good example. He may be gone, but Che still lives on.

I guess Jesus is a much more extreme example, especially since some people are convinced that he will return.

Another thing: I vaguely heard about an experiment once where a crowd of people were part of an experiment to test the gestalt effect of thinking. The crowd of like a hundred people was placed into a large room (sealed, I guess). At first they were subjected to listening to some music (or something else mentally distracting) so they wouldn't be engaged too deeply in thought. Then they were incited to think deeply, I think it was something that they could all be effected by (like something national in nature maybe).

In the end result, apparently the pressure in the room was much greater when all of the people were engaged in deep thought, as opposed to basic thinking.

To me, this experiment sounded like one of the most profound things ever conducted. Only problem is that I heard it from a friend of mine and I don't have any sources on hand with more detail... if anyone here knows anything about this experiment, can you please share some details?
edit on 19-6-2011 by Dimitri Dzengalshlevi because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 06:16 PM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 





This is a poor analogy. It doesn't explain how perception and expression are affected by brain damage or chemical influences.



Of course it does those are physical aspects of the the brain it is a mechanism of expression if it is damaged then then the consciousness cannot use it to perceive or express. It does not effect the consciousness itself just the ability to express through the brain. If the consciousness was dependant on the brain then it could not become many different personalities over many life times as proven by reincarnation which Dr Ian Stevenson has proven.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 08:37 PM
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Maybe consider the brain as the necktop computer that assists the body to function during Life.

The body is like a car.. it has a computer that helps it to operate efficiently.. when a Driver is present. Without a Driver it is only a piece of matter laying uselessly around until it reaches the junk yard.

So this bio-suit/meatsack comes with a built in pc to help operate the functions. The pc provides Feedback in the forms of Sensations, our Senses and Emotions, etc. It does this via electro-chemical reactions within the pc... hope I got those words right there


Your car does a similar thing when you drive it... and yet it does nothing when you don't drive it.

I think of the Brain as an efficient bio-computer that runs an operating system called "Self-Awareness Feedback".. the thing that tells you that you are operating the body... tells you when it needs attention and maintenance, etc.

But the "You" is the Driver. You operate the Body through the necktop bio-computer. You are not the Body or any separate part of the body.. You are only experiencing the Feedback from the Bio-Computer you are operating within the meatsack.

One day science will be able to detect the most subtle of energies.. the thing that causes Life in the first place.. the Soul.. an energetic-awareness partially inhabiting a meatsuit operated by a Bio-feedback computer.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 09:13 PM
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A few months ago I uploaded the first video of a project a friend of mine and I created, called Mystery & Science.
We started this project with many attentions, but mostly for one reason. To make people open their eyes, to make people wake up in some sense. And our first video touches this area. Also the reason I want to share this today.
This video features Gregg Braden, Aumrak a shaman and a healer, and a cuple of seconds with Carl Sagan.
Hope you all enjoy!



Our second video contains the matter of Nuclear Weapons, Feel free to watch (some errors in the subs though, that will be correct with the next upload of a new video)



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 09:22 PM
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I like to think of the human brain as a car. You need a Driver to drive a car, it cant run on it's own. Your brain is just a brain, it allows you to live and function in this world, but your consciounessness is the driver and is in control.
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