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Medical The predictable human mind?

  1. Nov 8, 2006 #1
    http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2006/08/16/mindreading_hea.html?category=health&guid=20060816103000 [Broken]

    Very interesting article. This could be the beginning of something big, the way I see it.

    The reason why I found this article so interesting is because it seems to be the first time we have been able to say that we can predict the behaviour of a living being. We are obviously still far from being able to read a living being’s brain as a set of mathematical formulations, which in turn would be the ultimate way in predicting one’s behaviour. But just like how we try to predict the weather by observing weather patterns, it now seems they can do so for the brain as well.

    So what is it exactly that makes these parts of our brain stimulate in a certain way/pattern? Basically, we can say that it is our senses that physically concentrate our energy in those specific locations of our brain. But then you can ask, “what is it that leads one human being to “think” one way from another?” In my opinion, it is simply based on the individual’s memories of past experiences. Ive heard someone say before that “consciousness is just an illusion that is created by constant hyperspeed memory interactions in the core of the brain”.

    So if that were the case, couldn’t we say that our whole thought process (energy concentrations in our brain) and decisions we make in life stem from what we’ve done in the past, and hence what we remember from it? Then to predict a person’s behaviour, shouldn’t we then theoretically be able to do so simply by knowing and studying every single past experience that person has had? And somehow from there make a pattern for the “constant hyperspeed memory interactions”, which in turn is basically predicting their behaviour.

    As I talked about in another topic, to me the ultimate question to predicting human behavior lies in the mysteries of how memories are processed. They say our subconscious contains ALL our past memories, and yet in our conscious life we are unable to access our subconscious directly. It seems we must either be sleeping (dreaming) or be put under hypnosis to “attain” all our past memories. Our conscious life is therefore based on what our conscious mind “chooses” to remember, where our subconscious mind seems to be a “provider” of those memories.

    There is something more to our subconscious than meets the eye. Like death, it is a state of mind that we cannot attain and be aware of our conscious life simultaneously. Im very curious if the holographic principle does indeed play a large part in this picture (see other topic “The Holographic Universe”). These are quotes from the articles I posted in another topic from articles by Michael Tablot:

    Explanation of what a hologram is exactly :

    "To make a hologram, the object to be photographed is first bathed in the light of a laser beam. Then a second laser beam is bounced off the reflected light of the first and the resulting interference pattern (the area where the two laser beams commingle) is captured on film.

    When the film is developed, it looks like a meaningless swirl of light and dark lines. But as soon as the developed film is illuminated by another laser beam, a three-dimensional image of the original object appears.

    The three-dimensionality of such images is not the only remarkable characteristic of holograms. If a hologram of a rose is cut in half and then illuminated by a laser, each half will still be found to contain the entire image of the rose.

    Indeed, even if the halves are divided again, each snippet of film will always be found to contain a smaller but intact version of the original image. Unlike normal photographs, every part of a hologram contains all the information possessed by the whole.

    The "whole in every part" nature of a hologram provides us with an entirely new way of understanding organization and order. For most of its history, Western science has labored under the bias that the best way to understand a physical phenomenon, whether a frog or an atom, is to dissect it and study its respective parts.

    A hologram teaches us that some things in the universe may not lend themselves to this approach. If we try to take apart something constructed holographically, we will not get the pieces of which it is made, we will only get smaller wholes."

    The analogy between memory and a hologram:

    "Working independently in the field of brain research, Standford neurophysiologist Karl Pribram has also become persuaded of the holographic nature of reality.

    Pribram was drawn to the holographic model by the puzzle of how and where memories are stored in the brain. For decades numerous studies have shown that rather than being confined to a specific location, memories are dispersed throughout the brain.

    In a series of landmark experiments in the 1920s, brain scientist Karl Lashley found that no matter what portion of a rat's brain he removed he was unable to eradicate its memory of how to perform complex tasks it had learned prior to surgery. The only problem was that no one was able to come up with a mechanism that might explain this curious "whole in every part" nature of memory storage.

    Then in the 1960s Pribram encountered the concept of holography and realized he had found the explanation brain scientists had been looking for. Pribram believes memories are encoded not in neurons, or small groupings of neurons, but in patterns of nerve impulses that crisscross the entire brain in the same way that patterns of laser light interference crisscross the entire area of a piece of film containing a holographic image. In other words, Pribram believes the brain is itself a hologram.

    Pribram's theory also explains how the human brain can store so many memories in so little space. It has been estimated that the human brain has the capacity to memorize something on the order of 10 billion bits of information during the average human lifetime (or roughly the same amount of information contained in five sets of the Encyclopaedia Britannica)."
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2006 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    What struck me about that article was this from the first sentence

    More ammunition for the Libet viewpoint that our brains know what we are going to do before we consciously will to do it, which seems to argue that our apparent will is an epiphenomenon of brain processes.
  4. Nov 10, 2006 #3
    so... actually Life is predestined? Free will is just an illusion?
  5. Nov 10, 2006 #4


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    No, they're just saying that the process begins in the brain before we can communicate being aware of it. Also, they are basing guesses on what the person is thinking of based on images already collected.

    I suggest you read the article.

    "For example, a researcher may ask someone to think about certain faces, locations and objects. The researcher then records the brain patterns associated with each thought. When subjects are asked to repeat the exercise, computer software can match the prerecorded brain patterns to the current ones, which may tell the classifier what the person is thinking."
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