Definitions, neurodeterminsim, please?

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Definitions, neurodeterminsim, please?

Postby vivian maxine on November 16th, 2015, 9:00 am 

I have two questions, please.

1. About "neurodeterminism", does it mean the brain is causing us to do what we do? Or is it only predicting what we will do? I've seen the word used both ways but there is quite a difference between causing and predicting. I am not asking which or if anything is fact. I only want a definition of how the word is being used by scientists.

2. What is the antonym/opposite of neurodeterminism?

Thank you.
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Re: Definitions, neurodeterminsim, please?

Postby DragonFly on November 16th, 2015, 12:01 pm 

1. Causing.

2. ?
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Re: Definitions, neurodeterminsim, please?

Postby Braininvat on November 16th, 2015, 12:54 pm 

1. Our thoughts/actions are causally determined by the patterns of activation in neurons.

2. The collective patterns of neural activation, which we call the mind becomes, in itself, a causal agent.

Those seem to be the choices.
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Re: Definitions, neurodeterminsim, please?

Postby vivian maxine on November 16th, 2015, 1:29 pm 

Thank you both. Causing gets it. Braininvat, your second seems to say the mind is part of the brain and just another step in the causing. Do I have that right?

Leaving that, is there a theory that makes the mind totally separate from the brain when it comes to deciding what choices of actions to take?
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Re: Definitions, neurodeterminsim, please?

Postby DragonFly on November 16th, 2015, 5:16 pm 

Before and leading up to the causing, the brain entertained scenarios of predictions/consequences based on what you've become up to that point. (You are your brain.)

The court system doesn't deal with neurodeterminisn (but for temporary insanity and coercion), so their version of an opposite is 'blame'.
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Re: Definitions, neurodeterminsim, please?

Postby wolfhnd on November 16th, 2015, 6:00 pm 

The physical components of a computer do little without software they only determine certain limitations. In another thread we are discussing the relationship between consciousness and culture. In this case we are discussing the consciousness of the brain and it's relationship to "freewill". If you extend the computer analogy you may question where the information that enables choice resides. It should be fairly obvious that functionally it must reside both in the hardware and the software. The restraints that the brain place on "freewill" are analogously overcome by the software or information it contains but the duality of mind and brain suggests that the information has an external source. Just as a computer's hardware is limited the capacity of the brain is limited but those limitation are not restraining to a large extend because of the flexibility of the coding. The quality of that coding is restrained largely by culture which like the programmer determines what tools are available for calculation.

I think it is important to remember that consciousness follows awareness. A computer can be more aware of it's environment than a human but is not considered capable of "freewill". Freewill is a result of choice competency which varies from individual to individual. Due to the limitation of our understanding of the processes involved it is best to think of freewill as a magic trick the brain performs. Magic tricks are real they just don't employ real magic. The question becomes how free which as I stated is directly related to competency. Competency of course does not necessarily imply accuracy or relevance.
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Re: Definitions, neurodeterminsim, please?

Postby mtbturtle on November 17th, 2015, 10:13 am 

vivian maxine » Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:29 pm wrote:
Leaving that, is there a theory that makes the mind totally separate from the brain when it comes to deciding what choices of actions to take?


Dualism - Cartesian Dualism sometimes called substance dualism, the mind and body are separate and distinct substances.
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Re: Definitions, neurodeterminsim, please?

Postby vivian maxine on November 17th, 2015, 10:42 am 

mtbturtle » November 17th, 2015, 9:13 am wrote:
vivian maxine » Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:29 pm wrote:
Leaving that, is there a theory that makes the mind totally separate from the brain when it comes to deciding what choices of actions to take?


Dualism - Cartesian Dualism sometimes called substance dualism, the mind and body are separate and distinct substances.


Thank you, mtb. I wondered if that was it but didn't want to influence any answers. Interesting is the last word - substances. I think of substance as material which I had not thought the Mind to be. Yet it does need a connecting tool which I'd thought the brain to be.

I seem to be going in circles but I do know where I'm headed. I'll go back and read more Cartesian theory.
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Re: Definitions, neurodeterminsim, please?

Postby Braininvat on November 17th, 2015, 12:21 pm 

Interestingly, Rene thought the soul and body were connected via the pineal gland in the brain. Recent research has found that the pineal gland, though largely vestigial in mammals, floods the brain with a chemical like DMT, a powerful hallucinogen known to induce spiritual visions, when a person approaches death and the brain becomes starved of oxygen. There's a theory that the near-death visions some people report after resuscitation are a result of this pineal gland secretion.
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Re: Definitions, neurodeterminsim, please?

Postby vivian maxine on November 17th, 2015, 12:40 pm 

Braininvat » November 17th, 2015, 11:21 am wrote:Interestingly, Rene thought the soul and body were connected via the pineal gland in the brain. Recent research has found that the pineal gland, though largely vestigial in mammals, floods the brain with a chemical like DMT, a powerful hallucinogen known to induce spiritual visions, when a person approaches death and the brain becomes starved of oxygen. There's a theory that the near-death visions some people report after resuscitation are a result of this pineal gland secretion.



Now that ties in nicely with thoughts I've had about declaring people dead before they really are. Do brain scans show anything when these visions are being experienced? I am sure the neuroscientists have thought about this. Would be good to find more about it.
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