THE MIND'S EYE (EAR, NOSE, SKIN AND TONGUE)

This is not an everything goes forum, but rather a place to ask questions and request help for developing your ideas.

THE MIND'S EYE (EAR, NOSE, SKIN AND TONGUE)

Postby doogles on March 4th, 2018, 6:02 am 

THE MIND'S EYE (EAR, NOSE, SKIN AND TONGUE)

Is it synaesthesia that makes you feel as if your skin is crawling when you see and hear the sound of someone scraping their fingernails down a blackboard?
................................................................................................................................................
If you understood that sentence, you would have seen in your mind's eye, a representation of the back of a person dragging his fingernails down a blackboard and maybe a representation of yourself with your skin undergoing a crawling sensation.

In my mind, it's almost as if I'm seeing those scenarios on a TV screen, except that the peculiar effect on my skin could not be represented on a TV screen.

This mind's eye is the final seat of reception and recognition of the written or spoken words of others, the final seat of recognition of phenomena or events outside of our bodies as well as short term memory and the final place where a 'thought' appears to arise. It's an overworked area of our brains, vital to our daily functioning.

Without it, I could not be consciously aware of anything in the world outside of my body. And I would not be able to generate scenarios from my inner trains of thought in order to communicate ideas, or to initiate my own daily activities.

I've shown this notion schemattically before, but I'll reproduce it again for convenience.

MIND'S EYE.jpg


You'll see that there are several delays in neural transmission, but in everyday life, these have no relevance except in the speed at which athletes can respond to a starter's gun and that sort of thing.

I couldn't find anything in the literature describing this neural phenomenon in so many words, but this article suggests different terms for maybe the same thing -- Front. Integr. Neurosci., 26 February 2014 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fnint.2014.00020 -- The claustrum’s proposed role in consciousness is supported by the effect and target localization of Salvia divinorum by Stiefel et al.
"The late Francis Crick proposed that at any one moment, human subjective consciousness of perceptual contents1 is brought about by the activity of a limited number (~105) of neurons (Crick, 1995; Crick and Koch, 2003). According to Crick’s analysis, these neurons must: (1) Be central in the connection scheme of the human brain, not too close to primary sensory or motor areas. (2) Involve a number of sensory areas, since consciousness integrates several sensory modalities. (3) Have activity correlated with conscious experience, even in situations where it is dissociated from direct sensory input (for instance during the perception of visual illusions). Importantly, the identity of these neural populations will likely change as the contents of conscious experience change. Crick and other authors have suggested that some brain region must act as a “conductor” of this dynamic “conscious field” (Tononi and Edelman, 1998a)2, “dynamical core” (Tononi and Edelman, 1998b; Dehaene and Changeux, 2004) or “neuronal workspace” (Crick and Koch, 2005).
In the last paper Crick authored before his death, he and Koch argued that the claustrum is an ideal candidate for this role (Crick and Koch, 2005). The claustrum is a brain region located between the insular cortex, piriform cortex and the caudate-putamen (Franklin and Paxinos, 2007), see Figure 1. It is highly connected to a number of cortical areas in a mostly reciprocal manner (Carman et al., 1964; Shameem et al., 1984; Neal et al., 1986; Sadowski et al., 1997). This strong and complex interconnectivity with the cortex makes it a prime candidate for the role of the director of the conscious field."


None of these above-mentioned researchers use the term 'mind's eye', but they do use terms such as 'dynamic “conscious field” (Tononi and Edelman, 1998a)', “dynamical core” (Tononi and Edelman, 1998b; Dehaene and Changeux, 2004) or “neuronal workspace” (Crick and Koch, 2005).

I'd always had a working theory that it was a confined area, but after seeing the result of PET scans of what happens in the brain when chimpanzees and humans look at someone grasping an object, it became obvious that the 'mind's eye' was somehow widely distributed in the brain. Some years ago I drew a schematic diagram of my perception of the results of Grafton et als' 1996 research.

GRAFTONS MULTIPLE SITES OF pet.jpg


So this left a sort of missing link in my mind as to how such widespread areas of the brain could be involved in what appeared to be a focus (overworked in my opinion) of internal and external representations.
The analogy I initially held was that the mind's eye was like a computer screen and that input came from everywhere -- from my own brain image residues and from all over the world via the 'Net'. But Grafton et als' research stuffed that up -- they established that multiple areas all over the brain were involved in people just simply OBSERVING the grasping of an object.

I got semi-inebriated the night that Sponge drew our attention to this site -- http://www.nature.com/news/a-giant-neur ... in-1.21539 in an article in Nature titled A giant neuron found wrapped around entire mouse brain by Sara Reardon describing "Christof Koch, president of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, Washington, explained his group’s new technique at a 15 February meeting of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies initiative in Bethesda, Maryland. He showed how the team traced three neurons from a small, thin sheet of cells called the claustrum — an area that Koch believes acts as the seat of consciousness in mice and humans.
"The three neurons stretched across both brain hemispheres, and one of the three wrapped around the organ’s circumference like a “crown of thorns”, Koch says. He has never seen neurons extend so far across brain regions. The mouse body contains other long neurons, such as a nerve projection in the leg and neurons from the brainstem that thread through the brain to release signalling molecules. But these claustrum neurons seem to connect to most or all of the outer parts of the brain that take in sensory information and drive behaviour.
Koch sees this as evidence that the claustrum could be coordinating inputs and outputs across the brain to create consciousness. Brain scans have shown that the human claustrum is one of the most densely connected areas of the brain2, but those images do not show the path of individual neurons."


three giant neurons circling brain.jpg


So here is a single neuron connecting a focal area, the claustrum, with almost every other area of the brain. This of course simplifies what appeared to have been a complex, widely differentiated mind's eye in the manner that Grafton et al mapped it - a missing link.

Sarah Reardon added that Koch plans to continue mapping neurons emanating from the claustrum, although the technique is too expensive to be used to reconstruct all of these neurons on a large scale. He would like to know whether all the region’s neurons extend throughout the brain, or whether each neuron is unique, projecting to a slightly different area.

My personal note. This bloke Koch appears to me to be the real deal. He has been associated closely with, and I assume with the same work ethic, as Crick, one of the blokes who cracked the DNA helical structure of DNA. The actual hard yards that he and his team did to identify these giant neurons is admirable.

Sponge has supplied me with a real "missing link" in my own working theories about 'thinking' and life in general. Thank you Sponge.
User avatar
doogles
Active Member
 
Posts: 1032
Joined: 11 Apr 2009
Location: BRISBANE


Re: THE MIND'S EYE (EAR, NOSE, SKIN AND TONGUE)

Postby doogles on March 4th, 2018, 6:09 am 

Just a small addendum to the schematic diagram -- there should be a red circle in the cerebellum as well.
User avatar
doogles
Active Member
 
Posts: 1032
Joined: 11 Apr 2009
Location: BRISBANE


Re: THE MIND'S EYE (EAR, NOSE, SKIN AND TONGUE)

Postby BadgerJelly on March 4th, 2018, 10:07 am 

The definition of "Mind's Eye" sounds a bit vague to me. Not sure what you're getting at?

How are you equating this with Global Workspace Theory?
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 5382
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: THE MIND'S EYE (EAR, NOSE, SKIN AND TONGUE)

Postby doogles on March 5th, 2018, 4:32 am 

[b]BJ, thank you for the comment. It has been something of an epiphany to me. I've just been hit with the realisation that maybe nobody knows what I'm talking about. Somehow I've assumed that everybody knew what the 'mind's eye' was. The concept has been a part of my vocabulary and thinking for so long that it's as familiar to me as roast dinners on Sundays.

I looked up Global Workspace Theory, a term that's new to me, and yes, it appears to be what I'm talking about. I found it here -- ttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_workspace_theory -- "GWT can be explained in terms of a "theater metaphor". In the "theater of consciousness" a "spotlight of selective attention" shines a bright spot on stage. The bright spot reveals the contents of consciousness, actors moving in and out, making speeches or interacting with each other. The audience is not lit up—it is in the dark (i.e., unconscious) watching the play. Behind the scenes, also in the dark, are the director (executive processes), stage hands, script writers, scene designers and the like. They shape the visible activities in the bright spot, but are themselves invisible. Baars argues that this is distinct from the concept of the Cartesian theater, since it is not based on the implicit dualistic assumption of "someone" viewing the theater, and is not located in a single place in the mind (in Blackmore, 2005)."

It must be an Australian thing. Everybody here knows what the 'Mind's eye' is. It is the functional core of our brain's conscious activities.

It's the part of the brain where we see the words 'pink giraffe' turned into an image in our minds of a pink giraffe. It is the screen on which we see the words in a book turned into scenarios in our minds. In fact it's the area wherein all incoming sensory stimuli are recognise after CTD and which equates to consciousness of those stimuli.

It is the area that functions as short-term memory, and in which we day-dream.

It's the area in which we do our planning and in which subconscious machinations become conscious thoughts.

Anyhow, this discovery of single giant neurons acting like ring roads with branches to all of our memory stores, and with connections to the claustrum makes sense to me as to why we 'see' the grasping of an object as a single action when so many apparently diverse areas of the brain 'light up' during Positron Emission Tomography.

It's curious that the term 'mind's eye' may be just be a commonly used Australian idiom.
User avatar
doogles
Active Member
 
Posts: 1032
Joined: 11 Apr 2009
Location: BRISBANE


Re: THE MIND'S EYE (EAR, NOSE, SKIN AND TONGUE)

Postby BadgerJelly on March 5th, 2018, 5:15 am 

It's English. My issue is use of an idiom for scientific reference. Of course I've heard, and used "Mind's Eye" before, but it is quite abstract when we're talking about empirical science.

It is like talking about the "orbit" of electrons. People except the dated description as being deeply flawed in the present day understanding. The "Mind's Eye" and the "theatre" idea sounds awfully like Descartes perspective of the "seat of consciousness."

Giant neurons they are not. The cell has a single location. We could say, by comparison, that the heart running through the entire body - if we chose to ignore the distinction between arteries, veins, capillaries and the aortic pump at the "heart" :P

I always find it a little strange to push for the physical reductionist approach from subjective phenomenon. We can certainly learn many interesting things this way, but I am not convinced - I actually find it contrary - we can find "meaning" that way.

When it comes to consciousness I have felt for a VERY long time that emotion is the attribute we need to look more closely at. This plays into the area of memory strongly.

There is also the general overview of the basic functioning of the cortex acting as an inhibitory system. The more ancient, and "well developed", parts of the midbrain are the "driving force." The "conscious" part, the cortex, pretty much does nothing more than say "NO" to a number of proposed actions; but this is powerful over time because we can then create and destroy certain "habits of survival" - to the literal point of suicide! An amazing feat of conscious behavior albeit a dark one!

The consciousness is, in my view, performs an instinctual exploratory role. It is there to balance and steady the flow of experiential learning over survival - for what "purpose" is merely a circumstance of "exploration" itself; which is what consciousness is.

As a physically existing "thing" I don't think we are any where near possessing useful enough concepts to integrate such an idea into everyday life (and it is likely counterproductive to do so for all I know?) By this I mean we're somewhat taken in by our "a priori" view (so to speak.) We're either consumed by, or part of (see the issue with conceptual terminology here? The cracks show and we fill them in with vagueness under the guise of "terminology"), the spacio-temporality of "being."

As an example if we were to look at the life of say Napoleon, we could not say he existed in any particular singular finite position spacially or temporally unless we were purposefully vague and say "Earth" within the past span of "time" measured in a particular manner.

We can certainly present mechanism of nature in a mathematical language, and glean much understanding by doing so that struggles to pass over into this day-to-day language of English. We are limited, and "consciousness" is essentially the "device" of limiting (and why I chose the term "exploratory") For it seems to me we create a field of limitation in order to understand the workings of limitations and further explore the idea of exploration.

If you're merely suggesting that these particular axons are creating consciousness (somehow) then we may be able to make out some mechanical difference between shorter and longer axons and how the number of connections effects the phenomenon of conscious experience.

It would seem more obvious to me to study unconscious brains becoming conscious in order to pinpoint the specific neurons that are associated and to conduct such experimentation across many different subjects.

As food for thought (forgive me if you've already looked):

Does Koch think rats are conscious? You should perhaps look into that too? Then look at the distinction he makes between self-conscious, theory of mind and general consciousness. It is a very vague area of study because the data set is so huge and there simply are not enough people looking at it all.

Gazziniga does not see the dog as having any theory of mind - basically your dog doesn't "know" you or "love" you. I would imagine Koch is quite similar in his understanding of theory of mind?
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 5382
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: THE MIND'S EYE (EAR, NOSE, SKIN AND TONGUE)

Postby BadgerJelly on March 5th, 2018, 5:19 am 

NOTE : I would like to get deep into this kind of discussion in the future. Right now I am limiting myself to certain areas of study (which is all interrelated yet not directed at neuroscience specifically.) I have some books I really want to read that will help me take onboard some different views - one being by Helen Keller.

I am sure Neuro will be able to chime in with some interesting remarks if you draw his attention to this?
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 5382
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: THE MIND'S EYE (EAR, NOSE, SKIN AND TONGUE)

Postby doogles on March 6th, 2018, 2:50 am 

Thanks again BJ.

I know you've stated that this topic is low on your list of interests at the momemt, but I would like to comment briefly on your statement that "Giant neurons they are not. The cell has a single location. We could say, by comparison, that the heart running through the entire body - if we chose to ignore the distinction between arteries, veins, capillaries and the aortic pump at the "heart"."

According to this report of the initial presentation by Koch, they are GIANT (in terms of the extent of the regions covered by their axons and dendrites) neurons, and linking to the claustrum. This was a missing link in my own understanding of the 'mind's eye', 'Global Workspace', “conscious field” (Tononi and Edelman, 1998a)', “dynamical core” (Tononi and Edelman, 1998b; Dehaene and Changeux, 2004) or “neuronal workspace” (Crick and Koch, 2005).

I can't find any other meaningful 'scientific' term for this area. I suppose it's a case of a 'Rose by any other name'. I find it quaint that we do not seem to have a global neurological term for such a vitally important theoretical (till now) region. 'Mind's eye' has always seemed apt to me. Mine is switched on in most of my waking time and a fair slab of my sleeping time.

But you can confirm the 'giant' nature of these neurons here in nature International Weekly Journal of Science -- http://www.nature.com/news/a-giant-neur ... in-1.21539 -- A giant neuron found wrapped around entire mouse brain: 3D reconstructions show a 'crown of thorns' shape stemming from a region linked to consciousness. by Sara Reardon -- "The three neurons stretched across both brain hemispheres, and one of the three wrapped around the organ’s circumference like a “crown of thorns”."
User avatar
doogles
Active Member
 
Posts: 1032
Joined: 11 Apr 2009
Location: BRISBANE


Re: THE MIND'S EYE (EAR, NOSE, SKIN AND TONGUE)

Postby BadgerJelly on March 6th, 2018, 3:05 am 

I just meant that the cell body is not distributed over this area (obviously.) I was already heard about long axons, our spinal cord has many of these so it could be interesting to compare the morphological difference and functioning between those two "species" of neuron?

If you've not already spent considerable time reading about Gazzaniga's work I would say you really should ASAP if this is of great interest to you.

Message Neuro and ask him about it. He can probably give you some pointers regarding what you're trying to outline with "Mind's Eye" and embolden your terminological neuro-jargon.
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 5382
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: THE MIND'S EYE (EAR, NOSE, SKIN AND TONGUE)

Postby doogles on March 6th, 2018, 7:12 am 

BadgerJelly wrote:I just meant that the cell body is not distributed over this area (obviously.) I was already heard about long axons, our spinal cord has many of these so it could be interesting to compare the morphological difference and functioning between those two "species" of neuron?

If you've not already spent considerable time reading about Gazzaniga's work I would say you really should ASAP if this is of great interest to you.

Message Neuro and ask him about it. He can probably give you some pointers regarding what you're trying to outline with "Mind's Eye" and embolden your terminological neuro-jargon.


BJ, I apologise for wasting your time with my thread. I'm always eager to learn. Are you able to provide any evidence-based work of Gazzaniga's worth the read -- you know -- anything specific that you regard as pertinent in this field?

Can you provide any citations of his so that I can bring myself up to your level of thinking?
User avatar
doogles
Active Member
 
Posts: 1032
Joined: 11 Apr 2009
Location: BRISBANE


Re: THE MIND'S EYE (EAR, NOSE, SKIN AND TONGUE)

Postby BadgerJelly on March 6th, 2018, 12:10 pm 

Huh? My level of thinking is really not that "high" (it is not particularly concerned with the problem directly) and I don't think I've wasted my time. I am just unsure what you mean - I am sure you can teach me more than I can teach you in this area, I barely scratched the surface.

I've, to my knowledge, never read anything from Gazzaniga directly. He has a few talks I've watched online and the usual vids (he is known for his work with split-brains.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dadT-14FkSY&list=PLDywpsR7xnbuFdDgvqde5EWIzml8eMA0S

His study of split-brains is simply fascinating when regarding consciousness and his ideas and thoughts. If you're not familiar with his work at all I think you'll find it VERY interesting.

There is the "Consciousness" Chapter in here (Koch actually wrote the introduction to this chapter; as he did in the previous edition):

https://www.hse.ru/data/2011/06/28/1216307711/Gazzaniga.%20The%20Cognitive%20Neurosciences.pdf

I have printed out that section and the Language section (plus I have the third edition), but it's been some time since I've looked at any of them tbh.

As far as I know his latest textbook was "Cognitive Neuroscience: Biology of the Mind", but that was a few years ago and I've never read it. If you're looking for something more recent then ask Neuro what is a good book to get now.

For something lighter Damasio's "Decartes' Error" is good look at the emotional aspect of consciousness. For more recent books, again, I'm not really up to date with the most popular books on consciousness.

For a deeper look into the midbrain this one is worth looking at:

http://avianbrain.org/nomen/swanson.pdf

Hope something here is new/useful to you. If you can throw any recommendation my way I'd be interested for future reference.

Funnily enough it was here:

http://www.academia.edu/6871563/NEUROPHENOMENOLOGY_A_Methodological_Remedy_for_the_Hard_Problem

I first found Husserl here. It is an interesting read too, and sets out the different philosophical approaches toward the problem of consciousness.
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 5382
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: THE MIND'S EYE (EAR, NOSE, SKIN AND TONGUE)

Postby TheVat on March 6th, 2018, 2:11 pm 

https://www.amazon.com/Consciousness-Brain-Deciphering-Codes-Thoughts/dp/0143126261/ref=la_B000APVWYI_1_2/138-9376382-5146218?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1520359572&sr=1-2

Dehaene has been recommended to me. I've only dipped into this one, but it looks like a good one for bringing a lot of the current science together, written by an outstanding neuroscience researcher.
User avatar
TheVat
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 6884
Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Black Hills


Re: THE MIND'S EYE (EAR, NOSE, SKIN AND TONGUE)

Postby BadgerJelly on March 7th, 2018, 5:30 am 

Oh! And this is a good perspective too (from the "behavioral" side of thing - more or less where I'm currently focused in regard to psychology, language and general culture.)

Sapolsky: On the Limbic System

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAOnSbDSaOw&index=14&list=PL150326949691B199
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 5382
Joined: 14 Mar 2012



Return to Personal Theories

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests