What Neuroscience can't tell us about ourselves.

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What Neuroscience can't tell us about ourselves.

Postby Bedeekin » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:59 am

This is quite an awesome article written by clinical neuroscientist Raymond Tallis. A scientist with a truly open minded skepticism.

A little Abstract to get your juices flowing...

"There has been much breathless talk of late about all the varied mysteries of human existence that have been or soon will be solved by neuroscience. As a clinical neuroscientist, I could easily expatiate on the wonders of a discipline that I believe has a better claim than mathematics to being Queen of the Sciences. For a start, it is a science in which many other sciences converge: physics, biology, chemistry, biophysics, biochemistry, pharmacology, and psychology, among others. In addition, its object of study is the one material object that, of all the material objects in the universe, bears most closely on our lives: the brain, and more generally, the nervous system. So let us begin by giving all proper respect to what neuroscience can tell us about ourselves: it reveals some of the most important conditions that are necessary for behavior and awareness.

What neuroscience does not do, however, is provide a satisfactory account of the conditions that are sufficient for behavior and awareness. Its descriptions of what these phenomena are and of how they arise are incomplete in several crucial respects, as we will see. The pervasive yet mistaken idea that neuroscience does fully account for awareness and behavior is neuroscientism, an exercise in science-based faith. While to live a human life requires having a brain in some kind of working order, it does not follow from this fact that to live a human life is to be a brain in some kind of working order. This confusion between necessary and sufficient conditions lies behind the encroachment of “neuroscientistic” discourse on academic work in the humanities, and the present epidemic of such neuro-prefixed pseudo-disciplines as neuroaesthetics, neuroeconomics, neurosociology, neuropolitics, neurotheology, neurophilosophy, and so on."


read on...

http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publicati ... -ourselves
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What Neuroscience can't tell us about ourselves.

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Re: What Neuroscience can't tell us about ourselves.

Postby astralzombie » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:50 pm

That was a damn good read Beedeekin. Thank you. How do you find this stuff?

The failure of neuroscientism to deal with this last twist of the knife is illustrated by a recent paper in Science which some regarded triumphantly as having nailed memory. The authors found that the same neurons were active when an individual watched a TV scene (from, of all things, The Simpsons) as when they were asked to remember it. Memory, they concluded, is simply the replication of the neural activity that was provoked by the event that is remembered. This fails to distinguish, and so leaves unexplained, how it is that an individual experiences a memory as a memory rather than as something present — or, actually, a hallucination of something present.


Take that materialists. I love it. :lol:

But on a more friendly note, I would be interested in Micheal's take on this article. Of course I loved it because it reaffirms what I believe.
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Re: What Neuroscience can't tell us about ourselves.

Postby Bedeekin » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:40 pm

and written by a neuroscientist no doubt.

I like to scour for medical papers and try to keep abreast of 'our' place in modern science.
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Re: What Neuroscience can't tell us about ourselves.

Postby Szaxx » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:42 am

Tie yourself up in a knot syndrome?
One day they'll learn.
If memory is created by the brain acting as an interpreter then the memory is stored in another 'scientifically unaccepted' (I like that) remote location.
The recreation of the same memory would re-enact those same meat based locations for it to be interpreted as that exact memory.
Surely anyone with moderate intelligence could see this.
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Re: What Neuroscience can't tell us about ourselves.

Postby ChopstickFox » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:06 am

This makes me think about how language is stored in our brains. As we learn a language it associates those sensors of association. When learning a new language we are manually developing those associations. I forget all the details of the presentation because it was a few years ago, but I remember it was fascinating. Of course, it hasn't helped me with my Chinese. But it makes me think that everything we perceive is stored somewhere in there and it's just up to us whether consciously or subconsciously to make the connections. Be able to bring those linked sensors with their associations to the surface.

Always makes me think of a computer... And stored data. haha
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Re: What Neuroscience can't tell us about ourselves.

Postby astralzombie » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:37 am

So far as I can understand personally and according to the opinions of many neurologists, science will never be able to explain consciousness or more specifically, how our brains can generate consciousness.

On a side note, this article totally persuaded me that there is nothing to fear from AI(not that I ever did but it's fascinating to me). In order for AI to run a muck like sci-fi theorists believe will one day be not only possible but probable, it will take consciousness and not intelligence.

If consciousness has no beginning like many believe then we will never be able to create it either. The logic being that consciousness had no creation. The only imaginable way that I can see this now (and it's a huge stretch) is if a consciousness chooses to "attach" itself to a created mechanism. If that were the case, it would not qualify as artificial since there's nothing unreal about consciousness. Although a consciousness that inhabits a machine of some sort would not be any less of a consciousness, it will be limited in expressing it's thoughts and abilities in accordance with the designed capabilities.

Pardon me, I love to ramble on as if I'm making sense and have stumbled on to some sort of original thought. Illusion over...must go now...good-bye.

On second thought, begin second illusion and totally derail this thread. As a former Catholic, I was a staunch pro-life supporter. I still am just on principle but no longer foam at the mouth. If there is only consciousness (as I believe now) and not a "soul" as theology endorses, then I would have to say that religion loses this round. On a third thought, I will leave this one where it's at. I feel myself getting angry because I am just realizing that I have some more thinking to do on a very personal subject matter. This is an issue that I never thought I would waver on and I have a distinct feeling of "selling out". This is a touchy matter, I know, but can anyone relate?
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Re: What Neuroscience can't tell us about ourselves.

Postby Majic » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:56 pm

How bout its the other way round and when a brain is in the right state it recieces consciousness so there is no devlopment but a point of entry or a process of installing this "software" into the machine. From there on the need is to find a way to use this state and we do this with our daily or for us night interaction in out worlds

How could pure consionsness be mesured, it is like a current or some such thing and then what is the most basic way that it could be expressed?
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