The Nature of Consciousness

Piero Scaruffi

(Copyright © 2013 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
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These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"

Neural Communication

There are indications that communication within the brain may involve a different kind of paradigm from the one employed by human-built machines. We tend to think of communication between parts as a signal that travels from a point in the system to another point in the system. In the brain, however, messages do not seem to carry meaning (per se). The Brazilian neurologist Sidarta Ribeiro ("Global Forebrain Dynamics Predict Rat Behavioral States And Their Transitions", 2004) argued that communication is carried out via patterns of activity that involve entire regions. It is the pattern of activity that carries and delivers meaning.

By the same token, the Indian neurologist Mayank Mehta ("Role of Rhythms in Facilitating Short-term Memory", 2005) thought that the neocortex communicates with the hippocampus for the transfer of long-term memories via synchronized patterns of activity (a rhythmic pattern of the excitatory cells in the neocortex corresponds to a rhythmic pattern of the inhibitory neurons in the hippocampus). Different regions of the brain communicate by synchronized firing of neurons (as opposed to a linear transmission of signals from neuron to neuron to neuron).

 

Reading Minds

The British neurologist John-Dylan Haynes speculated ("Reading Hidden Intentions in the Human Brain", 2007) that one can "read" the thoughts of a brain by analyzing the pattern of neural activity. Each thought is uniquely associated to a pattern, so in a sense that pattern represents the "fingerprint" of that thought. (visual imagery, emotions and plans, including concealed intentions). Since there is a direct correlation between a "train of thoughts" and a decision, once the pattern has been identified one can even predict which decision a person will make.

 


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