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Terms in this set (64)
Trying to determine the relationship between the mental mind and the physical brain
Monolism- the world is made up of one kind of stuff. --> mentalist (mental world = fundamental) or materialist (physical world = fundamental)
Epiphenomalism- physical events cause mental events but mental events cant cause physical events
Neutralism- cant be classified by physical or mental
Dualism- there are 2 kinds of stuff in this world
Substance Dualism- Mind and body are composed of two separate non interacting things( cartesian dualism)
Property Dualism- the same thing could be described through physical or mental terms.
The difficulty of explaining how physical properties give rise to the way things feel when they are experienced. "Pain is the firing of C fibers" but how does pain (a qualia) feel? Bridging this gap is known as "the hard problem"
The hard problem was coined by David Chalmers as a means of understanding if brain processes can be accompanied by an experience inner life, and whether there is a subjective experience attached to that of consciousness.
What is it like to be a bat?
Nagel argues that materialist theories of mind omit the essential component of consciousness, namely that there is something that it feels like to be a particular conscious thing.
A private conscious experience of sensation or perception. feel a sharp pain in my finger, seem to see bright purple, become extremely angry.
3 Reasons for No Hard Problem
1. we know the easy problems and should make sure we tackle those
2. solutions to the easy problems will change the way we understand the hard problem (focusing on the hard problem now is silly)
3. the solution to the hard problem would be of use if we could recognize it as such. For this moment the problem is not well enough understood
Potential Problem with consciousness having causal efficacy
Consciousness perception --> you act.
Nerve ending --> conscious experience... but if consciousness = subjective --> ??
information --> nervous system - through senses --> when consciousness?
Does not make sense.
There is a constant two-way interaction between two worlds of mind and brain. In one direction the self-conscious mind reads out neural events in the brain and integrates them in to a unified experience. In the other direction, the self-conscious mind acts on a large area of the brain, causing activity, which eventually brings out the action that is desired.
Representational theory of consciousness
HOP: higher order perception - phenomenal consciousness occur not immediately upon sensations but upon higher-level sensing of those sensations, "through an inner sense"
HOT: higher order thought - no mental state is conscious if one is not aware of being in that state.
Carteaian Theatre problem
The Cartesian Theatre is the idea that somewhere within the mind, every piece of sensory information is processed and then somehow judged by an observing apparatus (the audience of the theatre). Problem - there is no one place in the brain where you can be 100% certain that a certain stimulus stops and is processed (idk where or when)
Three theories that avoid theatre imagery
Theory of neural adequacy
Information integration theory
Dennett's multiple drafts theory
Consciousness is physical. Denies TC. A conscious state is a brain state that is spread out in both space and time through "multiple drafts" in the brine processes theory's name which compete for domination in the cognitive system
Three kinds of involuntary attention.
Bottom-up control of eye movement: our eyes involuntarily move to a moving object that needs our attention.
Smooth pursuit: eyes tracking - eye movement
Visual pop-up attention: we notice anything that pops out, an "L" upside down or of different color.
the idea that we "antedate" the beginning of a sensation to the moment of the primary neuronal response. There would be a delay
Term comes from research on change blindness and inattention blindness. Illusion is not something that doesn't exist but something that appears to being a certain way that is not.
two alternative explanations for filling-in blind spot
There is a continuing subject of experiences (or ego) that accounts for the continued existence of persons over time (i.e., personal identity). The thing that unifies a person's consciousness, or the thing that makes it true that one can simultaneously see blue and hear music, is that one person can experience multiple sensations.
the unity of consciousness is not explained by referring to a person or ego; rather, a long series of mental states (experiences, sensations, thought, etc.) are unified by their causal relations to each other. Thus, appropriately causally related sensations (which are like bundles) account for identity over time.
Experiment for testing the two hemispheres of a split brain patient independently
One screen divided in two, fixated on center. Words or pictures were flashed at either side and the patient had to answer verbally or by using his hands.
How many selves are there in a split brain patient: one, two or none? Describe at least one theory that gives each answer.
How does Metzinger's self-model theory account for subjective experience?
is a theory of conscious experience. This concept comprises experiences of ownership, of body-centered spatial perspectivity, and of a long-term unity of beliefs and attitudes. This theory has two core contents, the phenomenal self-model (PSM) and the phenomenal model of the intentionality relation (PMIR)
Test free will- Libet argued that there was still room for a veto over a decision that may have been made unconsciously over 300 milliseconds before the agent is consciously aware of the decision to flex a finger, but before the action of muscles flexing
Three methodological criticisms of Libet's experiment.
1. not a good model because subjects were only free to choose the timing of the action, not the action itself.
2. results could differ with backward referral
3. there is no such thing as "time of awareness" because there is no place in the brain where the information meet together to become consciousness .
Libet's own interpretation of his results? Give one other interpretation.
Libet believed that we had limited ammount of free will, we had the final decision of letting the action happen or not, the rest was not up to us.
Dennet got that free will is indeed real but not quite just what we think it is. Free will = not magic but an evolved ability to weight up options and deal with multiple choices.
Explain Dennett's objection to the experiment.
there is no such thing as "time of awareness" because there is no place in the brain where the information meet together to become consciousness
Why does perceptual rivalry provide a useful paradigm for studying the NCC? Describe two experiments using this technique.
because it feels as though the two images presented to us are competing for consciousness. It seems as though the first one and then the other gains access to our conscious mind and thus you become aware of it.
1. The first experiments of this kind were done with monkeys by Logothetis and his colleagues. The monkeys were trained to report which of the two images they were seeing by pressing a lever. Their responses under the condition of binocular rivalry were much like humans.
2. Another experiment performed by Lumer, used fMRI to detect changes during binocular rivalry. Subjects wore stereoscopic glasses and were presented with a red drifting grating to one eye and a green face to the other. They pressed keys to indicate which they were seeing
What are the neural correlates of pain? Describe two theories that try to explain why pain hurts.
pain --> chemical changes take place and signals --> neurons called C-fibers to the spinal cord, --> brain stem thalamus & various part of the cortex.
1. Demasio argues that a self is needed for feeling pain. He argues that neural patterns are not enough
2. Humphrey says that sensory awareness is an activity. We do not have pains, we get to be pained.
List several methods for observing brain function
a. Single cell recording: fine electrodes are inserted into living cells to record their electrical activity. Although widely used in animal studies, this technique is, for obvious reasons, rarely used in humans.
b. EEG (electroencephalogram): measures changes in electrical potentials using electrodes on the scalp. Advantages: Good temporal resolution Disadvantage: Poor special resolution.
c. CT Scan: Computer generated images of tissue density produced by passing x-rays through the body at different angles.
d. PET scan: Imaging the distribution of radioactivity following administration of radioactive substances. Advantage: good special resolution Disadvantage: use of radiation
"the unity of consciousness"? Why is it a problem?
unity of consciousness speaks about the fact that while thousands of different inputs are going on in the brain at any given second, when we look at the mind side of the divide, everything seems to be unified. The problem is that when looking at the brain we see nothing but complexity and diversity. there is no single place in the brain where everything is brought together for someone to watch.
relationship between binding and attention?
as long as you pay attention to the flipping coin or the image of the door, their various attributes are bound together. When you think about something else the diverse attributes fall apart, and the coin and the memory are no longer experienced as a unified whole.
when people's attention is overloaded and diverted, the wrong features can be bound together to produce illusory conjunctions.
Zeki's theory of microconsciousnesses.
For Zeki, a multiplicity of conscious is the norm; the unification that comes with self-consciousness is an exception that is possible only through language.
Describe two or more amnesic patients. What do their cases tell us about consciousness?
a) Jimmie G. --> Karsakoff's syndrome --> toxic effects of alcohol --> anterograde amnesia (the inability to form new, long-term memories) as well as retrograde amnesia (the loss of long-term memory that stretches back to the past). --> memory remains perfectly good for the far past, before the blank period, but no new memories are laid down.
b) HM. --> intractable temporal epilepsy. --> both hippocampi as well as part of both temporal lobes removed -->permanent memory loss.
There is a dissociation between performance and consciousness.
Describe some experiments that reveal the nature of the deficits in hemifield neglect.
1. one experiment: describe the scenary of a commonly known place --> person could describe perfectly one side but completely ignored the existence of the other side.
2. When asked to copy a drawing of a flower, some patients accurately copy the right half, while others squash all the pedals onto the right side
Compare the arguments that have used blindsight to support the possibility of zombies with those that use blindsight to undermine it.
- Marzi argues that the residual functions in blindsight are "banned from consciousness" because the neural activity does not reach the conscious centers.
- Holt argues that blindsight and superblindsight are both evidence for the reality of qualia, although he leaves open the question of whether qualia are epiphenomenal or identical to neural states or processes.
- Stoerig and Cowey refer to blindsight as visual processing in the absence of phenominal vision.
- As far as Dennett is concerned, all the kinds of evidence discussed here weigh against both zombies and qualia. The superblindseer would not go on denying having qualia, but would acquire experiences to match the quality of the abilities he came to have. If he could be trained to act on, and talk about- in other words, have access to- stimuli in his blind field, then he would also become conscious of them.
- Weiskrantz suggests that blindseers lack what he calls the "commentary stage" in which information becomes available for comment, either verbally or in other ways. So, the superblindseer who could comment on his own abilities would therefor become conscious of them
argument from design
all of nature is designed in accord with a predetermined, benevolent, and supernatural plan.
It has been shown that we are not made in perfect design, there are part of us that make no sense to have yet have been creted through adaptation (giraffe vocal cord)
If you believe in the possibility of zombies, what is the function of consciousness?
How does a functionalist set about explaining the evolution of consciousness?
Compare Humphrey's and Mithen's theories of how consciousness evolved.
Humphrey: believed that in fact consciousness is an emergent property, with a social function
Mithen: Agrees that consciousness has a social function, but argues that if Humphrey is right, then awareness should extend only to thoughts about social interaction. we have lost our swiss army knife mind and are conscious of much more than the social world that gave rise to awareness in the first place
Describe two or three theories in which consciousness has no biological function.
What are memes?
Memes are ideas, skills, habits, stories or any other kind of information that is copied from person to person.
Dennet: human consciousness itself is a huge complex of memes (or more exactly, the memes effect on the brain).
2) Dawkins believed that we, alone on earth, can rebel against the tyranny of the selfish replicators. If you let your mind be controlled by memes and genes you are missing the opportunity to be yourself.
Which animals can recognise themselves in a mirror? What does this tell us about self consciousness?
Dog, cats, dolphins, elephants...
Animals have a sense of self-recognition
List three or more skills which suggest that an animal has a theory of mind.
-They know what others can see or know (if im hiding behind a rock, he wont see me)
- They can imitate (bids can imitate other bird songs conveniently, dolphins can imitate humans)
-Use lenguage (vervet monkey make different alarm sounds depending on the predator)
Describe two experiments designed to find out whether an animal knows what another animal can see.
What is the difference between Strong and Weak AI?
Strong AI: a computer running the right program would be intelligent and have a mind just as we do. There is nothing more to having a mind than running the right program.
Weak AI, computers can simulate the mind. They may usefully simulate many mental processes of thinking, deciding and so on, but however good they are they can never create real mind, real intentionality and real intelligence or real consciousness, but only as ifconsciousness.
Give an example of emergent intelligent action in a simple animal and a simple machine.
A simple example in robots is the ability to follow walls. Imagine you watch a small wheeled robot moving along next to a wall. All it needs is a tendency to veer to the right, and a sensor on the right that senses close objects and causes it to turn slightly to the left whenever it does so. By correct balancing of the two tendencies, wall-following behavior emerges.
A simple example in animals is termites- they build extraordinary structures that look as though they must be built to a plan, when in fact they emerge from simple rules about when to add mud and when to remove it
Turing Test. If a machine passed the unrestricted Turing test, what would you conclude about the machine?
Turing Test is a test looking for intelligence in a computer. The test requires that a human being should be unable to distinguish the machine from another human being by using the replies to questions put to both. It is looking at whether a machine can be considered conscious.
List the main arguments against the possibility of conscious machines.
There is no clear definition for consciousness, so if it cannot be clearly defined, how can we accurately measure if a machine possesses this thing.
Religious: consciousness is only for the human soul, given to us by God. Or non-religious: consciousness belongs to the nonphysical mind, which no machines possesses. If machines were able to be given a mind, then they would be conscious
What problems would you face in designing a test for whether a machine is conscious?
Consciousness is subjective, and objective measures are not effective for measuring the existence of consciousness. For example, the Turing test --> Only the AI/machine can know whether it is conscious or not
Chinese Room thought experiment
Non-chinese speaker locked in a room, give a set of rules on what to say. chinese imput, chinese output.
experiment that concludes that having a mind doesn't mean simply following rules to get the right output
People are generally bad at judging whether machines or other creatures have goals, desires or intentions. Give two or three examples that illustrate this.
"phenomenal stance" we attribute subjectivity to other.
"natural tendencies" we treat others as intentional, sociable, feeling creatures.
"intentional stance" we attribute mental states to other creatures.
Do thermostats have beliefs? Compare McCarthy's and Aleksander's views.
McCarthy: My thermostat has three beliefs... its's too hot here, too cold, just right"
Aleksander: Room thermostats are not concious.
What is the relevance of embodiment to machine consciousness?
Embodiment = representation of expression
The machine has a model of itself IAM, of the world IWM, and uses both to act and track changes in its own body and the world.
What do subliminal perception and blindsight have in common?
They both deny consciously being aware of something but their behavior shows that they have detected it.
They are not experiencing the change subjectively but objectively they are.
Describe two experiments in which a dissociation was found between conscious and unconscious perception.
Dehaene's experiment: conducted a study to further explore activation of unconscious primes. They did this by using event related potentials and fMRI and found activity in motor and sensory areas which implies hidden responses to the unseen stimuli. Furthermore, perceptual, motor, and linguistic processes can happen without our awareness.
Diane Berry's experiment (1984): A computer game was set up that was a simulation of a sugar factory production. The subject was required to create create a steady output of sugar by controlling various input variables.
In which ways have emotional responses to unconscious stimuli been demonstrated?
One way is by showing threatening, scary pictures to people who cant see them, which may produce fear and heighten sensory awareness.
Another example is the study that was conducted on people who were undergoing anesthesia. The experiment was staged as a real operation and the experimenter read out a statement that said the patient was going blue because he needed more oxygen. A couple months later, the subjects were hypnotized and were able to recite the statement again. Furthermore, reading the statement produced gruesome images and scenes of people being unconsciously affected in the operating rooms.
What are the differences between perceptions, imagery, hallucinations, and pseudo-hallucinations?
Hallucinations occurs when one sees, hears, smells, tastes or feels something that is not there, with a compelling feeling or thought that it is real.
Pseudohallucinations are involuntary sensory experiences vivid enough to be regarded as true hallucination, but recognised by the one experiencing them to not be real.
Mental imagery is an experience that resembles perceptual experience, but lacks stimuli. It is voluntary and cannot be perceived as reality.
Describe some of the ways in which hallucinations can be induced.
Immerse yourself in sensory deprevation tanks, induced hypnagogia or sleep paralyses.
A form constant is one of several geometric patterns which are recurringly observed during hallucinations and altered states of consciousness.
If paranormal phenomena exist, what are the implications for science?
Many experiments would be unreliable (like double blind experiments with someone who has telepathy)
How is micro-PK tested? What are the implications for consciousness?
micro-PK research is not the exact movement of an object, but the changing of probabilities in instances based on pure chance. Therefore, micro-PK subjects are not as much shifting around objects, but shifting the odds of the events that are occurring.
experiments performed are usually done with instruments that involve using magnetic fields, or machines that have electrically charged generators
The implication is that consciousness is involved for micro-PK. However, some subjects perform better when not thinking about the task or when doing something completely different. So consciousness my actually be counterproductive for being able to do micro-PK.
What is an ASC? Should ASCs be defined objectively or subjectively?
An altered state of consciousness is any (temporal) mental state induced by physiological, psychological ways, which deviates from the normal waking state of consciousness (getting drunk).
Objectively: we can observe how the drugs or agent affects the physical body with hypnosis. But how do you know if his ASC was similar to yours?
Subjectively: feeling like your consciousness is functioning differently from the norm. But that only works to identify yourself in an ASC, as soon as you start explaining it, it becomes objective.
What are first-person, second-person, and third-person approaches to consciousness?
What is the difference between a first-person science and first-person methods?
a. First-person science: a collective activity in which data are shared, ideas are exchanged, theories are argued over and tests are devised to find out which works better. The results are then published for all to see. In this sense, science is not something you can do on your own, suggesting that there can be no private science.
b. First-person methods: subjective experience, inner work. For example: there is a role for inner work and private inspiration in the process of generating hypotheses. Involves systematic self-observation or self-exploration
Explain the argument between the A team and the B team
Dennett claims to be the captain of the A team while Chalmers is said to be the captain of the B team. For Chalmers, the science of consciousness is different from all the other sciences because it relates third person data to first person data. Third person data includes brain processes, behaviors and what people say while first person data concerns conscious experience itself. At the moment, we have excellent methods for collecting third-person data but we desparately need better methods for collecting first-person data. The science of consciousness must hunt for broad connecting principles between first and third-person data, such that certain experiences go along with certain brain processes or with certain kind of information processing. What he calls "fundamental theory of consciousness" would formulate simple and universal laws that explain these connections. Yet, Chalmers argues that data about conscious experience cant be expressed wholly in terms of measures of brain processes and the like. In other words, first person data are irreducible to third-person data. The A team claims that consciousness has a first-person or subjective ontology and so cannot be reduced to anything that has third-person or objective ontology. If you try to reduce one in favor of the other, you leave something out.
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