[ExI] Why stop at glutamate?

Giovanni Santostasi gsantostasi at gmail.com
Sun Apr 9 22:32:52 UTC 2023

The paper on direction perception vs memory I mentioned in the previous
post but forgot to link:


On Sun, Apr 9, 2023 at 3:32 PM Giovanni Santostasi <gsantostasi at gmail.com>

> So maybe we can read a bunch of papers and come back. Let's try to
> understand what is difference between direct perception and memory. This
> should clarify a lot of the stuff we are talking about. I'm not an expert
> in this field so I need to catch up.
> But, after a few seconds of research online, lol, an interesting paper. It
> seems they are claiming that perception is actually affected by language,
> early experiences in childhood and many other stuff that you will not think
> to affect something so direct as seeing a damn color. As I claimed before
> there is nothing "direct" in that experience, the entire idea of qualia is
> garbage. The red we experience is simply a complex message from the brain
> to the brain that a particular type of stimuli is happening. But this
> message is the output of a very complex chain of events that is affected by
> many things that happened in the brain like exposure to certain experiences
> and so on. This makes sense because our sensory experience can be refined
> for example.
> You can train to see colors better or distinguish between different
> shades. There are studies showing that people in different cultures
> perceive colors differently and have words to distinguish colors that in
> other cultures are considered the same.
> Again, it is not glutamate or anything physical that makes the color red
> but a given neural pattern (that of course is also a physical thing because
> it is associated with particular neurons but it doesn't matter if it is
> neurons or weights in a neural network equivalent).
> The logical conclusion is that if the patterns is what matters then
> weights in ANN or neuron connections in the brain are completely
> interchangeable. So software can be aware, Gordon and Brent. Yes, it can.
> Giovanni
> On Sun, Apr 9, 2023 at 3:16 PM Giovanni Santostasi <gsantostasi at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> What "redness" quality means? I still don't get it.
>> There is plenty of evidence, like entire libraries, that show that brain
>> stuff (I will use this term to mean stuff like perception, memory,
>> awareness and so on) is all in the patterns. That is what matters.
>> I can give you some of these examples.
>> 1) Working memory chips. I mentioned Dr. Beger work at UCLA. People have
>> studied models of memory and they reproduced an equivalent on chips,
>> without using any chemical like neurotransmitters, or any other physical
>> thing you will associate with the particular biological makeup of our
>> brains. All what they did was to recreate the functionality or structure
>> relations that their model said was relevant to reproduce memory.
>> This is not a theoretical work that can be debated. It worked. They
>> turned on and off the chip and the rat remembered the layout of a
>> labyrinth. They even transferred, a la Inception, the memory in another rat
>> !!!!
>> If this doesn't destroy completely anybody illusion that the a brain made
>> of meat (and particular stuff like glutamate) I don't know what else it
>> could. These people will always believe that meat brains are necessary
>> because God made them so. No amound of science would convince them.
>> 2) You can train an AI to recognize activation patterns in the brain and
>> associate them with particular stimuli. This has been tried with words and
>> even images both in wake and dreaming state. Here an example that should
>> blow everybody minds:
>> https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.11.18.517004v2.full.pdf
>> Again, from this study we can see that it doesn't matter how the pattern
>> is generated, but that there is a pattern of activation. These patterns are
>> unique for each individual but statistically they are similar enough that
>> after training over many subjects you can give a statistical estimate that
>> the person is seeing or even thinking about something in particular. Again,
>> IT WORKS people !
>> 3) I have worked in the field of neuroscience and in particular in the
>> field of the neuroscience of sleep. I have direct experience of this vs
>> simply reading some paper (I analyzed the data in this case).
>> There are several experiments that show that if you do for a long time
>> during the day a particular type of activity, lets say listening to an
>> audio book or playing a video game with a lot of visual stimuli during the
>> night a given brain region will light up with a lot of slow waves
>> preferentially in a given region of the brain, in fact, the one you would
>> expect. If you listened for hours to an audiobook the auditory region of
>> the brain will have a lot of slow waves and if you played a video game the
>> visual part of the brain is the one that will light up.
>> Slow waves are associated with the process of memory consolidation which
>> is the moving of memory from the hippocampus to the cortex and the
>> formation of new long-term memories. Notice, that in this process there is
>> a MAPPING of these memories from the hippocampus to the cortex that is not
>> 1 to 1. The pattern in the cortex is related to the one in the hippocampus
>> but not exactly the same and in fact, while the memory is created
>> associations are made with previous experiences and things that were
>> learned in the past, so it is a unique and individual pattern that is
>> created when you consolidate the memory. This is actually where a lot of
>> creativity takes place, in making new associations between different
>> experiences. Another thing to notice is that when you retrieve memory the
>> memory is actually actively changed and modified that it is another
>> indication that it doesn't matter what the particular physical means to
>> create the memory are, the real information is in the pattern. That is
>> where the redness is, that is unique for each individual but it can be
>> still identified as redness because statistically is similar between
>> individuals. We know that at least for the memory of red the activation
>> pattern will also change as you retrieve that memory, I'm not sure if this
>> true for the direct perception of redness. This would be an interesting
>> thing to test and it will give us some insights on the differences between
>> remembering a color and seeing the color directly. But it is still
>> activation patterns in both cases.
>> On Sun, Apr 9, 2023 at 2:41 PM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>> Of course, a single pixel which can change from redness to greenness
>>> can't be at the brain module level or higher, as we have thousands of voxel
>>> element qualities in our visual knowledge.
>>> The Quantum people
>>> <https://canonizer.com/topic/88-Theories-of-Consciousness/20-Orch-OR>
>>> predict redness and such is below the Atomic level.  Not really sure how
>>> far below they are predicting it'd be, we could ask them.  I just think you
>>> don't need to go down to that level, to reproduce a pixel of redness
>>> experience, in a way that you can change that one pixel to greenness.  It
>>> could certainly be at the "Molecular Biology" level, or the "Protein
>>> Level".  And I'd predict that the computational binding of whatever has
>>> a redness quality, to all the other voxels of qualities, is  somewhere
>>> arround the "Intracellular Level".  But yea, any and all possible
>>> levels are viable.  Even new physics is a possibility, but I doubt that.
>>> To me, the more important thing is just that there is something, at some
>>> level.  And our description of however it behaves, is a description of
>>> redness.  Or it behaves the way it does, because of its redness quality
>>> which can can subjectively directly apprehend as a pixel of visual
>>> knowledge.  I pretty much selected glutamate because it is easy to say
>>> things like: "If someone experiences redness, when there is no glutamate
>>> present, it falsified the glutamate=redness theory.  So you move on to
>>> something else, at any other level, till you can objectively observe
>>> whatever is responsible for a pixel of redness experience.  Then you will
>>> have the required dictionary to not only know if something is conscious,
>>> but know what it is like.  The fact that making these kinds of predictions
>>> about what consciousness is like is the big deal.  You must be able to
>>> demonstrate and falsify the predictions, in a way the bridges the
>>> "explanatory gap" and enables one to "eff the ineffable" and so on.
>>> We live in a colorful world.  It'd be nice to know what it is, in that
>>> brain, whatever level it is, which has all those colorness qualities.  I
>>> want to know more than just what color things in the world seem to be.
>>> Jason, have you, or anyone else, seen our Consciousness: Not a Hard
>>> Problem, Just a Color Problem
>>> <https://canonizer.com/videos/consciousness> videos?  I'd be interested
>>> in your thoughts.
>>> On Sun, Apr 9, 2023 at 8:24 AM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
>>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>>> Brent has proposed that something physical in the brain is responsible
>>>> for redness, and he has proposed the molecular/protein level as a
>>>> candidate, giving the example of the neurotransmitter glutamate. But there
>>>> are a great number of different levels operating concurrently in the brain,
>>>> and I wonder: why choose any particular level as more important than any
>>>> other to associate with redness? We see for example, at a quick glance:
>>>> Level Examples of things operating at this level
>>>> Whole Brain Human Brain, Dolphin Brain
>>>> Brain Hemispheres Left Brain Hemisphere, Right Brain Hemisphere
>>>> Brain regions Frontal lobe, Occipital lobe, Corpus callosum
>>>> Brain modules Broca's Area, Hippocampus, Visual Cortex
>>>> Higher Level Networks Subunits of visual cortex, Subunits of visual
>>>> cortex
>>>> Neocortical Columns Pattern Recognizers, Classifiers, Discriminators
>>>> Neural Connections Connections, Inhibitory and Excitatory Signals,
>>>> Firing
>>>> Neuronal Level Neurons, Dendrites, Axons
>>>> Cellular Level Stem Cells, Blood Cells, Nerve Cells
>>>> Intracellular Level Organelles, ATP, Mitochondria
>>>> Protein Level Genes, Ribosomes, Proteins
>>>> Molecular Biology Amino Acids, Peptides, Base Pairs
>>>> Molecular Level Molecules, Covalent Bonds, Ionic Bonds
>>>> Atomic Level Chemicals, Ions, Electron Orbitals
>>>> Nuclear Physics Atomic Nuclei, Chemical Elements, Isotopes
>>>> Baryon Level Quarks and Gluons, Protons, Neutrons
>>>> Subatomic Particles Quarks, Electrons, Photons
>>>> Quantum Fields force fields, matter fields, Higgs field
>>>> When every level above could be called a "physical" level, why should
>>>> we limit the investigation to the protein level of neurotransmitters?
>>>> If molecules/proteins, are in the end, just patterns of activity of
>>>> quantum fields, why can't the patterns of activity of higher-complexity
>>>> (still quantum fields) such as the processing done by the visual cortex,
>>>> count as a pattern of activity open to investigation?
>>>> If lower order patterns of activity (quarks, atoms, molecules,
>>>> proteins) etc. are possible candidates to explain "redness", why can't
>>>> these higher order patterns of activity be candidates for redness? (Or do
>>>> you consider them to be viable candidates?)
>>>> An extra question, consider this quote from the physicist John Wheeler:
>>>> "Now I am in the grip of a new vision, that Everything is Information.
>>>> The more I have pondered the mystery of the quantum and our strange ability
>>>> to comprehend this world in which we live, the more I see possible
>>>> fundamental roles for logic and information as the bedrock of physical
>>>> theory."
>>>> -- John Archibald Wheeler
>>>> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Archibald_Wheeler> in “*Geons*, *Black
>>>> Holes*, and *Quantum Foam*
>>>> <https://www.google.com/books/edition/Geons_Black_Holes_and_Quantum_Foam_A_Lif/zGFkK2tTXPsC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=The%20more%20I%20have%20pondered%20the%20mystery%20of%20the%20quantum%20and%20our%20strange%20ability%20to%20comprehend%20this%20world%20in%20which%20we%20live%2C%20the%20more%20I%20see%20possible%20fundamental%20roles%20for%20logic%20and%20information%20as%20the%20bedrock%20of%20physical%20theory.&pg=PA64&printsec=frontcover&bsq=The%20more%20I%20have%20pondered%20the%20mystery%20of%20the%20quantum%20and%20our%20strange%20ability%20to%20comprehend%20this%20world%20in%20which%20we%20live%2C%20the%20more%20I%20see%20possible%20fundamental%20roles%20for%20logic%20and%20information%20as%20the%20bedrock%20of%20physical%20theory.>”
>>>> (1998)
>>>> If Wheeler's speculation is right, then there exists another level
>>>> below quantum fields, one of essentially pure information. What would that
>>>> imply about the patterns of activity necessary for redness? Would that not
>>>> imply that redness is, at some level (even if it is only associated with
>>>> glutamate) in the end, nothing but a particular pattern of information
>>>> processing?
>>>> Jason
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