[ExI] Why stop at glutamate?

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Tue Apr 11 03:12:12 UTC 2023

On Mon, Apr 10, 2023, 8:51 PM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Hi Jason,
> Great, qualities are "encoded in the patterns of neural activity" could be
> a theory that is not yet experimentally falsified.
> I know there are many others that have made similar claims, I just haven't
> been able to get anyone to canonize that theory,

What theory is it? I could see materialists, mind brain identity theorists,
neural correlationists, and functionalists all potentially agreeing with
that statement.

so people like you could just join that camp.  I suspect it might be kind
> of like I can't get any of the many people that bleat and tweet things
> like  "in defense of naive realism" to canonizer the theory that predicts
> redness is a property of the strawberry.

Does anyone believe that? People have, for at least 2300 years, recognized
that color exists in us, not in the world. Democritus, Galileo, Newtown,
Shrodinger, have all said that.

> Can I ask you another question?  You say qualities are "encoded."  To me,
> a "code" is something that is not what it represents, like the word "red"
> merely represents its grounding referent.  Or a physical hole in a paper
> may be a physical property that isn't a redness property and only
> represents another property (requiring a transducing dictionary to tell you
> the meaning of the code).
> How would you decode, what is "encoding" those qualities?  Please don't
> tell me you'd use light. ;)

Other parts of the brain decode the meaning of the signals they receive.


> On Mon, Apr 10, 2023 at 5:47 PM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> On Mon, Apr 10, 2023, 7:08 PM Brent Allsop via extropy-chat <
>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>> On Mon, Apr 10, 2023 at 11:11 AM Jason Resch via extropy-chat <
>>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>>> On Sun, Apr 9, 2023 at 5:20 PM Giovanni Santostasi via extropy-chat <
>>>> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>>>>> 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 !
>>>> I consider this a knock-down argument against the functional role of
>>>> glutamate (or other molecules) in the sensation of red. These tests use
>>>> only blood flow data, which is a proxy for neural activity. They are not
>>>> measuring ratios of specific neurotransmitters or molecules, or
>>>> introspecting the activity within the cell, the fMRI looks only at which
>>>> neurons are more vs. less active. And yet, from this data we can extract
>>>> images and colors. This proves that neural activity embodies this
>>>> information.
>>> I guess I've failed to communicate something important about why we use
>>> glutamate.  The primary reason we use glutamate is precisely because of
>>> its ease of falsifiability.  I fully expect redness to be falsified
>>> (someone will experience redness with no glutamate present) and something
>>> different from glutamate will then be tried, and eventually something will
>>> be found to be experimentally proven to be redness.  Easy and obvious
>>> falsifiability is what everyone is missing, so THAT is what I'm most
>>> attempting to communicate with the glutamate example.
>>> If you guys think there are knock down arguments for why a redness
>>> quality is simply due to recursive network configurations (I am not yet
>>> convinced, and am still predicting otherwise (see below), and it's much
>>> easier to say glutamate than whatever stuff you guys are talking about,
>>> which nobody is concisely stating, and I have problems understanding), then
>>> please, every time I say 'glutamate', do a substitution for anything you
>>> like such as  'Recursive network model A', or any other yet to be falsified
>>> theory.  And let's leave it up to the experimentalists to prove who is
>>> right, like good, humble, theoretical scientists should.
>>> P.S.
>>> At least that paper
>>> <https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.11.18.517004v2.full.pdf> you
>>> referenced has pictures (composed of real qualities), not just abstract
>>> text (tells you nothing about qualities), as text only would be completely
>>> meaningless, right?
>>> But why don't you guys ask the publishers of that paper, how they came
>>> up with the qualities displayed on the images depicting what they are
>>> detecting?
>>> Here is a link to Jack Galant's work
>>> <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FsH7RK1S2E&t=1s>, done over a decade
>>> ago, to which all these modern examples are just derivative works, easily
>>> done with modern AI tools.
>>> When I saw Jack Galant's work
>>> <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FsH7RK1S2E&t=1s> back then, I knew he
>>> had a problem determining what qualities to display on his screens,
>>> depicting what he was detecting.  The fMRI only providing abstract
>>> qualityless data which is meaningless without a quality grounded dictionary.
>>> So I called him and asked him how he knew what qualities to display.  He
>>> immediately admitted they "false-colored" them (Jack Gallant's words).
>>> They used the original color codes in the digital images they were showing
>>> to their subjects, to determine what color to display.  In other words,
>>> they were grounding their colors to physical light, which is nothing like
>>> either the properties of a strawberry, which the light merely represents,
>>> or the very different properties of conscious knowledge they are detecting
>>> and describing with qualityless abstract text.  As Giovanni admits, they
>>> are correcting for any changes in physical properties or qualities they are
>>> detecting so they can falsely map all those diverse sets of properties they
>>> are detecting back to the same false colored light, blinding them to any
>>> possible inverted qualities they may be detecting in all that diversity.
>>> By the way, I added this Japanese paper
>>> <https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.11.18.517004v2.full.pdf> to
>>> the list of yet another example of quality blind papers, including Jack
>>> Galant's work that only uses one falsely grounded abstract word for all
>>> things representing 'red' here
>>> <https://canonizer.com/topic/603-Color-Exprnc-Observation-Issue/1-Agreement>
>>> .
>>> If anyone finds a peer reviewed paper that is not quality blind. (other
>>> than mine
>>> <https://www.dropbox.com/s/k9x4uh83yex4ecw/Physicists%20Don%27t%20Understand%20Color.docx?dl=0>,
>>> which is about to be published) will you please let me know about one?  As
>>> I will trust someone that believes and understands that qualities are
>>> necessarily real properties of real hallucinations in our brain.  I predict
>>> they are just the physical properties they are detecting but only
>>> abstractly describing and then false coloring.
>> Brent,
>> I appreciate that added detail and correction. If the colors in the
>> reconstructed images are false colors or inferred by the AI from the
>> reconstructed image then I retract my statement of it being a knockdown
>> argument against the molecular basis of color qualia. I still suspect color
>> information is encoded in the patterns of neural activity, but it may be at
>> a low enough level that the fMRI lacks the spatial resolution to detect it.
>> Jason
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