[extropy-chat] A few points of interest for future historians

Marc Geddes m_j_geddes at yahoo.com.au
Sat Oct 1 08:21:15 UTC 2005

Just to reassure everyone that I have *not* in fact flipped my lid:

Baars Global Workspace theory:


¡°Global Workspace theory suggests a fleeting memory capacity that enables access between brain functions that are otherwise separate. This makes sense in a brain that is a brainweb, viewed as a massive parallel distributed system of highly specialized processors. In such a system coordination and control may take place by way of a central information exchange [the global workspace], allowing some specialized processors-such as sensory systems in the brain-to distribute information to the system as a whole. [The] theory may be thought of as a theater of mental functioning. Consciousness in the metaphor resembles a bright spot on the stage of immediate memory, directed there by a spotlight of attention, under executive guidance. The rest of the theater is dark and unconscious. For sensory consciousness the bright spot on stage is likely to require the corresponding sensory projection areas of the cortex. Once a conscious sensory content is established, it is distributed widely to a
 decentralized ¡°audience¡± of expert networks sitting in the darkened theater, presumably using corticocortical and corticothalamic fibers. This is the primary functional role of consciousness: to allow a theater architecture to operate in the brain, in order to integrate, provide access, and coordinate the functioning of very large numbers of specialized networks that otherwise operate autonomously.¡± (Baars 2003)


Jeff Hawkins - Memory-Prediction Framework:


¡°[Your] neocortex stores sensory information in its memory. At a future time when [you] encounter the same or a similar situation, the memory recognizes the input as similar and recalls what happened in the past. The recalled memory is compared with the sensory input stream. It both ¡°fills in¡± the current input and predicts what will be seen next. By comparing the actual sensory input with the recalled memory, [you] not only understand where [you are] but can see into the future.¡±(p. 99)


Neural Correlate of consciousness:


¡°The neural correlate of consciousness is in dendrites of cortical neurons interconnected by gap junctions, forming Hebbian ¡®hyper-neurons¡¯. Chemical synapses and axonal spikes convey inputs to, and outputs from, conscious processes in hyper-neuron dendrites, consistent with gamma EEG/coherent 40 Hz and the post-synaptic mechanism of general anesthesia.¡± (Hameroff 2005)



You see?  I do it too!  Just re-gurgiate stuff you read back on-line and you too can look like a genius - just like the SL4 monkeys ;)


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