Who are you?

, , on February 4, 2012

Brains are pattern recognition machines that output symbols. Consciousness is the brain symbolizing itself; a symbol for the ability to create symbols. Our sense of self is a convenient, easily produced, recursive manifestation that we employ to recognize patterns in our own behavior. This ability is apparently evolutionarily beneficial (speeding up learning and adaptation), not to mention cool (full disclosure: I may be biased).

The functioning of the symbol generator is not revealed by its constitutive components, but how they are put together (this is true of anything, because only change and interaction create meaning, their absolute subunits are arbitrary). Consciousness is an inevitable result of a sufficiently powerful symbol generator.

Perception is the intersection of senses. Consciousness is the ability to replay perceptions, and it emeges once enough sense domains converge.

Crossing the Beams

, on February 3, 2012

Many low intensity gamma radiation beams converge on a single point in three dimensional space to ablate brain tissue, meanwhile a protective helmet affixed to the skull prevents midsurgical jitters.

Goodbye Cancer, Hello Science.

[Radiosurgery, background music]

My Metaphor

, , , on October 27, 2011

We think and organize our complex thoughts using models that manifest as analogies and metaphors. Of course we do this because we cannot perceive all the raw data of a system at once, nor is it even available– never mind that the validity, form, and existence of “raw data” is unknown. We must create abstractions to think and to communicate. The language we speak is a somewhat fundamental example of this. These ideas on their own are cool, but not actionable. The application comes from using this knowledge to influence how people think.

Oh right, the journal article.

[via reddit]

Theta-paced flickering between place-cell maps in the hippocampus

, on September 29, 2011

Full article link here— I recommend reading the Science link below, first. I don’t understand the finer details of the experiment, but exciting are the questions of memory formation and how that information is stored. Also, maybe the idea of teleportation can be realized by approaching it as more illusory than real.

Although not new news, the idea of various hard coded oscillators in the brain that govern and synchronize different processes is cool and I can’t help but make comparisons to computers and the weird relationship that life has with time.

[via Science]

The Medicated Me

, , on September 20, 2011

A personal account of someone’s long term psychotropic use.

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