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How The Brain And The Universe Operate?

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Posted by Alan on May 8, 2002 10:05:18 UTC

Also from my reply to Luis at Counterbalance:

(Note para 115)

111. Regarding: (quoting Luis here)
"imagine a spherical fishbowl filled with a thousand marbles. The bowl is your skull; the marbles are your neurons. You experience an event as an impulse fires from marble #17 (near the top), to #164 (near the middle), which subsequently fires two impulses to two different marbles (#870 & 908), near the bottom. If you ever reaccomplish this exact pattern of #17 to #164 to #870 & #908, you will experience a memory?of the event that initially triggered this pattern of thought. This is why we don't recall so much from our very earliest days: our brains change too much from the time of infancy to whenever we can clearly recall events. The fishbowl has grown to 55 gallons, and the marbles have spread apart to accommodate new ones."

Consider: If each marble contained ten sub-marbles. And each sub-marble contained ten sub-sub-marbles. And each sub-sub-marble contained ten marbles. Then no matter where in the brain you went, you could re-create your pattern #17, #164, #870, & #908 LOCALLY by having the local marbles extract their local representatives of marbles #17, #164, #870, & #908 to recreate the memory pattern
112. It seems to me that there is a major juggling situation going on just below the surface of consciousness- tens of thousands of patterns, in hundreds of layers - our very thinking process seems to be a model of creation. The meaning is in the matches (of the patterns). Just as the meaning of a word is in the match, agreement, between at least two people over the word.

Our brains seem to be like a collection of computers running 'windows' programs; and computers within computers, and so on. Maybe constantly our brain offers up a range of possible matches (hypotheses) and windows to choose from. We 'join the dots' (match up the windows from the computers) to construct meaning of the world and compare with interactions with the real world. We update through experience just as science updates through experiment.

113. Example: I had two keys. I had recently been in several situations regarding key A. It's as if one of my 'internal computer screens' was effectively left on standby with a pattern 'open door + use key A'.
I went to open door B without paying attention to the fact it was door B from a key point of view. That is, I mistakenly started to use key A. I immediately realised the pattern didn't match, metaphorically as if I updated the screen from where it had been left at; to the: '(open door + key) ,(door B + key B)' subroutine. I got thinking about how do these mistakes happen, and about this debate about how the brain works in your response to "2001...etc."

It involves the above ideas: that is extracting the space and direction pattern A>B>C>D say from a set where each element contains A,B,C,D so no matter how far apart the original neurons go in growing older; the space-direction pattern can be extracted anywhere in the brain because the brain is a set of arbritary frames and sub-frames and sub-sub-frames and sub-sub-frames and sub-sub-sub-frames etc. allowing re-assignment of brain tasks, total flexibility, and total recall.

114. This is evidenced by stroke victims who re-assign tasks from damaged regions to other regions. Like a window: look through just one small piece of a window and you see the whole scene. A hologram captures the actual wave-front pattern of light at the window. Break a hologram and you still have a complete hologram in each piece (only dimmer and angle of view slightly different I presume).

Physicist Timothy Ferris writes that nature seems to be like a hologram, but hasn't figured it out. I think it will be possible to figure it out Holograms are known to store tremendous amounts of data. Once made, they don't require energy to store. So there's another possibility for how memory is stored. A very good example I think. Like: the original experience involves you comparing two patterns. The original object to be holographically imaged involves a comparison between two laser beams reflecting off the object. Recreate the memory, shine the 'light' of attention on it. Recreate a hologram, shine a good light on it.

Perhaps two beams of other-dimensional 'light' interfere and create the space-time fabric of our Universe. Hence space seems to shimmer with virtual particles; as two fine grids shimmer with grid-match and gap-match interference fringes (like two net curtains, 'Moire' patterns).

115. Consider: The pattern layering in the brain may be like:

Lots of sets, each containing the same variety of basic data ingredients.

Lots of simple-concepts associated with different arrangements of those basic data ingredients.

Lots of bigger sets, each containing the same basic variety of simple-concepts.

Lots of more-complex concepts, each associated with different arrangements of those simple concepts.

All the above call a: 'data-library factory'. Now, consider an identical collection of data-library factories. They produce varieties of complex-concepts , and these may then occupy a 'window'. Consider numerous windows and computers running access to such windows. Incoming information is matched against first the current-open windows; if there is no match then the pattern-matching drops down a level in the system. If there is no match at the next windows-level, or the next; the matching may drop right down to the 'data-library factory' level.

Very unusual new information may require assembling a representation of it, by dropping right down to the basic-data ingredients and building up the new representation winding back up through the system.

Frequently used pathways in this layered pattern-matching system may get stronger; rarely used may fade. But the data is still all there. The sequence of 'gate openings' to each library/ set; records the unique information. These sequences can be stored in a similarly efficient manner.

Access to that system can also be modelled similarly. So you can end out with an astonishing amount of data stored in an incredibly compact manner, with virtual instant access to any of it and instant assessment of incoming information.

116. I'm suggesting that: when the neurons do their path pattern what is happening is that the neurons are being fired out of temporary structures I'll call 'neuron libraries'.

These are all identical (though may form large groups for designated purposes). The neuron-path pattern can be reproduced in lots of places by using a collection of neuron libraries somewhere else.

The path pattern is a relationship between neuron-sets, not neurons themselves. Each set is itself made of a group of mini-sets of neurons. The contribution of one mini-set to its local neuron-set relation pattern is extracted from it, along with the representatives extracted from the mini-sets in other neuron-sets.

The path-relationship information, from the group of mini-sets 'speaking on behalf of' bigger neuron sets, is actually a model of a smaller-scale pattern relationship between some mini-sets. Small organised structures of mini-sets are within the major set elements. Any of the mini-set structures can produce the same mini-set relationship.

Note: the brain can constantly re-organise its allocation of (or framing of) sets. The model is highly adaptable- since all knowledge is relationships- all that's needed to replicate knowledge is to replicate the relationships between sets, and between mimi-sets within sets, and even mini-mini-sets within mini-sets, and so on.

117. A job-region of the brain can have its role re-developed somewhere else by re-allocation of network-structure; which apparantly happens over time after damage from a stroke. The whole thing appears highly flexible- the comparison of levels and sub-levels, of relationships (All knowledge is relationships) can be done in a flash. When data comes in- it is scanned for relationships by the brain's own relationships for matching patterns. All recognition is pattern recognition.

The brain appeals to sub-levels of sub-patterns if necessary, and sub-sub-levels or sub-sub-sub-levels if need be. It records the new material as a relationship structure built from a pattern of previously experienced relationships. So all knowledge is remembrance, as Socrates thought; and humans are self-referent through and through, as Oliver Sacks thought.

118. The scenario depicted in para 112 above appears to also describe how a fluctuating quantum field (musical chairs games of basic data ingredients) may build structures on larger scales (quarks, photons, nuclei, atoms, molecules); it may also be applied to evolution, development of the universe from the big bang; pattern-pattern feed-back systems, 'chaos' and self-organising systems; Paul Davies' notion of possible 'information laws' to explain 'specific randomness'; maybe helps understand life and consciousness. It would be interesting to apply it in detail to Feynman diagrams. The scenario appears linked to quantum non-locality puzzles, David Bohm's 'implicate' universe, Dick's physics web-site, Shrodinger's cat, Everrett's 'many worlds', Feynman's 'sum of histories' etc. The way our brains work may indeed be a very model of the way the universe works. Underneath it all appears to be: (1) musical chairs (2) join-the-dots (3) know the difference.


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