Language as Inhibitor Intro Notes

Looks like I’ve missed posting a bunch of intro notes so the blog will be busy today!

On Tuesday March 12 I hosted a discussion about language as inhibitor. I will reiterate that the general consensus was that language is a very useful tool that can be a struggle to interpret – but as long as we confirm with the person we are communicating through asking questions what it is they mean communication can be quite effective. Also, I want to note that a statistic was introduced by a very good friend, Merlin, stating that 70% of sound is outgoing, and only 30% is incoming. This means that we have evolved to hear ourselves more than to hear others. Fascinating!

Language as Inhibitor

It is important to think about how you say things, versus just what you say. When communicating with others we take into account not only their words, but their tone, structure, volume, pitch, and non-verbal language, among other things. Between all of these things it is easy to get mixed signals, or interpret something in the wrong way.

Let’s start with a short description of language…

“Language is the human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, and a language is any specific example of such a system.” – Wikipedia

And, complex it is. To demonstrate, I’ll send you a link to the Abbott and Costello skit called, “Who’s on first?”. If you can’t see it here, then you should be able to see it on your own computer. It’s about 6 minutes long. You don’t have to watch the whole thing as you’ll get the idea pretty quickly. It demonstrates the issues when one persons’ meaning is not the same as someone else’s.

According to Bertrand Russell, “no one can understand the word ‘cheese’ unless he has a nonlinguistic acquaintance with cheese.”

Language is used to communicate abstract ideas in a manner in which the person you’re trying to communicate them to can understand. This means that both parties need to have a mutual understanding of the intended meaning of the words you’re using, but, alas, this is not always the case. Plato had a theory of forms, that explains that there is a basic idea or concept of what certain things are. For instance, if I say “dog”, you all have a picture in your mind of what that is. But, a dog can be broken down into various different breeds, body parts, and attitudes that are also then distinguishable by a form, ie. bone, hyper, Poodle. Another example is the word “love.” We don’t have a solid definition of what it is, but we have a concept of what it is, and we can translate it into another sign or reword it into something more relate-able. Same with “happiness.” If someone is unfamiliar with these forms, all of our communication is moot.

The questions I want us to explore today are:
Is there a better way for us to communicate?
How can we ensure that those we are communicating with are understanding our true meaning?
and the big one…
Is language an inhibitor to our communication?

We’ll go around the circle, starting to my left today, and everyone will get a turn to share. If you would like to pass you may, but if you have something to share you can feel free to do it in either text or voice, or both. If you are sharing in text, I will read your contribution on voice so everyone has the ability to participate.

Hemisphere Hopping

This weekend is a yoga workshop I’m attending, but we talked about this video yesterday, so I thought I’d share with you all. The power of the two hemispheres is fantastic.

Here’s a bit of what we talked about:

Left brain – “The files of that which I know.”

When our minds think of the past and future they must fantasize, write a narrative.

The left brain handles the language centres. It’s where all our internal chattering comes from. When meditating, you are (attempting) to turn off the left brain and use only the right.

Systems are developed in the left brain. For instance, we know 1+1=2. That is a system. All judgements and labels come from here.

Right brain – experiential focal point. i.e. the heart in Chinese medicine as the emotional centre is equivalent to the right brain.

The right brain deals only with this moment.

The left brain “hijacks” the moment and turns it into a narrative, tells you what you’re experiencing. Your detailed understanding of the moment comes from the left brain, but the understanding of the eternity of this moment is the right brain.

“We are all one” comes from the right brain.

The level of unconscious of the world is what allows troubles to arise. If we could all learn to utilize each side of our brain at the appropriate moments, or “tap in” to the right brain we would be able to handle situations better, and understand the world better. The left brain forces your experiences to act as if they already know everything. Your right brain tells you that you know nothing. Imagine experiencing everything as if it was the first time you’ve experienced it. Go into the world with the eyes of a child. Innocence, openness, nonjudgemental, forgiving – all qualities of the right brain.

Any intention you set is handled differently by each hemisphere. The left side solidifies, solidifies, solidifies, as though building a brick house and each brick is a different detail. The right brain will leave it to manifestation, let it come to you. For instance, you have an intention to travel to Thailand. Your left brain would calculate how much money you need, when to take time off work, book the flights, etc. whereas your right brain would just let it pan out, let it happen. In a way the right brain is attraction, where what you think and feel and want will be attracted to you. So if you think about going to Thailand, and let your body experience that desire, you may get a phone call saying, “We’re looking for a yoga teacher in Thailand, so we’ve called you. You won’t get paid too much, but we’ll cover your living costs and food.” And suddenly, it’s there. Take the path of least resistance.

This is a beautiful system of thinking, that connects to so much, nadis, Tao, energy work, manifestation, attraction, yoga, and so much more.

What does this all mean? I’m not entirely certain. But, it’s a building block in how we can make ourselves and our world happier, easier, and more comfortable. How we can get along with each other. It all links back to empathy, too.

Anyway, that’s just touching the surface, but comments are always welcome! What do you think?

Mind reading from brain recordings? ‘Neural fingerprints’ of memory associations decoded

Mind reading from brain recordings? ‘Neural fingerprints’ of memory associations decoded.

ScienceDaily (June 26, 2012) — Researchers have long been interested in discovering the ways that human brains represent thoughts through a complex interplay of electrical signals. Recent improvements in brain recording and statistical methods have given researchers unprecedented insight into the physical processes under-lying thoughts. For example, researchers have begun to show that it is possible to use brain recordings to reconstruct aspects of an image or movie clip someone is viewing, a sound someone is hearing or even the text someone is reading.

A new study by University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University scientists brings this work one step closer to actual mind reading by using brain recordings to infer the way people organize associations between words in their memories.

The research was conducted by professor Michael J. Kahana of the Department of Psychology in Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences and graduate student Jere-my R. Manning, then a member of the Neuroscience Graduate Group in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. They collaborated with other members of Kahana’s laboratory, as well as with research faculty at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

Their study was published in The Journal of Neuroscience.

The brain recordings necessary for the study were made possible by the fact that the participants were epilepsy patients who volunteered for the study while awaiting brain surgery. These participants had tiny electrodes implanted in their brains, which allowed researchers to precisely observe electrical signals that would not have been possible to measure outside the skull. While recording these electrical signals, the researchers asked the participants to study lists of 15 randomly chosen words and, a minute later, to repeat the words back in which-ever order they came to mind.

The researchers examined the brain recordings as the participants studied each word to home in on signals in the participant’ brains that reflected the meanings of the words. About a second before the participants recalled each word, these same “meaning signals” that were identified during the study phase were spontaneously reactivated in the participants’ brains.

Because the participants were not seeing, hearing or speaking any words at the times these patterns were reactivated, the researchers could be sure they were observing the neural signatures of the participants’ self-generated, internal thoughts.

Critically, differences across participants in the way these meaning signals were reactivated predicted the order in which the participants would recall the words. In particular, the degree to which the meaning signals were reactivated before recalling each word reflected each participant’s tendency to group similar words (like “duck” and “goose”) together in their recall sequence. Since the participants were instructed to say the words in the order they came to mind, the specific se-quence of recalls a participant makes provides insights into how the words were organized in that participant’s memory.

In an earlier study, Manning and Kahana used a similar technique to predict participants’ tendencies to organize learned information according to the time in which it was learned. Their new study adds to this research by elucidating the neural signature of organizing learned information by meaning.

“Each person’s brain patterns form a sort of ‘neural fingerprint’ that can be used to read out the ways they organize their memories through associations between words,” Manning said.

The techniques the researchers developed in this study could also be adapted to analyze many different ways of mentally organizing studied information.

“In addition to looking at memories organized by time, as in our previous study, or by meaning, as in our current study, one could use our technique to identify neural signatures of how individuals organize learned information according to appearance, size, texture, sound, taste, location or any other measurable property,” Manning said.

Such studies would paint a more complete picture of a fundamental aspect of human behavior.

“Spontaneous verbal recall is a form of memory that is both pervasive in our lives and unique to the human species,” Kahana said. “Yet, this aspect of human memory is the least well understood in terms of brain mechanisms. Our data show a direct correspondence between patterns of brain activity and the meanings of individual words and show how this neural representation of meaning predicts the way in which one item cues another during spontaneous recall.

“Given the critical role of language in human thought and communication, identifying a neural representation that reflects the meanings of words as they are spontaneously recalled brings us one step closer to the elusive goal of mapping thoughts in the human brain.”

Emblems of Awareness by Laura Sanders

Emblems of Awareness
Brain signatures lead scientists to the seat of consciousness

Michael Morgenstern

This article is part of Demystifying the Mind, a special report on the new science of consciousness. The next installments will appear in the February 25 and March 10 issues of Science News.


Humankind’s sharpest minds have figured out some of nature’s deepest secrets. Why the sun shines. How humans evolved from single-celled life. Why an apple falls to the ground. Humans have conceived and built giant telescopes that glimpse galaxies billions of light-years away and microscopes that illuminate the contours of a single atom. Yet the peculiar quality that enabled such flashes of scientific insight and grand achievements remains a mystery: consciousness.

Though in some ways deeply familiar, consciousness is at the same time foreign to those in its possession. Deciphering the cryptic machinations of the brain — and how they create a mind — poses one of the last great challenges facing the scientific world.

For a long time, the very question was considered to be in poor taste, acceptable for philosophical musing but outside the bounds of real science. Whispers of the C-word were met with scorn in polite scientific society.

Toward the end of the last century, though, sentiment shifted as some respectable scientists began saying the C-word out loud. Initially these discussions were tantalizing but hazy: Like kids parroting a dirty word without knowing what it means, scientists speculated on what consciousness is without any real data. After a while, though, researchers developed ways to turn their instruments inward to study the very thing that was doing the studying.

Today consciousness research has become a passion for many scientists, and not just for the thrill of saying a naughty word. A flood of data is sweeping brain scientists far beyond their intuitions, for the first time enabling meaningful evidence-based discussions about the nature of consciousness.

“You’re not condemned to walk around in this epistemological fog where it’s all just sort of philosophy and speculation,” says neuroscientist Christof Koch of Caltech and the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. “It used to be the case, but now we can attack this question experimentally, using the tools of good old science to try to come to grips with it.”

Knowledge emerging from all of this work has ushered researchers into a rich cycle of progress. New experimental results have guided theoretical concepts of consciousness, which themselves churn out predictions that can be tested with more refined experiments. Ultimately, these new insights could answer questions such as whether animals, or the Internet, or the next-generation iPhone could ever possess consciousness.

Though a detailed definition remains elusive, in simplest terms, consciousness is what you lose when you fall into a deep sleep at night and what you gain when you wake up in the morning. A brain that is fully awake and constructing experiences is said to be fully conscious. By comparing such brains with others that are in altered states of awareness, researchers are identifying some of the key ingredients that a conscious brain requires.

In the hunt for these ingredients, “we decided to go for big changes in consciousness,” says Giulio Tononi of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He and others are studying brains that are deeply asleep, under anesthesia or even in comas, searching for dimmer switches that dial global levels of consciousness up or down.


DEGREES OF THOUGHTView larger image | Awareness typically tracks with wakefulness — especially in normal states of consciousness (bold). People in coma or under general anesthesia score low on both measures, appearing asleep with no signs of awareness. Sometimes, wakefulness and awareness become uncoupled, such as among people in a persistent vegetative state. In this case, a person seems awake and is sometimes able to move but is unaware of the surroundings.Stanford Univ.

Scrutinizing brain changes that correspond to such levels has led some scientists to a central hub deep in the brain. Called the thalamus, this structure is responsible for constantly sending and receiving a torrent of neural missives. Other clues to consciousness come from a particular kind of electrical signal that the brain produces when it becomes aware of something in the outside world. But rather than one kind of signature, or one strategic brain structure, consciousness depends on many regions and signals working in concert. The key may be in the exquisitely complicated ebb and flow of the brain’s trillions of connections.

Hub of activity

A profoundly damaged thalamus turned out to be at the center of one of the first right-to-die battles in the United States. A heart attack in 1975 left 21-year-old Karen Ann Quinlan in a nonresponsive, unconscious vegetative state for a decade. After she ultimately died of natural causes, an autopsy revealed surprising news: Quinlan’s cerebral cortex, the outer layer of the brain where thoughts are formed, appeared relatively unscathed. But the thalamus was destroyed.

The thalamus is made up of two robin’s egg–sized structures that perch atop the brain stem, a perfect position to serve as the brain’s busiest busybody. It is the first stop for many of the stimuli that come into the brain from the eyes, ears, tongue and skin. Like a switchboard operator, after gathering information from particular senses, the thalamus shoots the signals along specific nerve fibers, connecting the right signal to the right part of the brain’s wrinkly cortex.

These strong connections, along with evidence from vegetative state patients, make the thalamus a prime suspect in the hunt for the seat of consciousness. A 2010 study in the Journal of Neurotrauma, for example, found atrophy of the thalamus in people in a vegetative state.

Not only is the thalamus itself compromised, but also its connections — white-matter tracts that carry nerve signals — seem to be dysfunctional in people who aren’t fully conscious, researchers reported last year inNeuroImage.

“I can’t help but think there’s something fundamental about the functional circuitry,” says neuroscientist David Edelman of the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego. “There’s a fundamental loop between … the thalamus and the cortex. If those connections are cut or if you’ve damaged them, that individual will not be aware by any measure, forever.”

One of the most startling pieces of evidence implicating the thalamus came from a patient who had existed in a minimally conscious state for six years, drifting in and out of awareness. After surgery in which doctors implanted electrodes that stimulated his thalamus, the man began responding more consistently to commands, moved his muscles and even spoke.

But the part the thalamus plays in consciousness is not straightforward. Its role may be as complex as the intricate spidery connections linking it to the rest of the brain.

“The thalamus has two souls,” says Martin Monti, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Los Angeles. One of the souls receives information directly from the outside world, and one receives information from other parts of the brain. “It turns out that there are many more connections going from cortex back to thalamus,” he says. “There’s a lot of chitchat.”

This huge influx of messages from the cortex may mean that the thalamus is simply a very sensitive readout of cortical behavior, as work reported in 2007 in Anesthesiology hints.


BRAIN JOLTIn a recent study, a team injected a signal (cross) into the brain via a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation. In fully awake volunteers (brain of one shown), a long-lasting response flooded the cortex. Dreaming patients showed some reverberation, but the response was stunted during deep non-REM sleep.M. MassiminI et al/Cogn. Neurosci. 2010

As anesthesia took hold of participants in the study, activity in the cortex wavered, yet the thalamus kept chugging away normally for about 10 minutes. If the thalamus were the ultimate arbiter of consciousness, its behavior should have changed before that of the cortex.

Instead of being a driver, the thalamus may be a consciousness gauge. In the same way that a thermometer can tell you to grab a coat but doesn’t actually make it cold, the thalamus may tell you a person is conscious without making it so.

Reading waves

Rather than studying the thalamus, some researchers focus on long-range brain waves that ripple over the cortex. One such ripple, a fast electrical signal called a gamma wave, has garnered a lot of attention. These waves, which in some cases emanate from the thalamus, are generated by the combined electrical activity of coalitions of nerve cells behaving similarly. Gamma waves spread over the brain at about 40 waves per second; other brain waves — such as those thought to mark extreme concentration or attention — are slower.

Gamma waves have been spotted along with mental processes such as memory, attention, hearing noises and seeing objects. And studies have even found that the waves are present in REM sleep, the stage marked by intense dreams.

Such associations have led some researchers to propose that gamma waves bind disparate pieces of a scene, tying together the rumble of a boat’s outboard, the crisp breeze and a memory of a black lab into a unified lake experience.

But some new data call gamma waves’ role in consciousness into question, by finding that the signal can be present when consciousness is not. Researchers, including Tononi, monitored electrical signals in brains of people as anesthesia took hold. When eight healthy people were anesthetized with propofol (the powerful anesthetic that Michael Jackson used to sleep), gamma waves actually increased, the team reported last year in Sleep. Consciousness was clearly diminished, yet the gamma waves persisted.

Specific brain signals, such as gamma waves, might be important aspects of consciousness, but not the main driving forces in the brain. “I can put gamma waves into any machine,” says Tononi. But doing so won’t give the machine a conscious mind.

The same may be true for structures such as the thalamus, as well as other regions that have been scrutinized by scientists, including the parietal and frontal cortices, the reticular activating system in the brain stem and a thin sheetlike structure called the claustrum.

Increasingly nuanced views of the ingredients at work in a conscious brain have led some scientists to a new suspicion: Perhaps the thing in the brain that underlies consciousness is not a thing at all, but a process. Messages constantly zing around the brain in complex patterns, as if trillions of tiny balls were simultaneously dropped into a pinball machine, each with a prescribed, mission-critical path. This constant flow of information might be what creates consciousness — and interruptions might destroy it.

Crucial connections

One way to look for signs of interrupted information flow is by conducting brain scans as propofol takes effect. In a study published last July inNeuroImage, 18 healthy volunteers were administered the anesthetic while in a functional MRI brain scanner. fMRI approximates a brain region’s activity by measuring blood flow: The busier the brain region, the more blood flows there.

While deeply anesthetized, some brain regions that normally operate in tandem fell out of sync, Jessica Schrouff of the University of Liège in Belgium and colleagues reported. Conversations within particular brain areas, and also between far-flung brain areas, fell apart.

People in vegetative states also appear to have interruptions in brain connections, Mélanie Boly of the University of Liège and colleagues found after comparing these patients with healthy volunteers. Participants listened to a series of tones, most of which were similar, but every so often, a strange “oddball” tone would play, spurring a big reaction in the brain. The initial brain reaction in vegetative state patients was normal, as measured by EEG monitors.

The signal seemed to travel from the auditory regions of the brain to other areas in the cortex. But the signal stopped there. Unlike in healthy people, the pinball-like motion of information traveling from different sites in the cortex didn’t make its way back down to the auditory regions that first responded to the tone, the team reported last May in Science.

It’s not clear just what causes these disconnects. One possible culprit, as counterintuitive as it seems, may be an overload of synchrony, Gernot Supp of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany and colleagues reported in December in Current Biology. As an anesthetic kicks in, huge swaths of the brain adopt slow, uniform behavior. This hypersynchrony, as it’s called, may be one way that anesthesia stamps out the back-and-forth of information in the brain.

Instead of just observing the brain’s behavior and inferring connectivity, Tononi, Marcello Massimini of the University of Milan in Italy and colleagues decided to manipulate the brain directly. The team figured out how to use a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, to jolt a small part of the brain and monitor the resulting signals with electrodes.

“Basically you trigger a chain of reactions in the cerebral cortex,” Massimini says. “It’s like we’re knocking on the brain with this pulse, and then we see how this knocking propagates.”

Like ripples on a pond, the reverberation from the TMS in a healthy, alert person was a complex, widely spreading pattern lasting about 300 milliseconds.

This complex entity became much simpler, though, when the brain was deeply asleep. Instead of morphing from one shape to another like a drop of food coloring that roils around in water before dissipating, the signal sits right where it started, and it fades faster, disappearing after about 150 milliseconds. The same simple pattern is found in anesthetized brains.

“If you knock on a wooden table or a bucket full of nothing, you get different noises,” Massimini says. “If you knock on the brain that is healthy and conscious, you get a very complex noise.”

Massimini, Tononi and colleagues have recently found the same stunted response in patients in a vegetative state. The team tested five vegetative state patients, five minimally conscious patients and two people who were fully conscious but unable to move (a condition called locked-in syndrome). For the most part, locked-in patients and minimally conscious patients showed complex and long-lasting signals in the brain, similar to fully conscious people. But vegetative state patients’ brains showed a brief, stagnant signal, the team reported online in January in Brain.

Such clear-cut differences in the brain could one day help in diagnosing people who have some level of consciousness but are unable to interact with doctors. When researchers performed the test on five new patients who shifted to a vegetative state in the months after coming out of a coma, three of the five regained consciousness. Before the doctors saw clinical signs of improvement, the method picked up increases in brain connectivity.

At this stage, the measurement is somewhat coarse, Massimini says. But further refinements may allow doctors to better assess levels of consciousness.

Looking at these large-scale changes in the brain may also provide some new leads to scientists puzzling over what consciousness means. Other ideas will probably come from scientists studying a different facet of consciousness: how the brain builds whole experiences out of many small pieces, such as the crisp taste of an apple, the rustle of fall leaves and a feeling of joy.

Approaching consciousness from a lot of different angles is the best bet for ultimately understanding it, says neuroscientist Anil Seth of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science in Brighton, England.

In the same way that “life” evades a single, clear definition (growth, reproduction or a healthy metabolism could all apply), consciousness might turn out to be a collection of remarkable phenomena, Seth says. “If we can explain different aspects of consciousness, then my hope is that it will start to seem slightly less mysterious that there is consciousness at all in the universe.”

Read Tom Siegfried’s essay on consciousness, “Self as Symbol.”

Recipe for consciousness

Somehow a sense of self emerges from the many interactions of nerve cells and neurotransmitters in the brain — but a single source behind the phenomenon remains elusive.

Nicolle Rager Fuller

1. Parietal cortex Brain activity in the parietal cortex is diminished by anesthetics, when people fall into a deep sleep and in people in a vegetative state or coma. There is some evidence suggesting that the parietal cortex is where first-person perspective is generated.

2. Frontal cortex Some researchers argue that parts of the frontal cortex (along with connections to the parietal cortex) are required for consciousness. But other scientists point to a few studies in which people with damaged frontal areas retain consciousness.

3. Claustrum An enigmatic, thin sheet of neural tissue called the claustrum has connections with many other regions. Though the structure has been largely ignored by modern scientists, Francis Crick became keenly interested in the claustrum’s role in consciousness just before his death in 2004.

4. Thalamus As one of the brain’s busiest hubs of activity, the thalamus is believed by many to have an important role in consciousness. Damage to even a small spot in the thalamus can lead to consciousness disorders.

5. Reticular activating system Damage to a particular group of nerve cell clusters, called the reticular activating system and found in the brain stem, can render a person comatose.

Topic for Tuesday Jan. 10 Discussion

I’m going to start posting the topics for the tuesday discussions ahead of time so that people can get prepared to debate. Also, if you can’t make it, you at least know what you’re missing! The discussions take place at 10amSLT at the E&S Cafe. See you there!

Topic: Consciousness and Memory Transfer
Cases have been known where children remember exact details from events they shouldn’t know anything about.
For instance, there was the boy who remembers WWII details as if he was a pilot:
It appears as though these children are aware of events, details, etc. that they shouldn’t know anything about. Believing that someone can be reincarnated is difficult for scientists to believe or prove.
To think that someones spirit, or consciousness, is just floating around in our world is unprovable at this point in our technology, and highly speculative.
Some people who have organ transplants claim to get the memories, emotions, etc. of the person who had the organ before them. They call it “memory transference”.
“…[I]t is pertinent to note that apart from miscellaneous information such as gender, age and cause of death, profiles of organ donors are traditionally concealed from their recipients for psychological reasons.”
“Neuropeptide theory
Pharmacologist Candace Pert proposed that neuropeptides which are stored in every cell act as a sort of biochemical correlate of emotion. It was previously thought that emotions resided in the limbic system in the brain.
According to Pert, neuropeptides are protein-like messenger molecules released by the brain neurons which flow through the body communicating among the
nervous, immune, endocrine, muscle, and skeletal systems via blood, interstitial fluids and the central nervous system, which are all body fluids.
At present, about 100 different peptides are known to be released by various populations of neurons in the mammalian brain.
Neuropeptides have also been found in the heart, which could explain some forms of cellular memories reported by heart transplant recipients (10).”
Here I bring you to a slightly different topic, quantum consciousness. Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff collaborated on a theory they call the “OR model of consciousness”. (objective reduction)
“Within the OR scheme, we consider that consciousness occurs if an appropriately organized system is able to develop and maintain quantum coherent superposition until a specific “objective” criterion (a threshold related to quantum gravity) is reached; the coherent system then self-reduces.”
Cellular Automata
You know what a checkerboard looks like? A bunch of black and white squares? Well, Conway is a mathematician that basically figured out a formula stating that if a white cell has eight cells around it, then if it is given a rule saying that 3 of those cells are white then it needs to turn black.
If every cell was given that rule, it would seem as though patterns were moving across the board as they changed. They’d never settle and become still. Basically this is applied to cells, mostly seen in computer memory.
However it is found in biological cells as well; like in snails shells the patterns are due to this cellular automata. So, these “rules” have also been found in neural tissue. Penrose and Hameroff believe that this is the cause of consciousness, or self-awareness.
In that case, if these cells are moving and changing all the time, at speeds completely undefinable, then they would take time to slow down and finally stop, causing consciousness to end.
Meaning, after death, humans are still conscious. Especially since it takes a little while for the actual cells to die, and the DNA never does. It could be minutes, or hours for all we know, before consciousness stops.
Oxygen flow is what causes brain activity and from there every other kind of process in our bodies. But even after oxygen stops flowing, it takes a little while (not sure exactly how long, varies from person to person as well) for everything to suffocate.
So, these cells could continue going for a very long time before they finally die, if they do.
However, Hameroff, being an anesthesiologist, has “shown that when people are put under for surgery their tubulin dimers fall into a neutral state — instead of being black or white, they all sort of become gray.
When they do that, consciousness goes off; when they start behaving as cellular automata again, consciousness comes back on.”
Memory Transference
For the past decade, in experiments with mice, rats and even lowly flatworms, a number of researchers have claimed success in transferring learning or memory between organisms, usually by feeding or injecting one animal with the brain extract from another.
Those claims have never been completely accepted, however, because other scientists were not always able to duplicate the experiments, and no one could identify the exact nature of the so-called “memory molecules” necessary for such a transfer.
They are admitting that there would need to be some sort of physical form that the memories would need to exist in. They have not yet identified these, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
What if memory could be transferred between organisms? When people die, if their bodies are left to disintegrate, they break down and get absorbed into the soil.
The plants grow from the soil, and are eaten by the animals (which could be human), and the humans eat the animals.
From this one can assume that the cells of the deceased could be absorbed into the bodies of the living.
If memory is stored in active cells or neuropeptides within the cells, they could be stored long enough, based on the cellular automata theory, to be passed on to the other human being.
This could explain why humans have the ability to learn from such a young age. It could explain why we seem to have a general set of knowledge from the time we are babies. How we know how to grow, talk, acknowledge objects, etc.
It could even describe why these children from all over the world have vivid memories of things they should know nothing about.
What do you think? I open the floor.