Ep. 32 - Awakening from the Meaning Crisis - RR in the Brain, Insight, and

topic

discussion

my notes

  • Centrality of processes central to intelligence/consciousness require RR
  • Many things feed into this, at fundamental level unified phenomena
  • Need to try and give naturalistic account of this. Can then use it in an elegant manner to explain certain features of human spirituality.
  • RR as the ongoing evolving fittedness of sensory motor loop to its environment under the virtual engineering of the bio-economic logistical constraints of efficiency that compress, integrate, assimilate, and resiliency that particularize and differentiate
  • Leads to complexity that leads to self-transcendence.
  • Can’t do this comprehensively. Too technical here.
  • Give an exemplary argument of a plausible naturalistic account of RR
  • We have this worked out in terms of information processing processes. But can see it worked out in the brain?

The Brain

  • Not arguing we’re nothing but our brains, too simplistic.
  • But have to appreciate how complex, dynamic, self-creating, plastic, capable of qualitative development brain is
  • Suggestive - he’s not attempting to prove.
  • Arguing it is plausible to empirically explain RR
  • Increasing evidence that when neurons fire in synch something like compression
  • Evidence that when people cooperate, their brains patterns of synchronicity
  • Scale invariant: see this process over many levels
  • RR has to be happening locally and globally
  • Suggestive that this can be implementing RR
  • At many levels of analysis, what have is a pattern where neurons fire in synchrony, then asynchronous, rapidly oscillating manner: self organizing criticality

Self-Organizing Criticality

  • Particular kind of self-organizing
  • Ex: grains of sand falling, sand grains self-organize, no little elf shapes the sand into a mold, it self-organizes into a mound.
  • At some point enters critical phase, system close to breaking down.
  • Order: as mound takes shape. Position of anyone one grain gives information about where the other grains will be.
  • Criticality get avalanche: collapse, general system failure
  • Sand can spread out due to avalanche, introduces variation, important changes in the structural functional organization of the sand mound
  • New mound forms that can go much higher than the previous one. Emergent property.
  • Cycles like this
  • Brain cycles in this manner.
  • Neurons cycle together, then neural avalanche, reconfigure into a new synchronicity
  • Doing data compression, does a neural avalanche, introduces variability into the system which allows a new structure to reconfigure, momentarily fitted to the situation
  • Evolving fittedness, complexifying
  • Constantly evolving its sensory-motor fittedness to the environment he would argue
  • Happening at a myriad of levels, through the whole structure of the brain. Highly recursive, highly complex, dynamic
  • Implies RR
  • Evidence:
    • Thatcher et al: 2008-2009
    • If RR is GI then should see measurable relationship between the two
    • Found that strong relationship between measures of self-organization and how intelligent you are.
    • More flexibility, more intelligent
    • Not conclusive: lots of controversy
  • If this is right has important implications. May be able to move from psychometric measures of intelligence to direct measures of intelligence
  • May help develop AI
  • Naturalistic account of RR in terms of neuron firing patterns

Brain Wiring

  • Network theory: new way of looking at it
  • Three kinds of networks:

  • Regular network: all the connections are short distance connections. Lot of redundancy. Everything double connected

  • random/chaotic: mix of short and long connections

  • Small world

  • Broad families of networks.

  • Regular network lot of redundancy. Important because resilient. Can do a lot of damage and still connected. But price: inefficient. Mean path distance: lot of steps.

  • Random: so messy, but efficient. So many long distance connections. Low mean path distance. But not resilient.

  • Networks are being constrained in their functionality by the trade-offs in the bio-economics of efficiency and resiliency

  • Small-world: optimal amount of efficiency and resilience

  • If brain is doing RR by trading between eff/res. Should see small world networks and SWN should be associated with highest functionality in the brain.

  • Increasing evidence this is the case

  • (g) - RR - SWN. More brain wired like this more intelligent. Controversial

  • But finding that these kinds of patterns of organization make sense

  • Suggestive evidence that working memory like this. Salience network.

  • As brain is moving to SWN in the salience network become more intelligent. Salient is what stands out

  • This research is from the last 2 years. Controversy. Ongoing, progressive

  • Plausible that will be able to increasingly explain RR in terms of firing/wiring

  • The more a system firing in self-organizing fashion will tend to SWN

  • More it wires like SWN more likely will fire in that pattern - mutually reinforcing

  • Strongly suggestive that this is going to be given a completely naturistic explanation

  • May give naturalistic account of the phenomenology of Consciousness

  • Plausible possibility of natural explanation

Consciousness

  • Should all hang together such that machinery of intelligence and functionality of intelligence should be integrated in terms of RR
  • Relationship between consciousness and self-organizing criticality
  • Experiment:
    • Two images, different visual fields, compete with each other. Experientially switch back and forth.
    • Cube that flips:

  • See it both ways
  • When see one one part of the brain goes into synch. Then when switches another part goes into synch.
  • Suggestive of relationship between C and SOC
  • Functionality of consciousness to do RR associated with SOC - convergent
  • Experiment:
    • Monte et al. 2013
    • Give people general anaesthetic. Observe brain as pass in and out of C
    • As pass out loses SWN breaks down into more local networks
    • C seems to be associated with degree to which brain wiring as SWN

Machinery of Insight

  • Stephen and Dickson: found way to measure how much entropy in processing while trying to solve the insight problem
  • Found entropy goes down (behaviour becomes more organized) right before insight
  • Links insight to SOC
  • Study links insight to SWN
  • When have an insight, people’s info organized like a regular network. Get a long distance connection that forms. Lose some resiliency, but gain a masssive spike in efficiency.
  • Insight is when a regular network is converted into a SWN: optimization
  • Ex: metaphor: take two domains, Sam is a pig. Connection between it.
  • What happens in insight is SOC, breaks up a regular network converts it into a SMN
  • Sudden enhancement, increased optimization of RR, accompanied with a flash of salience (flow experience extends it)
  • In specifics this will turn out to be false probably, but project is progressing. So much is converging.

RR and Salience Landscape

  • RR happening at multiple levels
  • Featurization feeding up and back into foregrounding feeds up into figuration (figuring me out, aspectualized)

  • Dynamic and textured salience landscape
  • Core machinery of perspectival knowing.
  • RR is core machinery of participatory knowing feeds back to salience landscaping/perspectival knowing - gives dynamic situational awareness which opens up an affordance landscape - affordances become obvious to you.
  • Giving affordance obviation: certain affordances being selected and made obvious to you - basis of procedural knowing: knowing how to interact
  • Propositional knowing putting aside for now

  • Perspectival knowing grounded in participatory knowing
  • Situational awareness obviates affordances is what need to train skills
  • C is about doing higher order RR that affords you solving your problems
  • All of this is salience landscape
  • Salience landscape has 3 dimensions:
    • Aspectuality: SL aspectualizes things. Features being foregrounded and framed. Ex: look at a marker. Capture aspects
    • Centrality: way RR works: RR grounded in how things are relevant to you. How they are imported to you. Vectored onto me.
    • Temporality: small differences in time make huge differences. Kairos central. Small variations can have major changes. Central relevance in their timing.
  • SL is unfolding of these three dimensions: ACT
  • C giving perspectival knowing, grounded in participatory knowing, that affords procedural training, that has SL with ACT.
  • Centrality is the hereness: C is here. Indexed on me. Nowness. Togetherness (unity how everything fits together - oneness).

(all seems consistent with IIT)

  • A lot of the phenemenology of C explained with functionality
  • Not complete. But a lot of it.
  • He argues is this gives us an account for why altering states of consciousness can have such a profound effect:
    • Down to identity
    • Up to agency
    • Linked to profound sense of insight
    • Feel like dramatic coupling to environment
  • All hangs together well. Looks like have the machinery need to talk about it

Caring

  • RR is not cold calculation: always about how your body is making risky affect laden choices what to do with its precious, limited, cognitive and metabolic resources
  • RR always aspect of caring
  • Always affect. Thinge are salient, catching arousal
  • Creating affect. Moving, emotion. Moving towards action.
  • At the guts of conscious intelligence there is caring.
  • Heidegger: at core of our being in the world is a foundational kind of caring.
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