View Full Version : "Consciousness without a cerebral cortex.."


mildadhd
05-08-16, 09:40 PM
This thread is meant to explore and promote a discussion about consciousness from birth.

Consciousness without a cerebral cortex: A challenge for neuroscience and medicine

Abstract: A broad range of evidence regarding the functional organization of the vertebrate brain – spanning from comparative neurology over experimental psychology and neurophysiology to clinical data – is reviewed for its bearing on conceptions of the neural organization of consciousness.

A novel principle relating target selection, action selection and motivation to one another as a means to optimize integration for action in real time is introduced.

With its help the principal macrosystems of the vertebrate brain plan can be seen to form a centralized functional design in which an upper brain stem system organized for conscious function plays a key role.

This system forms the prototypical core around which an expanding forebrain could serve as a medium for the elaboration of conscious contents, culminating in the cerebral cortex of mammals.

The highly conserved upper brainstem system, which extends from the roof of the midbrain to the basal diencephalon, integrates the massively parallel and distributed information capacity of the cerebral hemispheres into the limited-capacity, sequential mode of operation required for coherent behavior.

This perspective sheds light on the division of labor among the three principal cortical territories implicated in attentional and conscious functions, and helps us understand the purposive, goal-directed behavior exhibited by mammals after experimental decortication, as well as evidence that children born without a cortex are conscious.

Taken together these circumstances suggest that brainstem mechanisms play an integral part in constituting the conscious state, and that an adequate account of neural mechanisms of conscious function cannot be confined to the thalamocortical complex alone.

Keywords: Action selection, anencephaly, central decision making, consciousness, control architectures, hydranencephaly, macrosystems, motivation, target selection, zona incerta.

http://willamette.edu/~levenick/cs448/Merker.pdf



.

SB_UK
05-09-16, 01:24 AM
google for source

Twenty newborn infants were housed in a special facility. They had caregivers who would go in to feed them, bathe them and change their diapers, but they would do nothing else. The caregivers had been instructed not to look at or touch the babies more than was necessary, and they never spoke to them. All their physical needs were attended to scrupulously, however. The environment was kept sterile; the babies were never ill.

The experiment was halted after four months. At least half of the babies had died at that point, at least two more died even after being rescued and brought into a more normal environment. There was no physiological cause for the babies' deaths; they were all physically very healthy. Before each baby died, there was a period where they would stop verbalizing and trying to engage their caregivers, and just stop moving, never cry or change expression. Death would follow shortly. The babies who had "given up" before being rescued died in the same manner, even though they had been removed from the experimental conditions.

The conclusion was that nurturing is actually a very vital need in humans.However - proper nurture would occur naturally if parents did not need to be elsewhere.

Very specifically - where's the connection between ADHD and not ADHD here ?

There's a constant repetition of failed parental attachment giving rise to disorder - which is true - but the solution is obvious.

There is a very real possiblility that ADDers key attachment stage extends also.

-*-

I'm simply making the point that a host of problems - some difficult to deconvolute will occur if stress affects the developing germ cell to foetus to infant to child to adolescent to adult ... ... it's not useful to dissect these out - as we'll fail.
All we need know is that we're a composite of mind, body, spirit -

mind - to 'know' (a logical structure of understanding) what's
spirit - moral
and thereby to shift from primitive [glucose/glutamate - growth] to higher reward system [reward from making 'things' better] in which
body - blood glucose levels are stable

sarek
05-09-16, 02:35 AM
I would say that the root system for consciousness in the human brain could be the limbic system, which is a system we share with all mammals. This system is responsible for processing emotions.

Fuzzy12
05-09-16, 02:46 AM
I've learnt recently that the thalamus is widely implicated in consciousness as a sort of general manager. When parts of the thalamus are damaged humans lose consciousness but then there are other parts of the brain, which when damaged also cause impairments in consciousness.

Also, if I remember right, foetuses from the late 2nd semester onwards already have periods of consciousness. It isn't just suddenly switched on at birth.

SB_UK
05-09-16, 06:27 AM
We need a definition of consciousness.

Fuzzy12
05-09-16, 09:25 AM
We need a definition of consciousness.

Yes, very true. I guess I think of consciousness in terms of being aware though to what extent and to what exactly I'm not sure. Maybe this involves being aware of oneself and your environment, being able to respond to changes in your internal and the external state, and being able to make decisions (even if you can't execute these decisions).

So, I guess without a cerebral cortex you can't really be conscious. Though I've just read the OP and it seems that I am wrong.

I'm guessing also there are different levels of consciousness, which is obvious during sleep stages but we probably also operate on different levels of consciousness while awake though maybe then it's more specific to "conscious with respect to what??".

Anyway, I've just cooked that up. Is there a formal or a clinical definition of consciousness?

ginniebean
05-09-16, 11:31 AM
There are many definitions of consciousness and there is part of the problem.

I have no problem believing that consciousness begins and ends in the brain stem.
Or what is often called the reptillian brain. I can't read the link as it opens in pdf which is a nightmare for me on this phone. It's too bad because I can't make sense of the quoted material as it seema to be pointing all over the place.

I've often wondered if the generation of thought isn't a function of the brain stem somehow, at least the non stop churning out of the. The organizing, pattern seeking and pattern interpretation being more cortical.

Perhaps thought is no indication of consciousness.

SB_UK
05-09-16, 01:28 PM
Yes, very true. I guess I think of consciousness in terms of being aware though to what extent and to what exactly I'm not sure. Maybe this involves being aware of oneself and your environment, being able to respond to changes in your internal and the external state, and being able to make decisions (even if you can't execute these decisions).

So, I guess without a cerebral cortex you can't really be conscious. Though I've just read the OP and it seems that I am wrong.

I'm guessing also there are different levels of consciousness, which is obvious during sleep stages but we probably also operate on different levels of consciousness while awake though maybe then it's more specific to "conscious with respect to what??".

Anyway, I've just cooked that up. Is there a formal or a clinical definition of consciousness?

So many definitions of consciousness.

Here be dragons.

SB_UK
05-09-16, 01:29 PM
There are many definitions of consciousness and there is part of the problem.


Thanks and exactly.

It's so unsatisfying to discuss words which all people have different meanings for.

SB_UK
05-09-16, 01:32 PM
Andrew 'action potential' Huxley

whi apparently died a few years ago.

Perhaps the most difficult, and at the same time the most interesting problem in neuroscience, is the nature of consciousness and its relationship to physical events in the brain. Until a moderate number of years ago, this topic was avoided by neuroscientists, with the honourable exception of Sir John Eccles.http://www.neuroscience.cam.ac.uk/about/intro/

You really need to be careful if you're to enter this area.

-*-

The only defn of consciousness that I can use is:

duality (the means by which fundamental reality projects manifest reality)

something to be conscious of <- something to be conscious of it
receptor <- ligand

Consciousness is a fundamental property of the manifest Universe.

SB_UK
05-09-16, 04:20 PM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Eccles_%28neurophysiologist%29

duality (the means by which fundamental reality projects manifest reality)

I was a dualist,
....
now I am a trialist! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Eccles_%28neurophysiologist%29

Sir John Eccles is right.

Consciousness emerges from time - the Planck length standing wave - a dual - the first phenomenological construct post Big Bang.

What follows thereafter is a time series.

mildadhd
05-09-16, 10:19 PM
Affective Consciousness and Cognitive Consciousness

Types of Consciousness

-AFFECTIVE ................................................-COGNITIVE
-More Subcortical ..........................................-More Neocortical
-Less Computational ......................................-More Computational
-More Analog............................................ .....-More Digital
-Intentions in Action ......................................-Intentions to Act
-Action to Perception .....................................-Perception to Action
-Neuromodulator codes (Neuropeptides)...........-Neurotransmitter Codes (Glutamate, etc)

A major goal of psychotherapy is to promote
cognitive control of affective processes.

Figure 1.3. A summary of major differences between brain systems that mediate affective and cognitive processes in the brain. Overall, the affective system controls global states of the brain, while cognitions process incoming information from the external senses.


-Panksepp/Biven, "The Archaeology of Mind", chapter "Ancestral Passions", p 8.

mildadhd
05-09-16, 10:39 PM
"Consciousness without a cerebral cortex" is affective consciousness.




m

SB_UK
05-10-16, 01:45 AM
A major goal of psychotherapy is to promote
cognitive control of affective processes.

Excellent - this is exactly what I am arguing.

Birth (affective 'selfish' potentially addictive (growth-centric) processes dominate)
-> Emergence of mind
-> Education towards morality
-> Wisdom (cognitive control of affective processes)
=
Free Will
(defn - rational control over behaviour no longer driven by irrational selfish motivations)

SB_UK
05-10-16, 01:48 AM
"Consciousness without a cerebral cortex" is affective consciousness.




m

Would not use the word consciousness it's not sufficiently scientifically rigourous.

Without thinking too hard about the structure -

'Without a cerebral cortex instinctual emotional processes determine behaviour'

Consciousness as a term appears to be lost to pseudoscience.

mildadhd
05-10-16, 08:24 AM
Would not use the word consciousness it's not sufficiently scientifically rigourous.

Without thinking too hard about the structure -



Consciousness as a term appears to be lost to pseudoscience.

Have you ever heard of affective neuroscience?

There is lots of scientific evidence that there is affective consciousness.

Many questions you are asking are discussed in emotional-affective neuroscience.

(Back to pleading with you to consider emotional-affective neuroscientific terminology, to differentiate and cognitively understand).

I am asking to include bottom up affective consciousness in the cognitive discussion.

There is no sense having the same arguments any more if you choose not to.

Consider that cognitive thoughts are impossible without affective feelings.


m

SB_UK
05-10-16, 08:59 AM
Have you ever heard of affective neuroscience?

There is lots of scientific evidence that there is affective consciousness.

Many questions you are asking are discussed in emotional-affective neuroscience.

(Back to pleading with you to consider emotional-affective neuroscientific terminology, to differentiate and cognitively understand).

I am asking to include bottom up affective consciousness in the cognitive discussion.

There is no sense having the same arguments any more if you choose not to.

Consider that cognitive thoughts are impossible without affective feelings.


m

Can you explain what you want to discuss in plain English without terms like consciousness, affective consciousness, affective neuroscience etc ?

SB_UK
05-10-16, 09:03 AM
Thus, when cognition is taken at its broadest definition, affective neuroscience could also be called the cognitive neuroscience of emotion.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affective_neuroscience

cognitive

There's logic underlying the emotional reaction.

Develop one's selfish side / the matching reward system - and you'll feel bad when you're denied and feel good when you receive addictive substances.
Develop one's social side / the matching reward system - and you'll feel bad when you behave poorly to other people ... and feel good when you ... ...

SB_UK
05-10-16, 09:11 AM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affective_neuroscience
Thus, when cognition is taken at its broadest definition, affective neuroscience could also be called the cognitive neuroscience of emotion.

cognitive

There's logic underlying the emotional reaction.

Develop one's selfish side / the matching reward system - and you'll feel bad when you're denied and feel good when you receive addictive substances.
Develop one's social side / the matching reward system - and you'll feel bad when you behave poorly to other people ... and feel good when you ... ...

Do you object to any of the above - simply worded ideas ?

SB_UK
05-10-16, 09:58 AM
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=%22affective+neuroscience%22+ADHD

Only 7 entries in pubmed.

ADHD and 'affective neuroscience' do not appear to have recruited much interest.

Is there any reason for your pursuit of affective neuroscience ?

My current position is that emotional dysregulation (in ADHD) occurs through environmental factors (predominantly social) including teaching, peer relations particularly with respect to developmental delay/increased sensitivity.
And that the developmental delay may never be caught up in the absence of age appropriate teaching.

So - we're best placed looking at ADDer children and seeing whether uncomfortable/comfortable and intuiting what it is about the situation that they're being immersed in which distresses them.

Emotional dysregulation as just being a fancy way for describing chronic stress - the effects of chronic stress within context of ADHD.

SB_UK
05-10-16, 10:29 AM
Emotional dysregulation as just being a fancy way for describing chronic stress - the effects of chronic stress within context of ADHD.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_dysregulation
Emotional dysregulation can be associated with an experience of early psychological trauma, brain injury, or chronic maltreatment (such as child abuse, child neglect, or institutional neglect/abuse), and associated disorders such as reactive attachment disorder.

All occur because a child MUST attend school and pass.
All occur because a parent MUST work to survive.

The basis to Emotional dysregulation is a co-ercive global social environment which forces people to 'pay'.

BellaVita
05-10-16, 10:37 AM
I wonder how many parts of the brain could be removed, before consciousness is removed.

TygerSan
05-10-16, 05:36 PM
I wonder how many parts of the brain could be removed, before consciousness is removed.


That reminds me, eerily, of Lashley's memory experiments of last century. He was trying to find where in the brain memories were stored by selectively damaging specific parts of rat brains and having them navigate mazes. He found that no single lesion prevented the rats from successfully navigating the maze, leading to the conclusion that memory was distributed over the entire cortex.

This was a rather simplified conclusion, in part based on the fact that Lashely used an incredibly complex task requiring multiple, redundant networks for the rat to successfully complete it.

It is, however, very beneficial, to think of the brain as consisting of very complex and somewhat redundant networks of highly-specified functions.

http://www.intropsych.com/ch06_memory/lashleys_research.html

mildadhd
05-10-16, 09:09 PM
Babies do not speak English.

Babies have emotional feelings.






m

mildadhd
05-10-16, 10:23 PM
I wonder how many parts of the brain could be removed, before consciousness is removed.

Great discussion.

Children born without higher brain areas still have consciousness.

Nobody has consciousness without lower brain areas.

RAGE is 1 of 7 known primary emotional response systems are capitalized because they originate in the brain stem area.

Quotes from "Panksepp/Biven, The Archaeology of Mind, chapter "The Ancestral Sources of RAGE", "Figure 4.1. Hierarchical control of RAGE in the brain"..

..damage to higher areas (e.g., the Amygdala) does not diminish responses evoked from lower areas (hypothalamus and periaqueductal gray [PAG]), while damage of lower areas compromises the functions of the higher ones.

Hypothalamic damage eliminates responses from the Amygdala, but not the PAG, and lesions of the PAG markedly reduce RAGE responses evoked from the higher brain regions (from Panksepp, 1998a; republished with permission of Oxford University Press).


All 7 primary emotional systems, SEEKING, RAGE, FEAR, LUST, CARE, GRIEF and PLAY responses can be predictably stimulated in different areas of the PAG, located in the midbrain brain stem area.


m

SB_UK
05-11-16, 12:55 AM
Babies do not speak English.

Babies have emotional feelings.






m


With a LOGIC underlying the emotions.

SB_UK
05-11-16, 12:59 AM
All 7 primary emotional systems, SEEKING, RAGE, FEAR, LUST, CARE, GRIEF and PLAY responses can be predictably stimulated in different areas of the PAG, located in the midbrain brain stem area.

Are you making the point that all seven of these are located at distinct points on the 'pain' spectrum ?

Noting the connection between pain and distress.

SB_UK
05-11-16, 01:09 AM
Are you making the point that all seven of these are located at distinct points on the 'pain' spectrum ?

Noting the connection between pain and distress.


It's very possible that these ^^^ relate to what I've been calling the primitive (Addictive ('taking') reward system
<- selfish reward system

and

these vvv
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periaqueductal_gray#Role_in_maternal_behavior

relate to a reward system which is activated through giving.
<- social reward system

-*-

Simply that the selfish reward system is a spectrum of pain.
The social reward system (achieved through wisdom) results in the pain spectrum being transcended.

-*-

All of htis represents a mechanism to 'material attachment as the basis to human suffering' AND 'material attachment (a reward system representint the love of money, power, lower behaviours) as the root of all evil'.

SB_UK
05-11-16, 01:17 AM
Nobody has consciousness without lower brain areas.


Nobody has consciousness without an epigenome, a genome, carbon and friends, quarks and friends, light.

There's a need to define whether the lower brain areas are of importance in understanding and solving ADHD.

Or whether they're simply reactively deranged by higher ideals - ie cortical delay, learning failure (failure in synaptic pruning <- ADDF/LaserBeak), immersion in over-stimulating environments, competitive relationships with peers, abusive relations with adults (parents, teachers), imprisonment at home (because there's nowhere safe for the kids to play) ... ...


Oh well maybe those clever genetic engineers will work out a way of deleting the 30 or so thousand genes and putting human beings out of their pain.

SB_UK
05-11-16, 01:21 AM
My general argument then is that

pleasure -> <- pain

represent the key duality of man.

Feed the primitive reward system and the amplitude of oscillation of pleasure and pain increases ie the highs become higher, the lows lower.

Feed the higher reward system and the amplitude of oscillation of pleasure and pain decreases ie the highs and lows flatten.

This is the process of achieving a 'basal balance' between opposing duals and occurs when we follow this scheme.

birth + education towards knowing morality -> wisdom

NOT

birth + education towards knowing black boxed esoterica -> money, power, access to other lower behaviours

SB_UK
05-11-16, 01:23 AM
"Consciousness without a cerebral cortex."Rephrasing - the behavioural profile of a human being without a [rational] mind (built upon foundations of morality) is that of a vicious, rabid animal - even if they believe they have your best interests in mind. The thing is that they have no mind to make that call.

mildadhd
05-11-16, 08:24 AM
Excellent - this is exactly what I am arguing.

Birth (affective 'selfish' potentially addictive (growth-centric) processes dominate)
-> Emergence of mind
-> Education towards morality
-> Wisdom (cognitive control of affective processes)
=
Free Will
(defn - rational control over behaviour no longer driven by irrational selfish motivations)

SB_UK

For the most part I agree. But when I include all the parts, (bottom up affective and top down cognitive), there are some needed changes in terminology because of new added perspectives.


m

SB_UK
05-11-16, 09:33 AM
SB_UK

For the most part I agree. But when I include all the parts, (bottom up affective and top down cognitive), there are some needed changes in terminology because of new added perspectives.


m

I don't really understand.

SB_UK
05-11-16, 03:15 PM
SB_UK

For the most part I agree. But when I include all the parts, (bottom up affective and top down cognitive), there are some needed changes in terminology because of new added perspectives.


m

Using simple language - that'd be what human beings call

'winning hearts and minds'

Wisdom/Enlightenment wins over the heart and mind.

bottom up affective (so called 'hearts)
->
<-
top down cognitive (so called 'minds')

Of interest - the simple thought of 'human beings' falls just short of stimulating a gag reflex.

Gag reflex? Taste aversion ? 'Tasteless human society aversion ?

[QUOT=taste aversion]When examining taste avoidance, however, the rat may avoid a food yet still enjoy it and choose it over others. In further tests, the rats were tested with another sucrose solution but this time it was paired with a drug that gave positive, euphoric effects, such as amphetamine, cocaine, and morphine.
[/QUOTE]

So stimulants and opiates don't seem to work any more.
So - the bitter taste of people is no longer masked by mechanisms which operate via the same mechanisms as the narcotic and stimulant -

- all we're left with - is an image of people (generated by society) which is overwhelmingly ugly.

Taste aversion ? Gag reflex ?

mildadhd
05-11-16, 10:46 PM
SEEKING is a brain reward response system.

But there is more than one brain reward response system.

Increasing arousal of the SEEKING system in our brain, motivates us to search for rewards.

When our search for a intended reward is temporarily successful, arousal of the general motivation/SEEKING system temporarily decreases.











m

SB_UK
05-12-16, 01:50 AM
Humans SEEK food.
Humans SEEK mate.
Humans SEEK wisdom
[where the hunger ('SEEK') ends]

vs

Humans SEEK money, power, drugs of addiction, stimulation, drama
[The hunger ('SEEK') never ends]

SB_UK
05-12-16, 02:08 AM
SEEK goal.

The entire problem with human beings is that human beings have no (in this world) meaningful goal.

Yes - you can strive towards immortality (and fail) through making money and printing your name on public buildings - but that won't satisfy.

The only meaningful definition of immortality is in attaining wisdom - losing material world attachment - no longer FEARing (death) - happiness without SEEK through plain existence.

Realise a global society which ensures this scheme is enabled and human beings will correct from deviant into creative behaviour.

At the heart of the transition will be the collective loss of the love of money/power ... ... the collective elimination of money and hierarchical structures in which the purpose of the 'upper' (generally older) tiers is to suppress and not to elevate 'lower' (generally younger) tiers.

mildadhd
05-12-16, 08:58 PM
Humans SEEK food.
Humans SEEK mate.
Humans SEEK wisdom
[where the hunger ('SEEK') ends]

vs

Humans SEEK money, power, drugs of addiction, stimulation, drama
[The hunger ('SEEK') never ends]

Note in this thread the human is without a neocortex (tertiary processing) (emotional-self-regulation and morality). The individual without a neocortex needs a caregiver to help with tertiary self-regulation and morality, etc.

Only when referring the primary state/processing level (deeply subcortical) are the 7 known genetic emotional response systems capitalized, to differentiate between the many emotional terminologies to describe conditioned secondary (upper limbic) individual experiences.

Primary emotional-affective response system(s) + individual emotional experiences = secondary (emotional learning and emotional memories).

Some examples..

RAGE/angry/frustrated/irritated..etc
FEAR/anxious/scared/frighted..etc





m

mildadhd
05-12-16, 09:38 PM
Some examples.

SEEKING/enthusiasm/expectancy/curious/want..etc
RAGE/angry/frustrated/irritated..etc
FEAR/anxious/scared/frighted..etc


m

mildadhd
05-12-16, 09:58 PM
There are only 7 unconditioned/raw emotional response systems to remember.




m

mildadhd
05-12-16, 10:08 PM
RAGE/fight
FEAR/freeze or flight

(Reptilian definition of distress?)




m

mildadhd
05-12-16, 10:16 PM
RAGE/fight
FEAR/freeze or flight
GRIEF/sad


(Mammalian definition of distress?)




m

SB_UK
05-13-16, 01:57 AM
SEEKING (anticipation, desire)
RAGE (frustration, body surface irritation, restraint, indignation)
FEAR (pain, threat, foreboding)
PANIC/LOSS (separation distress, social loss, grief, loneliness)
PLAY (rough-and tumble carefree play, joy)
MATING (copulation—who and when)
CARE (maternal nurturance)Human developmental trajectory from

birth ---> wisdom

employs PLAY which redefines itself at various developmental stages*
employs SEEK which redefines itself at various developmental stages*
etc

but the endpoint is 'freedom' from this paradigm


* just 1 example using PLAY
PLAY as a NEWBORN - gross motor skills
PLAY as a child - fine motor skills
PLAY as a child - social skill and language acquisition
PLAY as an adolescent - sophisticated language acquisition through word play
PLAY in the workplace (though this rarely happens) - creative working

-*-

End-point (wisdom)

SEEKING - nothing
RAGE - no longer
FEAR - no longer applies through embracing one's own imminent (for imminent it is from the moment we're born) death
PANIC/LOSS - dissipates when there's nothing to fear
PLAY - happly through plain existence ... no desire to 'play'
MATING - stage is over
CARE - for specific individuals is over and translates at wisdom into an enforced morality in which CARE applies to all things removing the need for CARE for a selct few