(Warning: neuroscience weeds) Some years ago, I reviewed Antonio Damasio's theory of consciousness, based on his book, Self Comes to Mind. (He has a newer book, The Strange Order of Things, which I haven't read yet, so this may not represent his most current views.) In that book, Damasio makes a distinction between two types … Continue reading Perceptions are dispositions all the way down
Daniel Yon has an interesting piece at Aeon on how our brains predict the outcomes of our actions, shaping reality into what we expect, and why we see what we believe, rather than the other way around. This idea is part of a growing sentiment in the cognitive science community that prediction is at the … Continue reading To perceive is to predict
Warning: neuroscience weeds. Every so often we get into discussions about where in the brain consciousness lies. Sometimes it's asserted to be in the brainstem, other times in the thalamus, sometimes in the parietal lobe, and yet other times in the prefrontal cortex. Myself, I've concluded that conscious perception requires activation of a network including … Continue reading Blindsight explained and conscious perception
In my post on consciousness possibly being a simulation engine, I noted Anil Seth's excellent Aeon article as one of the inspirations. As it turns out, Seth talked at a TEDx conference and covered many of the same topics he addressed in that article. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1syDjtlMGbo As noted in my post, I think a lot of … Continue reading Being a beast machine
So, I'm a skeptic, and I've had my share of debates on comment threads with people about purported phenomena without scientific evidence. One of the claims often asserted is that so many people have experienced it, there must be something there. It's not unusual for these debates to get mired in epistemological fights about how … Continue reading How do you separate the objective from the subjective?