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10

I don't know what precisely "nerve signals" is supposed to refer to, but neurons exchange information mainly via one pathway: neurotransmitters. And these do not travel the synaptic cleft via quantum tunnelling - obviously, since quantum tunnelling is a phenomenon on a quantum scale (concerning electrons), while neurotransmitters are far larger, at the ...


6

Research exists on craniopagus twins, maybe most notably Tatiana and Krista, who seem to share sensory input somewhat. I doubt that connective mechanisms such as this abnormal case would suffice to permit "compound cognition" in ways that would enhance cognitive ability similarly to your point about hominid evolution. Your relatively simple proposal for a ...


5

This is partially an aspect of the binding problem. Sensory information arrives in parallel as a variety of heterogeneous hints, (shapes, colors, motions, smells and sounds) encoded in partly modular systems. Typically many objects are present at once. The result is an urgent case of what has been labelled the binding problem. We must collect the hints, ...


4

Sure, to some extent mind reading implies brain reading. For instance, if you were reading someone's mind by their behavior or their heart rate, it would be through their brain's effect on those organs. We largely do this through inference. Without a heart monitor or perspiration monitor, we have whole sections of brain dedicated to recognizing human ...


4

If you look at the paper Strong and Weak Emergence by David J. Chalmers he states his belief that consciousness is the only example we have of strong emergence. However, he also states that it is quite possible that there is no such thing as strong emergence, and therefore, our perception of the mind as an example of strong emergence stems from our current ...


4

You are describing an observation as old as Freud, where he divided human's experience into three levels, roughly along the same lines as you. The conscious as that clear and ill-defined concept that gives you the feeling of attention, awareness, and self. The preconscious as the level just outside of your current awareness but that could easily spring to ...


4

In many languages, there is no word similar in meaning to the English word mind. In my opinion that fact illustrates an inherent problem with the scientific use of that word: that mind does not even denote a unified concept at all. The Oxford English Dictionary lists the following current meanings of mind, among others ...


4

Consciousness is a broad concept. In a binary world (conscious/not conscious), biological evidences are irrefutable. For example, a 2009 Brain article stated that "Impaired consciousness during temporal lobe seizures is related to increased long-distance cortical-subcortical synchronization." (Arthuis et al.). A 2012 Lancet Neurology article had the ...


3

Under normal cirmumstances, death is indeed inconceivable. However, there is a rare psychiatric condition called Cotard Delusion or Cotard's syndrome where patients believe that they are dead. Strange as it may seem, there have been reports by such patients who deny the existence of parts of their bodies or claim to smell the rotting flesh of their allegedly ...


3

what has always puzzled me is the neurobiological basis that gives rise to the phenomenon that we associate our bodies with ourselves – i.e., why does my brain think of my physical body as "me" and make me care for it? In other words, why is me me at this particular point in time and not some other body living e.g. centuries ago? Why do I not ...


3

Just speaking from personal experience, I've never experienced time distortion in my dreams as extremely as you describe. I've experienced moments scattered throughout narratives that would take longer than 20 minutes to elapse in real life, but since I never recall experiencing every single moment of those narratives, I wouldn't assume my sense of time had ...


3

Nick Stauner’s reply has some nice discussion about concrete existing work; we also discussed some more speculative possibilities in (Sotala & Valpola 2012), considering the possibility of merging together the minds of two distinct people so that they could share thoughts and skills. In particular, we considered the possibility of “exocortices”, neural ...


3

There's a philosophical stance called panpsychism that addresses this question. Of course, there is no proof, but the fundamental question is really about humans. Is consciousness an intrinsic property of matter or does it emerge from complex matter structures? It's probably something we'll never know, but Tononi's model of consciousness leans towards ...


3

Introduction Your thoughts seem to straddle panpsychism and computationalism. It is also possible you are just raising a question about physicalism: "if mental thoughts are a result of physical interactions, then why would consciousness be limited to things with brains?". Well, the short answer is that it's fundamentally not, but neither is a fusion ...


3

This being cogsci.SE, not philosophy.SE, we cannot simply accept a philosophical definition of consciousness. From the perspective of experimental science, there is no universally accepted operationalisation of "consciousness". For example, it is impossible to measure consciousness directly. A usual approach is to let human subjects report their thoughts. ...


2

Wikipedia is often a good place to start for basic questions like these. Wikipedia has separate pages devoted to the mind, the brain, and even the mind–body problem, which is one example of the many theoretical challenges implied by the distinctions between "mind" and "brain". Simply stated: The brain is a physical organ. It's entirely possible that much ...


2

Here's a study on Brain Response to One's Own Name in Vegetative State, Minimally Conscious State, and Locked-in Syndrome: http://archneur.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=791093 Background A major challenge in the management of severely brain-injured patients with altered states of consciousness is to estimate their residual perception of the ...


2

As @Steven Jeuris has said, the phenomena is best known as semantic satiation. It's not as popular a topic of study as it used to be (most references I can find for it come from the 1960s), but, to the best of my memory, the actual cause of the phenomena is down to how meaning is represented in the brain. I'll explain this by loosely paraphrasing an account ...


2

If you use a slightly different (and to my own experience more common) phrasing of this phenomenon to look for information you find immediate relevant results on Google. Rather than referring to words fading from consciousness I've usually heard it being stated as repeating a word often makes it lose its meaning. The first hit is a Wikipedia article on ...


2

Wikipedia's answer is a better answer than I could offer as to what the higher self is, because that's all you've used to define it, and as Wikipedia says, it's "a term associated with multiple belief systems," and probably differs rather widely across the gamut. Regardless of how odd some of those beliefs might get, it probably shouldn't be synonymous with ...


2

I was wondering what happens if we lose all electrical impulses in our nervous system for a minimum amount of time... if we have a complete elec. blackout, is our memory erased? Or is our consciousness based soly on the synapsis in our brain and does not care about the electrical state? If "we" includes other animals down to frogs, then the answer ...


1

I don't know any such group in Italy but there is a group in Liege, Belgium which is called Coma Science Group. It consists of scientists of various disciplines and their main interest is understanding disorders of consciousness. Also their work has a clinical orientation as well. From your description, I think it will be interesting to you. Their website is ...


1

My suggestion would be that, as with all forms of mental imagery, short-term working memory circuits are responsible for keeping dreamt images active, i.e. in consciousness. Distraction by competing perceptual representations would cause immediate disruption of one's dreamt images; without such distraction, imagery in short-term memory typically starts to ...


1

Modern neuroscience has left behind the notion of mind-brain separation. Neuroscientists typically accept that everything from our breathing to our emotions and the complex sense of "self" that we have is a product of our brains. We have yet to discover exactly how/when/why the "mind" emerged from the brain, but we do know that most of our mental processing ...



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