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INFORMATION AND THE SUBJECTIVE BRAIN


It is unlikely, at least in the near future, that a unified information paradigm will emergernthat incorporates both the objective sciences of information and the human sciences ofrnexperience. The reason is that the former deals in objective facts while the latter concernsrnsubjective meanings, and neither can contain the other. What separates them is the oldrnchasm that divides mind and body, recently rephrased as the hard problem of howrnsubjective experience, termed consciousness, is so enigmatically and intimately tied tornthe objective world of extended reality and to the brain in particular. It would seem,rnhowever, that a truce, or even simpatico, might be achieved between the objective andrnhuman sciences if a common topology can be found which maps the attributes of both inrna way that does not violate the properties of either. Since objective information is alwaysrnconveyed by some physical carrier, it follows that the carrier, in this case some aspect ofrnthe brain and its processes, must allow a sensible resemblance (or mapping) to attributesrnof experience itself (though not necessarily in an obvious way). This in mind, it isrnreasonable to examine theories of brain function in hopes of finding one or more that holdrnthe requisite potential. What would seem to be needed is a way for the brain to encodernanalogue aspects of experience, such as sensations and emotions, as well as performingrnlogical operations involving categories, as exhibited in language. Computational modelsrnare weak in the former, though strong in the latter. Neural network models are thernopposite, though offer hope for explaining categorical operations as well. At the samerntime they hold forth the possibility of a more veridical representation of the brain itself.rnConsidered dynamically, neural network operations can encode analogue processes andrnalso represent logical ones, though with some difficulty--a situation that seems quiternhuman. Karl Pribram’s holonomic approach deserves special note as a brain model thatrntakes advantage of the neural network approach in a unique paradigm designed tornrepresent the actual dimensions of subjective experience. Other more speculativernapproaches include recent models that draw on quantum physics either for their overallrnlogic (Henry Stapp), or for working details of how the brain encodes experiential eventsrn(e.g., Stuart Hameroff and Roger Penrose). Fortunately, these latter approaches are notrndeveloping in isolation, but despite controversies within the neuroscience community arernenriching each other in the laboratory and on the theoretical drawing board.......

【作者名称】: Allan Combs
【作者单位】: University of North Carolina at Asheville,1 University Heights,Asheville, NC 28804, USA Saybrook Graduate School, San Francisco
【关 键 词】: information, brain, metaphor, model, subjective experience, analogue
【会议名称】: Humanity, science, technology: The systemic foundations of the information age
【期刊论文数据库】: [DBS_Articles_01]
【期刊论文编号】: 100,827,792
【摘要长度】: 2,637
【会议地点】: Asilomar, CA(US);Asilomar, CA(US)
【会议组织】: University of North Carolina at Asheville,1 University Heights,Asheville, NC 28804, USA Saybrook Graduate School, San Francisco;
【会议时间】: 1999
【上篇论文】: 外文会议 - ENVIRONMENT AND SECURITY: 2050 scenarios
【下篇论文】: 外文会议 - NUCLEAR RISK AND VULNERABILITY

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