Tuesday, 25 May 2010

A Cerebral Plot:

It's an Inside Job!

Neurons are connected each other, exchanging information. What is about? Well, about, mostly, other connections. You can say that the informational exchange with the environment is negligible, in comparison with the inside exchange. When a group of neurons fire,a lot of other groups react, firing.Subsequently the reaction is considered as an information by other groups; of course it's their turn to say they noticed the other guys noticed. And guess? They will fire. This is what happened when you where in the womb. No surprise that by the time you were born, your brain was in a damn activity. And now you start to have a reasonable amount of information from the environment too (yes, it is negligible but it's not zero). By the time you're 2/3, your brain is a locomotive of neuronal activity. You can see, walk, talk (!). And still the environment portion is ultra low.

When a human brain is very young, it has been already on a roller-coster of activity, and the roller-coster is starting to be mapped by the brain itself. Passing through a huge amount of reciprocal firing, neuro-connectivity is becoming highly informed about his own activity. This is called “informational re-entry”, by the Nobel prize G.Edelman.

Why is the brain involved in a such a massive scale of internal informational exchange? Well the sausage answer is clearly: because it needs to inhabit a human world and that inside activity is necessary in order to be part of a community of human brains. As usual, the sausage answer is correct. The only comment is that the answer is just turned upside down. We live in a community of human brains because we (our brains) experience a massive scale of internal informational exchange. The brain is mainly involved in representing its own representations. We are speaking of the brain, but actually is more appropriate to speak of a multiple layers of neural configurations. Dennett associates the clouds of neuronal connections with multiple drafts of cognitive representations. I'd say, (if I were a brain), that I need to hung my attention to something, in order to facilitate the projection of the representation of a representation.

Otherwise you'll spin indefinitely chasing an infinite cicle of representation of representation. Is it not happening? Sometimes in very damaged cognitive systems. But for the majority of adult human brains, attention is reasonably stable. What have we hang our internal informational representation upon? To the fictional character of consciousness. Consciousness is pretending to be a character playing a role in a cognitive constructed environment. What is she really doing? She's writing her own role as the character. Narrative re-entry.

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