Consciousness
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Consciousness
It's a mystery...
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Neuroscience, free will and determinism: 'I'm just a machine' - Telegraph

Neuroscience, free will and determinism: 'I'm just a machine' - Telegraph | Consciousness | Scoop.it

We're in the Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience, in Queen Square in London, the nerve centre – if you will – of British brain research. Prof Haggard is demonstrating "transcranial magnetic stimulation", a technique that uses magnetic coils to affect one's brain, and then to control the body. One of his research assistants, Christina Fuentes, is holding a loop-shaped paddle next to his head, moving it fractionally. "If we get it right, it might cause something." She presses a switch, and the coil activates with a click. Prof Haggard's hand twitches. "It's not me doing that," he assures me, "it's her."


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No 'God Spot' In Brain, Spirituality Linked To Right Parietal Lobe - Huffington Post

No 'God Spot' In Brain, Spirituality Linked To Right Parietal Lobe - Huffington Post | Consciousness | Scoop.it

Scientists have speculated that the human brain features a “God spot,” one distinct area of the brain responsible for spirituality. Now, University of Missouri researchers have completed research that indicates spirituality is a complex phenomenon, and multiple areas of the brain are responsible for the many aspects of spiritual experiences.


Via Carly Alyssa Thorne http://XeeMe.com/CarlyAlyssaThorne  
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Buddhism: Science of the Mind

Buddhism: Science of the Mind | Consciousness | Scoop.it

"Modern science initiated a deep spiritual crisis that led to an unfortunate split between faith and reason—a split yet to be reconciled. Buddhism was seen as an 'alternative altar,' a bridge that could reunite the estranged worlds of matter and spirit" writes Dr. Martin J. Verhoeven, Research Professor of Buddhist Studies and Practice at the Institute for World Religions. "Thus, to a large extent Buddhism's flowering in the West during the last century came about to satisfy post-Darwinian needs to have religious beliefs grounded in new scientific truth."

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Emergence Language

"Opening the valve that limits consciousness forces utterance, almost as if the word is a concretion of meaning previously felt but left unarticulated. Language is an ecstatic activity of signification. Through the act of speaking vividly, we enter into a flirtation with the domain of the imagination. The fluency, the ease, the aptness of expression one becomes capable of are such that one is astounded by the words that issue forth . . . For the inspired one, it is as if existence were uttering itself through him." - Terrance McKenna

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Is Data Consciousness? | Reality Sandwich

Is Data Consciousness? | Reality Sandwich | Consciousness | Scoop.it
Featureteaser:  Could the datasphere be an extension of our collective consciousness? If so, could an intentional organization of this data have a profound effect via our unconscious agents of empathy and evolution, mirror neurons?
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gregorylent's comment, May 23, 2012 1:34 AM
thoughts have form, substance, and what we think about vibrationally affects both awareness and body ..

can the intentional reorganization be of a higher frequency than the content being reorganized?
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This Is Your Brain on fMRI - IEEE Spectrum

This Is Your Brain on fMRI - IEEE Spectrum | Consciousness | Scoop.it

At the end of last year, IBM predicted that by 2017 limited forms of mind reading would “no longer [be] science fiction.” Along similar lines, though, in 1933 Nikola Tesla said he would soon be able to photograph people’s thoughts.

 

Is IBM going to be equally wrong?

 

Maybe not. Surveying leading neurotech experts has turned up some support—albeit limited and carefully qualified—for the company’s prediction. And oddly enough, one reason is that Tesla’s prediction is—in very limited ways as well—coming true too.

 

Neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to produce rough representations of images as actually seen by a subject’s visual cortex.

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How to Trick Your Brain for Happiness

How to Trick Your Brain for Happiness | Consciousness | Scoop.it

There’s this great line by Ani Tenzin Palmo, an English woman who spent 12 years in a cave in Tibet: “We do not know what a thought is, yet we’re thinking them all the time.”

 

It’s true. The amount of knowledge we have about the brain has doubled in the last 20 years. Yet there’s still a lot we don’t know.

 

In recent years, though, we have started to better understand the neural bases of states like happiness, gratitude, resilience, love, compassion, and so forth. And better understanding them means we can skillfully stimulate the neural substrates of those states—which, in turn, means we can strengthen them. Because as the famous saying by the Canadian scientist Donald Hebb goes, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” ...

 

In this article Rick Hanson goes on to explain how you can intentionally change your brain to create lasting happiness and well-being.

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Silicon Immortality: Downloading Consciousness into Computers

While medicine will advance in the next half century, we are not on a crash-course for achieving immortality by curing all disease. Bodies simply wear down with use. We are on a crash-course, however, with technologies that let us store unthinkable amounts of data and run gargantuan simulations. Therefore, well before we understand how brains work, we will find ourselves able to digitally copy the brain's structure and able to download the conscious mind into a computer.

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Healing through the dark emotions

Healing through the dark emotions | Consciousness | Scoop.it

….When I say we are “intervulnerable,” I mean we suffer together, whether consciously or unconsciously. Albert Einstein called the idea of a separate self an “optical delusion of consciousness.” Martin Luther King Jr. said that we are all connected in an “inescapable web of mutuality.” There’s no way out, though we try to escape by armoring ourselves against pain and in the process diminishing our lives and our consciousness. But in our intervulnerability is our salvation, because awareness of the mutuality of suffering impels us to search for ways to heal the whole, rather than encase ourselves in a bubble of denial and impossible individualism. At this point in history, it seems that we will either destroy ourselves or find a way to build a sustainable life together.

 

Miriam Greenspan - excerpts from a Sun Magazine

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Synchronized Brain Waves Focus Our Attention

Synchronized Brain Waves Focus Our Attention | Consciousness | Scoop.it

A deluge of visual information hits our eyes every second, yet we’re able to focus on the minuscule fraction that’s relevant to our goals. When we try to find our way through an unfamiliar area of town, for example, we manage to ignore the foliage, litter and strolling pedestrians, and focus our attention on the street signs.

 

Now, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have discovered that the brain’s control center syncs up to its visual center with high-frequency brain waves, directing attention to select features of the visual world.

 

“It’s been known that the prefrontal cortex plays an important role in focusing our attention, but the mystery was how,” said neuroscientist Robert Desimone, who led the study, published in Science Friday. “Now we have some insight into how it has that focusing role — through this synchrony with our sensory systems.”

 

This novel understanding of attention may inform future studies on disorders like schizophrenia and ADHD, in which patients are easily distracted and the prefrontal cortex is thought to be impaired. The region’s newly discovered role as a source of synchronized brain activity may be crucial to understanding these diseases.

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What are the structural differences in the brain between animals that are self-aware (humans, apes) and other vertebrates?

What are the structural differences in the brain between animals that are self-aware (humans, apes) and other vertebrates? | Consciousness | Scoop.it

If we assume that the prefrontal cortex permits metacognition, then the answer is simple: species that fail to demonstrate metacognition tend to lack brain areas that resemble the prefron­tal cortex. But because this area serves many cognitive functions and is well connected to the rest of the brain, the region is probably not the sole locus of metacognition. In other words, the prefrontal cortex may be necessary but not sufficient for self-awareness. Some psychologists speculate that self-awareness may arise in animals with greater overall cognitive ability, larger brain size or a higher degree of connectivity among brain areas.

Identifying the precise structural differences that make some creatures self-aware and others not is quite challenging. Most important, it is difficult to pinpoint and compare subtle structural differences across species in the face of more dramatic differences in brain morphology. For example, dolphins and chimpanzees both demonstrate metacognition, but their brains look completely different.

 

By Robert O. Duncan | Scientific American

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The Heart Has Its Own “Brain” and Consciousness

The Heart Has Its Own “Brain” and Consciousness | Consciousness | Scoop.it

The heart generates a continuous series of electromagnetic pulses in which the time interval between each beat varies in a dynamic and complex manner. The heart’s ever-present rhythmic field has a powerful influence on processes throughout the body. We have demonstrated, for example, that brain rhythms naturally synchronize to the heart’s rhythmic activity, and also that during sustained feelings of love or appreciation, the blood pressure and respiratory rhythms, among other oscillatory systems, entrain to the heart’s rhythm.

 

via Mindful Muscle Blog

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Universal Theory | Holonomic Brain Theory

Universal Theory | Holonomic Brain Theory | Consciousness | Scoop.it
Memory is not lost when the brain is sliced in different directions. This defies the assumption that memory storage occurs in specific parts of the brain. The Holonomic Brain theory suggests that memory is stored in spectral form.
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Amazon.com: The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self

The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self

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"Consciousness is inwardness in time. It makes the world present for you by creating a new space in your mind—the space of temporal internality. Everything is in the Now. Whatever you experience, you experience it as happening at this moment."

 

 Thomas Metzinger

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Is Quantum Mechanics Controlling Your Thoughts?

Is Quantum Mechanics Controlling Your Thoughts? | Consciousness | Scoop.it

Science's weirdest realm may be responsible for photosynthesis, our sense of smell, and even consciousness itself. 

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Hidden Smiles and the Desire of a Conscious Machine

Hidden Smiles and the Desire of a Conscious Machine | Consciousness | Scoop.it

With enough small steps it is entirely possible that a robot simulacrum could be created that mimics human behaviour to the extent that every biological human on the planet is fooled. If this is the case then the machines actions will be indistinguishable from human consciousness.

 

This however is only one scenario and one that is by no means the most certain. Alongside the possibility of a replica human-like consciousness there are infinite other possible forms that a consciousness may take.

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Quantum Consciousness: Our Evolution, Our Salvation

Quantum Consciousness: Our Evolution, Our Salvation | Consciousness | Scoop.it

The Indian sage Sri Aurobindo spoke of the emergence of superconsciousness in ever more people, and this, he said, is the harbinger of the next evolution of human consciousness. In a similar vein, the Swiss philosopher Jean Gebser spoke of the coming of four-dimensional integral consciousness, rising from the prior stages of archaic, magical and mythical consciousness. The Canadian mystic Richard Bucke called the new consciousness “cosmic,” and in the colorful spiral dynamics developed by Chris Cowan and Don Beck, it’s the turquoise stage of collective individualism, cosmic spirituality and Earth changes. For philosopher Ken Wilber, these developments signify an evolutionary transition from the mental consciousness characteristic of both animals and humans, to subtle consciousness, which is archetypal, transindividual and intuitive, to causal consciousness, and then, ultimately, to “consciousness as such.”

 

Psychiatrist Stanislav Grof summed up the characteristics of the emerging consciousness as “transpersonal.”

 

There is remarkable agreement among these visionary concepts. Superconsciousness, integral consciousness, cosmic consciousness, turquoise-stage consciousness, and consciousness as such are all forms of consciousness that transcend the divide between you and me, the individual and the world, the human being and nature. If these thinkers are right, this kind of consciousness will be the next stage in the evolution of the consciousness of our species.

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Cooperative Neural Networks Suggest How Intelligence Evolved

Cooperative Neural Networks Suggest How Intelligence Evolved | Consciousness | Scoop.it
A new computer simulation support a long-held theory that social interactions may have triggered brain evolution in human ancestors...

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self-remembering

self-remembering | Consciousness | Scoop.it

“Your principal mistake consists in thinking that you always have consciousness, and in general, either that consciousness is always present or that it is never present. In reality consciousness is a property which is continually changing. Now it is present, now it is not present. And there are different degrees and different levels of consciousness. Both consciousness and the different degrees of consciousness must be understood in oneself by sensation, by taste. No definitions can help you in this case and no definitions are possible so long as you do not understand what you have to define. And science and philosophy cannot define consciousness because they want to define it where it does not exist. It is necessary to distinguish consciousness from the possibility of consciousness. We have only the possibility of consciousness and rare flashes of it. Therefore we cannot define what consciousness is.”

 

- G.I. Gurdjieff

 

shared on subrealism blogspot.

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Build a better brain? Scientists keep trying, but many agree that it’s all but impossible

Build a better brain? Scientists keep trying, but many agree that it’s all but impossible | Consciousness | Scoop.it

Consciousness is an especially big problem for fake brains. It is a highly complicated property that only comes about when countless parts operate together in a certain way. Just as a single molecule of water is not wet, neither is a single neuron conscious, and while the behaviour of water at ever greater scales is well understood, the same is not true of neurons. Unless it can be explained away as an illusion, consciousness will remain the essential difference between virtual and real brains.

 

[image: Professor Henry Markram, head of the Blue Brain Project, in a lab of the Brain Mind Institute at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.]

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How electrical brain stimulation can change the way we think

How electrical brain stimulation can change the way we think | Consciousness | Scoop.it
After my brain was jolted, says Sally Adee, I had a near-spiritual experience...

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Collected Wisdom on Memes, Luck, Consciousness, and Existence

Collected Wisdom on Memes, Luck, Consciousness, and Existence | Consciousness | Scoop.it

[I]f it is true that human minds are themselves to a very great degree the creations of memes, then we cannot sustain the polarity of vision we considered earlier; it cannot be “memes versus us,” because earlier infestations of memes have already played a major role in determining who or what we are. The “independent” mind struggling to protect itself from alien and dangerous memes is a myth. There is a persisting tension between the biological imperative of our genes on the one hand and the cultural imperatives of our memes on the other, but we would be foolish to “side with” our genes; that would be to commit the most egregious error of pop sociobiology. Besides, as we have already noted, what makes us special is that we, alone among species, can rise above the imperatives of our genes— thanks to the lifting cranes of our memes.

 

- Happy 70th Birthday, Dan Dennett

- via brainpickings.org

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How to Misuse Your Power of Thought

How to Misuse Your Power of Thought | Consciousness | Scoop.it

“Thinking about sense-objects will attach you to sense-objects; grow attached, and you become addicted; thwart your addiction, it turns to anger; be angry, and you confuse your mind; confuse your mind, you forget the lesson of experience; forget experience, you lose discrimination; lose discrimination, and you miss life’s only purpose.”
–Bhagavad Gita 2:62, 63

 

you may find value in reading Swami Nirmalananda Giri's lesson in its entirety. - @Ddrrnt

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Recognizing the Significance of Consciousness

Recognizing the Significance of Consciousness | Consciousness | Scoop.it

The startling amazingness of consciousness self-evident to people who recognize it vividly — they can see that they are conscious and they can see that consciousness is something really special — something formless, empty, unfathomable, and even transcendental or mystical in nature. It transcends the body and the mind, it transcends the physical material world, it transcends thoughts and emotions. It is more fundamental than anything. It seems to be the ultimate fabric of reality itself.

 

When consciousness is directly recognized to this extent, it is obvious that consciousness is not a process or a substance or anything material or reducible for that matter – and it takes place in a completely different dimension from everything else — it’s not mediated by one particular sense or even by the cognitive faculty that thinks thoughts. It is a necessary condition for all of the senses and the mind, but it’s not identical to any of them. It’s something else altogether.

 

by Nova Spivack - Minding the Planet

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