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Phantom Limb Manipulation


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#1 petrossa

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 18:07

From the sourced scientific observation lot's of things can be deduced. The writer himself poses an interesting one.

Further, as the world of virtual reality looms before us, it is plausible that our brains can be easily tricked into feeling as if we occupy the virtual representation of ourselves. We will not just be looking at an our avatar in a virtual world, but feel as if we are the avatar and are in the virtual world.

However doesn't he skip a step there? Namely, we do that already.

Our brain already constructs a virtual representation of the world. Given the biological fact that between a corporal event being witnessed by the brain it takes upwards from 0.5 secs for it reach our consciousness. There are arguments that given the definition by present day law of 'conscious acts' no one is responsible for his actions. (Gazzaniga, the Ethical Brain http://www.press.uch...1932594019.html)

You only know consciously what you've done 0.5 secs AFTER you've done it, seen it,heard it, felt it.

Hence, freedom of will is an illusion created by your brain.

SOURCE

Edited by Anaron, 07 November 2009 - 07:46. Reason: Fixed link.



#2 mokthraka

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 02:46

that means others dont know what you have done till even longer. so its okay :)

and im pretty sure that its not always .5 seconds

#3 OP petrossa

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 07:25

that means others dont know what you have done till even longer. so its okay :)

and im pretty sure that its not always .5 seconds

:D  still it's thought provoking to see that a noted neurophysicist who's been expert witness on lot's of courtsessions puts forward (slightly tongue in cheek) the proposition that in actual fact no one is aware of his actions till after the fact, get's supported by on observation made by someone researching phantom limb phenomena.


No that's true, it can be up to 1 second.

#4 +M2Ys4U

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 21:27

lot's of things

Where did that apostrophe come from? [/pedantry]

Further, as the world of virtual reality looms before us, it is plausible that our brains can be easily tricked into feeling as if we occupy the virtual representation of ourselves. We will not just be looking at an our avatar in a virtual world, but feel as if we are the avatar and are in the virtual world.

However doesn't he skip a step there? Namely, we do that already. 

Our brain already constructs a virtual representation of the world. Given the biological fact that between a corporal event being witnessed by the brain it takes upwards from 0.5 secs for it reach our consciousness. There are arguments that given the definition by present day law of 'conscious acts' no one is responsible for his actions. (Gazzaniga, the Ethical Brain http://www.press.uch...932594019.html)

You only know consciously what you've done 0.5 secs AFTER you've done it, seen it,heard it, felt it.

Hence, freedom of will is an illusion created by your brain.

SOURCE

Don't forget that one's actions can be predicted up toSIX> seconds before we actually perform them.

I think the idea of a split between the 'concious' and the 'unconscious' is very much overestimated, but that by no means diminishes the consciousness IMVHO.

#5 -Razorfold

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 21:31

Lol I saw this topic in the latest forum activity section and thought it was about venture bros =/

LOL

Interesting article though!

#6 OP petrossa

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 07:23

Where did that apostrophe come from? [/pedantry]
bad english for you, not bad for a foreigner. :pp



Don't forget that one's actions can be predicted up toSIX> seconds before we actually perform them.

I think the idea of a split between the 'concious' and the 'unconscious' is very much overestimated, but that by no means diminishes the consciousness IMVHO.


We're talking about reactions here. Not actions as such. 


event happens:

vision pass by the limbic system first, audio as well. Limbic system reacts, neocortex has no knowledge of the existence of the limbic system nor a direct linkage like the two hemispheres have.

So neocortex gets the visual later, and notices the body has reacted. It scans the hormone levels, respiration rate, heartrate, positioning of the facial muscles, muscle tension, body stance and in so doing tries to figure out what's happening. Once it has correlated all the info the controller gets a collated view of current happenings. This it now has to make aware to 'you'. As it needs to fit in with previous events, the view gets massaged until it is consistent with previous 'events', and there you have your reality.

#7 carmatic

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 07:37

im sorry, but what does phantom limbs have anything to do with your 'illusion of freedom' ? aside from both being covered by neurology, i dont see the link...

#8 Yusuf M.

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 07:48

im sorry, but what does phantom limbs have anything to do with your 'illusion of freedom' ? aside from both being covered by neurology, i dont see the link...

It's an example of what's being discussed. Did you even bother to read the source? :p

Anyway, it's both interesting and scary. I won't take it as 100% fact; however, I'll try my best to understand it. The very thought of my actions being predetermined and therefore not determined by me is quite daunting. It's almost as if we're running in autopilot mode but we think we're in the driver's seat.

#9 carmatic

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 07:55

but... the source is about the phantom limbs of amputees... im confused??

the other article linked was something about an 'interpreter' , making everything we do seem justified... then it goes on about religion and stuff ... i dunno...

Edited by carmatic, 07 November 2009 - 08:04.


#10 OP petrossa

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 10:35

im sorry, but what does phantom limbs have anything to do with your 'illusion of freedom' ? aside from both being covered by neurology, i dont see the link...


If you read the article about phantom limb, you'll see the writer posing an interesting theory.


I posted a little snap in the OP.

He arrives at the possibility you can fool the brain into believing you have 6 arms, ergo you can fool the brain into accepting a completely virtual world as real.

I state that's exactly what happens already.

#11 OP petrossa

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 10:44

It's an example of what's being discussed. Did you even bother to read the source? :p

Anyway, it's both interesting and scary. I won't take it as 100% fact; however, I'll try my best to understand it. The very thought of my actions being predetermined and therefore not determined by me is quite daunting. It's almost as if we're running in autopilot mode but we think we're in the driver's seat.


It's pretty much based on scientific fact. The >0.5 second pause has been observed as a standard during open skull brain surgery.


But your own planned actions you seem to control, it's your interface with the world you don't.

There's though the interesting presurge of brainactivity BEFORE you make a conscious decision to perform an act. As if the brain has already itself decided to lift your arm and prepares the motorcenter so you can agree with it and do it. That part could be interpreted as a somewhat free will.

 






but... the source is about the phantom limbs of amputees... im confused??

the other article linked was something about an 'interpreter' , making everything we do seem justified... then it goes on about religion and stuff ... i dunno...


That's just a small preview. Buy the book, you won't regret it. (no i don't get a percentage?:p:p )

#12 lamminium

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 13:29

I like Steven Novella because of this article of his.

Now, free will is a delicate concept and most likely non-existent. I am increasingly attracted to the notion that life is governed by probabilities rather than deterministic causes. Evolution is a straight forward example of probabilistic phenomena. Quantum mechanics is another (or really, modern physics in general) and if you look modern theories in science, probability is the recurrent theme: chemistry, genetics, etc. Just recently, I discovered the formal name for my current belief in the mechanism of life: naturalistic pantheism. This goes back to my description of my own 'God' - a pleasantly surprising fit.

The reason why it takes 0.5+ seconds for an action to register in our conscience is due to the physiological working of the brain - the fact that electrical and chemical signals have to be initiated, transmitted and integrated (and we all know this). An intriguing application to this time lag is perception manipulation as you alluded to.

We must, however, make the distinction between reality and virtual reality. A real object is real with or without your acknowledgement. As soon as we filter the image through the lens of our perception, results may vary - one consequence is the so-called virtual reality. So am I saying that God is real? Possibly? Because my argument implies that there is a chance. But then between a personal, anthropomorphic God and a pantheistic God, there is clearly a logical preference for the latter form.

#13 OP petrossa

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 17:00

We must, however, make the distinction between reality and virtual reality. A real object is real with or without your acknowledgement. As soon as we filter the image through the lens of our perception, results may vary - one consequence is the so-called virtual reality. So am I saying that God is real? Possibly? Because my argument implies that there is a chance. But then between a personal, anthropomorphic God and a pantheistic God, there is clearly a logical preference for the latter form.


Well, disregarding god who cares, the reality bit.


I propose that in fact reality as such is not just the lens of perception, but is being actively generated in our brains. Sure a rock is a rock even if we're not a around.

But a sequence of events, there's the difference. I guess most have had the experience when an accident or such happened time slows down. At the same time your bodily reflexes are just not up tot he task and you're nailed to the ground.

This has also been shown in tests to be a genuine artifact of the brain, that the flow of time as we perceive it is determined by the brain. That goes to show that our view of events is being heavily preprocessed, giving the possibility that the brain interjects or filters outs bits that it finds inconclusive or just doesn't like and events need not have taken place in the order we perceive it, may not have happened or happened but is being added to to fill in eventual holes to make it fit our preconceptions.

Which goes to to point that it's impossible to determine if our personal perception of events is what actually happens. That's a bit the point Gazzaniga made when discussing the problem of eyewitness accounts. 

So it can be taken as a given that perception of events varies from person to person and can vary in the same person from day to day.

Which in turn goes back to my OP. Isn't it so that we live already in a virtual world? That 'we' are just going with the flow, were free will is the real illusion.

#14 lamminium

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 19:23

Reminds me of this.

Perception is subjective so it's labile and heavily dependent on the owner's mental and physical state. And yes, our brain likes to fill in the gap to complete the image. I wouldn't say we live in a virtual world, objectively speaking. Perhaps at some stage, we temporarily remove ourselves from reality (like day-dreaming) but quite often, it's the real world we live in: say if a group of healthy people watch a car go past, I don't think any of them will say "a cat just went past". In assessing reality, we rely on the others' accounts to validate our version.

#15 OP petrossa

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 06:26

Reminds me of this.

Perception is subjective so it's labile and heavily dependent on the owner's mental and physical state. And yes, our brain likes to fill in the gap to complete the image. I wouldn't say we live in a virtual world, objectively speaking. Perhaps at some stage, we temporarily remove ourselves from reality (like day-dreaming) but quite often, it's the real world we live in: say if a group of healthy people watch a car go past, I don't think any of them will say "a cat just went past". In assessing reality, we rely on the others' accounts to validate our version.


Obviously we rely on others, since by basic design they have the same brain as any other healthy person. So you'd expect them all to see the approximately the same image. Doesn't imply it's the correct one though.


Introduce an amazon indian who's never ever set foot outside the jungle and has no knowledge at all of cars.

What does he see? One can only hazard a guess, but he'd probably relate the object to something he knows. It's seems to be roaring, it's headlights resemble a predator at night, it's charging whilst roaring in your general direction. Since his reference cadre doesn't allow for mechanical objects, he'll see some horrible monstrous predator coming for him and take fright.

But sure as hell he won't say: i've seen a car.

And not doing that but taking those people, and ask them afterwards: What did you see?

Well they'll respond a car.

Ok, which color? There will a number of colors named, some accurate

Which make, males will respond on the whole correctly, females not

What was it's relative speed? You'll get any number, or just fast, slow

What plates did it have? mixed response.

Now let hem discuss among themselves and ask again.

Suddenly you get a a unified response where color, make, speed and plates will vary from reality.

And their reality diverges then from actual reality, but they don't know that. For them their memory is reality. Over the years, the memory will get polluted. Time, place, circumstances will get mixed with other similar events. At that point you live in a total virtual reality.



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