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Does the ability to “split” our brains help us understand consciousness?

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From Neuroskeptic at Discover:

When you’re doing two things at once – like listening to the radio while driving – your brain organizes itself into two, functionally independent networks, almost as if you temporarily have two brains. That’s according to a fascinating new study from University of Wisconsin-Madison neuroscientists Shuntaro Sasai and colleagues. It’s called Functional split brain in a driving/listening paradigm.

To study authors link their work to the experiences of split-brain epilepsy patients.

In other words, when the GPS voice was helping the participants to drive (“integrated task”), the brain ‘driving network’ and ‘listening network’ were acting in concert, with a high degree of functional connectivity. But when the drivers were listening to the radio show (“split task”), the two networks were largely independent – indeed, by one metric, which the authors call “integrated information“, they were completely seperate. More.

The authors argue that “Integrated information is thought to be essential for consciousness, and the reduction of integrated information demonstrated here is at least compatible with a split in consciousness.”

Neuroskeptic finds all this interesting, as do we, but not strictly relevant to consciousness. We humans are often conscious of something but not aware of that fact until we deliberately focus our attention on it. Some call thinking about what we are thinking about “metacognition.”

There probably isn’t a “brain centre” for that. It is a form of integration.

See also: What great physicists have said about immateriality and consciousness

Or else: Consciousness as a state of matter

Rocks have minds?

Researcher: Never mind the “hard problem of consciousness”: The real one is… “Our experiences of being and having a body are ‘controlled hallucinations’ of a very distinctive kind”

Searle on Consciousness “Emerging” from a Computer: “Miracles are always possible.”

Psychology Today: Latest new theory of consciousness A different one from the above.

Evolution bred a sense of reality out of us

Claim: Science is afraid of animal consciousness. Why? Won’t crackpot theories work as well as they do for human consciousness?

So then: Question: Would we give up naturalism to solve the hard problem of consciousness?

Neuroscience tried wholly embracing naturalism, but then the brain got away

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3 Replies to “Does the ability to “split” our brains help us understand consciousness?

  1. 1
    Dionisio says:

    In other words, when the GPS voice was helping the participants to drive (“integrated task”), the brain ‘driving network’ and ‘listening network’ were acting in concert, with a high degree of functional connectivity. But when the drivers were listening to the radio show (“split task”), the two networks were largely independent – indeed, by one metric, which the authors call “integrated information“, they were completely seperate.
    http://blogs.discovermagazine......WEyQFdIzXV

    seperate?

    isn’t it “separate”?

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    The authors argue that “Integrated information is thought to be essential for consciousness, and the reduction of integrated information demonstrated here is at least compatible with a split in consciousness.”

    It is interesting to note that the “Integrated information” theory of consciousness falsified the belief that classical computers will one day be conscious

    Sentient robots? Not possible if you do the maths – 13 May 2014
    Over the past decade, Giulio Tononi at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his colleagues have developed a mathematical framework for consciousness that has become one of the most influential theories in the field. According to their model, the ability to integrate information is a key property of consciousness. ,,,
    But there is a catch, argues Phil Maguire at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth. He points to a computational device called the XOR logic gate, which involves two inputs, A and B. The output of the gate is “1” if A and B are the same and “0” if A and B are different. In this scenario, it is impossible to predict the output based on A or B alone – you need both.
    Crucially, this type of integration requires loss of information, says Maguire: “You have put in two bits, and you get one out. If the brain integrated information in this fashion, it would have to be continuously hemorrhaging information.”,,,
    Based on this definition, Maguire and his team have shown mathematically that computers can’t handle any process that integrates information completely. If you accept that consciousness is based on total integration, then computers can’t be conscious.
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....3LD5ChuqCe

    The following paper went one step further than the preceding paper and mathematically proved that “Among conscious activities, the unique characteristic of self-observation cannot exist in any type of machine,”, not even in a quantum computing machine.

    Consciousness Does Not Compute (and Never Will), Says Korean Scientist – May, 2015 (article based on 2008 paper)
    Excerpt: “In his 2008 paper, “Non-computability of Consciousness,” Daegene Song proves human consciousness cannot be computed. Song arrived at his conclusion through quantum computer research in which he showed there is a unique mechanism in human consciousness that no computing device can simulate.
    “Among conscious activities, the unique characteristic of self-observation cannot exist in any type of machine,” Song explained. “Human thought has a mechanism that computers cannot compute or be programmed to do.”
    Non-computability of Consciousness” documents Song’s quantum computer research into TS (technological singularity (TS) or strong artificial intelligence). Song was able to show that in certain situations, a conscious state can be precisely and fully represented in mathematical terms, in much the same manner as an atom or electron can be fully described mathematically. That’s important, because the neurobiological and computational approaches to brain research have only ever been able to provide approximations at best. In representing consciousness mathematically, Song shows that consciousness is not compatible with a machine.
    Song’s work also shows consciousness is not like other physical systems like neurons, atoms or galaxies. “If consciousness cannot be represented in the same way all other physical systems are represented, it may not be something that arises out of a physical system like the brain,” said Song. “The brain and consciousness are linked together, but the brain does not produce consciousness. Consciousness is something altogether different and separate. The math doesn’t lie.”
    Of note: Daegene Song obtained his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Oxford
    http://www.33rdsquare.com/2015.....-says.html

    Reply to alleged Mathematical Error in “Incompatibility Between Quantum Theory and Consciousness” – Daegene Song – 2008
    http://www.neuroquantology.com.....ad/176/176

    Of semi-related note: at the 8:30 minute mark of the following video, Schrodinger’s cat and Wigner’s friend are highlighted:

    Divinely Planted Quantum States – video
    https://youtu.be/qCTBygadaM4?t=512

    Wigner’s friend made its first appearance in this paper

    Remarks on the mind-body question – E.P. Wigner (1961),
    Excerpt: “It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality” –
    http://www.projects.science.uu.....wigner.pdf

    It is important to highlight the fact that ‘quantum theory entails an irreducible subjective element’

    On The Comparison Of Quantum and Relativity Theories – Sachs – 1986
    Excerpt: quantum theory entails an irreducible subjective element in its conceptual basis. In contrast, the theory of relativity when fully exploited, is based on a totally objective view.
    http://books.google.com/books?.....38;f=false

    “We wish to measure a temperature.,,,
    But in any case, no matter how far we calculate — to the mercury vessel, to the scale of the thermometer, to the retina, or into the brain, at some time we must say: and this is perceived by the observer. That is, we must always divide the world into two parts, the one being the observed system, the other the observer.”
    John von Neumann – 1903-1957 – The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, pp.418-21 – 1955

    Does Quantum Physics Make it Easier to Believe in God? Stephen M. Barr – July 10, 2012
    Excerpt: Couldn’t an inanimate physical device (say, a Geiger counter) carry out a “measurement” (minus the ‘observer’ in quantum mechanics)? That would run into the very problem pointed out by von Neumann: If the “observer” were just a purely physical entity, such as a Geiger counter, one could in principle write down a bigger wavefunction that described not only the thing being measured but also the observer. And, when calculated with the Schrödinger equation, that bigger wave function would not jump! Again: as long as only purely physical entities are involved, they are governed by an equation that says that the probabilities don’t jump.
    That’s why, when Peierls was asked whether a machine could be an “observer,” he said no, explaining that “the quantum mechanical description is in terms of knowledge, and knowledge requires somebody who knows.” Not a purely physical thing, but a mind.
    https://www.bigquestionsonline.com/content/does-quantum-physics-make-it-easier-believe-god

    Moreover, this ‘irreducible subjective element’ within quantum theory has now been born out empirically. Specifically, it has now been demonstrated “That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It”:

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

    Simply put, consciousness precedes material reality. Material reality does not precede consciousness.

    Needless to say, anyone who wants to explain consciousness from a materialistic perspective is put in a severe bind by these findings from Quantum theory.

  3. 3
    Dionisio says:

    Simply put, consciousness precedes material reality. Material reality does not precede consciousness

    Yes. Exactly. There’s no other way.

    It’s written that the Word was first, before everything and anything, even before time itself, because He created everything that is created, including time. And He made Himself the only Way for us His creatures to become children of God through saving faith.

    May y’all have a peaceful year 2017.

    To those who truly want to follow the Via, Veritas et Vita:
    Rev. 22:21

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