Organ matters - Organs matter!

Organs can modify the way we perceive => Atheists' Corner => Topic started by: David Pinnegar on July 06, 2010, 05:16:35 PM

Title: Brain function, the biological computer and the soul
Post by: David Pinnegar on July 06, 2010, 05:16:35 PM
Hi!

For some time I have been considering brain function.

The brain operates upon multidirectional switches called neurons which can fire (turn on) in any of some thousands of directions to connect up with any of the thousands of neighbouring neurons. I believe there are two essential rules:
1. Neurons have a preference to firing in the same directions as they have fired before. (This means that drugs which cause neurons to fire in new and odd ways can do permanent damage)
2. There is a feedback mechanism which registers pleasure/displeasure success/failure

From when we are babies, the brain is blank but by successive experiences of pleasure and displeasure learn good and bad behaviours, habits and knowledge, patterns are built up, the neurons firing in directions that result in pleasurable and successful brain activity transformed into physical actions.

It's therefore essential academically for the brain neurons to be fired up in the most diverse and complex ways to programme flexibility into the brain by the time at which the rate of neurons dying exceeds the rate of creation of new cells in the late teens and early twenties.

From the baby, the pathways of communication through the brain grow as if exploring the rooms within the house, the garden, the local street, the local village, the road to the local town, the route to the Town Hall and the shops and then the motorway to the next city and airports to international places.

These fast express routes become ever more used and trodden pathways within the brain so that when we are used to doing something we can almost do it in our sleep without having to think about it (apply the feedback checking mechanisms along the way). When we lose our memory and go senile, our motorways are so broad and the concrete walls at the side so strong that we find it difficult to find the exits to the motorway, and we know that the routes we need are down below those bridges, under the flyovers that we can't seem to reach anymore.

When we die, our brains shut down. Our knowledge is gone. For some in senility that happens before we die. When we see someone whose brain is not functioning as it was before, are they the same person? What is the person? Where is the soul? Does the soul, does the good person enure beyond the realms of the brain having ceased function? When the brain does not function can we experience the soul?

It's easy to see the brain as a biological computer in the mere mechanics of life. Yet is there something more? Perhaps thought is not limited merely to the brain - there are documented cases of people having been given heart transplants for instance from a musician and then, not having been interested in music before, take an interest and liking to music. In areas of telepathy we see something more, unless our thoughts can simply mechanically interact with matter and other brains. Is prayer a form of telepathy or merely brain training to envisioning something happening so that the neurons are opened up towards that result and open their paths towards it? In the phenonomae of ghosts or provable reincarnation when people recall demonstrable detail of past lives do we experience something more than the biological computer theory of the brain allows?

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Brain function, the biological computer and the soul
Post by: David Pinnegar on September 20, 2010, 05:41:46 AM
Hi!

Perhaps in the above I left out the operation of something else. Clearly in the brain there is also an error-checking mechanism, or a reality check / sanity check mechanism, or both. Sanity check might be accomplished by counting the ratio of the number of established neuron paths are being triggered at any one time within a thought compared to the number of novel paths being triggered . . .

When we dream, certainly the feedback from the reality check or error check mechanism is disengaged.

I was remarking to one of my sons earlier today how the freedom of neural paths in the brain enabled random thoughts to be tolerated, obviously modified by the error checking mechanism which was not in operation in the dream process. He responded that in schizophrenia the error checking mechanism must also be turned off as randomness of thoughts are then allowed to achieve reality status.

Is the conscious error check and or reality check mechanism the same when we are awake as when we are dreaming?

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Brain function, the biological computer and the soul
Post by: revtonynewnham on September 20, 2010, 03:00:45 PM


Is the conscious error check and or reality check mechanism the same when we are awake as when we are dreaming?

Best wishes

David P

Hi

I can answer that one to some degree. I'm currently on strong pain killers (increasingly severe arthritis), and the side effects of one of them mean that I often have very strange dreams - usually a conflation of people and places from different times in my life, which seem to be real at the time.  The ones that I remember can later be dismissed as being impossible (i.e. people in buildings that no longer exist, impossible situtaions, people in the dream of the wrong age, etc.)  Normally, the brain would reject these things as impossible and look for a nother reason (look alike's, etc)  nut in dream mode the anomalies are readily accepted.

Interesting post David.  Look forward to reading more.

Every Blessing

Tony
Title: Re: Brain function, the biological computer and the soul
Post by: David Pinnegar on September 21, 2010, 12:44:08 AM
Hi!

I feel that this is an important area, in bringing up children as parents, in teaching children, in guiding teenagers and indeed in self training. It also means that at the time of maximum brain growth the brain should be educationally stretched as much as possible in order to open up as many neuron paths as possible.

Learning foreign languages, Latin, ancient Greek, translating Virgil and Homer have a particular value and are areas totally obliterated in anything other than what is seen to be elitist education. Dumbed down GCSEs and primary schools which teach subjects at snail's pace and no foreign languages at all are all failing the intellect of a generation. Furthermore, the Nuffield Science Project of the 1970s which taught science from an experimental basis was teaching in a way that sank into the brain better as actions, movement and result was concreted into cause and effect.

But it goes beyond this. Children can benefit so much by discovering a more peaceful existence through the injunction to "love your neighbour as yourself" and indeed, if my thesis that "God" is the "All that is", "What rules", "Everything around us that results from the laws of the Universe", rather than a fictional Big Daddy in the sky personified, to "love God". This results in being able to ask siblings to think about what they are going to do or what they are doing:
"Is what you are about to do going to:
1. give you pleasure
2. give someone else pleasure, then if so
3. give someone displeasure, in which case don't do it
and will it have the effect of someone else liking you better or not . . . "
I'm sure that this repetition of line of thought is helpful and I'm sure that play-acting re-enacting acts of violence with computer games or bang-bang-bang toy guns desensitises the subject to the realities of what those objects and actions do, enabling them to do such things all the more easily in real life. There are things in fantasy random thought land that occur in our brains which are constantly ruled out by the error checks or reality checks or sanity checks applying cause and effect to predict what the results will be. But once those processes are broken down by the neurons having followed similar paths before with computer realities or pointing a toy gun at a person and imitating a shooting noise, the error checks and reality checks can be all too slow to kick in.

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Brain function, the biological computer and the soul
Post by: dragonser on September 21, 2010, 01:01:48 AM
Hi
I think you make several good points here. there was a recent article that said that people who play computer games may be better at dealing with unexpected circumstances and making quick judgements. But even so I can't see how having games that are so violent ( without any consequences that you would get in real life if you acted like that  ) can be good.


regards Peter B

Hi!

 
I'm sure that this repetition of line of thought is helpful and I'm sure that play-acting re-enacting acts of violence with computer games or bang-bang-bang toy guns desensitises the subject to the realities of what those objects and actions do, enabling them to do such things all the more easily in real life. There are things in fantasy random thought land that occur in our brains which are constantly ruled out by the error checks or reality checks or sanity checks applying cause and effect to predict what the results will be. But once those processes are broken down by the neurons having followed similar paths before with computer realities or pointing a toy gun at a person and imitating a shooting noise, the error checks and reality checks can be all too slow to kick in.

Best wishes

David P

Title: Re: Brain function, the biological computer and the soul
Post by: David Pinnegar on October 04, 2010, 09:22:06 PM
Hi!

This sort of issue is clearly on film-makers' minds:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3azioGDk6Q

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Brain function, the biological computer and the soul
Post by: David Pinnegar on October 11, 2010, 09:30:44 PM
(http://www.organmatters.co.uk/brain1.jpg)
(http://www.organmatters.co.uk/brain2.jpg)
(http://www.organmatters.co.uk/brain3.jpg)
(http://www.organmatters.co.uk/brain4.jpg)

Is this all we are?

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Brain function, the biological computer and the soul
Post by: revtonynewnham on October 11, 2010, 10:57:04 PM
Hi

No - just as the data that is contained in a computer memory/hard drive is often of more value than the machine itself (and the machine is useless without an operating system and application programmes), so the human being is more than just the amalgam of chemicals and water that chemically constitute the body.  The key "ingredient" being that intangible soul, which I think is God-given, and imparted at the moment of conception, plus the ever-growing contents of our brains - which unlike computer data, isn't to easy to transfer en mass to another storage medium.

Every Blessing

Tony
Title: Re: Brain function, the biological computer and the soul
Post by: David Pinnegar on October 19, 2010, 04:18:37 PM
No - just as the data that is contained in a computer memory/hard drive is often of more value than the machine itself (and the machine is useless without an operating system and application programmes), so the human being is more than just the amalgam of chemicals and water that chemically constitute the body.  The key "ingredient" being that intangible soul, which I think is God-given, and imparted at the moment of conception, plus the ever-growing contents of our brains - which unlike computer data, isn't to easy to transfer en mass to another storage medium

Hi!

I think we'd all agree with the above. What worries me is whether something happens within the brain beyond the hardware which is the soul . . . and which is eternal? When people lose brain function, it's very difficult to see, let alone imagine.

The reason for my raising this thread again was a report this morning of the research in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience which suggests that teenagers are desensitised to violence after having played violent computer games. Hardly a surprise, is it, when one considers the premis that I made at the beginning of this thread that the brain follows and prefers thought patterns followed before, especially when those thought patterns have been reinforced by pleasure of some sort or "success"?

A mantra that I have learned to follow is that if you want to look at the macrocosm, then look at the microcosm. In the microcosm there will be all the components that extrapolate into the macrocosm and being on a scale for analysis, it will show you how the macrocosm works.

This is why, although looking specialised, anyone who enjoys air travel will find
http://www.amazon.co.uk/History-Aviation-Alderney-Edward-Pinnegar/dp/1848689810 interesting and it's following the process of the production of sound that I take my ideas on the best design principles of loudspeakers. Putting sound through a process of separating out the raisins from the cake using a filter of cotton wool doesn't seem to me to be the most efficient way to transmit the cake.

What's the point of this thread to organists?

My organ teacher used to say to me, when I had made the umpteenth attempt to play something and got it wrong again, "don't repeat getting it wrong - practice getting it right". Doing otherwise only results in practicing getting it wrong.

This is the power that the simple rules of brain function have, and understanding how to work with those rules enables us to do inconceivably complicated things.

Best wishes

David P
Title: Re: Brain function, the biological computer and the soul
Post by: KB7DQH on January 20, 2012, 01:04:11 PM
I revisit this topic as I have stumbled upon a rather lengthy article which explores it more thoroughly and appropriately relates it generally to many of the discussions presented  here and elsewhere...

http://larouchepac.com/node/20259 (http://larouchepac.com/node/20259)

A fascinating statement...

Quote
It is essential to outline the boundaries to our investigation by excluding all reflections of the oligarchical principle in the human experience. In the effort to cattle most of the human race into submission for easier control by the few, oligarchic escorts from Bertrand Russell to Adam Smith to the Delphic Cult of Apollo have repackaged the same methods of mind control in the past, and most people have fallen for it, again and again. The model is earliest known to Aeschylus as a design to bring mankind away from his inherent Promethean fire: a design to brainwash mankind that he and she are only sensuous beasts and can be pleased only by sensuous pleasures and entertainments, and thus convincing them that they have no creative mind and therefore no business fighting against the supreme will of the gods of mount wall-street or wherever, who control “the way the world works.” 3 It is true that such evil people do exist, but the tragedy of humanity to this day, is that we have accepted this self-induced slavery. Therefore, excluding such means of control foisted upon modern society by the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) and the Tavistock Institute, we can neatly put aside such experiences as drugs, pop-music, video games, loveless sex, television and movies, from our current examination.

And another...

Quote
In the midst of singing, or using an instrument of some kind among the very best artists and performers there is often described an “out of body” like experience. Among them, only those artists who have struggled predominantly to re-animate the classical compositions of the greatest minds such as Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven, Schumann, Verdi, et. al. are capable of describing in the richest metaphors, the phenomenon they subjectively experience within their participation with such composers and attentive audiences.

Could this be  the motivation for the "neo-baroque" organ-building movement ???

Reading the whole of the article at least in my mind throws a whole different light on the importance of what this forum seeks to accomplish by its existence...

Eric
KB7DQH