- We are not organisms. We are the side effects of organisms that need to do information processing to regulate interaction with the environment.
- Most of the info processing is done through simple unconscious feedback loops. Eg. In the brain there are many feedback loops realized that regulate body temp., breathing patterns, heart rate etc.
- But for the organism’s Social, Psychological and Cognitive NEEDS (genetic and ideological), f/b loops aren’t enough and organism needs to change behavior. For this it employs pain and pleasure, controlled by the limbic system.
- Pleasure tells you “Do more of what you’re currently doing”.
- Pain tells you “Do less of what you’re currently doing”.
- We humans are not just co-directed systems, but instead we are goal finding systems. We find goals to satisfy our needs and avoid getting hurt (as that’ll hinder our needs).
- These needs dictate our interaction with the env. To associate these needs with the situations in the world ie to manifest our needs, we use the Hippocampus. It’s a brain region that associates stimuli with needs and behaviors. It directs our impulses to seek our situations or practice behaviors that fulfill our current need.
- But Hippocampus patterns aren’t enough to recognize a situation and needs context. This is done by Neo Cortex.
- NeoCortex creates mental simulations or the world. To do this it needs representations that are compositional that can be put together like lego bricks.
- Cortical Columns (CC) are made of 100-500 neurons and create representations that can be composed. We have 100 million of these building blocks. Eg. A CC might be a pattern matcher (CNN) to represent the letter ‘A’ and so on.
- These CC along with their neighbors compute functions to form mental simulations. They also link up with upstream and downstream layers to perform cognitive processing.
- These CC are like instruments in an orchestra. The Conductor of the cortical orchestra is the highest layer of the Neural Net (NN) called the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex (DPC) which pays attention to different representations at different times depending on the goals/needs of the organism (Eg. When watching a movie, you might be reading captions at some point and watching the scene at other time. This switch in attention from words to pictures will be made by the DPC.)
- The DPC keeps a protocol of what it needs to pay attention to. This is the only place in the brain where our experiences are integrated.
- This integrated experience gives us a memory of what just happened, of what we just experienced. By processing this memory, we can perceive ourselves as being conscious of the sequences of things over the last few moments in time.
- Hence, You are not your brain. You are a story your brain tells itself.