Conscious Thought Through The Brain And Body

Published by Eerily in the blog Eerily's Journal. Views: 666

Simple animals

Concerning a simple animal that has external and internal nerve endings and muscles: When its nerve endings are stimulated the muscles move in a preset way based on the exact nerves and force of the stimulation. A more advanced animal has a central nervous system, which is useful in that it can coordinate various sensations from all over its body to better determine what movements the muscles make. Concerning an animal advanced enough to have a brain encompassing or working alongside the central nervous system: Its brain contains memory, as an added element, which allows it to add another dimension to the way the central nervous system coordinates movement, but among the less advanced animals this memory is very short. The sophistication in various species varies regarding their coordination of memory and sensory input to determine muscle movement.

Advanced animals and conscious thought

There are animals for which we can say have the distinction between being conscious and unconscious. Those with such distinction can be contrasted between a state of sleep or resembling sleep, and an active state fully responsive to their environment. This distinction shouldn't be confused with the distinction between animals capable of conscious thought and those not. Animals with the former distinction are not necessarily capable of conscious thought.

The purpose of conscious thought is for advanced coordination involving both short and long term memory. The following is the process of conscious thought: The brain of an animal sends a signal to various muscles, internal and external, to move, generally in a slight manner, for no reason directly pertaining to the animal's environment. The sensation of the movement is sent back to the brain. This process repeats in various ways. Eventually, and often repeatedly, this process results in the brain sending signals to muscles to move in various ways for reasons pertaining to the animal's environment. This is a process similar to the aforementioned coordination done by the brain/central nervous system in simple interactions, but there's this extra element of the feedback between body and brain. This feedback is how thought can be in a way one would associate with the notion of experience.

The evolved brain versus the conception of a created brain

If one is misled by the idea of the brain being fundamentally an object for computation, one may be confused as to why this feedback system evolved. Keep in mind that the central nervous system, and in more advanced animals, the brain in general, evolved so closely to the animal's interactions with its environment that a computational brain, that can simply take data from its body/environment and then process it for any length of time before finally sending data back to the body, would not have had much of a chance to evolve. Furthermore, one may better understand the implausibility of such a type of brain when one considers how an animal relies on the fundamental sensations of pain/discomfort to help it decide how to react. Pain/discomfort being the ordering entity's sensation of disordering, where the ordering entity's fundamental goal is to order, one can see how all sensations of pain/discomfort are the fundamental criteria for deciding what actions to make.

One may consider that since memories are supposedly solely stored in memory cells in the brain, that when an animal is utilizing thought pertaining to longer term memories, it may not need such a feedback system between the body and brain. The issue relates to exactly what is contained in memory. Memory is of experience, first and foremost, and only in a secondary manner should be thought of as memory of things such as knowledge or facts. Even though experience may be measured simply in terms of nerve ending stimulation, the brain simply hasn't room nor energy to store an entire experience as pure cellular data. In recalling memories, which is a large part of thought, it must use data stored in the form of keys, and then use the interaction with the body, which is conscious thought, to do the actual recollection. And of course, the more accurately it does what it can too reenact the past sensations (such as play the part as best it can even without the other environmental actors) the more accurate the recollection. But as said, the muscles are not provoked to move pertaining to the animal's environment, that would be too costly, and also misses the purpose of the recollection. The purpose being to reinterpret data, to coordinate it, to better decide on future actions.

Implications

It's useful to understand since in thinking the brain uses the body more than may have been previously clear, that the exact condition of the body is relevant to the ability of the brain to think. It's not just a matter of health, but in a more hypothetical sense, it's a matter of being. If two brains were to be switched among two bodies, body A and B, and then one were to rename the bodies to reflect the origin of their new brains, then neither A nor B would likely feel even close to at home, and this would be true even if the bodies were of the same dimensions, health, age, and neither person had a chance to interact with others or look in a mirror after the transplant. The intricate details of the internal form of the body based both on normal development (more closely relating to gene-type) and based on unique experiences (phenotype) would likely be different enough to make the experience of simple thought very different, if not making thought incoherent.

Exertions, and over exertions, that take place overtly in our environment leave a lasting trace on our muscle throughout our lives, as manifested by their performance. Likely, the less obvious (from an external standpoint) exertions, and over exertions, of our muscles when thinking leave a lasting trace, as manifested through our performance when thinking. But, not just in a matter of sheer ability, such as speed, strength and durability. They certainly contain their fundamental form (gene-type) as the brain has always drawn on when interacting with it, but they may also actually contain memories in a sense. As the memories in our brains are individual keys, so to might are our muscles be individual corresponding locks for those keys.
  • Joker8six
  • Eerily
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