If we could see what others see

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If we could see what others see

Post by Dimebag » Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:56 am

Imagine if in the not too distant future, we were able to identify via highly improved brain imaging, whether a person was conscious, and what the contents of that persons consciousness was. With such a tool, we could non invasively scan the brains of individuals suffering from varying degrees of brain damage (pre-damaged individuals by circumstance, not through experimental means), and study and or formulate the functional constraints of consciousness, and minimum required brain structures and functional capacities of those structures. Using this process, neuroscience could in effect formulate a functional model of how our brains create consciousness.

Now obviously this process would be dependent on the amount and variance of brain damaged individuals available for study. What if instead, neuroscience found a way to effectively “shut off” or silence certain areas of brain function, only temporarily. It would be an incredibly difficult task, but it would in essence be an attempt to reverse engineer the brain in order to understand its underlying function.

In science we are ethically bound to do no harm by experimentation, and over recent years we have studied the brain by looking at what areas of the brain are active while performing a certain task. The limitations of this method are unfortunately that we can’t gain a deep understanding of the functionality of the brain circuitry involved. One of the biggest hurdles to studying consciousness is that we have no access to the internal experience of individuals, but if this changed, and if we gained an ability to noninvasively tinker with brain function, we could effectively “map the functional conditions for consciousness”.

What this might look like, I would imagine, might be something similar to a binary readout table used to analyse logic gate circuitry, but in a far more complex scale. For those versed in computer science, hopefully you know what I am talking about, for those who are not, basically it is a table of input values, and output values, the values of the outputs depend on the values of the inputs as well as the makeup of the assorted circuit of logic gates. Think programming, and, or, nand (not and).

Anyway, just some thoughts.