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    Thread: single stream of consciousness or many streams in one brain?

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      single stream of consciousness or many streams in one brain?

      I'll try to make this as clear as possible. Does it make more sense to assume that consciousness within the individual is a singularity, so that we each have just one, or can each separate experience be regarded as a separate consciousness within the same brain becoming one with the others only through shared memory and personality programmed into the brain itself?

      In theory, could you ever hook up the right half of the brain of one individual with the left half of another individual, so that all memories, thoughts, decisions and feelings are now shared between the two halves in the same way they are between the halves of the regular human brain? It seems like if this ever happened it would result in these former individuals no longer being able to think or experience the world independently, and certainly this newly formed brain would have internal dilemmas, but in the same way regular humans do within their own minds, with one idea eventually overshadowing the other. If two minds can theoretically become one only through the power of nerve circuitry then it seems like that's all that's keeping our own unique experiences from becoming subjective experiences in their own right within a single brain, so that they may be understood as one coherent experience instead.
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      Oh the things we could learn if not encumbered by ethics...

      It may make sense either way. I have a real sense of (at least) a duality in my own mind sometimes.
      Last edited by IndieAnthias; 07-02-2011 at 02:59 AM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Redeyedwolfking View Post
      I'll try to make this as clear as possible. Does it make more sense to assume that consciousness within the individual is a singularity, so that we each have just one, or can each separate experience be regarded as a separate consciousness within the same brain becoming one with the others only through shared memory and personality programmed into the brain itself?
      Both maybe, or I'm not really understanding. I am currently conscious of a glass of water, well an empty glass which I wish had water in it. The consciousness, the experience of seeing this object, is created by the actual glass in existential reality, in combination with my current sensory perception and my past experiences of glasses. In one sense of the word, my consciousness is the second two, it's my body, my brain, sensory organs, etc. And often the effects of these things are called consciousness and it is viewed as being separate from the rest of reality. But reality is one thing, which can also be said as everything is connected or interdependent. My consciousness of the glass is also made of the glass itself, and without it the experience is impossible.

      So on the one hand there is you, the discrete entity. And you are you. You are a conscious being, you have a consciousness. In this sense it is your first option, a singularity. But without the existential world we have nothing to be conscious of, so we are in essence not conscious, have no consciousness(not to mention the fact that without existential reality your consciousness could never develop in the first place).
      In theory, could you ever hook up the right half of the brain of one individual with the left half of another individual, so that all memories, thoughts, decisions and feelings are now shared between the two halves in the same way they are between the halves of the regular human brain? It seems like if this ever happened it would result in these former individuals no longer being able to think or experience the world independently, and certainly this newly formed brain would have internal dilemmas, but in the same way regular humans do within their own minds, with one idea eventually overshadowing the other. If two minds can theoretically become one only through the power of nerve circuitry then it seems like that's all that's keeping our own unique experiences from becoming subjective experiences in their own right within a single brain, so that they may be understood as one coherent experience instead.
      Sounds impossible, I don't know science too good, but even if you did this you would be creating a new unique individual who is the combination of the two old. There would only be one individual because there would only be one body so of course they couldn't act independently, at least not as separate individuals. I'm pretty sure brain hemispheres don't act independently, they act in conjunction with one another. Even when performing separate functions, they aren't at war with each other or anything, unless you have severe mental problems(but I dunno, just a guess, I don't know how the brain works exactly).

      What do you mean by this part? Our experiences already are subjective experiences.
      Last edited by StonedApe; 07-02-2011 at 02:37 AM.
      157 is a prime number. The next prime is 163 and the previous prime is 151, which with 157 form a sexy prime triplet. Taking the arithmetic mean of those primes yields 157, thus it is a balanced prime.

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      Quote Originally Posted by stonedape View Post
      Sounds impossible, I don't know science too good, but even if you did this you would be creating a new unique individual who is the combination of the two old. There would only be one individual because there would only be one body so of course they couldn't act independently, at least not as separate individuals. I'm pretty sure brain hemispheres don't act independently, they act in conjunction with one another. Even when performing separate functions, they aren't at war with each other or anything, unless you have severe mental problems(but I dunno, just a guess, I don't know how the brain works exactly).
      Exactly, there would be one individual, since brain hemispheres do not function independently. My point is that if two consciousness' can be combined into one consciousness by the brains connective tissue alone then that must be the only thing keeping consciousness together in the first place. I'm trying to suggest the idea that consciousness can arise independently in separate areas of the same brain and become one through connective tissue alone. I don't mean to say that there are separate personalities at all.

      Quote Originally Posted by stonedape View Post
      What do you mean by this part? Our experiences already are subjective experiences.
      no. I'm talking about every thought, sensation, decision within one brain and whats keeping these experiences from being subjective in respect to eachother.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Redeyedwolfking View Post
      Exactly, there would be one individual, since brain hemispheres do not function independently. My point is that if two consciousness' can be combined into one consciousness by the brains connective tissue alone then that must be the only thing keeping consciousness together in the first place. I'm trying to suggest the idea that consciousness can arise independently in separate areas of the same brain and become one through connective tissue alone. I don't mean to say that there are separate personalities at all.
      That seems like it's the case. Different parts of the brain are responsible for different kinds of consciousness, they are in effect different consciousnesses. They can also work together to form an overall consciousness, an experience, but not all of them have to work at the same time. Have you ever read a book on basic psychology? I started to but gave up on it. But that would probably give you a pretty clear idea about how this all works. The brain science stuff isn't too complicated, at least as far as I got into the book.

      no. I'm talking about every thought, sensation, decision within one brain and whats keeping these experiences from being subjective in respect to eachother.
      Not sure if I get what you mean still. I think we might be meaning different things when we say subjective. But if you could clarify any I would appreciate it, this is a good thread.

      This is basically the definition I'm using, though I'm not sure if I like this wording.

      Subjective: 1. belonging to, proceeding from, or relating to the mind of the thinking subject and not the nature of the object being considered
      As in subjective(pertaining to the subject, the thinker or experiencer, the reality in ones head) rather than objective (pertaining to the object, to existential reality)

      What we experience is subjective. Things aren't subjective in respect to one another, they either are or aren't. The weight of the cup in my hand is objective, but my experience of it's weight is subjective. The actual amount it weighs is the same for everyone, but the experience of it would be different for everyone.

      I think you may mean relative, rather than subjective. And the truth is, they are to a degree. But I'm not sure I completely understand how. I'll think about it for a while. Are you thinking about how each time you experience something it's influenced by past experiences, both of similar and different things?
      157 is a prime number. The next prime is 163 and the previous prime is 151, which with 157 form a sexy prime triplet. Taking the arithmetic mean of those primes yields 157, thus it is a balanced prime.

      Women and rhythm section first - Jaco Pastorious

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      Quote Originally Posted by stonedape View Post

      Not sure if I get what you mean still. I think we might be meaning different things when we say subjective. But if you could clarify any I would appreciate it, this is a good thread.

      This is basically the definition I'm using, though I'm not sure if I like this wording.



      As in subjective(pertaining to the subject, the thinker or experiencer, the reality in ones head) rather than objective (pertaining to the object, to existential reality)

      What we experience is subjective. Things aren't subjective in respect to one another, they either are or aren't. The weight of the cup in my hand is objective, but my experience of it's weight is subjective. The actual amount it weighs is the same for everyone, but the experience of it would be different for everyone.

      I think you may mean relative, rather than subjective. And the truth is, they are to a degree. But I'm not sure I completely understand how. I'll think about it for a while. Are you thinking about how each time you experience something it's influenced by past experiences, both of similar and different things?
      Relative is a better word perhaps.

      this is one definition of subjective that I have found and this is essentially what I mean: experienced only by the patient and incapable of being recognized or studied by anyone else

      The key part of this for me is that the contents of the mind's eye are unable to be recognized by any other mind, and when I say (maybe not in the clearest of terms and I apologize) that two or more consciousnesses' are subjective with respect to eachother all I mean is that they are not experiencing the subjective reality that the other is experiencing.

      I know that in split brain patients, the brain hemispheres do not communicate with eachother and can act as indipendant thinkers within the same skull. Some would say that the consciousness of a split brain patient has split as well and I would most likely agree, even if the two hemispheres do recognize themselves as being part of the same person.

      also, I would like to share this link

      I haven't read too much on psychology, but I have studied the brain itself quite a bit.
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      I posted a similar thread about split brain consciousness. It does seem very fascinating.

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      Perhaps this problem is a result of identifying too much with our consciousness... or trying to find a particular place that is "us." I see the mind more like a flood of different thoughts, reactions, compulsions, etc... with only the strongest bubbling up to the surface of awareness.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      You can have multiple "consciousnesses" (its just an illusion... so i dont even know what it is -.-)
      For example you can have internal discussion and imagine a scene at the same time. But you dont have multiple speech centers and stuff so you cant really have 2 separate consciousnesses. Also if you think of a thing the other brain areas will propably start proseccing their corresponding thingies. If you think of the word car your visual section will process memories of car related stuff, same with all other sections.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Waterlimon View Post
      You can have multiple "consciousnesses" (its just an illusion... so i dont even know what it is -.-)
      For example you can have internal discussion and imagine a scene at the same time. But you dont have multiple speech centers and stuff so you cant really have 2 separate consciousnesses. Also if you think of a thing the other brain areas will propably start proseccing their corresponding thingies. If you think of the word car your visual section will process memories of car related stuff, same with all other sections.
      Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't that be two thought patterns rather than two consciousnesses? You can only be conscious of one of them at any given instant. What you would be doing is kind of jumping back and forth.

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      I ran into this problem in a dream once. I'm the type of person that generally assumes that all dream characters are manifestations of my subconscious, and therefore of my own consciousness.

      In a dream I ran into a dream character who not only told me I was dreaming, but she also told me "I am you!". Despite realizing that I was dreaming, I disagreed with her completely. "No you're not. My consciousness is here. Right here in this spot! My consciousness isn't where you are, so how can you be me?". I opened up pandoras box in that moment, thinking that she was not me, it felt like an alien invaded my head. She felt strange, different, it scared me so I flew away.

      Actually this has happened at least twice. Twice a dream character has come right up to me and said "I am you!" and twice I looked at them and thought "but my consciousness is right behind these eyes so that can't be true".

      Its a huge headache!

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