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Consciousness

Consciousness
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Consciousness
(11-08-2019, 06:52 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:
(11-08-2019, 09:31 AM)NorthernBen Wrote: Have you ever tried to hit one with a hammer?

Avoidance reflexes and instincts do not prove consciousness.  
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primitive_reflexes
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ar...8808000020
You'll have to do better than that.


Define "consciousness". 
Quote:Awareness.

Rejected. A jellyfish exhibits avoidance and awareness. It has never said to be "conscious".
https://jeb.biologists.org/content/210/20/3616.short

Quote:The library.

So you're guessing and really don't know.

Quote:Yeah, but I've watched mice avoiding danger, dogs dreaming about themselves and squirrels problem solving.

All presumptuous projection.

I have tried to give my thoughts that's all, I'm not pretending to be an expert on the subject. To me consciousness is just awareness. I don't know what else to tell you.
He loves me?  Facepalm
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Consciousness
(11-08-2019, 07:40 PM)NorthernBen Wrote: I have tried to give my thoughts that's all, I'm not pretending to be an expert on the subject. To me consciousness is just awareness. I don't know what else to tell you.

"Awareness" is a perfectly valid synonym for "consciousness," even among certain specialists.

So don't mind Bucky.  He can't seem to say much of anything without condescending somehow.  He probably knows all sorts of things we don't, so it's really too bad.

I did enjoy looking at his link on animal consciousness, and will have to read more of it later.
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Consciousness
This is a correction to one of my assertions above:

According to neurobiologist Christof Koch in his book The Feeling of Life Itself:

"Up to 70 percent [of] deep sleep awakenings yield simple perceptual dream experiences."

However, in the same chapter he also wrote the following:

"Consciousness can be safely, rapidly, and reversibly turned off and on again for minutes or hours on end with a variety of [anesthesia] agents."

Also:

"Pathological states of consciousness include coma and the vegetative state following gross trauma, a stroke, overdosing on drugs and/or alcohol, and so on. Here, consciousness has fled, yet parts of the victim's brain are still operating to support some housekeeping operations."

He goes on to support these ideas by discussing the minimally required neural correlates of consciousness.
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Consciousness
(11-08-2019, 07:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: While it may be totally NEW to you and the total amateurs in this thread, there are OBJECTIVE TESTS which point to animal consciousness.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_consciousness

Here are a few of the main points from the interesting article you linked:

Quote: In humans, consciousness has been defined as: sentience, awareness, subjectivity, qualia, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of self, and the executive control system of the mind. Despite the difficulty in definition, many philosophers believe there is a broadly shared underlying intuition about what consciousness is.

In 2012, a group of neuroscientists signed the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness, which "unequivocally" asserted that "humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Non-human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neural substrates."

In his essay Are We Automata? [William James stated] an evolutionary argument for mind-brain interaction implying that if the preservation and development of consciousness in the biological evolution is a result of natural selection, it is plausible that consciousness has not only been influenced by neural processes, but has had a survival value itself; and it could only have had this if it had been efficacious.

The sense in which animals (or human infants) can be said to have consciousness or a self-concept has been hotly debated; it is often referred to as the debate over animal minds. The best known research technique in this area is the mirror test devised by Gordon G. Gallup, in which the skin of an animal (or human infant) is marked, while it is asleep or sedated, with a mark that cannot be seen directly but is visible in a mirror. The animal is then allowed to see its reflection in a mirror; if the animal spontaneously directs grooming behaviour towards the mark, that is taken as an indication that it is aware of itself. Over the past 30 years, many studies have found evidence that animals recognise themselves in mirrors. Self-awareness by this criterion has been reported for: apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans and gorillas), other land mammals (elephants), cetaceans (bottlenose dolphin), and birds (magpies). Killer whales and false killer whales may be able to recognize themselves in mirrors. Pigeons can pass the mirror test after training in the prerequisite behaviors. A study in 2015 showed that the "sniff test of self-recognition (STSR)" provides evidence of self-awareness in dogs.

Further arguments revolve around the ability of animals to feel pain or suffering. Suffering implies consciousness. If animals can be shown to suffer in a way similar or identical to humans, many of the arguments against human suffering could then, presumably, be extended to animals. Others have argued that pain can be demonstrated by adverse reactions to negative stimuli that are non-purposeful or even maladaptive. One such reaction is transmarginal inhibition, a phenomenon observed in humans and some animals akin to mental breakdown.

Cognitive bias in animals is a pattern of deviation in judgment, whereby inferences about other animals and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion. Individuals create their own "subjective social reality" from their perception of the input. It refers to the question "Is the glass half empty or half full?", used as an indicator of optimism or pessimism. Cognitive biases have been shown in a wide range of species including rats, dogs, rhesus macaques, sheep, chicks, starlings and honeybees.

The neural correlates of consciousness constitute the minimal set of neuronal events and mechanisms sufficient for a specific conscious percept. Neuroscientists use empirical approaches to discover neural correlates of subjective phenomena. The set should be minimal because, if the brain is sufficient to give rise to any given conscious experience, the question is which of its components is necessary to produce it. Visual sense and representation was reviewed in 1998 by Francis Crick and Christof Koch. They concluded sensory neuroscience can be used as a bottom-up approach to studying consciousness, and suggested experiments to test various hypotheses in this research stream

Mirror neurons are neurons that fire both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another. Thus, the neuron "mirrors" the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting. Such neurons have been directly observed in primate and other species including birds

Consciousness is likely an evolved adaptation since it meets George Williams' criteria of species universality, complexity, and functionality, and it is a trait that apparently increases fitness.
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Consciousness
(11-08-2019, 07:40 PM)NorthernBen Wrote: I have tried to give my thoughts that's all, I'm not pretending to be an expert on the subject. To me consciousness is just awareness. I don't know what else to tell you.

I think the problem comes down to ... awareness of what?

You don't need consciousness to have awareness of your environment but you do to have awareness of yourself in an environment. And it's difficult to determine whether an animal or organism is the former or the latter. There are a few clues though. Does the agent recognise its reflection or does it think that it is seeing another organism? Is the agent able to predict another's actions and respond appropriately? Can the agent change it's mind about something it really wants after re-evaluating its immediate environment?
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Consciousness
(11-08-2019, 09:31 PM)Alan V Wrote: According to neurobiologist Christof Koch in his book The Feeling of Life Itself:

I'm a huge fan of Christof Koch. He basically wrote the bible of computational neuroscience as far as I'm concerned.
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Consciousness
Quote:From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness

Disorders of consciousness

Medical conditions that inhibit consciousness are considered disorders of consciousness. This category generally includes minimally conscious state and persistent vegetative state, but sometimes also includes the less severe locked-in syndrome and more severe chronic coma. Differential diagnosis of these disorders is an active area of biomedical research. Finally, brain death results in an irreversible disruption of consciousness. While other conditions may cause a moderate deterioration (e.g., dementia and delirium) or transient interruption (e.g., grand mal and petit mal seizures) of consciousness, they are not included in this category.

Locked-in syndrome: The patient has awareness, sleep-wake cycles, and meaningful behavior (viz., eye-movement), but is isolated due to quadriplegia and pseudobulbar palsy.

Minimally conscious state: The patient has intermittent periods of awareness and wakefulness and displays some meaningful behavior.

Persistent vegetative state: The patient has sleep-wake cycles, but lacks awareness and only displays reflexive and non-purposeful behavior.

Chronic coma: The patient lacks awareness and sleep-wake cycles and only displays reflexive behavior.

Brain death: The patient lacks awareness, sleep-wake cycles, and brain-mediated reflexive behavior.
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Consciousness
(11-10-2019, 09:44 PM)Mathilda Wrote: I think the problem comes down to ... awareness of what?

Anything.  According to Christof Koch, consciousness is experience.
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Consciousness
(11-10-2019, 09:44 PM)Mathilda Wrote: I think the problem comes down to ... awareness of what?

You don't need consciousness to have awareness of your environment but you do to have awareness of yourself in an environment.

Like a dog that suffers from separation anxiety? Can an animal with no awareness of self suffer from anxiety?
He loves me?  Facepalm
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