Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The thermodynamic Brain and Mental Energy





The connection between the mind and the brain is a fascinating puzzle. Idealism, represented by Kant, Hegel asserts the primacy of consciousness, whereas materialists, such as Dennett, and Churchland considers the mind an illusion produced by brain circuits and mechanisms. Incongruences between the mind and the brain-inspired dualism, a separation of physical and mental states.
The psyche was not subject to a scientific investigation until recent scholarly work on the physics of the mind. In emotional animals, the brain produces motivation. A temporal projection of sensory experience integrates the organism's past, present, and future into an abstract mental world.
The brain's self-regulation sustains a ground energy state, the so-called resting-state networks (RSNs). The most widely studied RSNs, the default mode network (DMN), exhibits increased activity in the absence of external stimuli. Information integration formulates a highly abstract representation.
Neuronal activation is built on the resting potential, and the brain’s evoked states are founded on the resting state. The recurring activation cycle in both systems is governed by thermodynamic principles. The reversed Carnot cycle can model the neuron. However, in the brain, a stimulus can evoke either the reversed Carnot or the Carnot cycle. The first process controls the future and enhances intellect and future freedom of action, whereas the second one reconstructs the past. Emotional states are related to the brain's energy level.
Because the resting states maintain the constancy of the self while representing the energy potential of the mind, the effort is relative. Reduction of mental energy might be a diagnostic tool before the occurrence of functional and anatomical changes in Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, psychiatric disorders, and immune problems.
Establishing the energy nature of emotional states can inspire progress in neurology, psychiatry, psychology, and social sciences. Greater understanding of the thermodynamic processes of the brain’s intelligent computational power will allow the development of novel techniques and applications in the rapidly changing fields of AI and robotics.




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Sunday, September 1, 2019

The importance of happiness

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In hierarchic societies of the past, the economic necessity to use brute force and tedious work made intellect unnecessary and even dangerous. In the past one hundred years we experienced a breathtaking technological transformation. Hard physical labor was replaced by machines, whereas human intellectual involvement is increasingly important at every level in the corporate world and society.

The recognition that conflicts and problems between employees tax morale, degrade efficiency, and shorten the time spent on work led to increasing awareness and focus on the human side of the work environment. However, changing personal behavior is a generational problem, which originates in the home environment. In their first years, children absorb behavioral, emotional, and intellectual patterns by observing and copying the family environment. This powerful mental legacy hands the cultural fabric of society to the next generation. Unfortunately, parents also project accumulated fears and less than perfect emotional coping mechanisms onto their children. Thus, children grow up with a rigid mindset from the past and carry emotional triggers which predispose them for failure in modern society.

Emotional instability leads to attention problems, which make it impossible to absorb the school material and handicap a person’s ability to achieve his full potential. People are often willing to hold onto a job that they do not like, in the hope to buy happiness. However, satisfaction is not a commodity that can be purchased, but it is the result of an active, optimistic life. In this sense, happiness means doing meaningful work and satisfying the thirst for the betterment of the self. It is a dynamic, challenging state that feeds on accomplishments. It is a feeling of being an organic part of family, community, and society. It is a constant mental growth that leads to confidence and a belief in the future.

The American Constitution names the pursuit of happiness as a human right. I believe, in the not too distant future, well-being itself is going to be a human right.




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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Emotional intelligence can predict the finish time of long-distance runners








Emotional stability is an important character trait for social relationships, career success, and overall wellbeing. Because genuine people learn and create meaning from every interaction, they can handle criticism and challenges. Just as energy flows from warmer, to colder matter, more stable (less irritable) people tend to gather wisdom and understanding from every experience. It leads to the ability to engage, relate to others and situations via trust, and to find integrated solutions. Thus, the lack of impulsivity, emotional intelligence, goes a long way toward individual success and social cooperation. Having no regrets is an open mind that dares to attract help, and the humbleness to accept it. These flexible people adapt to opportunities with ease, even in the boardroom or on the trading floor (traders with a positive attitude and trust tend to make more money). Now scientists added one more activity that benefits from a well-balanced personality. Emotional intelligence can predict the finish time of long-distance runners.

In endurance tests, people who are mentally stable remain emotionally balanced when the going is difficult. For example, long-distance runners can press on and lead to a good race. A recent paper  from three psychologists in Italy, led by Enrico Rubaltelli of the University of Padova explored the links between Emotional intelligence and half-marathon performance. The research found that aside from technique and preparation, people with higher marks on this quality ran faster races.


Read the whole article in 'The Guardian'

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The power of Learning




Our knowledge-based economy depends on talent, innovation, ingenuity, and hard work. Intellectual capital is becoming the central pillar of society. Technological progress and social change highlight also the need for a diversity of talents. The notable discovery of our generation is that intelligence can be actively improved, This heightens our responsibility to be up-to-date in our fields, to discover and nurture our talents. Respect for individual abilities is nowhere more apparent than in the celebrity culture, whether in film, politics, arts, sports, and science. College degree is often a requirement for a job, but it is not required for creating a successful life. Nor does a college degree end your need for learning; to stay current requires curiosity and drive toward mental growth.

COPYING  Copying, which requires a trusting environment, is the first learning method of children. People, who agree imitate each other’s mannerisms and even posture, making copying the most efficient way to acquire knowledge and new skills for adults as well. Even without awareness, it facilitates the familiarization of new material, situations, and organizations.
Positive relationships build social capital. Through mentoring and copying, employees can absorb the culture and the non-written rules of the organization. Gradually building confidence this way positions you for administrative understanding and leadership. Copying healthy emotional performance can make significant advancement in personal well-being. 

LEARNING AND THE MIND  Education is an active process to improve a skill or knowledge. Two consecutive stages appear to make up learning. Gathering and absorbing the material is the first stressful and confusing stage, which seems to be essential to conceptualize the information. The challenging phase gives way to the integration of the material; an expanding and confident experience generates order and meaning.

Learning is a positive mental transformation, which initiates... Continue reading the post on Patreon


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Friday, July 5, 2019

The neural representation of a flexible Working Memory Model




Working memory has a limited capacity to hold information short term. For example, humans and monkeys can maintain 3 or 4 objects at once. Working memory is fundamental to everyday function; we can produce a complex sequence of behavior, reason, plan and create. It is fundamental in intelligent decision-making. 

Recent work by Bouchacourt and Buschman suggest a flexible model of working memory, where a well-organized sensory layer connects to a random and unstructured layer of neurons. Random recurrent connections can generate persistent activity that can represent any arbitrary input. When the random links overlap, representations interfere, which limits the memory capacity of the network. Sufficient recurrent activity between the sensory and random networks form feedforward-feedback loops. The product of the feedforward-feedback weights can be changed up to ∼5% without significant loss of function.
During unsupervised learning, inhibitory interneurons spread inhibition across the population of so-called pyramidal neurons. Such structure represents high plasticity, which reflects the statistics of the real world, embedding knowledge about how stimuli relate to one another. 
The model expresses both the flexibility and the limited capacity of working memory.  
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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The hypothesis behind 'The Science of Consciousness,' the book




I often get requests to give a nutshell summary of my hypothesis. The outline evolves over time toward a more straightforward, elegant language. Here it is today.

 It is necessary to find a hypothesis that incorporates consciousness into the physical universe and can explain our experienced reality. 'The Science of consciousness' is such a cohesive hypothesis. There is a structural unity between elementary particles, the mind, and the cosmos; such deep, essential connection allows us to recognize the laws of nature. It also permits the recognition that those same laws govern intelligent behavior and social movement. The formation of cosmos did not end with the birth of the electron and other elementary particles, it is an ongoing evolution toward intellect, the mind. 

Humanity can benefit from this cosmic process via technological advancement. Technology's dependence has changed from the coal and steam engine to oil, computer technology, and artificial intelligence.

In the age of intellect, we can acquire as much of the limitless cosmic energy and other resources that are permitted by our technological progress. A fast progressing society is highly dependent on mental ingenuity. Increasingly, only human genius will be in short supply. This recognition should inspire us to be open to other religions, cultures, and to be generous toward the less fortunate because of their unique, individual viewpoint and intellect. 

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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Can deep brain stimulation be used for the treatment of drug addiction?







Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a modulation of brain activity by implanted electrodes, used in Parkinson's disease, depression, tremor, or dystonia. In drug addictions, a reduction in the functioning of the prefrontal cortex might diminish impulse control, which gives a possibility to use the technique. In the past 15 years, animal DBS studies investigated its potential for addiction to various abused drugs, most of them have found decreased drug-seeking behavior. The same treatment in people has more challenging to implement. Especially in Europe and the U.S., the high cost of devices ($100,000) and the difficulties in recruiting patients have delayed clinical experimentation.

In the DBS treatment of opioid addiction, five of eight patients in China have stayed off heroin for at least two years, and a patient who received a device six months ago has been off drugs for the duration. To date, six of the eight clinical trials have been registered in China for this type of treatment.

In early studies, DBS resulted in a significant decrease in the severity of cocaine dependence in objective and subjective measurements. It also reduced the craving for alcohol. It improved patients’ depressive and anxious symptoms, as well as increased the subjectively perceived quality of life. In life changes, significant improvement of memory and IQ, as well as experience in depression and anxiety, were found.


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