One of the most compelling questions still unanswered in neuroscience is how consciousness arises. In this article, we examine visual processing, the parietal lobe, and contralateral neglect syndrome as a window into consciousness and how the brain functions as the mind and we introduce a mechanism for the processing of visual information and its role in consciousness. We propose that consciousness arises from integration of information from throughout the body and brain by the thalamus and that the thalamus reimages visual (...) and other sensory information from throughout the cortex in a default three-dimensional space in the mind. We further suggest that the thalamus generates a dynamic default three-dimensional space by integrating processed information from corticothalamic feedback loops, creating an infrastructure that may form the basis of our consciousness. Further experimental evidence is needed to examine and support this hypothesis, the role of the thalamus, and to further elucidate the mechanism of consciousness. (shrink)
The Global Workspace Theory and Information Integration Theory are two of the most currently accepted consciousness models; however, these models do not address many aspects of conscious experience. We compare these models to our previously proposed consciousness model in which the thalamus fills-in processed sensory information from corticothalamic feedback loops within a proposed 3D default space, resulting in the recreation of the internal and external worlds within the mind. This 3D default space is composed of all cells of the body, (...) which communicate via gap junctions and electrical potentials to create this unified space. We use 3D llustrations to explain how both visual and non-visual sensory information may be filled-in within this dynamic space, creating a unified seamless conscious experience. This neural sensory memory space is likely generated by baseline neural oscillatory activity from the default mode network, other salient networks, brainstem, and reticular activating system. (shrink)
The complex activity of the human brain makes it difficult to get a big picture of how the brain works and functions as the mind. We examine pertinent studies, as well as evolutionary and embryologic evidence to support our theoretical model consisting of separate but interactive layers of human neural activity. The most basic layer involves default mode network (DMN)activity and cardiorespiratory oscillations. We propose that these oscillations support other neural activity and cognitive processes. The second layer involves limbic system (...) activity accompanied by corresponding changes in cardiorespiratory oscillations. The third layer consists of corticothalamic processing and involves higher cortical functions including awareness, cognition,and consciousness. These layers interact to form the complex neural activity of the human brain. Examining the origins and relationships of various neural and physiologic oscillations may provide better understanding of human neurophysiology and consciousness. (shrink)
The transmission of knowledge requires trust, which is a moral relation between teacher and student. This relation requires the suspension of democratic/individualistic suspicion against the idea of intellectual rank and authority. Ultimately this is for the sake of an end that is affirmable by the lights of democratic individualism: the intellectual independence of the student. But education cannot itself be a democratic enterprise if it is to sustain deference to the idea of truth, as it must.
This paper examines the popular philosophical theory of moral relativism. Traditionally, the theory argues that communities have their own conceptual frameworks of morality that are inaccessible to those outside of the community. Thus, one community cannot give another community a moral reason to change a practice. In this paper, I will examine David Velleman’s version of the theory presented in his book Foundations for Moral Relativism. This version posits that the drive towards mutual interpretability is a universal drive among human (...) communities. From this drive stem all the practices and moral values of communities. However, Velleman does not believe that this implies that communities can understand each others’ conceptual frameworks. In this way, his account remains a normal version of moral relativism. I will argue that there are some cases in which a person can understand a different community’s conceptual framework enough to provide a reason for that community to change a practice. Importantly, my argument will not say that the reasons for change are moral reasons. They will be practical reasons based on the normative fact that human communities should strive towards mutual interpretability. Thus, my account will also maintain the crucial tenets of moral relativism. If accomplished, this argument will add a great power to the theory. (shrink)
The repeated-pairs of surnames in marriages approach is applied to the population of Tiszaszalka in north-eastern Hungary. The results indicate that: lineage-like behaviour in mate choice results in population subdivision in both the Catholics and the Protestants of the village; unlike in some other Tiszahat villages, the isonymous and the repeating unions in Tiszaszalka occur in different lineages so, in neither of these subpopulations are isonymous and repeating unions monopolised by a few lineages; religious affilitation influences the mating structure of (...) the population as measured by RP summary scores. (shrink)
This paper examines the concept of ‘openness with patients’ from the stand-point of the limitations of biomedical ethics. Initially we review contemporary critiques of bioethics and, in particular, of principlism; we relate how other; somewhat neglected, forms of medical ethics can yield useful information and provide moral guidance. The main section of the paper then shows how a bioethical approach to openness misses the social context in our example, the viewpoints of patients; we present some of the increasing wealth of (...) research evidence which points towards patients wanting more information and a greater degree of openness. (shrink)