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The Mental Databases

Brown, Mr Ken (2006) The Mental Databases. [Preprint] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This article uses coordinated database, physics and evolutionary considerations to suggest how the mind stores and processes its data. A) The comparison is made between the capabilities of the mind and those of a modern relational database while conserving phenomenality. The strong structural similarity of the two systems leads to the conclusion that the mind may be profitably described as being a network of “mental databases” (i.e. databases with phenomenal capability). This is the MD hypothesis. The need for bidirectional material-to-mental bridging and addressing indexes is shown. This is the Neural Index (NI) hypothesis. The MD and NI hypotheses taken together constitute the MDNI hypothesis. B) A strength shown by the MDNI theory is that it engenders proposals for answering questions relating to gaps in current knowledge. Among others, examples are: Question 1) How does the brain show such plasticity in repairing injuries? Answer 1) By recreating indexes from protected mental data. Q2) What are the Darwinian advantages of consciousness? A2) Economy of material resources such as brain weight and facilitation of evolution, among others. Q3) Why can’t the NCC of phenomenal events, such as the feeling of pain, be seen through scanning and other brain activity investigation methods? A3) They take place in the mental domain. Q4) Is consciousness causal or epiphenomenal? A4) Causal. C) The MDNI hypothesis is situated in a Penrosian expanded physical environment requiring Darwinian evolutionary continuity, modularity and phenomenality. This last property cannot in principle be generated or even simulated in Turing machines (i.e. all digital computers) modeling the brain, however much complexity, multiprocessing and interconnection takes place. The MDNI hypothesis is shown to contribute to the clarification of other matters concerning the brain/mind, such as its stability, causality and binding capabilities. It is also used to give a new interpretation of Libet’s work. The concept of the progressive “emergence” of consciousness as biological evolution advanced is shown to be false because consciousness must have existed from a relatively early period in brain evolution. D) The question of what neural correlates of consciousness (NCC) between sensorimotor data and instrumented observation one can hope to obtain using current biophysics is investigated. It is deduced that what is seen using the various brain investigation methods reflects only that material part of current activity transactions (e.g. visualizing) which update and interrogate the mind, but not the contents of the integrated mental database which constitutes the mind itself. This approach yields reasons why there is much neural activity in an area to which a conscious function is ascribed (e.g. the amygdala is associated with fear), yet there is no visible part of the brain’s electromagnetic or quantum activity which can be clearly identified as phenomenal.

Item Type:Preprint
Additional Information:The approach taken by this article is fertile. Having been expanded to produce this version, it is being being further expanded for the next.
Keywords:Database, index, memory, modular, mental, consciousness, neural correlates of consciousness, cognitive neuroscience, semantic, phenomenal, evolution, quantum physics.
Subjects:Neuroscience > Biophysics
Neuroscience > Computational Neuroscience
Biology > Evolution
ID Code:5294
Deposited By:Brown, Mr Ken
Deposited On:12 Dec 2006
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:56

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References in Article

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Included because it gives the reflections of great quantum scientists on the implications of their own work.

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