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vid
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vid
Very interesting experiment regarding nature of "free will": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Libet
Post 02 May 2008, 13:28
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vid
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vid
This video also demonstrates what happens when you cut the neural bridge connecting left and right half of brain:

http://www.hypnosisschool.org/50.php

This gives very interesting insight into how brain works. For those not afraid of long texts, following article documents many types of such cases:

http://ebonmusings.org/atheism/ghost.html
Post 02 May 2008, 13:44
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edfed



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very interresting... but, it is not a reason to accept slavery or misery.
we are machine, ok... but we are alive and not to be formated by the society.
Post 02 May 2008, 14:52
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Borsuc



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Borsuc
This stuff is old, it has been disputed (the wiki article i mean).

(no i don't have any links because i don't remember them, and seriously I'm not that internet freak)
Post 02 May 2008, 15:03
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vid
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Grey Beast: Do you remember the reasoning of that disputation? Or something that would allow me to find it?

Another fascinating thing is "Alien Arm", look it up on YouTube.
Post 02 May 2008, 15:40
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Borsuc



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Borsuc
vid wrote:
Grey Beast: Do you remember the reasoning of that disputation? Or something that would allow me to find it?
There were many 'different' disputes (not all of them true). Some were philosophical (something like 'first person' perspectives, you know, the one which you are aware). Others were claiming that the 'subjects' (people used in experiments) were subjective and imprecisely (don't really know how), because it required their voluntarily 'when I decided to stop the button' or something like that.

Then there was also one which claimed that the 'visual' information of the brain (the reading on the clock) has also a probable delay. Also they said that this delay is not stored in memory (or something like that), and the EEG showed the decision of that person (the conscious decision), because otherwise it must have included the "I said 0.1 seconds later that I decided to press the button". The article that disputed it declared it a contradiction or something (i.e you can't go back in time to change the decision).

Others were claiming that the information when you decide to press the button has a delay between the "thinking" part of the brain and the "realizing" part -- that is, you can decide to do something at moment A, but you'll realize it at moment B (or simply put with my own words: the pre-thinking process (as pre-processing), i.e you plan ahead). This is purely conscious.

Note that it's been a while since I read this stuff, so probably what I wrote above does not make any sense at all. If you don't find anything I'll try to search a bit (but I'm really busy these days). I pretty much forgot this stuff until this thread, so I'm pretty fuzzy about my 'remember' knowledge -- if it does not make sense then it's my fault.
Post 02 May 2008, 18:40
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vid
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I thought about same possible disputations as some of those you mentioned. Still, they aren't too much persuasive, result of experiment seems about 50-50 valid for me.

Also the split-brain demonstration seems pretty hard to explain if what we do is controlled by single soul. Did you read some explaination of that?
Post 02 May 2008, 21:09
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Borsuc



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Borsuc
vid wrote:
Also the split-brain demonstration seems pretty hard to explain if what we do is controlled by single soul. Did you read some explaination of that?
For some reason I can't access YouTube videos right now (actually it's been like this the whole week). Confused

Can you sum it up for me?
Post 02 May 2008, 21:18
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vid
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vid
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Split-brain

Same condition is also described in that ebonmusings.com article I linked in other thread.

Basically, they remove neurons that connect your left and right hemispheres of brain (usually to lessen effects of epilepsy), and then you start exhibit weird behavior. Since your talking centre is located in left half (which connects to right eye), you can only talk about what you see by your right eye.

Guy is being shown some words or pictures on computer screen. He is to focus to point in the middle, and picture/word can show either on left side, or right side from that point.

If something is shown to right side, guy can normally name it. But if something is shown on left side, he is not consciously aware that he saw anything. But, when he closes his eyes, and is asked to draw what he saw (with left hand), he draws the correct thing that he saw with left eye, even though he consciously doesn't know he even saw anything.

Interesting thing comes when there is shown "saw" on left side and "hammer" on right side at same time. When asked what he saw, he says he saw "hammer". Then he is asked to close his eyes and draw it - he draws saw. Then he is asked to look at what he has drawn, and he looks confused. He is asked why he has drawn saw, and he says "I don't know".

It appears that consciousness of this man is split into 2. One on the left side of brain (that controls right half of body) can talk, so that's the one we talk with. But conciousness in the right side of brain lives independtly of the left one, and can do very highlevel things - like drawing what it saw. It just can't talk.

Now, how does that reflect to "soul"? Does his soul split into two soul, just because his material brain did? Then soul also falls to material determinism. Or is one of his two separate consiousnesses without soul? Note that both halfs are fully capable of acting themselves.

This behavior in people with split brain is exactly what we'd expect if our consciousness is made by neural network, and it's very puzzling if it's result of nonmaterial soul.
Post 02 May 2008, 21:42
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Borsuc



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Borsuc
vid wrote:
Interesting thing comes when there is shown "saw" on left side and "hammer" on right side at same time. When asked what he saw, he says he saw "hammer". Then he is asked to close his eyes and draw it - he draws saw. Then he is asked to look at what he has drawn, and he looks confused. He is asked why he has drawn saw, and he says "I don't know".
Interesting.

What about when he is 'asked' to draw what he has seen. Why does he draw saw at all and not hammer? Is the 'asking' recognition part on the right?

Even if the personality is split, why would he draw the thing he did not 'see' (or see unconsciously). Why necessarily that and not the hammer? Is it because the part that receives the information is on the right?

Also I'm pretty amazed that such a thing is possible, I mean, never thought that the left part of brain can function without the right... Confused

And by the way, they were 'connected' in a way -- because he draw the saw, and then did not know why he did. Thus means that both parts of brains received the "draw what you have seen" message (since the 'aware' part recognized that task, and the unconscious part also since it drew the saw). This means that they were connected. Unless of course both brains have the SAME mechanisms for detecting messages.


Also this does have nothing to do with soul at all. His personality was not split into two at all. He simply had not control over the right brain (left eye). Actually this puzzles me: why would he have control (by that I mean 'aware' of it) over the left brain and not the right? Confused did he suffer from a disease or something?

He did not have two personalities, only a part of brain inaccessible to him (i.e just like when he's asleep for example). His 'mind' (not soul, I guess you meant mind) was the one he could recognize. Also remember that even in sleep, most of the times we recognize at the moment we sleep, until we wake up and we forget 90% of it. Maybe he saw the 'saw' but forgot it. There are a lot of exercises for this task -- to train yourself mentally and be able to control yourself.

To be honest, I don't know what the guy really saw, or what he really felt, or if he forgot something -- never done anything like this (and it's unlikely i'll ever do, as it damages my brain, or did I misunderstood).
Post 02 May 2008, 22:05
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vid
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vid
The way I see it, both parts of the brain were functioning. I wonder what he'd draw if he used his right hand to draw, I quess he would draw hammer.

Quote:
Is the 'asking' recognition part on the right?

Good question. Based on this result, I'd say that both parts were able to understand, but both parts had different input. I'd want to see some experimenting with telling information to just one ear.

You say that his right half was "inacessible to him". In that case, if neurons that join these halfs are what makes it accessible, I say that "him" - his consciousness, is located in left half of brain. Why the hell should bunch of neurons matter to nonmaterial soul, and prevent it from accessing brain? This "inacessible" only gives sense if "corpus callosum" is way used to access. Sounds weird for nonmaterial soul.

I disagree that he was still just one personality. Your personality is formed by your inputs. He may have been same personality in the beginning, but since the split there are two personalities which have (slightly) different input and can evolve differently. Also against "same personality" speaks some alien arm cases, where the "alien arm" is trying to strangle it's owner - again mentioned in ebonmusings article. Another argument against is that one half of brain mediates content/good feelings, and other one mediates anger/sad feelings (not sure which is which). Because of this I would expect two personalities to be quite different.

Also, I still see this as a problem for "soul" hypothesis:
- If "soul lost control over right half", then it is proof that human can function just as well even without soul.
- If same soul governs two independent consciousnesses, then, well, wtf? Can I share my soul with some other person this way? Does soul govern "alien arm" that is trying to kill it's owner (governed by same soul)?

BTW, if these problems for "soul" hypothesis are new to you, I think you really should read that article that I twice linked.
Post 02 May 2008, 23:06
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Borsuc



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Borsuc
Quote:
Good question. Based on this result, I'd say that both parts were able to understand, but both parts had different input. I'd want to see some experimenting with telling information to just one ear.
The way I see it, is that they both had 'decoders' for the information from the ears. Of course both had access to the specific ear, but that doesn't mean both could decode the signal. Unless of course both had "sound format decoders", it means they were connected in a way.

vid wrote:
You say that his right half was "inacessible to him". In that case, if neurons that join these halfs are what makes it accessible, I say that "him" - his consciousness, is located in left half of brain. Why the hell should bunch of neurons matter to nonmaterial soul, and prevent it from accessing brain?
Just as much a cell makes it accessible to your limbs (i.e without a connection between the brain and the hand, you can't control the hand).

What still puzzles me is why his left part was the one he 'recognized' consciously. That means either:

1) they were connected but had less effect on right (i.e bad memory, or couldn't remember, therefore he 'could not' see with it as he immediately forgot).

2) the 'consciousness' is located in the left part

vid wrote:
I disagree that he was still just one personality. Your personality is formed by your inputs. He may have been same personality in the beginning, but since the split there are two personalities which have (slightly) different input and can evolve differently. Also against "same personality" speaks some alien arm cases, where the "alien arm" is trying to strangle it's owner - again mentioned in ebonmusings article. Another argument against is that one half of brain mediates content/good feelings, and other one mediates anger/sad feelings (not sure which is which). Because of this I would expect two personalities to be quite different.
Just because the alien arm was 'connected' to him does not mean it was "part" of him. The thing that makes something truly "yours" is that which you can feel and control, you know, from your first person perspective (i.e the thing that you 'feel', 'see' and just about anything). In that way, you could say that adding a robotic arm to some individual, controlled by a microprocessor (not the brain) would add a new personality to him (let's say the microprocessor wants to kill the guy). Not at all, the robotic arm would not be part of him, even if the atoms or cells are connected. Heck, we even connect to the 'air' around us, but that doesn't make the air our different personality.

vid wrote:
- If "soul lost control over right half", then it is proof that human can function just as well even without soul.
Well, if your arm is cut down, you lose control over it Wink

Also, zombies function too (j/k).

vid wrote:
- If same soul governs two independent consciousnesses, then, well, wtf? Can I share my soul with some other person this way? Does soul govern "alien arm" that is trying to kill it's owner (governed by same soul)?
Well in sleep, or when you sleep walk, you usually don't have control either. But that doesn't mean you have different personality, unless of course you meant that sleep is also a proof for you Wink

Also, the 'alien' or 'robotic' arm, as I have stated, is not necessarily part of you.

vid wrote:
BTW, if these problems for "soul" hypothesis are new to you, I think you really should read that article that I twice linked.
Not at all new, and actually I'm glad you posted these articles, makes me remember some old things. To be honest I've never seen this experiment (with the hammer/saw) before (yes didn't read the whole article because I did not have time), but similar cases have been known to me Smile

However I'm not too fond on experiments with people, as they are highly subjective (because of the people) -- and unfortunately such an experiment is not easily done on everybody (it damages your brain) so it's difficult to test it for ourselves.
Post 03 May 2008, 09:11
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vid
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vid
Quote:
The way I see it, is that they both had 'decoders' for the information from the ears. Of course both had access to the specific ear, but that doesn't mean both could decode the signal. Unless of course both had "sound format decoders", it means they were connected in a way.

Might be that both ears learn to decode same way, while brain was connected, and after it was split, they are both able to decode.

Quote:
What still puzzles me is why his left part was the one he 'recognized' consciously. That means either:

1) they were connected but had less effect on right (i.e bad memory, or couldn't remember, therefore he 'could not' see with it as he immediately forgot).

I don't see this probable. Right half was acting fully normally, based on input it recieved. It's action didn't appear limited at all.


Quote:
2) the 'consciousness' is located in the left part

Yep, but I can see other option:

3) Both part had their consciousness, but only the left part had control over talking / communication. So the right part consciousness couldn't communicate - either by lack of control over organs, or by lack of systems (neural networks) to communicate.

In fact, I think it's somewhere between 2) and 3). Definitively more testing is needed.

Quote:
Well, if your arm is cut down, you lose control over it

Yes, but arm ceases it's function then. In alien arm cases, the arm still can do all complicated actions usually attributed to consciousness - it just does it without you feeling you want to do it.

Quote:
However I'm not too fond on experiments with people, as they are highly subjective (because of the people) -- and unfortunately such an experiment is not easily done on everybody (it damages your brain) so it's difficult to test it for ourselves.

Subjectivity can be resolved if you do enough experiments - but you are right that unless we want to nazi people's brain, we have to wait for chances.

By the way, there is one hypothesis which would explain all these things: That consciousness is something generated AFTER action happens, that collects information about things done and rationalizes it.

Arguments for this hypothesis:
- This is what Libet experiment suggested, you got feeling "i want to do this" after your brain was almost done doing it.
- If this after-consciousness was located in left part of brain, it would explain how both your splitted parts of brain can beheave normally based on their input, but you only realize the left part.
- If something breaks link between arm and this past-consciousness, it would explain why actions of your arm (which are still controlled by your brain) doesn't feel like you did it. Simply after the brain does it's thing with arm, information about this doesn't arrive to center where it can be transformed to consciousness.
- Also, there are some cases reported where people's brain completely make up things to explain their action, or where people loose control over limb but are physically unable to realize it - this could be explained by information still arriving to this past-consciousness about the action done, but not to limb muscles to actually perform the action.

So far, this hypothesis seems way most plausible to me, and explains many thing which are AFAIK not explained by any other hypotheses.
Post 03 May 2008, 09:37
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Borsuc



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Borsuc
What about the fact that the guy did not 'feel' or see anything related to the right brain -- not only that he could not talk about it, but he didn't experience it in 'first person' (i.e consciously).

There were several different 'hypnosis' experiments done like this (more or less plausible), that put one part of brain into sleep/meditation (in fact some can really do this without hypnosis, through meditation). The result was similar, as they could not remember their 'sleep' (like we usually can't remember the moment when we transition from 'real world' to 'sleep world', if you know what I mean). The other parts, however, was fully aware and could remember everything, so the result was similar to this experiment. However that means sleep is also a good proof for the 'actions before being aware', which is not. if the brain makes decisions without our 'first person' experiences, then why do we have these first person experiences? The guy did not see the 'saw' (with first person experience) but yet he drew it. This was a common dispute for this experiments (with the hypnosis), that the first person view would be useless (not really fond of that myself).

And when I said that cutting down the arm will make you lose control over it, I was not referring to the alien arm, but to the connection between the two brains. The arm ceases to function because there is no brain (or mind/soul whatever) for it, but the muscles are still there, they still contract under some conditions, etc..
Post 03 May 2008, 09:45
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vid
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Quote:
What about the fact that the guy did not 'feel' or see anything related to the right brain -- not only that he could not talk about it, but he didn't experience it in 'first person' (i.e consciously).

That's exactly what this hypothesis predicts, if the "consciousness" (part that monitors activity, has last-moment "veto", etc...) is located in left part of brain. All mental actions that require this part only function for left brain, and rest still works for right brain.

It also demonstrates that even such high-level activities as un/buttoning a coat, or drawing what you have seen, can be fully performed without consciousness.

Quote:
if the brain makes decisions without our 'first person' experiences, then why do we have these first person experiences?

I'd quess that this "consciousness" somehow mediates events to be stored in it's own memory, from which it can use information (remember past experiences). But this is really just a quesswork.

Question why has something like this "consciousness" evolved is still not answered. I quess that we will have to properly understand it first, before realizing what evolutionary advantage it provided.

Btw, if you have links to some interesting neuropsychology experiments with altered states of consciousness (meditation, hypnosis, drugs, ...), be sure to post them.
Post 03 May 2008, 10:42
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edfed



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thisImageor this?Image

maybe the consciousness is not split in two part, but in ~1 000 000 micro parts.
when you think about a coding problem, you always seek all possibilities by requesting all the attention of all the ┬Áconsiousness you have, then, we are never alone, we are at least two in our brain.
one bad, and one gentle.
one ugly, and one clever.
one bored, and one passioned.
one lazy, and one courageaous...

and ONE user, a single user, located somewhere in the brain, an EIP register that will focus on a part or one other.

And what make us unique is the composition of our total brain.

hardware and software are linked. no soft if no hard.

but the hardware have some mechanisms we cannot control because of self conservation. survival instinct is all we cannot control, because a soul can be totally fool, and then, if the body want to be alive, it shall act by itself, without the opinion of the owner.

edit: about altered cousiouness experiences, i have a lot of exemples.
a lot.

one very interresting one is the "TV array" of my life.
i saw a lot of parts of my life as an array of videos. and i just had to focus on one screen to remember events i conciouslly forgot...
Post 03 May 2008, 11:01
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Borsuc



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Borsuc
vid wrote:
That's exactly what this hypothesis predicts, if the "consciousness" (part that monitors activity, has last-moment "veto", etc...) is located in left part of brain. All mental actions that require this part only function for left brain, and rest still works for right brain.
Problem is that these days, the right part of the brain is discriminated. Heck, even this discussion proves that Laughing (rely on 'senses' rather than thought-up 'definitions'). The left brain, for example, can name what an object is, but the right part tells it's meaning, it's purpose, and that's why it can understand metaphors, etc.

(how people place emphasis on the left brain, when actually, both should be equalized for a true balance; preferring any part will result in close-mindedness). Common sense, by the way, is found in the non-logical part of the brain (right brain) Wink

what's wrong with the left brain is that it does not get the 'meaning' or 'purpose' or 'reason' of a particular object/action. since that requires interpretation, a person with a highly focused right brain (you can do that with meditation or hypnosis) is often better at knowing what's better to do at a given moment (or what to do with an object).

using only one part of brain (especially left in our modern society) is unhealthy and leads to close mindedness and will hold you from getting interesting new thoughts.

vid wrote:
It also demonstrates that even such high-level activities as un/buttoning a coat, or drawing what you have seen, can be fully performed without consciousness.
This has been pretty common, hypnotized people are usually not aware and will press a button, and do a lot of other 'higher level' things. But I wouldn't call that "no free will"; it is the same as when sleeping or being dead Wink

vid wrote:
Btw, if you have links to some interesting neuropsychology experiments with altered states of consciousness (meditation, hypnosis, drugs, ...), be sure to post them.
i watched it on TV on different occasions Wink (some years ago)

(I'll try to remember the title and maybe find it with google/wiki; no promises though, sorry).


Nevertheless, the following links do not come from my experience at all (never even read them), I was pointed out that they are good for self-hypnosis (again, I don't know). Probably sometime I will try the CD, as it will enable me perhaps to focus on one part of the brain (and get to see the saw/hammer effect for myself).

Pretty interesting though no guarantee from me Wink:

Original article:Are you Left or Right brain oriented?

The self-hypnosis CD.

The Relationship between Yoga, Meditation, and Self-Hypnosis

again i have not read these stuff yet (very very busy these days), and even less order the CD myself. Sorry I could not provide a self-experienced sources or infos.
Post 03 May 2008, 12:07
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Artlav



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One interesting thing about alien arm syndrome i read in Stanislaw Lem story Mir na Zemle (or one of the 3 big iion stories) - the main character, who got his brain split that way by an experimental weapon could communicate with his unconcious side by tapping morse code on his alien arm, and vice versa.
While it is most likely fictional, considering what type of story it was, is there any similar kind of behavior in that condition? Communication thru drawing, tapping, etc?

In Oliver Sacks book "A man who mistook his wife for a hat", there is a description of a neurological condition, when a man understands perfectly what is said to him, but do not understand the actual words. If the words are spoken in calm mechanical voice, he cannot understand them, but a normal human speech is perfectly legible.
This way, every side of a split brain still having an ear, both of them will be able to hear and recognize the request, and the side addressed will do it the way it recognized the thing - draw what it's eye seen.

To add a different set of theories - one common concept is that thoughts are directly related to words, like saying words inside your head while solving problems. That ability to think is sometimes defined as consciousness work. On the real picture, the thoughts are actually mirrored by words, but a much deeper construct, than words are, and the word resolving system is located in the left side of the brain, so the word-driven consciousness is located there too.

In a wide definition of physics, anything that exists is defined by physical laws, so if God and soul exists, they will be defined by laws of physics. And no one said that such laws should exclude the omnipotence or ability to change the said laws. The whole system could be either a structure on top of some basic laws (a God can only be just, and cannot destroy himself for example), or some kind of loop of them.

In such a way, the soul is immaterial, but it is linked with the body. That way, the brain is the most likely transceiver. The problem is that we know nothing on the potential "structure" of the soul, so there could be easily made any theory to explain the AA condition - like both parts are still linked, but the information from one part was using the transmitter of the other, so now it is not passing thru to where it is expected, or maybe the soul is only responsible for the things of a spiritual level and the transmitter is in the left part of the brain, that way the right side can still do the mechanical stuff.

There is hardly anything proven on the soul/matter theories arena, and there probably will be no research and attempts to understand the nature of the soul until the A.I. limits will be found - if the intelligence is indeed a separate physical process invoked and controlled by brain structure and activity, then no computer will ever reach human level. Otherwise, once the computer, capable to totally reproduce wide and every kind of human intelligence is made, the soul theory will be disproved.
Post 03 May 2008, 15:15
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vid
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Grey Beast: I agree both parts are important. Left part finds it's place where you want to deal with great confidence and minimal error, like logic, reasoning, science, exploring how brain works, etc.. Right part is useful in less well-defined environment, like social behavior, predicting other people's behavior etc. Extreme left-brainness leads to socially impossible RainMain-like characters, and extreme right-brainness leads to no-clue manipulable types who believe whathever they like to believe, contrary reason. Each half should be used where it performs better.

Quote:
While it is most likely fictional, considering what type of story it was, is there any similar kind of behavior in that condition? Communication thru drawing, tapping, etc?

Good question, I hope to find more references to experiments. If right side is even able to hear and understand, left side could "talk" to right side.

Quote:
and the word resolving system is located in the left side of the brain

Nay, disproved by the video. If I recall correctly, in the split-brain video, the man saw written word with left eye, and was able to draw it. At least reading can be performed by right side. Wonder about spoken word.

Quote:
In such a way, the soul is immaterial, but it is linked with the body. That way, the brain is the most likely transceiver.

This claim is testable. If immaterial soul affected material brain, we would be able to detect breach of materialistic determinism. Actually, this could be testable by now, or very soon. We should see beach of determinism in electrical potential levels measurable today, I quess.
Post 03 May 2008, 15:42
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tom tobias



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Post 03 May 2008, 20:41
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