Spinoff Thread:What Happens To The Conscious Awareness When We Die

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by LORD_VOLDEMORT, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. Cortex_Colossus Banned Banned

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    What is the mind? Is it our soul?
     
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  3. frisco Registered Member

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    What soul?
     
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    You guys have the mistaken impression that consciousness is matter or energy, or at least analogous to matter or energy, and therefore there is some law analogous to "conservation of matter" or "conservation of energy" that demands that the "total amount" of consciousness cannot be reduced.

    You're using the wrong model. Consciousness is organization. There is no law of conservation of organization. In fact the closest thing we've got is the principle of entropy, which actually mandates that the "total amount" of organization will be inexorably reduced as the universe ages!

    The way the synapses in your brain are organized to manifest your consciousness is analogous to the way the pile of bricks you live in is organized to manifest a house. If a hurricane comes along and knocks those bricks down, the bricks still exist but their organization is gone and the house simply ceases to exist. In the same way, when oxygen stops being delivered to your brain cells, the organization of your synapses is "knocked down" and your consciousness simply ceases to exist.

    When you go into a coma your synapses do not degrade so their organization is not destroyed. But the electrochemical activity among those synapses drops into a minimal mode. Your memories and personality are saved but they are not active. This is what being unconscious is all about, whether it's dreamless sleep, a blow to the head, deep anesthesia, or a six-month coma.

    There is no law of conservation of consciousness. Your consciousness can vanish and then reappear when you wake up, come out of anesthesia, or emerge from your coma.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2008
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  7. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    So why do we talk about a person in a coma as being unconscious ? Hit potentyial consciousness is within but not functioning because of damage to his brain. It's as somple as that/
     
  8. Yorda Registered Senior Member

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    according to science, everything is made of "matter" and our mind/consciousness is a part of the universe, it's not supernatural, beyond nature... that's why they believe that consciousness disappears when the body dies.

    but it might as well be the opposite: everything is inside our mind. like dreams.
     
  9. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    Why do you think that ?
     
  10. frisco Registered Member

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    In biology, the main theme is "structure and function." That is, by understanding the structure we can discern the function, since function arises from structure. This remains true for consciousness, which is a function of the brain. When the structure degrades, the the function fails.

    For instance, the way DNA works is determined entirely by its structure. There is nothing else guiding it. I don't really want to try and explain this, since this should all be basic stuff by now if you're going to argue over some as advanced as consciousness. I don't mean to be condescending, but its become clear that this needs to be reiterated for a few people.

    Ok, so sure, matter is conserved: but function arises from the structure of the matter, not just the disordered matter! There is no conservation of processes, or any such thing. You need that structure.

    When you die and degrade as biological system, all functions (renal, hepatic, cardiovascular, neural, so on) must vanish, since the structure is no longer there that causes it.

    I don't know how I could make this any clearer.
     
  11. Aivar A.R. Registered Senior Member

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    Within the concept of structure and function, we must keep in the consciousness the image of the sushique fuckability of inadequate information, which will without a plausible conflict inherently consume the minds adequate at gathering momentarily plausible information.

    Edit - The DNA with the matter which has not yet been studied from the Black Hole has been proven to be tied in inunderstandable ways, which will only tie into your soul if you use my product.
     
  12. Vkothii Banned Banned

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    How do we know, that infirmation is? in fact, gethiring?

    Perhspa it his a certin tenency to diperse nd so, som disape ltogethr , like don a Blk Hole>
     
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    It's not quite accurate to say that his conscious "awareness" is within him when he's unconscious. That was an unfortunate and misleading choice of words. "Awareness" is a cognitive state that only exists when we're conscious.

    What should have been said is that all of the memories, ideas, feelings, etc. that we use in conscious life are safely stored when we're asleep or otherwise unconscious. But we are not aware of them during that time. We become aware of all of that when we wake up or regain consciousness.

    Dreaming is a unique state (which apparently all mammals and birds experience) during which we have some limited cognitive ability and access to some of those stored memories, ideas, etc. We become aware of some of those things, but we remain unaware of the external environment.

    Since in almost all instances of dreaming, we have no ability to control the development of the experience, not even the words that we imagine speaking, dreaming is generally regarded as an unconscious process.
     
  14. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    I agree. I was thinking of structures which had ben impaired but with the probability of being regenerated. Your explanation is better.
     
  15. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    Almost all. But surely you've experienced dreams where you suddenly become aware that you're dreaming?
     
  16. frisco Registered Member

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    Fraggle Rocker, I'd contest your point that dreaming is always "unconscious." Lucid dreaming is a pretty well tested phenomenon, and dreamers can even communicate with the outside world via prearranged signals.

    Google/PubMed "Time required for motor activity in lucid dreams," for one great example study (I'd post the link but the forums won't let me until I have 20 posts).

    The experiment had subjects do various motor tasks and cause eye movements (looking from side to side repeatedly) before beginning a task in-dream, and upon finishing that task in-dream. The eye movements performed in the dream world were established to show up on an electrooculogram, presumably since the eyes aren't subject to the same cholinergic suppression as the descending spinal pathways (hence the well known rapid eye movements).

    Studies of dreamers, in fact, has led many to conclude that consciousness is an entirely internal process which is just modulated by sensory input while awake, but could persist otherwise (thus dreams occur when consciousness is being generated internally, but sensory input is disregarded).
     
  17. LORD_VOLDEMORT Banned Banned

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    This is very true,i have read this and far deeper than this entire thread has indulged in.
     
  18. Saquist Banned Banned

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    I would imagine that are conscious mind is a direct product of the materials that make up our body, powered by energy...with out either consciousness is impossible.
     
  19. LORD_VOLDEMORT Banned Banned

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    Those declared Brain dead living in VEG.state are said to experience consciousness,scientist argue it isnt possible,others say it is very possible.
     
  20. frisco Registered Member

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    Don't misinterpret me--there's nothing supernatural about consciousness being "internal." It actually makes consciousness a lot easier to work with than something thats dependent on the external world.

    Google "thalamocortical loop 40hz" for some literature on the state of the subject. All it being "internal" means is that there's some kind of endogenous pacemaker of consciousness, instead of it being dependent on the external world in crazy we-have-no-idea-whats-going-on kind of ways. And this pacemaker most likely is in the form of synchronized firing and cortical-subcortical loops, not some universal energy.
     
  21. frisco Registered Member

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    For instance, the major observation from the dreaming studies was that slow wave sleep was characterized by slower oscillations that were coherent over the whole brain, where as both dreaming and being awake were characterized by faster oscillations that linked specific areas' activity temporally--proposed as a solution to the binding problem.

    This isn't new stuff. I think Christof Koch ended up deciding that the 40hz theory was off a few years ago, but I may not remember correctly. I'll go look it up later.
     
  22. LORD_VOLDEMORT Banned Banned

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    wow.

    I will research this,i came across something like this a few days ago but kept going in thirst for more lol.I have read sites that link the Pineal Gland with this.
     
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I'm really bad about remembering dreams, but I know that many people have had this experience. I'm no professional expert and I qualified all of my controversial assertions:
    You're hardly the only person to contest this. What I said was:
    Duh? What else could it be?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Sure. People are always in the news after being in a coma for a year and then repeating the things people were saying when they thought they couldn't hear.

    There's no "standard" pattern to the injuries that cause comas or apparent brain death, or to their symptoms. This is after all a major reason we have so much trouble deciding whether the victim is alive and/or has a chance of reawakening. Every condition is unique and different areas in the brain are affected. In each case the processing of the brain under duress is likely to differ qualitatively from the "standard" unconsciousness of sleep or a light blow to the head.
     

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