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Forum » SpaceEngine » Science and Astronomy Discussions » Consciousness (Theories about how it forms and how it works)
Consciousness
HandbananaDate: Saturday, 04.10.2014, 09:26 | Message # 1
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Perhaps one of the hardest questions in all branches of science -

I am not seeking answers here - I know that no one knows much about this topic certain, but I am interested in discussion and learning about any theories that anyone has heard of and would like to share.

In particular, discussions around the following questions (although other questions are welcome as well):

- How may one define consciousness?
- Are there different levels of consciousness, and if so, are the boundaries between different levels abrupt or smoothly transitioning?
- How does consciousness form / what conditions are required for it to exist?
- Is it constant, or does it occur in flashing lapses of time?





Tonight... you.
 
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Saturday, 04.10.2014, 15:58 | Message # 2
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Quote Handbanana ()
How may one define consciousness?


Anything with a complex enough brain to show signs of more than reactive environmental awareness is truly conscious.

Quote Handbanana ()
Are there different levels of consciousness, and if so, are the boundaries between different levels abrupt or smoothly transitioning?


Insects would be reactive awareness as they have a very simple brain and function mainly off of programming. Things with more complex brain structures would exhibit more advanced forms of consciousness. You can see this very easily by comparing the different brain structure of things like lizards, mice, chimps, and humans.

Quote Handbanana ()
How does consciousness form / what conditions are required for it to exist?


Consciousness is evolved and developmental. Humans have evolved towards our form of consciousness, but it is also developmental in the sense that a baby is not as consciously aware or functional in it's environment as an adult.

To be conscious simply requires a brain and the proper arrangement of parts. No brain, no consciousness, simple as that. There really is no mystery or magic behind it.

I have a feeling that by consciousness you want to discuss self awareness, but even in that case that too is evolved. It is extremely difficult to say that humans are the only animals capable of such a thing when many social animals show an awareness of self.

Quote Handbanana ()
Is it constant, or does it occur in flashing lapses of time?


Different regions of the brain are more/less active at different times, and so with this you can deduce that consciousness too is a process that changes. When the brain is bored of repetitive information or uninteresting information it can block it out and when it is excited by information it can focus better on that information. Different stimuli leads to different reactions within the brain which leads to differing conscious experiences. No matter what as long as a brain is alive, it is conscious to some extent even while sleeping.





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CesrateDate: Saturday, 08.11.2014, 15:08 | Message # 3
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Here's two papers, may not be right but may be interesting approaches.
http://arxiv.org/abs/1306.0159
http://arxiv.org/abs/1401.1219
 
Forum » SpaceEngine » Science and Astronomy Discussions » Consciousness (Theories about how it forms and how it works)
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