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Neurohacking - Tutorials
Written by NHA   
Thursday, 13 October 2011 19:35
Article Index
Neurohacking Tutorial 7 - Imagination & Related Abilities
Network 3 & Mirror Neurons
Perception From the Bottom Up
What Happens if Things Go Wrong
The Mind's Inner Model
NHA Guide to Methods & Technology
The Most Important Bits to Remember
Hacks & Exercices
Notes, References & Answers
All Pages

 

 

The Mind's Inner Model


You already know that all neurotransmitters are modulated by N3’s associations to coordinate types of animal behavior and the emotional & body states needed for them. You also know that N3 can transmit to and receive from all systems, and that the signals that prompt association with a certain concept are the same signals that prompt the release of certain neurotransmitters. (We talked about this in the last two tutorials so you should be getting familiar with it by now.)

It must be obvious to you that all this needs to be going on at the same time in real time, because we experience real life as a first-person movie, not a series of disconnected incidents. The 'finished product' of perception is astonishingly complex, but the processes behind it are relatively simple.

Perception relies on having an inner model of reality that closely matches actual reality. The model is of the world as it is; with no value judgments placed upon it unless verified by both knowledge and experience. This is how we are able to make congruous sense of the world; we have a piece of information and we have an experience and they match up. We have a percept and we have a concept and they match up. Life makes sense, and the 'known' becomes an ever-growing powerhouse of ability and information as more and more congruous concepts are added to the model. We can predict the next parts of the 'story' and explore it to verify our accuracy. We can be given bits of information and test them to verify their accuracy. Every newborn mind is a better practical natural scientist than most people with PhDs.

Understanding the world, how it works and our place within it congruously gives us a strong confidence in our ability to interact with it, and this system, where every new organism comes to its own inner conclusions about the world, is one of biology's safety nets. Even if the entire human race went crazy and started believing that going outside was evil because the great god Boom created the universe out of sandpaper, the next generation could still make sense of the real world IF allowed to form its own inner model.

Sadly that safety net relies on having the freedom to encounter enough percepts that match up with our concepts; having our like-dislike judgments respected, and getting enough good input (true information) to build those early associations, and most of us don't get it; we get it replaced by wrong input. Our view of the world is then incongruous and doesn't make sense, and we are cast adrift in a sea of ever-increasing chaotic nonsense that we spend the rest of our lives getting confused by and quite reasonably feeling that we can't cope with.

Feeling that way is a sane response to insane circumstances; our biology drives us to do one thing, our false model tells us to do another. This is incongruity.

Not being able to make congruous sense of the world our lives and interactions robs us of meaning. We do a lot of things and say a lot of things and we don't really know why, and most of the time life doesn't make sense; we don't understand why this event happened or that event happened because we didn't expect it.

What we end up with in incongruous association is an inner portrayal of an ongoing series of apparently contradictory disconnected incidents, and that makes us anxious. Some may turn to superstition or religion to explain away the stuff that doesn't make sense to them, completely unaware that life makes perfect sense to those with congruous association. Others decide life is “all fucked up” and doesn't make any sense so give me another drink please; and a few refuse to give up and refuse to believe nonsense and keep on looking...



“You're here because you know something. What you know you can't explain, but you feel it. You've felt it your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world”.[20]

.

..and looking for answers and end up reading tutorials like this.

Fortunately the brain is fantastic and we can restructure congruous concept association at any age. We can land in biology's safety net after all and all will be well. But this time we get to jump in freely; we won't be held back and we won't be pushed.

To show you how the brain constructs a congruous model in the first place, we have made our own. It is a six-network model and it correlates with everything else in these tutorials and incorporates everything scientists currently (oct 2011) are able to prove about the brain.


Q -Why the 6-network model?

A -Students often ask this. Please get two things clear before we start: this is NOT our theory about how the brain works; it is a model of one possible way in which it could work; much like the 'standard model' of physics. Brain networks are not hexagons any more than subatomic particles are little billiard balls. The important thing to realize is that details of the model do not matter so much as grasping the process, and our model gives a good example of that process.

Nobody else, as far as we know, has a coherent testable unified model of the mind and brain. If you have one that predicts and explains developmental and experiment results as well as ours, be sure to send it in and we'll be delighted to use it.

Second thing to get clear: if any moron says 'ooh, its all about sixes, 666, woo woo woo', we will set you homework to design a ten-network model, then a seven-network model, and so on, for as long as it takes for you to get the point. Any model will do; the task is to understand how the mind can build its own inner model and use it as a base for all learning simply by associating a handful of concepts to make sense of everything.

We have based our model on the hexagon because it is the form biology uses in many circumstances of construction[19] including our own start in life:


 

...and because from the evidence on spatial modeling in N3 (see diagrams in section on grid cells, above), it appears the brain uses it too.

In the section above we looked at how grid cells can make a model of our spatial location by using the inner model; the abstract spatial structure that is constructed inside the brain and superimposed on every context by the brain irregardless of sensory input or actual features of the environment; categorising everything according to its location on this imagined 3D grid.

When we said everything, we meant everything; not just spatial locations but every single event in our experience, thought and memory.

When we stare at a simple pattern such as a grating, the image can be recognized in the neural pattern of activity in the brain. It is, however, distorted, and appears as though viewed through a fish-eye lens or projected onto a curved surface. This implies that N3's inner model is sitting on the underlying geometry of a hyperbolic grid (possibly a sphere) made up of hexagons. This correlates nicely with our six network model, so we see it as the simplest way of explaining the process.

Here is a picture of such a grid:

 

To understand the model you need to know the eidetic core concepts. You were born knowing them unconsciously, but we'll have to bring this awareness up into our conscious minds to restructure our associations around them.

There is no conscious knowledge involved here, and more than we are conscious of our heartbeats in ordinary circumstances. In understanding this, it helps to imagine yourself as an early human; a hunter-gatherer living in prehistory when no scientific knowledge of reality was available and all we had was experience. That's a good way of approaching any subject without any preconceptions, but it also helps you see how evolution has refined our core concepts via simple feedback from ourselves and our environment for such an incredibly long time (the whole of our time on this planet until around 10,000 years ago).

This is relevant to us because regardless of our lifestyle, where & when we live or who we are, core concepts do not change. They are timeless. Although our knowledge of them in the beginning is based solely on physical experience, the scientific laws that we later consciously learn are associated with them are real laws that cannot be broken, like those of gravity and thermodynamics.

The experience of reality an infant gets is much the same as the experience of reality a cavedweller perceived. No science was known to pre-linguistic early humans except what they could work out for themselves during one lifetime and manage to convey to each other by pictures, signs and miming. This is the context in which humanity's core concepts first formed. Everthing that came after, like language and tool use and science and art, was incorporated into the already existing model, as we will later see. For now, here are the 6 core concepts we start off with:

 

Core Eidetic Concepts

 

MATTER

The first core concept is matter. To the unconscious mind (or the cave dweller), the matter we encounter is concrete tactile material, material agents are physical hardware; objects, stuff, creatures, people and things. Matter has a solidity about it, you can feel it and hold it in your hands and carry some of it about. You eat some of it, you are made of some of it yourself, and you are wrapped supportively in it during your first 9 months or so of life. Some types of matter are dangerous and must be avoided, some types of matter are beneficial and should be sought after.

Matter is the first core concept because it is the first aspect of reality that we are able to confirm with our own experience via the senses. It is given a location on the inner map at rear left because this is the network area most needed for perceiving it and processing the behaviors of interacting with it. We associate matter with our starting point in life; that which surrounds and embodies us and gives us shelter and nourishment. On the behavioral level this associates with 'home' and the behaviors most likely to be needed there are cleaning, grooming, sleeping and giving birth. Our unconscious awareness of matter is a hard wired core concept for network 1; the network most required for the animal behaviors of rest, self care, birthing and hygiene.

 

SPACE

The second core concept is space. To the unconscious mind, the everyday space we move through, what place we are in, who is with us, and the conditions and behavior going on form the context for all that we encounter in the world, just as the brain's inner environment and the location of cells and networks in the brain form the context for all that cells encounter in the brain.

Spatial agents are concrete physical places, locations, landmarks. To survive in the real world, all mammals have to learn to negotiate their space effectively and seek out beneficial things that they need, while avoiding the harmful. Space is a hard wired core concept for network 2; the network most required for locomotion, exploration and physical ability and the animal behaviors of seeking, hunting, gathering, migration, courting and warning of danger.

 

DENSITY

The third core concept is density and it emerges automatically from combining the first and the second.

To the unconscious mind, density is about information importance, estimated from the number and intensity of things going on in one place and/or at one time.

This is a tricky concept to grasp unless you understand that network 3 has to allocate an importance 'weighting' to everything in its database and it does this by calculating signal density.

The hard wired concept of density allows us to understand quantity(number) and quality (type). This enables abilities that promote survival. Two bears went into the cave...only one came out. Two bears went into the cave...but they were only very small bears. A lot of things happen in place X. Not much happens in place Y. There are data density checksums going on here, and also a huge amount of translating concrete to abstract and back again, so closely associated concepts to density are numbers, codes, analogies and translation. Density is a hard wired core concept for network 3, the network most responsible for perception, imagination, learning, emotion and memory and the animal behaviors of befriending, bonding, mating and avoiding danger (freeze/fight/flight).

 

TIME

The fourth core concept is time. To the unconscious mind, spacetime is a continuum with a concrete end (space) and an abstract end (time). Time is the space between heartbeats. Before you invent measuring sticks you use your body; the number of heartbeats or paces it takes you to get somewhere tells you how far it is relative to other places. Space and time have one property in common in the way we think about them and that determines they share one side of the model, concrete space at the rear and abstract time at the front.

The property they share is our ability to assess them in terms of distance. In concrete (spatial) terms we know that some places are near and some places are far away. Unconsciously we imagine distance as the space between locations and locations as points in space; spatial landmarks.

In abstract (temporal) terms, the unconscious sees distance as the time between events; events are temporal 'landmarks'. Things, contexts and events all have length (duration), and there is a distance between events of the past, the here and now and events of the future. Time is a hard wired core concept for network 4; the network most responsible for procedures and synthesis and the animal behaviors of cooperation, creativity and construction, nest and home building, demonstrating skills to the young, and group interactive skills.

 

ENERGY

The fifth core concept is energy. To the unconscious mind, all 'stuff' (matter and energy) is a continuum; with a concrete end (matter) and an abstract end (energy). Energy changes matter big time. You have a body made of matter but it also contains energy that drives movement. Matter and energy have one property in common for us and that determines they share one side of the model, concrete matter at the rear and abstract energy at the front.What they have in common is our tenedncy to measure them both in terms of strength.

To the mind, matter is concrete material stuff that things are made of, and energy is abstract, non-material stuff that does things, but we learn from personal experience of our own bodies that energy is closely associated with both matter and resources. We know how our own bodies can experience feeling strong or weak, energetic or lethargic, depending on what resources they have, and we know that we feel short of energy and lacking in strength when we are hungry, ill or tired. We judge the current of a river in terms of its strength, and we see the matter around us transformed by fire, volcanoes, wind and storms, as effectively as it is transformed by hitting or cooking it. We also see that all living things seem to contain energy, that goes away when they die and is evident in abundance when they are strong. Energy is the stuff we experience that pushes and pulls, grows things and destroys things, causes movement, sound, heat, light, enables us to run a long way or fight a predator, buries villages in rock, and makes rocks explode. It can be sudden and unexpected like an avalanche or it can be regulated and controlled like our camp fire or our hunting strategy. Our unconscious awareness of energy is a hard wired core concept for network 5; the network most responsible for self esteem, analysis and assessment of resources and the animal behaviors of resource gathering, storing and allocating, display and gregariousness.

 

POWER

The sixth core concept is power and it emerges automatically from combining the fourth and the fifth but is also closely related to the third. To the unconscious mind, power is ability. In our own experience on the behavioral level we either have the power to move an object or we don't, on the abstract level we either have the power to move(inspire) others with a speech or we don't.

This is not the same concept as energy. In the real world, personal power is the ability to interact. It takes both strength and endurance, both energy and time.

The ability to interact is the measure of the adaptability of things, contexts, events, constructs, ourselves and our lives. When core concepts were forming, a creature's social status was based on this ability. The one with the best adaptation ability (of both self and context) was obviously 'the fittest'. The specialist tools humans have for survival are the factors of intelligence. These tools add much more adaptation potential than bigger bodies, better camoflage or extra senses. With intelligence we can create our own investigation, strength and protection tools right here in the real world.

The aim of all output is optimal interaction, because that's how we get the best outcome in every event and optimal success for the organism. Power as ability is a hard wired core concept for network 6; the network most responsible for the animal behaviors of planning, strategizing, coordination and communication.

 

These are the coordinates of our six core concepts; our 'starter pack' of bits of meaning.

Each of the ‘bits’ of input data (percepts) sent to N3 that matches a 'bit' of meaning (concept) is tagged with a reference that indicates a set of coordinates for an actual physical area somewhere in this grid, close to the concept/s it most associates with (the more identical it is, the closer it will be). For example all material objects will be sent to the 'matter' area for identification and processing.

At each core location, the grid subdivides fractally to emcompass subsets of things with the same core concept and the same differences:

 

Here we have filled out two of the sections with their subdivisions (if we filled them all out, it would look far too confusing, but these two examples make the point.)

 

What it's important to grasp is that each subdivision further subdivides into the same 6 categories, ad infinitum. This already provides a self-similar iterative system that enables ever more complex categorization, but its real secret is its ability to translate anything into its own format, and this is accomplished by each core concept coding for multiple meanings.

Firstly, each core concept has concrete meanings and abstract meanings.

We are accustomed to some words having multiple meanings; for example the words “Set”, “Course” and “Run” can mean a lot of different things depending on their context, and the core concepts have this same flexibility of meaning. We will give you an example using the core concept 'space'.

Secondary associations connect with the cores. To the unconscious mind the concept “Space” (for example) can mean:

 

(space related to matter):

The room between bits of matter (is there enough space for this to fit into my cave?)

The position of our body with relation to context (proprioception)

(Just Space):

Known places

Territory

(Space + density):

The real world; the great unexplored outdoors

Our mood (what sort of space is s/he in?)

(Space + time):

The sky +outer space

Your occupational place in your tribe or group culture (mother, elder, herbalist, storyteller, hunter)

(Space + energy):

A resource (we need enough space to...)

Your status as an autonomous being in the big picture

(Space + power):

Your personal space (you're in my space, man!)

How much room for maneuvering you have in interactions (possibilities open to you)

 

 

Every location on the model is associated with different perceived properties of each core concept. This doesn't mean properties as in physics; remember the unconscious mind has no science knowledge apart from experience. For example experience tells us that things occurring in outer space, up in the sky have order and regularity and repetition -it goes dark and then it gets light again, and we can use the behavior of objects in space to tell the time of day and year, so outer space is associated with time and will be subcategorized in “Space + time” (millions of years later, after it has invented language and technology and science, humanity will call it 'spacetime'. Core concepts are timeless and cross-cultural; only the details we know will differ). Whether they are called Ug, Og and Ag; represented by pictures of nature spirits or pictures of the standard model, their constants are their units of meaning, which are based on reality and will not change. This is why it doesn't matter what model you use, as long as association is congruous.

 

Also, every location on the model is associated with different animal behaviors, so the organism is primed for response as soon as identification is made.

Hopefully you are now beginning to see how anything in everyday existence with sufficient points of similarity to any known concept can be superimposed on the grid and its location area coordinates determined.

Immediately a location can be pinpointed for an item, there is a wealth of information available associated with that location; types of behaviors that may be involved, events that are likely to take place, materials likely to be involved, procedures likely to be needed, useful memories of facts, resources, abilities, things to watch out for, and so on. Items that do not exactly fit any existing set will form a new concept (and for this, a new set of synapses must be built in the brain.) This is how we learn; by assimilating the unknown into the body of the known.

As we develop, the inner model together with memory becomes a concept database; a representation of all that is 'known' to the organism; all that has meaning for it. The more we learn, the more densely connected it gets.

To identify the unknown, we use imagination to construct images of the objects, events or behaviors (percepts) that best associate with the incoming signal patterns and then compare them with images from the database of the known. By doing this hundreds of millions of times per second, we project innerly ‘the movie’ that we think is going on ‘out there’.

Rendering detailed moving images from scant bits of information is something imagination excels at, but you needn't take our word for it. The percepts formed and presented for comparison are even accessible to translation by a computer if it can pick up the brain's information! If you have any doubts about what imagination is doing with reality, follow up this reference and see it for yourself[3].

Everything from initial input to eventual output has to go through N3; (for rearloaders: It is like the gatekeeper program; it is guarding all the doors, it is holding all the keys.) (For frontloaders: The percept is part of a cipher whose general algorithm is substitution used by N1 & 2, and N3 has the keys part specifying which substitutions are usable. Both have to meet each other halfway.)

Hardware (concrete matter & space) merges with software (mental processes of perception & understanding) when codes (percepts) are given meaning (match concepts).

If the message is translated by the key, recognition (re-cognition) happens. There in the interaction between percept and concept, perception emerges.

Perception is an emergent property of the interaction between imagination and reality.

 

 


 

Imagination & perception in learning

No concept can have its association database unlocked and no percept can be interpreted (perceived) unless the input message is in a cipher that can be translated by the key.

Learning is an emergent property of the interaction between the known and the unknown.

Learning begins from conception and can go on until death, with the right input. It is a natural process that needs no interference apart from guidance when asked.

All we need to 'know' to start association with the first core concepts is how to compare things and determine 'same or different'.

Each core concept enables us to construct an understanding of one main aspect of reality and its perceived properties as a set of associated concepts. We can 'map' the differences between objects, places, events etc and separate them by distance and position on the inner model. The larger the differences between things, the bigger the distance between their concepts on the inner model, and their relative position represents the type of difference.

Every living organism has a direct learning relationship with the world, in behavioral terms that is about what it can do in the world and what might happen to it there. Experience adds associations constantly.

The observed properties of core concepts add associations to the model. When you don't know any physics, the earth (the biggest lump of matter you know) pulls things towards it. Things thrown away from it always come back. Things that go out exploring and hunting also return to the same material place and bring back gathered stuff -home. The earth is our home. Things that go out in the daytime come back to their beds at night.

The unconscious mind associates matter with 'being pulled inwards' to a place where there is less activity going on, and these become secondary concepts. We learn that concepts associated with matter are likely to be associated with keeping still, gathering stuff together in one place, relaxing, the 'known', and moving inwards.

Likewise, when you don't know any physics, all you know about the space outside is that it's necessary to go out there to do stuff and to get stuff and to get rid of stuff, and sometimes to go on big journeys to explore stuff. The mind associates space with 'moving outwards' from the home base and this becomes an added concept. We move out to hunt and to seek food, to find a mate or a waterhole.

In material association we stayed still and gathered together a critical mass of similar concepts of known objects & basic materials. In spatial association we need to get out there and move around; seek the subjects of our interest, explore the unknown, and learn about our context.

Together, these two types of movement form the stretch-relax process of learning.

When network 1 has a basic plan of what things are (a critical mass of concepts in its database to grasp the basics of material reality), on the behavioral level intent switches to sending us out looking for more by exploring spatial reality, while more biological resources are simultaneously diverted from external growth (the basic increasing of size) to internal growth (the details of developing more connections in the bits of body and brain networks that will enable the physical abilities for such exploration). Our long range senses of sight and hearing come fully into play, our muscles develop tone and increase in strength as well as size.

By exploring and mapping the positions of our own bodies in relation to space through sensorimotor biofeedback on the inner model, we can learn enough control over our bodies to walk and talk and start exploring the real world and mapping that too.

When network 2 has a critical mass of spatial concepts in its database, Network 3 begins constructing an understanding of the relationships between events and behavior, and intent drives us with an apparently insatiable curiosity and desire to interact.

To survive in the real world the organism must know what things, places and types of events are likely to be helpful or harmful to it and it must have its priorities in the right order. This means the mind must understand what is important in the real world and be able to discriminate from the earliest signals benefits from dangers.There are material benefits (useful things) spatial benefits (useful places) and there are beneficial events (useful behavior), and the same is true of dangers.

To form valid benefit/harm judgments we must be allowed to form equally valid like/dislike judgments; free from any externally imposed value judgments (especially those that are incongruous with the existing model). Unconsciously there is no value judgment applied to events at first, apart from what we like and dislike; the mind trusts biology absolutely. Beneficial weightings are simply awarded to percepts that come in densely enough to attract and sustain attention but not so dense as to cause sensory overload. Percepts outside this boundary in either direction are weighted 'harmful'. Exactly the right amount of good input creates the mind's “goldilocks zone” for development & learning; the optimal rate of input density for our abilities of assimilation in real time. As we get more experienced, this zone widens. Wrong input simply causes sensory overload.

In developing networks 1- 3 we are mastering the art of adapting ourselves to better fit in with the needs of the environment & circumstances; this is one of the two main abilities ensuring an organisms success.

N1 taught you who and what are the agents and what they are like. N2 taught you where's the context and what it's like there. That gave you all the basics. Network 3 puts it all together and tells you the details of what's going on and which bits are important.

 

Q: We're going to pause here and ask you something...does this pattern of development seem familiar to you?

...First, the model gathered the basics...then, it started to fill in the details...

-What process does this describe as well as the ordering of our concept association?

 

A: These are the first two stages of COMP.

Learning is an abstract as well as a concrete process (concretely, synapses are formed, as abstractly, concepts are formed) and by association the stages of the abstract process mirror the stages of the concrete process.

 

This is really important:

The process underlying the learning cycle is the abstract version of the process underlying all concrete growth. It is the same process as that used by association, and the same process is even used in perception itself.

The first stage of COMP is the same as the first stage of growth and the first stage of association. The exact same process is required: gather together a critical mass of similar things, then move out seeking the details that are still unknown.

In the case of concrete growth, 'a critical mass of similar things' means cells, and 'moving out' means the process of morphogenesis (cells literally move out to their intended future locations). In the case of association it refers to material concepts, then ever more abstract concepts. In the case of learning, it means gathering together sufficient density of bits of data, facts, basics, examples of the already known, to trigger the next stage of seeking the unknown details that furnish us with a fuller picture. In the case of perception, it means the percept must have a critical mass (sufficient density) of points of similarity to the concept, in order to be understood.

The same process that directs the growth of brain hardware is re-employed to direct concept formation, the learning cycle, and the behavior of mind software.

This process is the basis of both life and intelligence. It is, in a way, all intelligence does; employs this same process to different and ever more complex agents. It is the process of emergence, and it leads to both life evolving and intelligence emerging.

Understanding and working with this process is our aim during intermediate tutorials, both in the interests of congruity and NH practicality. If you know the underlying process behind what is going on, you can immediately tell what stage of unfolding eveything has reached; including yourself!

We'll show you the application of the same process in memory formation in the next tutorial.

 



Last Updated on Monday, 29 May 2017 13:14