When Do We Become Truly Conscious?

  • metta

    Posts: 39167

    Sep 15, 2012 5:15 PM GMT
    When Do We Become Truly Conscious?

    The new science of consciousness should change how we think about thorny ethical dilemmas.

    "In adult humans, for normal consciousness to occur, it is now generally agreed that two sets of regions need to be intact, functional, and able to communicate effectively with one another: the thalamus, a kind of relay station in the middle of the brain that connects many regions with many others; and the prefrontal parietal network, our most high-level, general purpose section of cortex."


    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2012/09/consciousness_science_and_ethics_abortion_animal_rights_and_vegetative_state_debates_.single.html
  • metta

    Posts: 39167

    Sep 15, 2012 5:23 PM GMT
    Thinking needs thinking

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/Views/Thinking-needs-thinking/Article1-924061.aspx
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    Sep 15, 2012 10:22 PM GMT
    even at this late date, we don't have a good definition of consciousness, so talk of a new science is premature at best . . .
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    Sep 15, 2012 10:23 PM GMT
    I become truly conscious at about noon on weekends.
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    Sep 15, 2012 10:30 PM GMT
    It happened for me at Puberty... about the time I realized I was gay. icon_cool.gificon_idea.gificon_idea.gif
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    Sep 17, 2012 2:40 AM GMT
    I've observed from my own experimenting with & exploration of consciousness, particularly back in my partying days, that as inebriated as my body might have been upon falling asleep, once my conscious mind would awaken within my sleep, my thinking would be sober.

    Yet were I to wake up my body from being awake in my sleep after a night out on the town, I'd still be drunk in body and mind.

    So even with as much as I've experienced myself consciously as a physical body, as dream body and sans any body, though I am unable to say that consciousness exists without body, I've also experienced my thoughts as being uneffected by the physical body (thereby unattached? A projection? Isolated or filtered from that input? I don't know) made even more obvious by being sober of mind yet drunk of body. How can that be?

    This article is looking for structures of consciousness yet admits that other life might have entirely different structures. It is an interesting study but I'm not convinced the answer will be found there. Perhaps it will give us more worthy questions.
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    Sep 17, 2012 3:04 AM GMT
    I've often though about that. What is consciousness? How does it work? And when does it happen? My earliest memory that I have is me sitting my my parent's bed and my dad tying my shoes getting read to go to church. I don't know how old I was, but young enough for him to carry me to the car afterwards. That moment was like a "bam!" moment. Kinda hard to explain, but I think that was the first time I became "self-aware".

    Things are kind of fragmented. I do remember bits of pieces of a trip to Disney World because my mother had a work conference there. I remember a bus ride, and other events, but no recollection of the entire trip. Just fragmented pieces. Again, I was young enough to be carried around. A fascinating thing the humain brain is.
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    Sep 17, 2012 3:15 AM GMT
    As soon as we acknowledge getting sex, and as soon as we finish? icon_neutral.gificon_neutral.gif
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    Sep 17, 2012 3:43 AM GMT
    JR_RJ saidAs soon as we acknowledge getting sex, and as soon as we finish? icon_neutral.gificon_neutral.gif


    Funny but don't presume that just because there's nothing better than sleep after an orgasm (other than a sammich before one) that the mind might not even arise more awakened once the body sleeps than when the body writhed.

    "When we dream that we dream we are beginning to wake up" ~~Novalis (1772-1801)

    SoloXCRacer saidI've often though about that. What is consciousness? How does it work? And when does it happen? My earliest memory that I have is me sitting my my parent's bed and my dad tying my shoes getting read to go to church. I don't know how old I was, but young enough for him to carry me to the car afterwards. That moment was like a "bam!" moment. Kinda hard to explain, but I think that was the first time I became "self-aware".

    Things are kind of fragmented. I do remember bits of pieces of a trip to Disney World because my mother had a work conference there. I remember a bus ride, and other events, but no recollection of the entire trip. Just fragmented pieces. Again, I was young enough to be carried around. A fascinating thing the humain brain is.


    I would imagine that becoming self aware, which I think a lifelong process, is more about a fading in and fading out of consciousness rather than a definable moment, not unlike how we awaken without an alarm clock, gaining awareness of our waking world a little at a time.

    You seem to be describing more memory than consciousness and I suspect they are not the same. Thoughout her Alzheimer's disease, my mother progressively lost more memories. She could repeat herself 12-15 times a day, the same thing, but I never had a sense that any of her consciousness was missing. Her face still lit up when her grandchildren visited. She answered all of our questions, even when unable to talk, with just nods, completely appropriately. There still seemed stream of consciousness flowing through her even when she could not remember how to initiate or continue communication but just evidenced as she'd respond to us.

    But also, you should be careful in how you apply what you think and know today to what you thought or knew another day. That you don't have a memory before that day doesn't mean you didn't exist as a self aware person (to whatever extent) before that day. Similarly, as you grow and learn more about yourself and your world and become even more self aware in your future does not mean that you are not at all self aware of yourself today.