What happens in our brain when we look at a TV or computer screen for a long time?

Multi-stage process, from the elementary treatment of luminous points by the retina to the interpretation of images in higher concepts by consciousness. The complete answer to your question is quite lengthy if one has to consider the effects at each of these levels. Choose two:

Is there physical and neural fatigue caused by prolonged processing of repetitive signals such as a screen? At first no more than for any other activity. Whatever you look at, there are always images to process. Visual fatigue and neurons of vision comes from keeping your eyes open for too long, without a period of sleep, more than what is being watched. Of course the criteria of brightness, wavelength, and frequency of image changes can occur but are relatively incidental to the sleep time to be respected.

Is there an influence of the content of the images, a programming of the mind by the transferred concepts? Undoubtedly. We are our mental representations. Of course, all do not move around freely in consciousness. Existing concepts combine to reject the inconsistent. However, if the transferred content is presented skilfully, it fits seamlessly into the conceptual assembly that shapes your personality, in the same way that a smart talker within a group will greatly influence his behavior.

However, the most important and least known effect of repetitive mental activity is elsewhere. It is neglected because there is still no official theory of the general functioning of the brain. To understand it, you must give credence to the following axiom: the more a mental task is organized, the less it can be exercised independently of the others. For example, the neurological regulation of visceral functions is very low in the organization hierarchy. It is running almost automatically even with a brain in coma. While a highly organized task such as solving a thorny problem mobilizes all conscious attention, other mental tasks are put on stand-by.

But we must not believe that unused neural networks simply remain in the shadows, ready to serve the identical to the next solicitation. Unusual connections are fading away. This is the way the brain manages to reconfigure itself. A conceptual element proves to be wrong or of little use? The links are reformed. It is forgotten. The more the mental representations are sophisticated, elevated in the conceptual hierarchy, the more they disintegrate quickly in case of underemployment. You have certainly noticed it: for example, you assimilate complicated knowledge by having worked on it for an exam. But then it is rarely used. A few months or years later, it became very foggy in your memory. You would have a hard time explaining it as clearly as when you were learning it.

Consequence: The prolonged exercise of a mental activity, such as watching television or working on a computer screen, is at the expense of other activities of the same level. These tend to lose acuity, responsiveness, and of course complementary developments.

This does not make television or computer work harmful in itself. Question of proportion in all activities, and presence of attractive alternatives: it is the lack of rivals that makes an occupation addictive.

What is the neurological reason? It requires a small revision of our free will. High-level tasks are acting representations, that is, they call themselves. They are our tastes, our desires, our decisions. When one is used very frequently, its celebrity makes it come back to the stage, especially when it recruits a lot of hopes, rewards, identity reinforcement. Glued to a video game or a TV series? Nothing suprising. You are, temporarily, the game or the series. At least its mental representation. This popularity changes you. It is only by constructing even higher hierarchical representations, which are the image of the self in its environment, that one can « become aware of » it.

Is there any chance that the neural correlations of consciousness will be seen as its cause?

Provocative Question. The definition of neural activity is much better understood and understood than that of consciousness. In fact, to say that human beings all possess the same "type" of consciousness is a convention … based essentially on the shared anatomy of our brains, so the fact that the neural support of our consciences is the same. But surely you have noticed that it takes a lot of communication between two consciences to understand each other:-) Every neural architecture is unique.

The professor: when a "misdefined" is likely to be caused by a "better defined", the question is more logically: "Does the defined evil have any chance of being caused by something other than the best defined?". Otherwise you give the advantage to not knowing about knowledge.

The doctor: The neural correlations of consciousness are so narrow that stimulating only one of your neurons will cause a complete and accurate representation in your mind (if one has understood its position in the network), and that remove some connections you Will forget that you have one day possessed this representation (you can however relearn it by rebuilding the network). The decrease in the activity of the neurons of vigilance decreases the "current" in the network and its global integration cannot be maintained. Oddly enough, the consciousness passes at the same time in sleep. Finally all alternative states of consciousness have their own specific neural correlations. A bad setup and a man takes his wife for a hat …

Neural incentives are not the consciousness phenomenon but are undoubtedly the medium. The phenomenon consciousness, it, is the organization of these excitements, extraordinarily complex and stratified, to the point of being able to explain without difficulty the richness of the proven phenomenon.

In the end the Apothegm "neural correlations of consciousness" is it not a politeness of people who know the brain well to those who know it less? Damn it, but it is sticky, this teacher …

Would it be a murder if you turn off a computer that simulates human consciousness?

No, in the terms you chose: murder and simulation. A computer simulating a consciousness (a term whose definition we will restrict here to “apparently independent thinking”) is not a computer experiencing a human conscience. The latter does not exist yet but when it will be the case it will not be possible to give a computer scientist response because the programs will have nothing to do with those today. They will owe to their designers only what the personality of an adult human being owes to his genes. They will be just as self-organized, independent, responsible? The law has not yet thought about it.

On the other hand by choosing the term “murder” you plunge into a completely different level of the problem which is that of morality and its sociological rules. There are many cases on this planet of deliberate extinction of human consciousness that are not called “murders” in the context of war or excessively heinous acts committed by the consciousness in question. Another question that divides people: can we use the term murder in the case of a non-human conscience, animals for example? It touches the sacred of the species and poses difficulties to our moral sense.

So I would gladly answer yes to your modified question as well: “Turning off a computer experiencing an consciousness of the same order as the human conscience could it be considered a murder? “

How does the brain create new connections without creating destructive backward-active loops or altering existing functions?

No new connection initiating an additional concept or function is done without reference to the existing architecture.

Imagine the network of neurons as a game of pieces of wood that you must stack on top of each other. You have an unlimited number of pieces. The more a piece is placed at a high height, the more points it gives you. The pieces do not all have the same shape, some assemble very stably, others fall at the first jolt. You do not have to add them randomly. If you have trouble placing a weird shaped piece, you can leave it on the floor, but it does not earn you points. Or you can readjust the arrangement of the highest floors of the stack so that the bizarre piece coincides and occupies one of the peaks.

The wooden pieces are the concepts built by the neural networks and the height of the pile is your intelligence for each of the subjects analyzed by the brain. You can only add a higher concept to each stack if it respects at least part of the architecture that underlies it. Incompatible concepts are rejected, fall to the floor. Those who are difficult to hold at the top but bring great benefits tend to maintain themselves (celebrity brought by the stimulation of reward circuits) and have a retroactive effect on the underlying structure, rearranging the sub-concepts to become concordant. This is how a notion that is difficult to swallow but rewarding becomes better and better understood as we use it.

The dialogue between the new connections and the old ones is therefore permanent and bidirectional. There is no definitive structure, no fixed function, other than by its regular and profitable use (in terms of coherence of concepts between them and not according to any “truth”).

Finally, for my analogy with the wooden pieces to be accurate, you must eliminate the player. Indeed the pieces are assembled alone. This makes it easier to understand why connections are not random. Many options are possible, but it is the efficiency of the new connections created that establishes their permanence. There is no programmer who would be satisfied with the result, based on a pre-established goal of the brain’s destiny. The ideas in question are part of the self-organization of concepts.

Reason why you can not know, even if your parents apprentice-programmers had specific expectations about it, what person will you be in 1 year, in 10 years, in 50 years ..

Why music affect the brain and cause emotions despite the fact that she is not rich in meaning as a spoken or written language? Is there a biological basis for this?

The music is in fact able to trigger strong emotions as the language spoken or written at most of the people who enjoy it. In addition the music can trigger these emotions alone, while words are capable as partners in an environment where the emotion. So, it seems that music is connected in a much more intimate way to emotion than words.

The explanation is that music is a language older, more primitive than the words.

The words were preceded by the Cree, the superscripted, songs, choruses, primitive instrument sounds. Among the instruments available, only one belongs to all members of the species: the larynx. The voice is somehow the universal musical instrument in humans. Used permanently as soon as he had to warn its congeners of an event or need any. The reason why how to use has evolved so complex and detailed, to form the multitude of languages spoken today. What we call today 'music', practice with other instruments, was simpler and closer to the archaic songs, because practiced only by those who know the instrument played. Appeared in this particular language diversity manifests itself more by the variety of instruments than the meanings. Melodic patterns are very old. All the instruments are able to handle and trigger emotions that are attached.

The biological explanation is this:
When the embryonic brain undertakes its maturation, it recreates the evolutionary history that led him to his contemporary organization. The oldest languages are registered, including music, and connect to the most archaic sensations, including emotions. Over this primitive organization of neural patterns come then to superimpose there others, most recent: phonemes, themselves then organized in words and phrases. The brain is predisposed to this organization, however it takes some mimicry, learning, to put them in place. The music becomes associated with representations complex, cultural, personal memories, fetish artists. Nevertheless his deep connections remain. Neural groups which interpret it are closely related to those of the emotion. Consciousness has no need to intervene. Emotion flows directly from the music. As well as a musician music Springs straight emotion.

What is the adaptive significance of consciousness?

The mutation / natural selection engine is specific to the evolution of the living. This is not the organizing principle of all reality. Human consciousness has specific properties within the living, such as moral principles, thinking on the criteria used by evolution, resistance to the principle of “selfish gene”. A priori it marks the end of the adaptive paradigm used until now in the evolution of our species. That is to say, human consciousness, if it occurred by chance (for example following the fusion of a pair of chromosomes in a common ancestor with the gorilla), is self-justifying. It validates its own interest as a mode of organization, in the same way that mathematical axioms will create a perfectly coherent deductive universe within what they define.

This way of seeing allows one to escape from a theory of evolution used in dogma where it no longer applies. It shows a self-organized reality, free of any “justification” vis-à-vis the orders it builds. Only the stability provided by these organizations on their underlying structures allows them to increase their complexity.

In this context, human consciousness is a successful organization of immediately underlying mental functions, in particular the fusion between productions as contrasted as emotions, abstractive capacities, bodily imperatives, reproductive drives, social constraints, etc. …

Synthesis commonly still very stormy in most of us 🙂

Could research determine whether Jungian cognitive functions physically exist?

Your question is of the same type as: « Does the Freudian triptych id-ego-superego exist physically? » or, « Does the Big Five model of personality exist physically? ». I purposely took an old and a new model because both are… models. Like Jung’s. The answer I propose is for all these questions.

Cognitive functions are invisible at the level of neural excitation. Their organization is not perceptible even with perfect knowledge of the physiology of the neuron. This is not the right model. Just as a physicist, having the standard model to describe with incredible precision the ballet of atomic fields, would be even further from the count. We need a model of patterns formed by neurological signals.

The closest organization of neural excitations is the treatment of elementary sensory signals. The model of a sensorimotor reflex is very simple: sensitive excitation triggering an impulse motor with sometimes very few intermediary relays. Easy to follow anatomically, it does not matter if hundreds of thousands of neurons participate. They are all part of the same organization level. This simple model of treatment of sensory afference has made the success of the multi-centric vision of the brain: visual, auditory, locomotor, visceral, memory, emotional, etc… But what happens next? What becomes of the signals that undertake loops more complicated than the simple sensory-motor reflex?

They integrate with others within neural groups of higher hierarchy. A simple excitation correlated with a sensory impulse then becomes an embryo of concept. The luminous point of a retinal stick integrates, with its neighbors, the abstract concept of « line ».

The first levels of this conceptual assemblage are still fairly anatomically localized. However, as one goes up in the hierarchy, that elaborate concepts integrate information of varied origin, by means of long connections, the localization of the function of the neural schema is distended at the point of reaching many mental areas. At the top, consciousness can claim to occupy the entire brain, while only a minority of neurons participate.

You understand the difficulty of locating consciousness. Its support exists only by the relations of the neurons which constitute it. The problem is almost as difficult for the highest mental functions in the hierarchy, such as self-awareness, imagination, abstraction. Worse, the current psychological models, by ignoring this hierarchy, amalgamate organizational schemes and mental productions, as if the “laws” could be mixed with the “results”. For example, “perception” is the set of signals resulting from the treatment of sensory afference, while “learning” is the way in which neural patterns are modified by these sensory inputs and feedback from higher levels. Locating perception is possible; for learning, it makes no sense. We put the driver and the engineer side by side in the same theory.

Faced with this criticism, the Jungian model is probably better off than newer models because it had the advantage of simplicity. When no mechanic has yet managed to dismantle the engine, the least talkative engineer in his theoretical building is the one who is the least mistaken.

In the end, Jungian cognitive functions exist physically as model representations conceived by our superior neural schemas. It’s a certainty, otherwise you could not talk about it. Your consciousness, where their essence is, is the only level capable of experience them (intuiting for a philosopher). With respect to the other levels of your cognition, they become descriptive models, the mold of a mental functioning that the consciousness can not experience directly. These models have a greater or lesser value depending on their fidelity. Jung’s was remarkable for the time, and is still at the root of contemporary models. They all, however, have the defect of a purely horizontal vision, too focused on the geography of the nervous centers, and dumb on their entangled hierarchy. Relents of the ancient belief in the soul, the divine gnome who would make his market in all these mental productions and dress to form the « I ». If one wishes to free oneself from the mysterious intervention of the soul, one must think carefully about the way in which these schemas organize themselves to become the contents of consciousness. A vision necessarily vertical.

With the help of this integrative vision, the research will eventually be satisfied with a model of the psychological levels of the neural organization, of which the Jungian model will be the ancestor, in the same way that the Copernican astronomy was the ancestor of the Einsteinian cosmogony.

How does our brain understand new things?

The answer, which is complex in detail, can happily be summarized as follows: new things are understood when they are reshaped by old things to fit in with them.

The wording of your question may hinder the understanding of the answer. You have chosen as subject “brain” but you could have put “I”, “mind” or “consciousness” as well. What understand? Neurons? The prefrontal cortex? The conscious network? A metaphysical support of the “I”? The vagueness reigns.

The brain function becomes clear if you visualize it as mental representations organized among themselves, the most famous ones acting. These representations are physically supported by their dedicated neural networks. These are activated by the incoming information. Their successive stratification reflects the increasing complexity of the concepts and their interconnections. “Stratification” means, from one layer to the other, that first-level concepts are aggregated together to form second-level concepts. The second-level organization, if successful (the second-level concept is useful) stabilizes the first-level concepts in this arrangement. Feedback control.

A concept, basically, is an order, a regularity. The activity of interconnected neurons in an elementary network varies according to the regularities of the incoming signals. The pattern formed by the resulting signals contains the coding of this pattern. An example of a very elementary concept is a linear sequence of retinal signals juxtaposed and of the same intensity: a “line”. Constructed directly from sensory information, these basic concepts make it possible to represent objects. They individualize them. But also connect them, by common characteristics, sometimes between very disparate objects or abstractions. The circular shape can be that of an eye or a wheel. Different functions, but similar geometric properties for these two circles. The concept of the circle frees from objects. It is “abstract”. Neurologically, no difference between the networks ensuring the material and abstract representations. All form bridges and are organized into levels to build a pyramid, which rises from sensory-motor reflexes to consciousness, the seat of our most sophisticated retro-control.

If you have not given me up yet, I come to “new things”. There is nothing new at the foot of the pyramid. There are only rushes of data, processed by neural networks without moral concern, like all those who preceded them. Each level seeks the regularities that it is able to recognize, and codifies them. The information thus follows its path and eventually ends up bursting into consciousness if it corresponds to a concept recognized as “noticeable” by the unconscious structure. Notation that includes criteria as diverse as the duration of persistence of the signal, its associations with other remarkable representations. A small part of the data received by the base accesses consciousness. Most are only subconsciously treated. An unrecognized pattern, “new”, is a priori ignored since there is no network to identify it. However, if it repeats itself regularly, it causes the formation of its dedicated network. Because neurons are designed in such a way that they coordinate on patterns. Above all, it is the future utility of the new formed concept that decides its durability. The retro-control confirms or not the value of this brand new network according to its interactions with others of the same level.

This initiation of a network dedicated to a new regularity can occur at any level of the pyramid. On the stages close to consciousness and conscious, representations integrate abstract, logical and mimetic patterns specific to the pre-frontal cortex. Retro-control reshapes other representations to make them consistent with these patterns, like a laser beam sculpting the shape of the mind. There is nevertheless a large amount of new information that is not processed (we are far from being interested in everything), either by default networks able to do it (not recognition of novelty), or because the task does not expect significant reward, either because the conscious attention is not very vigorous at that moment (it can be defined as the focus of the retro-control).

Finally, the “new thing”, when it manages to go up to consciousness, is a particular organization of neural schemas like the others, but it has not stabilized its connections so assuredly. “Raw” representation, nevertheless consisting of known sub-concepts. Everything is not new in this thing. Thus the creative mind tries to apply to it proven filters, “size” the raw representation with already acquired schemas, to give it a little more known look, allowing to connect it to others.

It is the variety of our available patterns and their versatility that makes or breaks the success of the operation. Note that when the new thing is understood it is transformed by interaction with our higher patterns. To appropriate a new thing is to change what it was originally. Have we lost in passing its true meaning? It is not uncommon for us to misunderstand…

People say that books do your brain what exercise does to your body. But suggested not you should win in fluid intelligence?

A book is a media, that is to say a means of transferring concepts. What drives the brain is the conceptual content itself. There are roughly two types: independent and dependent concepts. The first group includes fortuitous events and free affirmations. These representations are not connected to others. A fortuitous event is justified in itself. It was not predictable a priori. The person who reports it believes that it is not necessary to provide an explanation. Likewise for a gratuitous statement. The author considers that his thought is sufficiently authoritative, or that the statement is sufficiently consensual, not to justify it.

Dependent concepts are part of a mental structure. They are organized from sub-concepts and relate to concepts of the same level. Rivalries. Organization in higher concepts. The intelligence is the number of stages increasing the complexity of this structure in each conceptual domain. To increase this intelligence is not only to bring new representations to study, it is also necessary that they organize themselves in a coordinated way, to raise the mental pyramid. Some minds contain a considerable amount of independent concepts, because they have a good memory, but have a weak intelligence, because all these concepts occupy the same level, do not lead to anything more complex.

Sculpting and elevating intelligence is a conscious retro-control job. It’s not just about feeding one’s mind into concepts but thinking about how they are connected. We can of course use mimicry, read the reflections of the authors on the subject. But it remains an external tattoo, a memorization of a new portion of mental structure conceived by the author. True creative intelligence activates when you put the book down and you grab pencil and blank page to encourage your own thoughts on the subject.

When they come to life, it is time to open some reference books to check if they are ramblings or brilliant inventions.

How do I overcome the cognitive dissonance of knowing that leaving the narc is the best thing, yet still wanting to stay with them?

Most importantly : to abandon the idea that consciousness is a sort of arbiter capable of deciding the outcome of the conflict between two ideas. Consciousness is a playground for our mental representations. Their fusion gives us this homogeneous « I » impression only because there is no mental retro-control over consciousness to split the elements involved in the fusion. Why in this case do we perceive the discontinuities of our consciousness, the different « small voices » that inhabit it? Because they win in turn a temporary celebrity, depending on the context and the sequence of previous ideas.

When two contradictory ideas come into play on the conscious battlefield, other mental schemas are capable of representing the thing. They are very specific to the prefrontal cortex and I call them « the Observer » because this term explicitly refers to what they are capable of doing: they allow you to observe your own mental functioning and influence it. It is a retro-control and not an authoritarian ‘decision-maker’. If it had the power to direct everything, you would not have had to ask your question.

The Observer is a late capacity of our mental maturation. Its varying effectiveness separates the people who take the train of their life running and those who choose the destination. How should it intervene in a situation like yours?

In the first place it is necessary to establish whether the two ideas are really contradictory. Most of the time they each have their own interest, which makes them useful in certain circumstances. An idea, even appearing stupid to the majority of people, always has a utilitarian background, which must be identified. It is thus possible to extract two contradictory ideas from his personal library, when the time is right for each one. Human existence is a fuzzy logic.

In your case the two ideas clearly do not have the same origin. One is the emergence of a physical demand. Your body claims quick and easy satisfaction that is that of the drug. These are the most difficult ideas to ignore. They are indeed directly acting. It is the drug that takes control of your behavior. The rest of the occupants of consciousness attend the affair vaguely embarrassed. The other idea is much less owner. That drug use is a slow mental and social suicide is a foreign observation. It is not yet properly integrated in you because, simply, the drug has settled before it and has permanently imprinted your neurological patterns. Its contradiction is difficult to establish, especially since it brings no immediate pleasure. It only satisfies the general opinion that surrounds you. It satisfies the projection you have of your future self rid of the drug, yet you must be able to extract yourself from the present. You are in the dilemma of the child who is offered two sweets after an hour if he manages not to touch the first one he has before his eyes. At the age of five, half of the children succeed. Will you be able to trust this future self and refuse immediate pleasure?

The method is simple. It is not a « conscience that must resist the temptation of drugs ». It is a new self that does not include drugs. You have to get it out of your identity. Look at it every time it presents itself as an alien who wants to take control of your brain. The other representations of your conscience must regroup before this invasion and proclaim « Drug, you are not part of us! Go and spread your misery elsewhere ». To be effective, these acting representations must give you maximum satisfaction. Find drug substitutes. Go running, dance… cook? Sublimate your desire in an occupation that values ​​you. Take responsibility for helping someone else. There are always worse off than self.