l What we consciously see depends on the brains best guess of whats out there

L what we consciously see depends on the brains best

This preview shows page 70 out of 70 pages.

l What we consciously see depends on the brain's best guess of what's out there. Our experienced world comes from the inside out, not just the outside in. l The rubber hand illusion shows that this applies to our experiences of what is and what is not our body. And these self- related predictions depend critically on sensory signals coming from deep inside the body. l Experiences of being an embodied self are more about control and regulation than figuring out what's there. l So, our experiences of the world around us and ourselves within it are kinds of controlled hallucinations that have been shaped over millions of years of evolution to keep us alive in worlds full of danger and opportunity. We predict ourselves into existence. l Three implications of all this: 1. Since we can misperceive the world, we can misperceive ourselves when the mechanisms of prediction go wrong. This opens many new opportunities in psychiatry and neurology, because we can finally get at the mechanisms rather than just treating the symptoms in conditions like depression and schizophrenia. 2. what it means to be me cannot be reduced to or uploaded to a software program running on a robot. We are biological animals whose conscious experiences are shaped at all levels by the biological mechanisms that keep us alive. Making computers smarter is not going to make them sentient. 3. our own individual inner universe, our way of being conscious, is just one possible way of being conscious. It's just a tiny region in a vast space of possible consciousnesses. Our individual self and worlds are unique to each of us, but they're all grounded in biological mechanisms shared with many other living creatures e.g. octopus l These are fundamental changes in how we understand ourselves. In science, from Copernicus - - we're not at the center of the universe -- to Darwin -- we're related to all other creatures -- to the present day. With a greater sense of understanding comes a greater sense of wonder, and a greater realization that we are part of and not apart from the rest of nature.
Image of page 70

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 70 pages?

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture