Microtubule network, the seat of consciousness?

[quote=“lausten, post:7, topic:7183, full:true”]

Great discussion. I had it on while working, so I didn’t absorb too much. I’m surely not going to take a side in this discussion. I understand tunneling just a little better now. They didn’t spend too much time on it, but seemed in agreement that the small variations that quantum physics introduces are partly an explanation for evolution.

Ran across this article.

How Computationally Complex Is a Single Neuron?

The most basic analogy between artificial and real neurons involves how they handle incoming information. Both kinds of neurons receive incoming signals and, based on that information, decide whether to send their own signal to other neurons. While artificial neurons rely on a simple calculation to make this decision, decades of research have shown that the process is far more complicated in biological neurons. Computational neuroscientists use an input-output function to model the relationship between the inputs received by a biological neuron’s long treelike branches, called dendrites, and the neuron’s decision to send out a signal.

This function is what the authors of the new work taught an artificial deep neural network to imitate in order to determine its complexity. They started by creating a massive simulation of the input-output function of a type of neuron with distinct trees of dendritic branches at its top and bottom, known as a pyramidal neuron, from a rat’s cortex. Then they fed the simulation into a deep neural network that had up to 256 artificial neurons in each layer. They continued increasing the number of layers until they achieved 99% accuracy at the millisecond level between the input and output of the simulated neuron. The deep neural network successfully predicted the behavior of the neuron’s input-output function with at least five — but no more than eight — artificial layers. In most of the networks, that equated to about 1,000 artificial neurons for just one biological neuron.

Neuroscientists now know that the computational complexity of a single neuron, like the pyramidal neuron at left, relies on the dendritic treelike branches, which are bombarded with incoming signals. These result in local voltage changes, represented by the neuron’s changing colors (red means high voltage, blue means low voltage) before the neuron decides whether to send its own signal called a “spike.” This one spikes three times, as shown by the traces of individual branches on the right, where the colors represent locations of the dendrites from top (red) to bottom (blue).

A small example of how the brain acquires knowledge and how easily it can be fooled, but also how quickly it can learn to separate “words” from random noise.

It’s only 3 minutes, so take a moment and “learn”.

citizenschallengev4 said
I promised myself to listen to Tegmark’s book, but right out the gate his first chapter of “our mathematical universe” is appallingly deceptiveness with all his softening up his audience with that philosophical woo, which is actually an echo of western philosophy’s Abrahamic origins. We are not individual atoms and can’t do things quantum particles can do, down at the very edge of substance and energy, so why don’t they stop playing that film strip over and over? It’s pure delusion. What’s gained from it?

Let me first link this to Tegmarks video on consciousness. The mathematical stuff can wait until we understand the gist of his propositions.

As a physicist, he really starts with a comparison in the real world.

4:00. How can something as complicated as consciousness, be defined as particles?

That’s not talking about the real word. That playing within one’s mindscape!

The real world is about a bunch of biological creatures that evolved consciousness over f’n eons.

This is exactly what I’m talking about the need to APPRECIATE THE HUMAN MINDSCAPE ~ PHYSICAL REALITY divide. My god, why is something so fundamental, so hard to grasp, through all the bullshit being tossed into the fan.

Has Tegmark ever considered actual wet evolution? Has he ever studied it, or are optical illusion studies from Madison Avenue scientists as close as he comes to real flesh and blood?

Sorry, I’ll time out myself. Because on a certain level, it’s downright enraging. (what’s to be upset about??? we got billionaires flying into space for the glory of big dick battles - while regions in the west and southwest are on the verge of running out of water, for real, with the promise of horrors like no one out there can imagine… And frankly it all ties back to this sort of intellectual gamesmanship and celebrity envy. Each storyteller needing to out tell the previous storyteller. Not to mention general delusional thinking over this past half century)

Just to mention one of dozens of increasingly ominous regional trends/situations.

[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:4, topic:8293”]

4:00. How can something as complicated as consciousness, be defined as particles?

As you can see he asks the right questions. He also provides the answer to the question with the example of “wetness” which is an emergent property of intrinsically “dry” particles arranged in specific patterns and densities. And it must be remembered that when he speaks of particle he does not speak of 5 or 10 conscious particles able to consciously process data. The human brain contains several trillion microtubules, connected y 125 trillion synapses (electrochemical switches) all connected into a gigantic network of concerted data processing.

Notice that all properties that end in “xxxxxxxness” are made of substances that do not possess these properties individually.

Hence “consciousness” may well be an emergent property of trillions of non-conscious, but dynamically active particle patterns arranged a dipolar coils (microtubules) able to unconsciously process data enormous amounts

Is it so unthinkable that this process might produce an emergent experience of consciousness and thought.

Take a paramecium, a single celled organism. It actually does not have a neural network, but it does have thousands of cilia, fine hairs connected to little microtubule machines, spontaneously driven by ionization of chemicals, i.e. physical data processing.

Paramecium is a free-living unicellular organism, easy to cultivate, featuring ca. 4000 motile cilia emanating from longitudinal rows of basal bodies anchored in the plasma membrane. The basal body circumferential polarity is marked by the asymmetrical organization of its associated appendages.

The complex basal body plus its associated rootlets forms the kinetid. Kinetids are precisely oriented within a row in correlation with the cell polarity.

Basal bodies also display a proximo-distal polarity with microtubule triplets at their proximal ends, surrounding a permanent cartwheel, and microtubule doublets at the transition zone located between the basal body and the cilium.

The cilia allow the paramecium to swim and remarkably when it bumps into an object several times, it switches direction of its whip like motions until it can swim around the obstacle. This is purely unconscious, but it has a (short) cellular memory which helps it navigate by switching the whiplike direction of the cilia.

Microtubules are dynamic nano-scale data processors !

NO, I don’t see that. If one starts building your case on a misleading premise, the entire case is fractured and misleading.

The emergence happened via the unfolding of evolution.
Not through reverse engineering, to its tiniest components.

A turbine blade can’t make a jet fly, but a jet can’t fly without them.

So is a turbine blade the key to flight?
That is basically what these talking heads, oh excuse me, talking geniuses, are doing.

What you keep skipping past the fact that we exist in the middle ground of the physical reality.
You also, like most of the rest of society, seem to think the reality of evolution belongs in a closed closet or something.

One of the first great thinkers on the brain, consciousness question, pointed out that even if we could reduce ourself so small that we can see the actual cogs and switches of consciousness, we’d be so buried in the machine, that it no longer resembles anything we can comprehend, so is basically useless to understanding the brain/consciousness mystery.

Fine, that makes them cogs and switches.
Plus from my reading about microtubules, you take a lot of conjecture as settled fact.

I’m not knocking the fascinating field and potential importance in better understanding microtubules - but declaring them the seat of consciousness is like tossing out the baby with the bathwater, or something like that.

[quote=“write4u, post:5, topic:8293”]
As you can see he asks the right questions.

[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:6, topic:8293”]
NO, I don’t see that. If one starts building your case on a misleading premise, the entire case is fractured and misleading.

I think you may be looking at this from the wrong perspective. You are beginning by asking the hard question, but you don’t even know what question to ask. Do you?

Tegmark says let’s begin with assuming that we already have all the ingredients for consciousness and knowledge of the hard facts that must be already present. We can than work backwards toward the simpler forms of conscious organisms and begin to see what simpler forms do not possess, until we get to the most simple life forms that we know and see what they lack before they become consciously sentient.

All living organisms have a form of microtubule in common and all Eukaryotic organisms have the current form of microtubules as a fundamental organelle that is involved in all forms of data transport, in direct proportional quantities commensurate with level of consciousness.

[quote=“write4u, post:5, topic:8293”]
Hence “consciousness” may well be an emergent property of trillions of non-conscious, but dynamically active particle patterns arranged a dipolar coils (microtubules) able to unconsciously process data enormous amounts

CC4 said:
The emergence happened via the unfolding of evolution.
Not through reverse engineering, to its tiniest components.

What are you saying? We are unable to work our way backward starting from the evidence today? What would start with? God is the religious story of origins.
But God has not known properties, and that leaves us exactly where we are today 3000 years later still no clue if a god actually even exists.

We do know about atoms and the table of elements and we know how most of these elements interact. And from that information we have deduced that molecules are combinations of atoms that attract each other, whereas some atoms repel each other and cannot mix to make molecules.

A turbine blade can’t make a jet fly, but a jet can’t fly without them.
So is a turbine blade the key to flight?
That is basically what these talking heads, oh excuse me, talking geniuses, are doing.

But that is a wrong analogy. By looking at birds we knew that wings are required for flight. Our first attempt at flight was with flapping wings, which failed miserably. But we learned how to glide a plane with fixed wings.

One always has to start with the fundamentals and those can only be studied from modern day examples and working backwards to the principal required properties.

Again, ALL living organisms use microtubules for a variety of live sustaining functions.
Hence , microtubules are a necessary ingredient of life and the evolution of a microtubule is so simple and requires so few parts , that this must have been one of the earliest information transport system that allowed for the evolutionary process of Abiogenesis, which started as mere chemical interactions of chemicals to form minerals such as crystals.
Robert Hazen is no talking head. He is one of the foremost EXPERTS in the field of mineralogy and the evolutionary processes that created biochemical compounds such as tubulin a & b, which self-assemble into “tubulin dimers” which self-assemble into dipolar nano-tubes, which are able to transport all forms of natural data required for the origins of life.
image


image

These are the essential chemical processes that can yield an emergent dynamic molecular pattern that yielded biochemistry which was able to evolve into living organisms.

[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:7, topic:8293, full:true”]

[quote=“write4u, post:5, topic:8293”]

Microtubules are dynamic nano-scale data processors !

CC4 said:
Fine, that makes them cogs and switches.
Plus from my reading about microtubules, you take a lot of conjecture as settled fact.

I have done several years of research on microtubules and what I post aboyr microtubules is always gleaned from established and peer reviewed neuro-science.
I always accompany my posts with links to scientific papers , so that the reader can verify my understanding of current science on a subject.

I’m not knocking the fascinating field and potential importance in better understanding microtubules - but declaring them the seat of consciousness is like tossing out the baby with the bathwater, or something like that.

On the contrary, microtubules are at least one of the essential organelles that keeps the baby alive (homeostasis) and conscious (experiential awareness).

To the interested reader. Try this;

No you aren’t hearing me. You folks are looking at it from the wrong perspective.

We are physical creatures, products of this Earth and evolution and youz guys think you can just ignore that.

Give a moments of lip service, and get your heads back into the microcosm of infinities, that will never matter to your actually life, that will be over before too long.

So what, All matter is made atoms, big wow.

Why don’t you see it’s the aggregate that is the big wow.

Okay this could be interesting. You know I’ve been posting about Hazen’s work at CFI forum since at least 2017, so I am familiar with his lectures and have internalize a great deal of his lessons.

What specifically are you wanting me to hear in this video?

and what does it have to do with the physicist philosophers
(that I believe are taking people on an intellectual folly, when we can least such trivializing of the physical world we depend on for our survival.)

Can you be a little specific. My days are crowded.

[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:11, topic:8293”]

Why don’t you see it’s the aggregate that is the big wow.

But that’s like saying you admire the theatre, while I admire the movie that unfolds within it.

I don’t dispute that at all. In fact, I am a great fan of David Bohm who wrote a book on the universal “Wholeness and the Implicate Order”, where he accuses the scientific world of becoming so specialized that the concept of “all things are connected” has become lost in the jungle of fractured specializations.

Bohmian Mechanics solves the the particle/wave duality paradox. He was a brilliant scientist and a great friend of Einstein.

I am always being accused of being all over the place , but I always look for “common denominators” in my searches.

To me the fact that microtubules have been instrumental in the very beginning of abiogenesis and are a “common denominator” of ALL Eukaryotic organisms and in a simpler form even in Prokaryotic organisms which are the earliest forms of living biology evolved from biochemistry .

I have no doubt that microtubules (a dynamical biochemical construct) were instrumental in abiogenesis. There is nothing except carbon and water that would offer a greater connection between the two states of existence.

Fact is we live in middle ground - not at the fringe of matter and energy - nor at cosmic expanses!
I chose not to ignore that.
You say you don’t, then you toss microtubules at me as though they contain the profound meaning of life.

Does not compute.

My feelings are reinforced by the mass human insanity and disconnect from our everyday reality that is driving our society to self destruction of the planet and the physical mean of our life support systems - that is the current reality of our human condition.

How’s microtubules going to shed light on that???

I feel like you’re still a long ways from grasping what I mean by the Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide.


Oh you never mentioned what it was about the Hazen talk you wanted me to notice.
That I am curious about.

[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:14, topic:8293”]

You say you don’t, then you toss microtubules at me as though they contain the profound meaning of life.

The OP asks a specific question that I am trying to answer in context.

Does not compute.

My feelings are reinforced by the mass human insanity and disconnect from our everyday reality that is driving our society to self destruction of the planet and the physical mean of our life support systems - that is the current reality of our human condition.

I have no argument with any of that, but that is outside the scope of the OP

How’s microtubules going to shed light on that???

In context of the OP, the proposition that “consciousness” is an emergent excellence of microtubule network is currently a hotly debated issue.

I feel like you’re still a long ways from grasping what I mean by the Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide.

I think I understand your concept of “mindcape”, but the OP question is about how the mindscape is generated by the brain, i.e the physical science of causality.

Your observation is more along with the philosophy of mind (a worthy endeavor), rather than the physics of the phenomenon itself.

W4U, I’m not ignoring you and have read the above a couple times and thought about it. Unfortunately, It’s a very crowded time and my response is going to take a while of uninterrupted focus. There’s lot to try and explain. Sometimes the words start coming and I get to putting them down, and then life barrels into me and that’s that until the next time around. So I walk around with wads of paper getting pressed in my britches.

Though in a few days I’ll have something cool to show off, from my public service side. :wink: :+1:

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