The mental code theory (LONG POSTS :)

I didn’t say that dreams are just random info. They usually don’t have any external source and are produced by the brain, but that doesn’t mean random. It’s a creative work, sometimes very creative compared to our real life ideas. I used the term mental code to point out that they’re not produced in any ‘sensory’ form, like a movie with sound which maybe could later be ‘extracted’ into some tape, they’re just thoughts.

It’s like act of RL creativity, for example writing a book… you don’t need sensory input at the time to write something, it’s even more helpful when nothing is discrating you. A dream is an ideal situation, there is absolutely nothing discracting. Of course it requires brain power, but you are more efficient because of no distraction (by sensory input)… and in the REM stage the brain activity is near the level of waking life.

Again, it’s not random and scattered info, but effect of brain [subconscious] activity.

LD’s - why not? Sub-c is giving you ‘input’ (not real, just mental code), and your conscious part can discover it’s not real.
OBE’s - if it’s a ‘real’ OBE, surely you’ll need something more, like theory of astral projection. My theory can only explain OBE as a dream, in which you leave your body.

I don’t know mych about NDE’s, so I can’t talk about their nature… I can’t explain why someone could have such vivid recall from period of lack of almost any dream activity…

So the dreams would come from somewhere outside us? As a skeptic, I’m trying to find some simpler explanation that doesn’t need to use any concepts we’re not sure of.

I’m enjoyng our discussion, too. :cool:

As to where the information is stored, I don’t believe it’s stored in our brain only. Ever since Toshiyuki Nakagaki’s team proved the remarkable processes of cellular computation (or may it be - primitive intelligence) in the single-cell slime mold Physarum polycephalum (read more here) a couple of years ago, I have started to consider possibility that information in human body is stored in cellular level and not only in the brain, but throughout all of it.

^^Awesome read, thanks!

And to me, if they are stored in the cells, where are they storing it? Unless it’s not held in the Cells at all, but RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR BODIES. Like, right outside. But what would most people call this? A spirit. :happy:

Obviously this mental code is how things get going, but opposite to that is a theory of brain as receiver and transmitter of reality. It has just small amount of independence so while we sleep we connect to the central core and store images. Anyway shared dreams then can be easily explained, but if they even exist??
Why would we share a dream if we can meet IRL with person we need?

Cellular memory? Reminds me of Frank Herbert’s Dune… :smile: Maybe there’s something in it, but we don’t know enough so far. I think brain would be enough to store memory.
Transmitter of reality? Outside storage? Spirit?
As a skeptic, I’d use Occam’s Razor.

In that case, you accept the Brain does not produce consciousness or store memory, since the extremely random activity of the brain and slow chemical reactions that they hypothesize produce thought do not account for 1) the sheer immensity of memory 2) the mental construct called Self (how does randomness create Unity?) 3) the speed of human thought.

Think about this:

You are driving down the road drinking a Pepsi and eating some chips. You have Green Day on the CD Player and its Rush Hour (heavy traffic). Your friend calls and starts to talk to you about the party you were at last week and that lady-friend you made while you enjoy the drive and the good eats and tunes. Just then, a truck in front of you hits his brakes and your Brain catches this secondary sensory input and you slam on the breaks narrowly missing a bad accident. You hang up and put the food away, as you are a bit shaken up.

Now this is a common situation we’ve all most likely been in. And think about what your Brain was doing at the time.

You were able to eat and drink (taste the food), listen to the music, talk to your friend about a past experience (with visualization of the events) and still maintain enough control of the car to not veer off the road. On top of that, you were able to subliminally detect all the other sensory input coming into your Brain including the flash of the brake lights of the Truck in front of you that you INSTANTLY related to “I am going to hit him and I must hit the brakes right now before I do” all within a few milliseconds.

Simple “random firing” of the neurons does not account for how the Brain does this, the chemical processes actually run at a rate too slow to account for all the relatively instantaneous actions you perform. It also does not account for how you can technically exist “in two places at once”…one one aspect, you were on the road driving and talking, and in other, you were at the party reliving whatever the conversation was about.

Isn’t it much easier to say the Brain is simply a “bridge” that simple encodes and decodes information for the Spirit to wield? Think about this, every single part of your body is designed to translate information back and forth and always onto a higher structure. Cells talk to create organs, organs talk to support the Brain, so why would it stop at the Brain? Isn’t it logical, following this idea, that the Brain is simply designed to send information to a higher level? And yes, the Spirit is also designed to send information to IT’S higher level (God).

Occam’s Razor states the simplest theory is usually correct. Saying the Brain, with it’s slow reactions, no explanations for Memory and even less explanation for Out Of Body Experiences, Near Death Experiences, Dreams and other ‘transcendental’ experiences, is a lot more difficult than simply accepting the Brain does not produce Consciousness or store Memory at all.

Again - why do you assume that brain is acting ‘randomly’ and has slow reactions? It’s an extremely complex neural network, and I think it’s able to perform such difficult tasks on many levels (conscious, sub-c, even creating dreams). I compare brain to a computer, and layout and state of the neurons to program running on it - mind.

Memory storage - so much memory can be stored, because it doesn’t take much place, as my theory explains (like 100KB description instead of 1GB movie).

Many different tasks - why not? Even our computers are capable of running many processes at once, reacting very fast. As for the fast reaction for the truck - such reactions doesn’t involve consciousness (and, therefore, more complex and longer data processing), they’re reflexes.

Why such complex, evolving neural network would exist, if it’s only used as a data bridge? And we don’t know anything about existence of any ‘spirit’ (that’s where Occam’s Razor applies, ‘transcendental’ experiences like dreams and NDE can be explained by psychologically as work of mind). For me, that’s just escaping from a problem - by moving the location of our counsciousness away from mind.

Cells, organs and brain are parts of our body, why go outside it? I’d say that brain cells talk to create a mind.

You better study the same idea you’re preaching, you seem grossly misinformed.

“impulses typically travel along neurons at a speed of anywhere from 1 to 120 meters per second”

The problem is for the aformentioned example to work correctly under the theory that the Brain produces every and all imagry and sensory input/output…the speed of Neuronal transfer would need to be increased about 10X.

Where is it? If this is the case, the brain should have a section that actually has these memories linked to it.

I forget the Scientists name, who did an experiment with Rats by having them run a maze and then remember it. Then he would try and locate the location of Long Term memory by burning away parts of the Brain with a Hot Curling Iron (bit of a nut actually). What he found was shocking! The Rats, even with 3/4 of the brain missing, even as they could only twitch and flinch through the maze, never once forgot the path of the maze itself.

A computer is basing it’s reactions on a set number of variables it can choose from. It does not have what we call, ‘free will’ and chooses all its reactions “at random” which even has a logical dynamic behind it. A computer is designed by Man and only knows what you tell it. While the workings are similiar to the Brain, a Computer analogy cannot be used without stretching it too far since it does not produce or react to stimuli or variables that aren’t coded into the system already. Ever try to run a Mac file on a PC or vice versa? Why doesn’t it work?

But if someone speaks to you in a language you don’t know yet, you still have a level of communication.

That’s a cop-out until you can tell me exactly how a Reflex occurs and how it occurs above all other reactions occuring simultaneously, not to mention one that is relatively low priority at the time. To just pass something so important as “just a reflex” doesn’t tell me much of how it works.

Why not? My TV is Monitor is extremely complex yet it’s only function is to translate information into a visual image that I can percieve. The Brain has to be complex to wield the massive amounts of sensory input coming into it from the Physical world, but once it does it, the Mind (spirit/consciousness) takes all this information and produces the visual image of “reality” that you see. I see no reason for the Brain NOT to be complex.

Please find me any information you have concluding to explain all functions of NDE’s, OBE’s and Dreams by simply chemical psychology of the Brain. I’d be fascinated since this information somehow made it past me.

I hope you realize all that Science has done to replicate a NDE in a laboratory was to produce the Out Of Body state by either magnetic fields around the Brain or even hypnosis. But they have yet to replicate any other aspects of the NDE that is the same for millions of people worldwide (albeit their interpretation was unique…which is even harder for Science to tackle). To plagarize and quote Kenneth Ring

“Any adequate neurological explanation would have to be capable of showing how the entire complex of phenomena associated with the core experience [that is, the out-of-body state, paranormal knowledge, the tunnel, the golden light, the voice or presence, the appearance of deceased relatives, beautiful vistas, and so forth] would be expected to occur in subjectively authentic fashion as a consequence of specific neurological events triggered by the approach of death … [b]I am tempted to argue that the burden of proof has now shifted to those who wish to explain NDEs in this way.”[/b]

That solves more problems then it escapes or creates. Saying the Brain is the seat of all consciousness and trancendental experience without any shred of Scientfically validated proof is I think, escaping the problem of merging too much with Spirituality, something the hardcore and dedicated Scientific will fight tooth and nail to avoid. Ahh, but changes are upon us and Science is going to witness it’s own destruction by it’s own brutal skepticism. As the above quote states, you have a lot more to prove using your theories than I would using mine.

See, when I say “outside the Brain” you’re automatically thinking in spacial dimensions, and that shows you’re misunderstanding the idea. Outside the Brain simply means 'not a funtion or result of the Brain." It doesn’t physically mean there’s a “mind” hovering above you. But it DOES mean that even if the Brain was damaged or destroyed, the Mind lives on.

Why 10x? How did you measure that?
I still think that brain’s speed is enough. It’s not needed to process EVERYTHING in order to react, especially if it’s a reflex. In fact, to process (nearly) all the input, we have to use much time, being concentrated on it. The process of recognizing images and sound is not 100% accurate. It’s heuristic and consists in some part of ‘guessing’, so it can be faster.

I don’t know much about the layout of brain, so I did a search on Wikipedia (link).
The page says that it’s not decided yet, but there are some theories about its location: a) medial temporal lobes; b) it could be distributed in the whole brain, and only indexed in left temporal pole.

Maybe the memory of path was distributed through the whole brain and could be retrieved (like every part of hologram stores the whole image, although in less detail).

There already are some experiments on learning algorithms. Mind as an algorithm would be very flexible and able to adapt itself. What is a free will? It could be just a very complex computation. Don’t forget that mind has much ‘data’ (memory) to work on, and small things can heavily influence some decision (similar to chaos mathematics, where small change on input produces big change on output) - so it can be viewed as unpredictable.

Again, human mind is way more flexible than any OS, which doesn’t prevent it from being algorithmic. Apart from foreign language (some words can be known to you, though) there are still things like gesture and voice modulation to analyse.

Some parts of the brain which are responsible, for example, for conscious thinking, may not be involved in the process. The impulse is going only through the most important brain lobes:
decoding of the input (not all, of course) -> declarative memory (to recognize the danger) -> procedural memory -> root -> muscles.
So the route of impulse is shorter and the reaction is fast.

Dreams - There has been much research on REM sleep done, by LaBerge for example, and in most part it has been explained rationally. My mental code theory (IMO not colliding with existing explanations) also tries to explain it.
Out of Body Experience - it’s a subjective experience, it can by easily explained as a dream (it’s even induced like WILD). So far there is no solid evidence of realness of OBE’s.
Near Death Experience - This one AFAIK is not fully explained… I can only say that I believe it can be explained as a dream; cultural similarites explaining similarities of reported experiences.

Please explain me the details of brain and mind communication.
Usually brain damage results in some sort of mental disorder. Can you explain all that disorders only by worse communication between brain and mind?

I have read that people with heavy brain damage have almost no limitations in their normal life.
Not in every case but there were cases. One of them is living near me. He had a bad injury when somebody tried to kill him with an axe. This kind of injury should have made him disabled, but there were no damage to brain functions.

Your posts are very long, and though mine will be too :grin: , I couldn’t answer to their whole content.

I fully agree with Pav and the theory that he explains in his first post, and that I would resume in this words : the information stored in the brain is not stored in the same way that you can store info in a database, it’s stored as associations.

But I think we must dissociate metaphysical concerns from the discussion about how an organ runs. I don’t see how we can deduce the existence of the soul from the functionning of the liver or the lungs, so I don’t wee how we could deduce it from the functionning of the brain. In my opinion, mixing theses condiderations just makes the subject more confuse.

Pav’s theory could explain why we can find the location of the memory : there is no location. The associations are stored in the same way than “weights” of neurons in an artificial neural network. Each neuron has its own reaction when stimulated, and the whole set of reactions create a representation of the world and its objects.

They dream what they are able to dream with the mental code they’ve stored. When you train an artificial NN, you always can stop the training and see what representations are stored in it. It won’t give the results you could hope to obtain at the end of the training, but it will give a result too.

That’s nothing illogical in it. The vividity of imagery is not the consequence of the brain activation level, but of the quantity of attention which is given to a perception content. For instance, if you walk IRL in the street while thinking to the credit card you just lost, the vividness of the landscape will be very low. I would even suppose that the less the brain is activated, the more attention can be given to a content, and the more the content is vivid.

When dreaming, brain receives random inputs. (Please have a look at my boring article :tongue: about this subject : Dream functions, NN and random inputs). But it doesn’t mean that the results are random at all.

So, I would add something to the mental code theory. (GREAT theory, Pav ! ) I read in C. Bouchet a wonderful idea about dreams. When dreaming, the brain receives random impulses, and a lot of associations (thus thoughts) are generated. Now comes Bouchet’s idea : the dream is not the result of all these thoughts; it’s just the result of the thoughts attention focus on. Attention makes a sort and that’s why dreams are not such confuse we could imagine if we followed all randomly generated thoughts.

I can easily negate your entire post by this one remark.

What you’re basically telling me is that memory is stored by associations of our experiences in our “reality” and when we dream, we’re also receiving random “inputs.”

You do realize that “input” requires information to be entering the senses of the Body which the Brain interpretes into electrical signals and thus, as an experience. Where is the Brain receiving this input from while in a state where it’s competely severed from the world of sensory input?

This theory is completely moot and useless without some form of evidence showing where the Brain even keeps this information and how these associations come together to even offer insight into people’s own lives.

Once again, where does Lucid Dreaming come into this, where we create our own brand new sensory input while in a catatonic state?

It’s a clever theory, but due to the latest advancements in studies of Consciousness and the Brain, there’s much more compelling evidence to point to the idea that the Brain doesn’t do much of anything while Dreaming and that is the very essence of dreaming to me; experience of the reality outside the physical perceptions, the reality that the physical perception is based off of (as above, so below.)

And I repeat, this theory falls apart when discussing OBE’s and NDE’s because if Dreaming was nothing more than the internal ‘discussion’ of these associations, it would neglect to explain how someone experience an OBE can actually project these assocations onto the ‘external world’ and experience it outside the workings of the Brain. OBE’s are remarkably similiar to dreams as the Brain reacts almost in identical ways by blocking the Seratonin receptors in the Brain. NDE’s are even harder to explain under this theory as the Brain is in a reduced state, to the point of no activity at all.

I think the evidence weighs far in favor of a dual mechanism for Consciousness; the Brain the filter and the Mind the receiver/organizer. Nobody has yet tackled the issue had Randomness of Neurons develops into Coherent Self, either sleeping or awake.

In my opinon, the Brain has proven itself to be just a bridge to pass data through.

Pav, you asked about Mental Disorders. I recall the case of Cage, who had his frontal lobe destroyed when working on a Railroad (pipe went through his head). He was a casual, charming and nice man before the incident and after, a rude, obnoxious “asshole.” Some say this is evidence that the Brain holds the personality, but quite the opposite I say. If I blow a fuse or a tube in my Monitor or TV, the picture is Distorted, right? Same concept. The Brain is required to be in a perfectly working state for the Mind to be able to express itself the way it desires to. Since the physical is strong, if the Brain becomes damaged, the Mind can no longer express itself fully. What about an Autistic Child? Isn’t it common knowledge that they are just regular people as you and me, and can understand the same things we can, but simply cannot express themselves as they desire since the Brain controls these functions of the Body. Hence, their endless frustration in Life; knowing they are the same as us, but with no ability to convey that.

The burden of proof is on the Skeptic of these theories to explain the aformentioned in all aspects or else the theory is too flimsy. While it takes much evidence to support a theory, it only takes a very minor amount to disprove one.

And just to re-affirm a previous point I made:

Under your theory, Dreams should never, ever give any type of beneficial information to the Dreamer. They should never have meaning behind them. Your theory also fails to account for the idea of Recurring Dreams. Why would the same associations remain in a random generation of input?

I see the Brain/Mind theory much easier to accept now (I used to think the same way you did, until I simply did more study into what we think we know). The more ‘deactivated’ the Brain becomes, the more the Mind (Spirit/Soul/Self) simply takes over…as one fades away, the other becomes stronger.

Of course, you cannot test my ideas in a Laboratory.

Or can you?

And what of cases like Claire Sylvia? Are these people simply hallucinating or imagining such cases? Are they straight out lying?

Faulty logic. Why not? The liver and lungs are meant to do what? Support the Brain. The bodies sole purpose is to provide protection and support for the Brain, not the other way around. A Body without an active Brain can be electrically stimulated (reflexes), but does that mean it’s alive? The Brain gives ‘life’, personality, individuality to each Body. Without the Brain, the Body is nothing more than a mass of flesh. Quite the contrary, I think the Brain is the ultimate proof there’s something behind the scenes.

A good example: I had a Lucid Dream where I experienced colors and textures I’ve never seen in this Life/Reality. Ever. I can’t even find words for them simply because none exist.

If my Brain was simply going over old associations (it cannot recieve new input in a state where no input is coming in) I should not be able to do this.

How did my Brain create it’s OWN input and new experiences? Where is this new input coming from in a state where the Brain is only in a position to re-create and re-form old known associations?

Yes, that is the main edge of it : creativity. Unlike mechanicistic explanation mind is highly creational even in imagining things.
That alone is enough to point something is missing in whole input output story.
Inteligence is unpredictable.

Pav, you’ll have to change the title of this thread in "The mental code theory (longs posts) :happy: It definitely breaks all the records !

Ego Tripping : First of all, I’m happy to see that Pav’s theory makes you think so much ! It must be a worthy theory, otherwise you wouldn’t have spend so many time to try to disprove it… :grin:

If I resume what you said, your point of view is that “the Brain is the filter and the Mind the receiver/organizer.” Pav’s theory is just about how the brain filters (and stores) information. So I don’t understand why you seems to believe it could contradict your idealist philosophy. It has nothing to do nor with the way that brain collects information, neither from which channel it collects it. So, it has nothing to do with what you call the Mind, it just describes the filter functioning.

From my own experience, I know that we can (during dream or waking state) gather information which don’t obviously come from our senses or memories. Call it ESP or the Mind, as you want. Laberge’s points out that ESP is more likely to happen during dreams.
In parapsychic studies, it’s said that during precognitive dreams, information can be distorted as in normal dreams. That’s mean that ESP are subject to the brain filter, and I suppose you won’t disagree with that.

About this point, I’ve to notice that I disagree with pav when he says that “his theory doesn’t leave place for shared dreaming”. As I said, his theory has nothing to do with the way the brain collects information. If you believe telepathy is possible during waking life, it could be also possible during a dream. And if you don’t believe in ESP, it doesn’t matter how the brain could be organized (mental-code-based or database-like), you’ll consider that shared dreaming is impossible.

Yet, an important point you seems to have misunderstood.

In the post I pointed out, you could have read that :

I hope it answers to your question.

Another point must be clarified before we can go further :

In biological and artificial (computer) neural networks, information is stored in the neurons, not as “raw data” (as a database could do), but as reactions. Each neuron is a specialized cell which can propagate an electrochemical signal. When a neuron is activated, it fires an electrochemical signal which crosses the synapses to other neurons, which may in turn fire. A neuron fires only if the total signal received at the cell body from the dendrites exceeds a certain level (the firing threshold).
So the information is stored as a firing threshold. The computational property is actually an emergent property of hundreds or thousands of neurons cooperating to produce the processing power of the brain. For instance, they can recognize forms, so it means that the form has not to be stored as a memory, but as an “association”, the consequence of the cumulated reactions of a set of neurons.

Moreover, there are some mistakes in your assumptions about dream :

REM dreaming is considered the most elaborate or ‘true’ form of dreaming, especially with regards to the intense level of activation in the brain. Electroencephalograph patterns for REM sleep are much like those during wakefulness, and include many fast beta-rhythms. It may even be that the brain works harder during REM sleep than when awake.

Once this has been clarified, I will answer to your questions :

From the activity of the forebrain receiving random signals from the brain stem.

This theory doesn’t implies your conclusion at all. Recent advances in neural network research shows that they can be imaginative and creative. When submitted to random input (when “dreaming”), new associations are found to be formed which are available to process unexpected occurrences. For instance, if biological or artificial NN have learnt to recognize the letter B and K, they can “dream” the R letter.

Possibly, same answer than above. Moreover, I said that vividness is not a consequence of memories, but of the more attention your paid to a perception content.

Nothing in this theory could lead you to this conclusion. As a NN works upon the principles of association, some associations can be more likely to appear when the NN is randomly bombarded. A thought, an image, an emotion can be activated more often than desirable, revealing a problem of the psyche.

Same answer than above.

Eventually, remember that I said this theory doesn’t take in account (in my opinion; it’s perhaps not Pav’s opinion) the sources of the information. One of the possible source during dreams is the random inputs of the brain stem. I never said that other sources are impossible.

“They suggested that dreaming consists of associations and memories elicited from the forebrain (the neocortex and associated structures) in response to random signals from the brain stem.”

So now the Brain Stem is sending the signals to control Dreaming?

I mean, everyone has their own beliefs and reasons for believing said beliefs. In my experience, this explanation is ludicrous for reasons I’ve listed above.

As far as the idea of “vividness”, that was not the question; how does my mind create seemingly BRAND NEW sensory input that is obviously not previously recognized? The known associations I had in my Brain could not account for these new forms of “code.” The Brain Stem can only send signals it’s recieved from the Brain as the Brain Stem cannot directly observe anything…everything it recieves has once passed through the Brain, so nothing I recieve in a Drean should ever be “new” or not previously recognized/observed/logged. So your (and Pav’s) explanation doesn’t even touch on ideas such as these.

The REM Sleep only shows that the Brain believes exactly what it’s seeing to the point where the Body believes it as well. But this still does not explain exactly where the Brain is receiving all this convincing information from (the brain stem doens’t account for LD’s or even OBE/NDE for that matter). This does however, prove that our Dream reality and Waking reality make no difference to the Brain.

But yah, I also come from a perspective that’s been radically changed over the past 4 years, so I suppose I do come off strong. I agree, Pav’s theory is EXTREMELY well thought out and complete, and I don’t mean to sound like I’m putting it down. I suppose it hits close to home beccause I had (literally) almost the identical theory before I was, how you say, awakened (that sounds pompous, but I assume you know what I mean) It’s like aruging/debating with a previous version of myself so it’s intruiging.

We all believe what we must to get us by…I choose to believe the Brain is not the seat of Consciousness or Dreams for that matter, but that’s also for a multitude of reasons and beliefs that encompass my views.

So with that said, hats off to Pav and all those who participated. I choose to concede simply because I realize that it’s a bit moot to continue, we can’t change each others minds and if I keep trying I feel I’m going to come off too much as a ‘know-it-all’. I enjoy bounderies and the respect of those bounderies. Cheers.:smile:

I agree with you about the fact that during NDE’s, brain seems to be totally disactivated. So this brain theory doesn’t explain at all how information can be perceived (and memories of the events stored) in this state.
In my opinion, this fact doesn’t disprove the “mental code” theory, but it relativizes its usefullness and narrows the field of its applications.

As for consciousness, it is a mystery and I believe it will be rather hard to find its location, too. :grin:
Cheers :smile:

i think you went far pav!

hmm… how did they measure brain activity during NDE’s? did they almost kill someone while doing an EEG?
and even if the brain is not measurably active during NDE’s, how come people wake up and say that they saw theire whole lives flash in front of them?

wether it’s at 55GHz speed or 5Hz, the brain processes a lot of info. it’s well known that we change our memories with the passage of time, and “erase” some aswell.
but according to some hypnotherapeuts(spl?) we store everything we’ve experienced since our first breath!

and pav was right about something.
the vision to set as an example,
the eyes capture light frequencies and stuff, and the “info” is sent to our brain that interprets it. - i think colorblind people, don’t have problems in they’re eyes, they have a minor problem in they’re brains!

and it’s a fact that our brain creates all the reality that we experience in our dreams, none of it is “real”.
except when the phone rings maybe, that the brain interprets the sound identifies it as a phone and then creates a dream phone to justify the “real” phonering.
BIG UPS to PAV, I enjoyed reading your theory a lot! I think you’re going far when it comes to exploring the mind! :content: