The mental code theory (LONG POSTS :)

We usually say that when we dream, we get “data” of our surroundings from our mind istead of senses. It’s a simplification that allows us not to think about nature of the process, as we think that we understand it. I think that the difference between RL and dreaming is not that simple.

Memory and mental code

We keep a big part of our life in memory. It’s very much data. Take the sight for example. How much would take on your hard disk a 24-hour high resolution movie? Our brain has big capacity, but it can’t afford storing “raw data”, like computer with camera would do. Istead of that, it “encodes” the input into things like shape, color and such. I will call the format in which we store our memories a MENTAL CODE. It consist not on raw data (like movies), but on ideas, so it’s a thought description of what we have seen. And we usually store just ASSOCIATIONS to other ideas. For example, we see something that our brain recognizes as “a red car”. So we actually store associations: 1. to our idea of red color, 2. to our idea of a car. (Of course if we remember that car better, and we usually do, the description will be MUCH more deatailed).
The same applies to other senses. For example when we hear something, we don’t store it on some sort of tape in the brain. If we hear words, we store words, not every sound wave we hear (as we would write them in letters). If we hear melody, we remember the tones (as we would write them using notes). There of course can go additional information, like pitch of the voice and such.

To conclude: we get info from our senses and encode it into the MENTAL CODE, which is based on what we already know.

Difference between dreams and RL

That’s the main part of my theory. As I said, our process in perception is:

  1. We see/hear/etc. something.
  2. Our mind encodes it into a mental code.
  3. Conscious mind receives the decoded info. If we want to watch something closely, we ask for more info and get more details of what we want.

I think that dreams are genereted in a mental code already (we skip step 2, and of course step 1). Of course if we want to watch something closely, we get more details.
We CAN’T see difference between dreams and RL, because we operate on mental code already.

The conclusions

  1. If we have LD, we can observe the dreamworld and nearly always it seems amazingly detailed. According to my theory, it’s just because our brain generates more detailed mental code when needed.
  2. In dreams, we see things we would never draw, but our mind generates them all the time. It’s because our mind actually doesn’t create visual data, but “visual mental code” data. If we tried to draw what we remember, it would be DECODING of mental code, which is usually harder (sometimes it’s even hard to explain in words what we think).
  3. Doing the impossible: Take the 4D vision for example. Atheist said in “what do you want us to do” thread that we can’t perceive 4d images because we simply don’t have “hardware” for it. However, it can be put in mental code - not “visual mental code” that we use to describe what we see, but just code without any boundaries - “if you can think it, you can do it”. That’s why everything is possible in a dream.

I hope I’m not repeating someone other’s post, and I hope someone will understand what I’m trying to say there…

What are your opinions/additions/reservations to my mental code theory?

I wouldn’t call it a theory… I would call it a truth! :content:

It was just strange to me that people are satisfied with the simple Matrix analogy when there is much more to it.

and I’m afraid that my theore doesn’t leave place for shared dreaming, as there can’t be two people with identical MentalCodes, and you can’t view a dream “from outside” because it’s linked with rest of your memory.

The only point I made is that you can’t display it all at once by any conventional means. Sure you can store a 4D reresentation of something in memory, but to view it you have to select a small limited portion of it to make into a 2D image, which is the only way our mind can handle visual perception. :smile:

Anyway, great post.

Yes, it’s not the visual conception as we are used to. I think that mental code can be associated to senses, but it doesn’t need to. 4D vision wouldn’t be “visual”, but rather perceived as a conception. LaBerge quotes a man that had LD in 4D coordinate system - i wasn’t visual, but rather conceptual. It helped him understand the idea of 4D.
And in dreams we have direct connection to mental code, so we can “perceive” what we usually store in memory, from having 6 fingers to the conception of 4D world, and it will seem real at the time.

Are you saying basically that the Brain is simply an encoder/decoder of information and not the producer of Thought/Dreams?

This Mental Code you speak of, where would it be stored? Long Term memory is still not localized to any region of the Brain. If it’s not stored in the Brain, then I assume you give creedence to the Theory that the Mind and the Brain are two seperate entities and that the Mind is the true ‘perception’ of reality.

You say the Mental Code consists of encrypted information that we experienced which produces the Dream. What about a baby, which sleeps most of it’s time? Babies are said to dream up to 80% more than Adults. What are they dreaming of if they have much less ‘mental code’ to deal with, and less cognitive thought to make meaning out of it?

Now keep in mind, you state that Dreams are more detailed because the brain is no longer percieving, but only percieving this ‘raw code.’ But Brain activity is actually reduced when Dreaming, so that is illogical. How can the Brain produce even MORE vivid imagry in a state where it’s functionality is reduced? You say the Brain is producing this Mental Code in it’s relaxed state, but where is it receiving it’s input from?

This also relates to Near Death Experiences, which Science states are ‘hallucinations’ as a result of the Brain not recieving enough Oxygen. Yet when these experiences are happening, the Brain is in a state where it’s functionality is reduced where it cannot produce lucid, clear images. Yet people who awake “from the dead” where the Brain was nearly inactive, come out with extremely lucid, vivid and 99% of the time, life changing experiences. How is this possible under your theory, if the Brain isn’t even active to ‘decode’ this raw code?

I’m not criticizing at all, just curious where your Theory fits into these areas.

aaaaaarrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh… it’s the third time I try to answer your post, my Windows crashes everytime! :smile:

No, I’m saying that brain needs to convert sensory input to the association code (Mental Code), or basically ‘put it into thoughts’, in order to understand it. Of course, this stage can be skipped, as it is when we’re dreaming.

From what I know, that’d be what is called a semantic memory - memory which stores meanings of concepts. I don’t know anything about it’s physical location, thought.

Sort of… actually I would compare brain to a computer, and mind to a program running on that computer… but still the mind is in brain and nothing else.

Well, I guess they just have much simpler dreams.

While dreaming, brain doesn’t use its ‘computing power’ on converting everything to mental code, so it has more of that power [concentration, creativity?] to produce dreams.

It isn’t converted from any sensory input, it’s just produced in that form.

I believe NDE’s are very similar to dreams, so, again, there’s nothing to ‘decode’ - everything is in association code already.

I hope that helped…

I used a similiar analogy. The Brain is Computer that runs the Program, the Program being Physical Consciousness. The MIND however, is the User (the part you seem to leave out entirely from your theory). The user simply uses the Computer to run the Program which is designed to store and retrieve information upon the Users command. The Program is stored on the Hard Drive (eternity/God/Zero Point Field). Even if the Computer and Program is destroyed, the User does not go away, it simply uses ‘a different computer.’

But what’s the purpose of this? There’s not enough mental code to be sifting through. One part of your theory that is sad is that it leaves no room for interpretation of Dreams, basically reducing our Dreams to just random bits of raw information. But this does not coincide with the fact that many people, including myself, end up developing tremendous insight to their Selves. If Dreams were just random decoding of even more random code, they should never, EVER be coherent (since the part of the brain that normally processes this information into coherent patterns is inactive). Your theory also does not explain at all what a Lucid Dream is, which is a combination of steps 2 and 3 of your theory, yet completely skipping step 1! How is this possible if the Brain is producing this lucid image?

Wouldn’t that require even MORE Brain power? To receive no physical stimuli but to still produce coherent images? The Brain would actually be working more to decode all this random and seemingly scattered info into some kind of picture. Once again, this also doesn’t even take into account OBE’s, NDE’s, and LD’s.

Produced where? Where is it being produced from? Is it just recyclying old data over and over? Once again, what about LD’s?

Kinda…but you say NDE’s are similiar to Dreams but unfortunately, NDE’s completely obliterate your theory because at the time of an NDE, the brain isn’t active by any measureble standard. These are people that are verified dead and show no brain activity, some people even ‘dead’ for up to three days (I’ll be happy to pull the link). How is the brain producing these ‘hallucinations’ and ‘dreams’ in such a state of reduced functionality that it’s technically not even working at it’s base state? There would be no code to process.

Unless, simply, the Brain does not produce any kind of imagry whatsoever. The Brain is simple a device, a bridge, used to pass information back and forth. Once it’s functions are either reduced (sleeping), bypassed (meditation/drugs) or even destroyed/shut down (NDE’s/Death), it simply allows the User to have access to the rest of the information that existed outside the confines of the Program ie…the rest of the Hard Drive (existance/eternity).

Just some food for thought. Once again, sorry if I sound like I’m trying to break your ideas down, I just enjoy friendly intellectual debate.

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.