Moving… Thinking of moving… Standing still!

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Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) work on the principle that measurable changes in electrical brain activity occur just by thinking about performing a task. Signals can be read, evaluated, and then converted into control signals via a machine learning system, which can then be used to operate a computer or a prosthesis. In a recently published study, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences Leipzig, the Public University of Navarre, and TU Berlin demonstrated that after just one hour’s training with a BCI significant changes could be detected in test subjects’ brains, meaning that training with the BCI also has direct repercussions on the neuronal structure and function of the brain. (1)

Move.

And you will change.

Think of moving.

And you will change.

We are so much consumed by our faith in reality that we cannot see the obvious.

We are too consumed looking up to reality and trying to comprehend it…

That we cannot see that reality is looking upon us to determine where it will go next…

Move.

And the cosmos will start moving.

Don’t you see?

Achilles will never reach the turtle.

It is the turtle which wants to be reached…

Learning new words…

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Children may learn new words better when they learn them in the context of other words they are just learning – according to research from the University of East Anglia.

Eighty two children took part in the study. In two experiments the team taught them some new words for things they couldn’t name – such as honey-dippers and strainers. Dr Samuelson said: “We practiced these new words until they knew the honey-dipper was called a ‘zeb’ and the strainer was a ‘yok’. We then showed them a new thing – a bird toy – in the context of either the objects they knew well (a ball and a car) or things they had only just learned to name (the ‘zeb’ honey-dipper and ‘yok’ strainer).

“When we asked them to get the ‘blick’, they were good at linking this new word to the bird-toy when it was presented with the familiar things, and with the just learned things.”

But, after a five minute colouring break, the children were not so good at remembering what a ‘blick’ was when they had learned it in the context of objects they already knew. (and did better when they had initially leaned the word in the context of the less well-known things — the ‘zeb’ honey dipper and the ‘yok’ strainer). “We had expected that a stronger knowledge of familiar words would be better for learning new words, but we found the opposite was true” claim the researchers.

“It seems counterintuitive, but it is perhaps because the less well-known items don’t compete with the new words as much. If they learn new words in the context of playing with well-known items such as a ball, book or car, they don’t process the new word as much.” (1)

Remembering things. Learning new things. Forgetting others.

The best way to learn is to unlearn.

The best way to remember new things is to forget the old ones.

New things will then become old.

And soon, they will too be forgotten in the quest for knowledge.

Babies we will be once more.

To view the cosmos as it is.

At the moment we are old and die…

And for the first time we will see.

That this is not the first time we see…

Abstract thoughts…

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Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have leveraged machine learning to interpret human brain scans, allowing the team to uncover the regions of the brain behind how abstract concepts, like justice, ethics and consciousness, form.

In this study, Just and his team scanned the brains of nine participants using a functional MRI. The team sifted through the data using machine learning tools to identify patterns for each of the 28 abstract concepts. They applied the machine learning algorithm to correctly identified each concept (with a mean rank accuracy of 0.82, where chance level is 0.50).

Just said these abstract concepts are constructed by three dimensions of meaning in the brain. The first dimension corresponds to regions associated with language. For example, the concept of ethics might be linked to other words like rules and morals. A person must first understand the words to construct the additional meaning of ethics. The second dimension defines abstract concepts in terms of reference, either to self or an external source. For example, spirituality refers to self, while causality is external to the self. The final dimension is rooted in social constructs. There is an inherent social component to the concepts of pride and gossip.

“It’s flashy to call this work mind reading,” Just said. “For me, it is proof that we have identified some of the elements of the brain’s indexing system — verbal representation, externality/internality and the social dimension — that our brains use to code concepts that have no physical manifestation in the world.” (1)

Trying to make sense of thoughts not based on sensual input is hard. But yet again, it may be so that the true source of these thought are the senses but in ways we cannot yet realize. The duality of the cosmos in the material and the non-material cosmos is an axiom taken for granted by both materialists and non-materialists alike. And yet, this axiom could be the source of all the issues we face.

Why should an abstract thought be irrelevant to the senses?

Why would the senses be only relevant to ‘objective’ things?

What is objective?

What is abstract?

In a world which is One, these opposites have the opposite meaning! Could there be anything more abstract than tables and abstract chairs? Close your eyes and they will go away. Could there be anything more tangible than ethics and morality? Close your eyes and you will still feel guilty.

In the world of One, there is no way to find anything objective but the subjective…

In the world of senses, there is no way to find anything subjective but the objective…

Look carefully.

And you will see nothing…

Until you stop looking.

Picking up voices…

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Our brains have a remarkable ability to pick out one voice from among many. Now, a team of Columbia University neuroengineers has uncovered the steps that take place in the brain to make this feat possible.

The auditory cortex is the brain’s listening hub. The inner ear sends this brain region electrical signals that represent a jumble of sound waves from the external world. The auditory cortex must then pick out meaningful sounds from that jumble. The researchers were particularly interested in two parts of the auditory cortex’s hierarchy: Heschl’s gyrus (HG) and the superior temporal gyrus (STG). Information from the ear reaches HG first, passing through it and arriving at STG later.

The data showed that HG creates a rich and multi-dimensional representation of the sound mixture, whereby each speaker is separated by differences in frequency. This region showed no preference for one voice or another. However, in STG ” it is possible to amplify one speaker’s voice or the other by correctly weighting the output signal coming from HG”.

In other words: HG represents, while STG selects. It all happens in around 150 milliseconds.

The researchers also found that after selection, STG formed an auditory object, a representation of the sound that is analogous to our mental representations of the objects we see with our eyes. This demonstrates that even when a voice is obscured by another speaker – such as when two people talk over each other – STG can still represent the desired speaker as a unified whole that is unaffected by the volume of the competing voice. (1)

We learn to listen.

And distinguish voices from one another.

But could that be the problem of philosophy today?

Concentrating too much on specific voices? Caring too much on specific views? After all, there is no philosophical opinion today which has no opposition from an equally important philosopher. There is no case where the philosophy of one philosopher is not refuted in its entirety by the philosophy of another.

And this is where Harmonia Philosophica comes in play!

You see, for Harmonia Philosophica there is no right or wrong opinion!

For Harmonia Philosophica there is no right or wrong way of thinking!

Because for me, thinking itself IS the problem!

We must stop thinking and start accepting. Start truly living again as we once did.

You cannot explain the cosmos. You can just experience it.

You cannot understand what life is. You can just live it.

The highest forms of philosophy lie within the lowest forms of conscious thinking.

Where there is no thought to cast shadows under the light of Being.

Where there is no though to disturb the calm sea of One with ripples of existence.

The highest philosophy at the end is non-philosophy!

As I once wrote in my opening Harmonia Philosophica article, we must forget how to think in order to truly think.

Really.

Think about it…

Organoids. Brain waves. Death…

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Some years ago, two hundred and fifty miles over Alysson Muotri’s head, a thousand tiny spheres of brain cells were sailing through space. The clusters, called brain organoids, had been grown a few weeks earlier in the biologist’s lab here at the University of California, San Diego. He and his colleagues altered human skin cells into stem cells, then coaxed them to develop as brain cells do in an embryo.

The organoids grew into balls about the size of a pinhead, each containing hundreds of thousands of cells in a variety of types, each type producing the same chemicals and electrical signals as those cells do in our own brains.

What, exactly, were they growing into? That was a question that had scientists and philosophers alike scratching their heads.

Dr. Muotri and his colleagues reported that they had recorded simple brain waves in these organoids. In mature human brains, such waves are produced by widespread networks of neurons firing in synchrony. (1)

Brains observing other brains.

Fascinated by what they see.

A world full of light.

A world full of shadows.

Do not try so much to stay awake.

You are meant to sleep. And dream.

Of a cosmos somewhere else.

A cosmos casting shadows over shadows.

Which generates no brain waves to detect.

An invisible cosmos.

Penetrating this one.

Through all the brains and brain waves.

Yes, you can detect the waves some-How.

But it is the Why which makes you doubt if that really means something…

Do your brain waves mean anything?

Do you dare question yourself?

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