Our brain is in a state of “controlled hallucination”

Finally, vision scientists know what happened. That’s not our computer screens or our eyes. This is the mental calculations made by the brain when seen. Some people are unconsciously reminded that the dress is in direct light and mentally removes the yellow from the image, so they see the blue and black stripes. Others see it in the shade, where bluish light dominates. Their brain has taken a blue mind from the image, and there is a white and gold robe.

It’s not just thinking that really faults; it is constructed, reminding an outside world from obscure intrusion. on Make You, Anil Seth, a neuroscientist at the University of Sussex, recounts his explanation of how the “inner universe relates to subject experience, and can be defined in terms, biological and physical processes that unfold in brains and bodies. ” He objected that “experiences of that you, or as I am, comes out in the way that the brain predicts and controls the internal state of the body. ”

Prediction has become a trend in academic circles in recent years. Seth and the philosopher Andy Clark, together with Sussex, refer to predictions made by the brain as “Controlled hallucinations.” The idea is that the brain constantly makes models of the world to interpret and predict future information; it updates these models when the prediction and experience obtained from our sensory inputs differ.

“The chairs aren’t red,” Seth writes, “as if they’re not ugly or outdated or avant-garde… When I look at a red chair, the red I experience depends on the properties in the chair and in the belongings. in my brain. It corresponds to the interior of a set of visual perspectives on the ways in which a particular kind of interior reflects light. ”

Seth was never interested in red, or even the color more commonly. His greatest claim, however, is that this same process applies to all perspectives: “The whole mental experience is an imaginary neuronal that remains the yoke of the world through a continuous to make and make the look the best assumption, of controlled surprises. You could even say that we all come out constantly. That’s why if we agree about our hallucinations, that’s what is called reality. “

Well-known scientists have always relied on non-atypical examples to get an understanding of what is really going on. Seth takes the reader through a fun litany of optical illusions and demonstrations, some familiar and some less so. Paintings that are actually the same shade appear to be different; the spirals printed on the paper appear to be rapidly rotating; an invisible image turns into a woman kissing a horse; a face shows the bathroom sink. Re-creating the psychedelic powers of the silicon mind, a virtual-reality setup powered by artificial intelligence created by him and his colleagues creating a Hunter Thompson-esque menagerie of animal parts emerging piece from other objects in a plaza on the campus of Sussex University. This series of examples, as Seth says, “is lost in the attractive but unhelpful motion that consciousness is a thing – a great frightening mystery in finding a great frightening solution.” Seth’s vision may frighten those who want to believe that things are as they used to be: The passage of time is a vision. ”

Seth is on relatively solid ground when he describes how the brain forms experience, which philosophers call “quick” problems of consciousness. They are easy compared to the “difficult” problem: why the subject experience has everything as a part of the universe. Here he is tackled badly, introducing the “real” problem, which is to “explain, predict, and control strange properties with conscious experience.” It is not clear how the real problem differs from the quick problems, but somehow, he said, solving it will give us a way to solve the difficult problem. Now that would be a neat trick.

Where Seth recounts, for the most part, the experiences of people with typical brains struggling with atypical movements, in Coming to Our Senses, Susan Barry, an emeritus professor of neurobiology at Mount Holyoke college, tells the stories of two people who gained new thinking later in life than usual. Liam McCoy, who has been nearly blind since his childhood, saw that almost clearly after a series of surgeries when he was 15 years old. Zohra Damji was deaf until she was given a cochlear implant at the much later age of 12. As Barry explains, Damji’s surgeon “told his aunt that, if he knew the length- on and degree of Zohra’s deafness, he could not perform the operation. ”Barry’s compassionate, national, and cautious launch was informed by his own experience:

At the age of forty-eight, I experienced a dramatic improvement in my vision, a change that repeatedly brought me child-like moments of joy. Crossing the eye from early childhood, I see the world primarily with one eye. Then, in mid-life, I learned, through a vision therapy program, to use my eyes. With each look, everything I saw changed in appearance. I see a lot and shape in 3D with empty space between objects. The branches of the tree came up to me; floating lights A visit to the make -up section of the supermarket, which has all the colors and 3D shapes, can send me a kind of ecstasy.

Barry is excited about his new capacities, which he describes as “finding a new approach.” It hurts him to point out how different it is from “first sightings.” A person who grows up with vision can understand a scene at a glance. “But where we see a three-dimensional scene full of objects and people, a newly discovered adult sees a bad line and color patterns appear. on a flat plane. ” As McCoy describes his experience walking up and down Barry’s stairs:

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