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FFAI Neuroscience Factoids by Mind Map: FFAI Neuroscience Factoids
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FFAI Neuroscience Factoids

major conclusions

"Intelligence" and "consciousness" may be concerned with observing, judging, and preparing a large unconscious machinery, instead of directly acting.

The human mind is made up of many agents, many of which act independently and unconsciously.

Some philosophers suggest that "intelligence" and the idea of a "mind" is itself a bad starting assumption.

split brain patients

humans have a left and a right hemisphere, both containing almost everything you need to live and think (some humans actually only have one hemisphere)

the two hemispheres are linked by the corpus callosum, which is necessary for communicating conscious thought between them

in some diseases (intractable epillepsy), the treatment consists of cutting the corpus callosum

you end up with "two independent minds" in the same body, but... you don't notice

studied by Roger Sperry (Caltech), Michael Gazzaniga


video congenital absence of corpus callosum and more information on hemispheric specialization

"left brain / right brain" theories

conscious/subconscious decision making

original studies by Benjamin Libet

when does conscious awareness of a decision occur relative to when the decision was actually made

experimental setup: push a button, verbally report the time when the decision was made, also measure EEG; shows that conscious awareness occurs 300ms after decision

brain imaging shows this more directly now: a decision can be seen in mental activity often seconds before the person becomes aware of it consciously

"cutaneous rabbit"

experimental result: conscious awareness of a decision occurs _after_ the decision has been made

at least some actions are initiated unconsciously and then interpreted by the conscious mind


emotions are mental processes and states that influence behavior without being based on conscious reasoning

emotions are closely linked to subjective experiences, pleasure, pain, reward, and drives

emotions are deeply grounded in physiological states: specific neurotransmitters, interpretation of physiological states

emotions have clearly identifiable neural structures associated with them

with some injuries, action in humans gets decoupled from emotions; decision making based purely on reason appears to be vastly inferior to decision making based on emotional judgments

This mindmap contains some points related to discussions in AI. We'll explore some of these in more detail in later lectures