FFAI Neuroscience Factoids

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FFAI Neuroscience Factoids by Mind Map: FFAI Neuroscience Factoids

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

2. major conclusions

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

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

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

3. split brain patients

3.1. 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)

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

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

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

3.5. studied by Roger Sperry (Caltech), Michael Gazzaniga

3.6. video

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

3.8. "left brain / right brain" theories

4. conscious/subconscious decision making

4.1. original studies by Benjamin Libet

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

4.3. 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

4.4. 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

4.5. "cutaneous rabbit"

4.5.1. (1) five taps on wrist, three near elbow, two near shoulder (2) 10 taps on the wrist

4.5.2. sensation of a little rabbit running up the arm only in case 1

4.5.3. but that kind of "interpolation" means that you can't be perceiving the taps in real time

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

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

5. emotion

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

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

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

5.4. emotions have clearly identifiable neural structures associated with them

5.5. 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