Neuroscientist

THE TRANSHUMANIST SCRAPBOOK: THE OTHER SIDE OF NEUROSCIENCE: ...

February 1, 2016 By Joseph P. Farrell

If you've been following my blogs the past few days, you'll have noticed that I've been focussed a great deal on the general phenomenon of transhumanism in general, and on its efforts to control and map the brain, and thereby to manipulate the mind, in particular. This hasn't been entirely my own doing, however, for as regular readers here also know, my blogs are driven by articles and trends that people send me, and I was indeed somewhat taken aback by the concentration of articles from various readers on this subject who sent them along. The "brain-mind" subject was somehow in the aether these past few days, and it was totally unexpected when I reviewed all my emails and the articles and noticed this. When such trends emerge I try to comment on them.

With that caveat lector in mind, consider this article sent along by Mr. V.T.:

The End of Brain Science As We Know It Jim

The essence of this critique of the materialist assumptions  undergirding the transhumanist impulse to download and upload the brain and its memories, is that memory does not reside in the brain as such, but rather - if I may employ a phrase I have used before in this connection - that the brain transduces those things from "somewhere", the aether, the information in the field, the Akashic records, whatever one wishes to call it:

Here’s an interesting study (Nov 2015) that makes it clear that memory function (recording and retrieval) is so fast that neurons and synapses cannot possibly be involved in the process, except maybe peripherally, but certainly not as the causal agency.

THe article then goes on to review the pioneering work of German scientist Richard Semon, the bottom line of which is reviewed in the following paragraphs:

There was then a memory test with the retrieval cues presented dead center, instead of to the right or left. EEG showed brain activity leapt into life very early (around 100- 200 milliseconds), on one side or the other. For completeness I should add that the activation was on the contralateral side; that would be expected if you bear in mind that the left side is processed by the right-brain and vice versa.

This showed, in the words of the researchers, there was a clear pre-conscious element to memory and it was very fast.

As a refinement, they used rhythmic transcranial magnetic stimulation to interfere with early memory retrieval processing, stimulating either the right or left brain separately. The result was interference with the memory that had its retrieval cue on the opposite side.

To quote the researchers, “These results demonstrate, for the first time, that episodic memory functionally relies on very rapid reactivation of sensory information that was present during encoding, a process termed “ecphory.”1

What they don’t say is that this is too fast for brain-activated memory. Transmission within the nervous system across synapses (the gaps between brain cells) is ten times slower than transmission through nerve fibers; typically about 2 milliseconds to cross the gap. The 100-millisecond delay they were finding would allow connection through only 50 – 100 brain cells at most. Hardly enough to record the smell, sound, colors, emotion, words, lighting, body posture and all the other dozens of memory modalities for even a single instant of memory!

They need a new theory! They just virtually “proved” that the brain only processes memories, it does not handle or record them!

Just to drive the point home a bit more, consider these observations:

What is emerging with the new science of brain allometrics is that the human brain, considering its size, is far from being as supercharged with cells and as powerful as science has always supposed.

To conclude that the human brain is a linearly scaled-up primate brain, with just the expected number of neurons, or slightly less, for a primate brain of its size, basically says that it is unremarkable in its capabilities.

However, as studies on the cognitive abilities of non-human primates and other large-brained animals (like cetaceans) progress, it becomes increasingly likely that humans do not have truly unique cognitive abilities, and hence must differ from these animals not qualitatively, but rather in the combination and extent of abilities such as theory of mind, imitation and social cognition.3

Put another way, the brain can’t really do the job that brain science has assigned to it. Our mental powers do not come from our brains, after all. It’s back to non-material Being. The brain is only a relay point or switchboard.

I agree with Suzana Herculano-Houzel at the Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, writing for the journal Frontiers of Human Neuroscience, that: “Novel quantitative data on the cellular composition of the human brain and its comparison to other primate brains strongly indicate that we need to rethink our notions about the place that the human brain holds in nature and evolution, and rewrite some of the basic concepts that are taught in textbooks.”4

She is not going as far as to state that mind and Being are non-material. But she makes it plain, in a very long review article that a lot of brain theory simply doesn’t stand up. It’s just dogma and tradition, not real brain science. (Emphasis added)

Now, in the context of the high octane speculations we have been advancing in recent blogs, this throws a huge spanner into the confident transhumanist expectations about downloading and uploading memories via any technology of mapping the brain, much less dead ones, for at best, with any idea that human individual memory is a non-local phenomenon that is processed or transduced by the brain, all that can be expected is that that processing can at best be damped, tampered with, impeded, or altered in some fashion, but not eradicated entirely.

But that raises high octane speculative possibilities of its own, for if those assumptions and implications are true, then those mapping and downloading and uploading technologies actually constitute technologies for the modification, not of the brain, but rather, of some non-local field of information. If there is any merit at all to this type of high octane speculation, then it carries with it a further implication, one quite disturbing when one considers the full range of its implications, namely, that the black projects world, in its quest for human-machine digital interfaces such as we blogged about yesterday, is really a request for the technologies not of brain control or even mind control and manipulation, and is not a pursuit of technologies for mapping the individual memory, but rather, the question for a technology to map and manipulate that "information content of the field" via the individual human brain-mind interface.

Various researchers within the alternative research community have indeed suggested that such possibilities might indeed be behind such projects. (I'm thinking here chiefly of people such as Dr. William Tiller, or Russel Targ, Jacques Vallee and even a few works by Nick Redfern.) If these speculations are true, in other words, then something very  different lurks behind this quest for mind-brain-computer interfaces, and the materialistic assumptions of the transhumanism meme are "just for show," convenient memes to prevent us from looking at what the real goals and assumptions may be.

See you on the flip side...