Criticism I heard regarding "filter-theory" of consciousness

#1
I was recently listening to a podcast and the commentator brought up a rather interesting point, criticizing the "filter-theory" of consciousness. He said one of the problems of the filter theory is that if the brain is just a filter , then why when people experience disease or trauma/damage to the brain, don't they all experience those hyper levels of reality that are otherwise filtered out by our brain?

I have heard many times about those who experience terminal lucidity, or people who have tumors or experience brain injury and all of a sudden talk in another language, can write poetry or play an instrument, etc. but why wouldn't this happen all the time if one's brain was compromised?
 
#2
Well we can reframe the question here. We know for a fact that in neuroscience that the brain does "filter" information that comes into conscious awareness, so why don't we see large influx of information to conscious awareness all the time when the brain is compromised?
 
#3
I think if you imagine the brain as a kind of optical telescope, most damage you can think of is going to impair the quality of the image. It may have to be dismantled to the point where "light rays" don't enter it in the first place, and are in some sense unleashed again to the free cosmos, before a conceptual expansion might occur.

In another sense though, this can be read as what is happening in authentic "breakout" experiences, whether caused by traumatic damage, forceful action of a psychedelic drug...or whatever.
 
#5
The mechanism in radio receiver for selecting a frequency to play works by filtering radio frequencies. If you hit a radio with a hammer, sometimes you will break it in a way where you lose filtering, but other times you will break it in a way that does something else.

A filter can break in two ways: it can be clogged, or it can be punctured. When brain damage causes loss of function like amnesia, that is like a clog in the filter. When brain damage produces new mental capabilities, such as ESP or in Acquired Savant Syndrome that is like a hole in the filter. If you release the conscious mind from the brain as happens during a near death experience you get unfiltered consciousness where experiencers see colors never seen before, 360 degree vision, and people blind from birth report seeing etc.
 
#6
Bucky's nailed it. He was talking about Max's theories of interacting brains, but the arguments are equally valid:

I have no idea what kind of predictions we could make with these theories given the very generic definition proposed.

It looks like anything that happens {in an NDE} can be explained by magical {EM field} interaction.

It would be at least necessary to have tangible proof that these alleged interactions do work in the way they're described and induce experiences in the targets.
and

I'd be more than happy with a shred of evidence.
 
#7
Shocking... In an attempt to explain the classic NDE OBE, I'm at least trying to point people towards papers that indicate hyperweak oscillating magnetic fields hundreds and thousands of times weaker than the earth's geomagnetic field *can* disrupt an organisms behaviour from a few feet away. Even if the mechanism is unknown, and the fields are so weak, that according to current theory it shouldn't be possible.
 
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#8
Shocking... In an attempt to explain the classic NDE OBE, I'm at least trying to point people towards papers that indicate hyperweak oscillating magnetic fields hundreds and thousands of times weaker than the earth's geomagnetic field *can* disrupt an organisms behaviour from a few feet away. Even if the mechanism is unknown, and the fields are so weak, that according to current theory it shouldn't be possible.
No it's not shocking. Your theory is interesting, but there remains several problems:
- generalization problem... all NDE OBEs must be generated via this mechanism... people have already pointed out there's a huge variety of different cases, it seems we're falling into a maslow-hammer type of logic.
- vagueness problem... there's not enough specificity in the proposed mechanism to clarify what are its limitations; what we could expect to be originated by it and what falls outside
- lack of fundamental evidence... that the phenomena can indeed transmit perceptions remotely in a variety of injured brains...

I think anyone who has looked into the NDE literature and research wouldn't put all stakes on something this tentative.
 
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#9
Bucky's nailed it. He was talking about Max's theories of interacting brains, but the arguments are equally valid:
Bucky said:
I have no idea what kind of predictions we could make with these theories given the very generic definition proposed.

It looks like anything that happens {in an NDE} can be explained by magical {EM field} interaction.

It would be at least necessary to have tangible proof that these alleged interactions do work in the way they're described and induce experiences in the targets.
and
I'd be more than happy with a shred of evidence.
I am not sure what you're trying to say... what are you referring to exactly?
 
#10
No it's not shocking. Your theory is interesting, but there remains several problems:
- generalization problem... all NDE OBEs must be generated via this mechanism... people have already pointed out there's a huge variety of different cases, it seems we're falling into a maslow-hammer type of logic.
- vagueness problem... there's not enough specificity in the proposed mechanism to clarify what are its limitations; what we could expect to be originated by it and what falls outside
- lack of fundamental evidence... that the phenomena can indeed transmit perceptions remotely in a variety of injured brains...

I think anyone who has looked into the NDE literature and research wouldn't put all stakes on something this tentative.
External patterns lead to internal patterns. Or another way to say this is that external patterns, are relayed to the brain, and result in correlated neuron firing.

I'm simply saying that these fields from third parties neuron firing can sometimes be detected by a brain that has had a reduction in the the power of its own endogenous field... say perhaps from a few feet away.

The experients brain can therefore temporarily use sensory data from a third party, in addition/instead of data from their own senses where available.

The brains physical network is therefore intersected by a complex pattern of field shapes. Where they intersect the network results in a pattern of activation. These patterns of activation must allow coherent interference (quantum), and it's here where I think conscious experience probably arises.

Most of the distant veridical type OBE's seem to be with relatives, friends, loved ones, who I suspect already have similar networks.

So that allows 1) a localised effect from third party strangers who can lay down their own field pattern on an adult patients exposed network, 2) a localised, or distant effect with friends, family, loved ones because the adult patients networks are already similar. 3) a mixed effect in children, where they can experience both strangers and loved ones both localised and distant, because their networks are not fully formed/still forming and because of this, they have greater compatibility (less uniqueness) than an adults network.

That's the best way I have been able to think about it (I haven't got the foggiest if it's correct) but I do find it a useful way to understand these experiences.

Not a particularly comprehensive reply, but I don't want people to get the idea that these fields I'm talking about contain the conscious experience... They don't, as far as I can make sense of things. They are just a way of activating the networks themselves... and that pattern of activation leads to some other mechanism (coherent interference I suggest) where the actual conscious experience probably comes into being.
 
#11
A filter can be interrupted in two ways: blocking or opening it. The first gives rise to minimization of the mentality and the second to maximizing mentality.
 
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