Dr. Stephen Braude – your memories aren’t in your brain|318|

#41
Well in cardiac arrest, there is no blood flow and brain cells need glucose and oxygen to function so when that runs out after 10 or so seconds you're going to have to find a reason why the "car" keeps going even when there's no petrol in it....which brings your theory in. Whilst it is novel and you've put a lot of work into it, it's just a theory Max but of course there's no harm in that. We'll never agree on this but it's okay.
The excellent Parnia's interview you recently linked to suggests differently. Loss of brain function is much more prolonged...

http://www.ttbook.org/listen/70341
 
#42
Strictly speaking every image of reality is a memory, and in principle there is no difference between a memory of what happened a year ago from a memory of events that took place one minute earlier. Your examples of shadows and wind support my point of view. Whenever the mind gets sensory input that does not "fit in" it replaces that with what does make sense - or gets confused and produces rubbish, just like in your example of voices in the wind.

There are plenty of experiments that demonstrate how the mind creates the picture of reality. One example - chronic back and fantom limb pain. How it happens is explained by Melzack's neuromatrix theory of pain. Many experiments demonstrate that the "external" reality is constructed in the same way.

As far as the survival of consciousness is concerned, I am not convinced. Sure, mediums, past lives regression etc. But it is similar to looking at the photos of the deceased grandparents and saying: "See, they are alive!" NDEs prove even less, and all that's seen by patients during cardiac arrests can be explained from neurophysiological point of view.

For me the idea that our egos are independent entities is too limiting and not that different from the "biological robot" concept.
Yeah, there are numerous examples that support how information can be modified while it is processed; sensory information is fallible, which was my point. Consciousness, however, is different from "sensory information". Sure, it uses it for several purposes (orientation, navigation, learning, etc.) but the absence of one of these functions, while obviously affecting the perception of the world, still doesn't affect the "internal monologue". Even people suffering from deafness, blindness and muteness at once can be taught how to communicate efficiently with a tactile alphabet. Again, how you jump from a trick of the senses, to "Blackmore is right" is a mystery to me.

Also, I wasn't really discussing survival, but that analogy of the photo is really weak (also, I don't really subscribe to past life regressions, although they do have some good cases). I do, however, find it convenient that you are assuming that things like specific colors and shapes in veridical perception can be explained away with "neural remnants". People that assume so much have surely never been KOd, never-mind entered cardiac arrest if they think that such detailed reconstructions can be possible under such circumstances. But, alas, it's such a surprise to see a Lindaesque argument after so long.
 
#43
My point wasn't particularly a defense of a physicalist outlook, but a specific response to Alex's point about complex biological systems interacting with the (non-material?) consciousness field. FWIW, I think an Idealist like Bernardo would also struggle with this. Although it's probably easier for you to continue to argue against what you think I'm saying ;)
For someone that loves sarcasm so much I was expecting you to have a better sense of irony. :)
 
#44
The excellent Parnia's interview you recently linked to suggests differently. Loss of brain function is much more prolonged...

http://www.ttbook.org/listen/70341
I'm not sure if he said loss of function or permanent loss of function (cell death / irreversibility) is what is prolonged? He did say that what, if any, brain functioning occurs during that time should not be sufficient to produce such lucid thoughts/memories.

Anyway, I thought that this experience was interesting... sounds very much like the "silver cord," which by the way my wife experienced as a young kid during a spontaneous OBE. I told her that her description sounded like the "silver cord" and she said what the hell is that. She had never heard of it.

One patient was 2½ years old when he had a seizure and his heart stopped. His parents contacted Parnia after the boy "drew a picture of himself as if out of his body looking down at himself. It was drawn like there was a balloon stuck to him. When they asked what the balloon was he said, 'When you die you see a bright light and you are connected to a cord.' He wasn't even 3 when had the experience," Parnia said.
Cheers,
Bill
 
#45
That is the main NDE issue as far as I'm concerned David... and it's really one unexplained aspect of all odd phenomena generally, where people gain access to anomalous information that is highlighted and noticed, simply because it is in some way dislocated in space-time.
I'm not sure what you mean by this - do you mean how do they find the information that is relevant to them?
David
 
#47
I found myself exasperated by this rambling and incoherent interview

I can understand how Alex would be pleased to interview someone like Stephen Braude who appears to undermine science and materialism; it supports his anti-science position. But for me Alex’s anti-science rhetoric throws the baby out with the bathwater vis a vis science. And the notion that we might better replace science with miracles or shamanism indicates to me just how far Alex’s attitude has departed from reason. To a shaman in the rainforest an iphone might appear to be miraculous; but thankfully there are people who actually know the science and technology which makes them possible.

What Stephen had to say about memory was unsatisfactory too. For instance he talks about memory and remembering as closing or bridging a temporal gap. But the standard theory of memory does not claim any bridging or closing of a temporal gap as being part of the mechanism of remembering. Remembering is an entirely present moment activity. That is the role of the memory trace – to be a record or memory of the past – not a temporal connection to the actual past.

Then Stephen uses a logical regression argument to argue that memories cannot be physical traces in the brain; which is a bit like the ontological argument for the existence of god in reverse. It made no sense to me and a logical argument cannot prove or disprove a physical fact.

I am not defending the physical trace theory of memory – at least not in the case of long-term memory; I do think physical traces in the brain play a role in short term memory. I agree with Alex and I reached the same conclusions as he did for the same reasons. NDEs indicate that memory and personality etc cannot be brain dependent. I am only saying that Stephen's tennis ball argument is not viable.

On top of that Stephen does not make any suggestion at all as to what memory is or might be.

So the whole thing was tantalising and frustrating. Many important issues were touched on, but nothing was elucidated. On the contrary there was a lot of obfuscation and confusion.

I do enjoy and value these interviews. My objections are purely my response
Thanks to Alex and Stephen
 
#48
Have you forgotten that many NDE's contain views (usually from above) of the resuscitation process? These contain veridical elements.
I don't think you should get too excited about this, because even a car i capable of that:


However, I have to confess that this is the most interesting part of NDE for me. It points to the possible extra-sensory perception of the surroundings during the event. Maybe it is the reunification of personal part of consciousness with the universal consciousness field. Similar to a wave crushing back to the ocean. Though we cannot exclude sporadic return of consciousness during CPR and creation of memories later on.
 
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#49
Though we cannot exclude sporadic return of consciousness during CPR and creation of memories later on.
Of course! That explains it! Specially those that take place in the OR... And under anesthesia! What were we thinking! All of these years debating here and that never crossed our minds...

I am starting to believe that you really *are* Linda. She also enjoyed coming back to the same "arguments" that have been beaten to death... And *that* was one of them, which she (coincidentally, of course) took out for a walk before finally getting banned. How odd that she was banned the same month that you appeared: January.
 
#50
On face value some people might be persuaded by such an argument, small dog. First of all, the cortex (the top of the brain) is where humans assemble their model of the world, cognition and ability to process information. If the EEG is flat you can't have any experience according to current neuroscience . That's not my opinion it's just a fact and I'm not claiming any expertise, I'm just relaying what experts say. That paper you linked to is talking about someone in coma which means that their heart is still beating, the brain stem is intact.

In cardiac arrest, there is no blood flow into the brain (instantly) and after 10-20 seconds there is ZERO electrical activity ANYWHERE in the brain, both in the cortex top) or the brain stem (bottom) . The brain stem is not functioning which is why you can push a tube down the patients throat without the gag reflex, and the pupils don't react to light etc. Cardiac arrest is not coma, it is death (dead) and therefore it is possible to eliminate brain activity as a cause of NDE (after 10-20 seconds)
So what is it that you need for being conscious, blood flow or EEG? Cortex or brain stem?

First of all, during CPR there is blood flow to the brain, otherwise there would be no survivors. The preservation of cerebral blood flow is the whole point of CPR in fact, because the brain is the organ most sensitive to ischaemia. Four minutes seem to be critical time limit. As opposed to other tissues which can survive the absence of blood flow for couple of hours.

Second, brain stem is not needed for conscious experiences. Patients with brain stem injuries (stroke) can be conscious, for instance.

Have a look at the picture below. Isoelectric EEG is not an uncommon event during anaesthesia, especially immediately after induction, when the concentration of anaesthetic drugs is often at its highest. Yet many patients report dreams and memories after waking up, especially when prodded for it. I had a dream while being anaesthetised myself a few years ago.
EEG.jpg
While EEG is useful for some applications, it is a very crude method of assessing brain function and consciousness.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#51
To a shaman in the rainforest an iphone might appear to be miraculous; but thankfully there are people who actually know the science and technology which makes them possible.
There are shamans who exist in modern civilization - they even use iPhones. Did Alex actually say shamanism should replace science, or merely that in our efforts to understand the world shamanism might play a role along with science?

Then Stephen uses a logical regression argument to argue that memories cannot be physical traces in the brain; which is a bit like the ontological argument for the existence of god in reverse. It made no sense to me and a logical argument cannot prove or disprove a physical fact.
What's the flaw in the argument? I'm looking at the paper so if you could point out what makes no sense we can see if the argument has a flaw.

As for the physical facts seems they would only be observed correlations and cause/effect relationships? Is there any discovery in neuroscience that could only apply to consciousness as produced, rather than transmitted? As such would not the same be true of memory?
 
#52
So what is it that you need for being conscious, blood flow or EEG? Cortex or brain stem?

First of all, during CPR there is blood flow to the brain, otherwise there would be no survivors. The preservation of cerebral blood flow is the whole point of CPR in fact, because the brain is the organ most sensitive to ischaemia. Four minutes seem to be critical time limit. As opposed to other tissues which can survive the absence of blood flow for couple of hours.

Second, brain stem is not needed for conscious experiences. Patients with brain stem injuries (stroke) can be conscious, for instance.

Have a look at the picture below. Isoelectric EEG is not an uncommon event during anaesthesia, especially immediately after induction, when the concentration of anaesthetic drugs is often at its highest. Yet many patients report dreams and memories after waking up, especially when prodded for it. I had a dream while being anaesthetised myself a few years ago.
View attachment 752
While EEG is useful for some applications, it is a very crude method of assessing brain function and consciousness.
Linda, you should *really* try to avoid posting the same arguments that you posted back in December if you want to remain somewhat concealed. Or, better yet, why not come clean?

Anyways... Are you still a psychic MD or is this a different character?
 
#53
Flowers, chill, man. I am not Linda, I am the guy holding the camera in the reflection on the monitor in the picture. I took it earlier today, and the patient is still anaesthetised. See - I am an anaesthetist, and I mess with consciousness and play with electronic toys, including EEG monitors (Entropy and BIS) for ten hours every day. If you want to me to pay attention to you start posting relevant links and talk like a grown-up. If not - don't waste your time, and mine. I deal with bizarre claims on regular basis and don't need to willingly occupy myself with yours. Feel free to *engage* in a conversation.
 
#54
Three consecutive posts with three consecutive rehashes of Linda. That is, after counting the appeal to authority.

Coincidence. Sure.

I get that the forum was losing participants and the mods got lenient on the banned. But seriously, how many left because of Linda's "psychic/MD/jack of all trades" posts where she lashed based on her "authority"? (Hell, how many times did tim alone leave to stay away from him/her?)

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Edit: Ah, of course, links. I guess that having the same conversation over several days with Linda (the last time during December) is not enough. Why not begin by linking a thread where all of what you are saying now was already said: http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/top-ten-nde-myths.421/

All that is said there by Linda was repeated ad nauseam, debated ad nauseam and time was wasted ad nauseam. You must be one nasty kindred spirit to go down the same path.

In one such case, I even remember quoting studies that examined the types of dreams where AWR was reported, and which were generally "nominal, involving family members or work" and that the topics were different (in other words it lacked the uniformity of elements in NDEs, not counting "cultural" or "individual" elements), some where "interrupted" by waking up in the OR, none where "mystical" or even explored such topics (nevermind being limited to dead people), etc... In other words, "regular dreams". So, let's try to avoid that red herring this time, ok?

But, of course, you already knew what was meant by NDEs at the OR/under anesthesia; veridical cases (and of course, if you truly are an anesthesiologist then you know that the methods used to protect the cornea leave little room to "catch" any sensory input from the eye, which takes us to...). We already discussed the Reynolds and "shoe" cases (among others) to death, with the same discussion about the viability of vibrations betraying intricate shape (as opposed to a basic concept) and color and depurated all angles to a T and then some. Over and over and over. So, excuse me if I'm not buying into this crap again.
 
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#55
Small Dog,

Why not start a new thread to discuss physiological issues related to NDE's. You could even copy/paste one or two of your posts from this thread into that place. This is a subject that needs discussing, but this thread is meant to be about the podcast.

Edit: The new thread is called
General discussion of NDE's and OBE's

and can be found in the consciousness section.

Ideally can you please copy your posts over there and remove them from this thread.

David

David
 
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#57
So what is it that you need for being conscious, blood flow or EEG? Cortex or brain stem?
For consciousness, a working cortex, supplied with oxygenated blood with glucose. You also need a brain stem to function because ALL the function of the brain passes through that and the eyes ears and gag reflex are controlled by it.

First of all, during CPR there is blood flow to the brain, otherwise there would be no survivors.
There is insufficient blood supply, only 10 % (according to Parnia who has measured it ) achievable during CPR.

"...otherwise there would be no survivors"

No, people have survived absent of heartbeat without CPR for tens of minutes, it all depends on the circumstances.

Four minutes seem to be critical time limit.
That's completely wrong

QUOTE="Small Dog, post: 92547, member: 2564"]Second, brain stem is not needed for conscious experiences. Patients with brain stem injuries (stroke) can be conscious, for instance.[/QUOTE]

Injuries but not absence of according to the literature

Brain stem

The brain stem is the stem-like part of the base of the brain that is connected to the spinal cord.

The brain stem controls the flow of messages between the brain and the rest of the body, and it also controls basic body functions such as breathing, swallowing, heart rate, blood pressure, consciousness, and whether one is awake or sleepy.

Brain stem death is where a person no longer has any activity in their brain stem, and has permanently lost the potential for consciousness and the capacity to breathe. This may happen even when a ventilator is keeping the person's heart beating and oxygen is circulating through their blood.

The Brain Stem

Pretty much everyone knows that the brain stem connects the spinal cord to the brain proper. It deals with highly instinctive survival functions including breathing, digestion, heart rate, and blood pressure; and controls many reflex motor responses. The brain stem includes the reticular formation, which is > *essential to consciousness* < and plays a major role in arousal (being awake and alert). The brain stem receives many types of sensory input and 'pre-processes' it before sending it on to higher parts of the human brain. The top section of the brain-stem is called the pons (bridge).


Yet many patients report dreams and memories after waking up, especially when prodded for it. I had a dream while being anaesthetised myself a few years ago.
That's as maybe but your brainstem was still intact and the point I'm trying to make is that in cardiac arrest the brainstem doesn't function, the patient is dead. If that is you, Linda we've been over this many times..
 
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#58
I don't think memories could be stored in the brain unless remembering involves reconstruction of past brain states through some sort of temporal quantum computing memory... And maybe that's what the guest meant by bridging - a reconnection of present brain state to past brain state through some sort of entanglement that spans time and space.

I'm thinking of what I've read about quantum computing how a quantum computer should be able to break combinatorial codes very quickly since it sort of tries them all at once? (That's probably a terrible summary of quantum computing). But the idea is that a past brain state is like a combinatorial code a few thousand characters long and the future brain during the process of remembering "breaks the code" which recreates the brain state.

What about NDE and OBE? I feel fairly certain that when out of the material body our consciousness must embody a new kind of material body. Otherwise how could one perceive from a point of view if not confined to a location? This new material is not composed of atoms though. Some have called this the light body or etheric body or astral body. Perhaps this new body does not have to remember through solving a complex combinatorial problem, but rather has larger (administrator) access to the database and can use various identity keys to access various other points of view at various times. It is also not limited to the brain state data but can perceive all the data or whatever data is of interest. This is why people during NDE and life review report seeing from an omni directional point of view and being able to see through things or to see and feel from other perspectives.

So this would be the simulation hypothesis. Reality is constructed from an external reality...it could be simulations all the way down. And the past is not gone but still exists stored in form in the material of the external reality.
 
#60
Small Dog,

Why not start a new thread to discuss physiological issues related to NDE's. You could even copy/paste one or two of your posts from this thread into that place. This is a subject that needs discussing, but this thread is meant to be about the podcast.

Edit: The new thread is called
General discussion of NDE's and OBE's

and can be found in the consciousness section.

Ideally can you please copy your posts over there and remove them from this thread.

David

David
I apologize for the hijacking attempt. You are right, and I will post in the appropriate section.
 
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