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PENN / Cognitive Science / COGS 140 / What is the problem of qualia for which theory of mind is allegedly a

What is the problem of qualia for which theory of mind is allegedly a

What is the problem of qualia for which theory of mind is allegedly a


School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Cognitive Science
Course: Intro to Cognitive Science
Professor: Lyle david hoyt brainard
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: emotion and consciousness
Cost: 25
Name: CIS 140 Week 9
Description: Covers emotion, consciousness lectures
Uploaded: 10/30/2016
9 Pages 160 Views 1 Unlocks

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

What is the problem of qualia for which theory of mind is it allegedly a difficulty?

CIS 140 Week 9


- What Marr Levels describe emotion?

- Two different kinds of happiness: pleasure vs. satisfaction with life - Sadness function: empathy, helps you relate to others, prevents you from doing  same action that caused the sadness again

- Anger function: spurs you to change your environment

- Disgust: can function as a survival tool, avoid contagion of diseases - Surprise: could start your flight or fight instinct  

- For a computer: we don't care about the feeling associated with the emotion, just  care about the functionality of said emotion (Ex. want self-driving car to be  functionally upset if it ran over a dog, so it would not make that mistake again)

What role does your physiological physical response play in your emotional experience?

- Emotion involves body and brain:

- a conscious mental reaction

- subjectively experienced as a strong feeling — QUALIA

- usually directed toward specific object

- typically accompanied by: physiological and behavior changes in the body - * we are trying to distinguish between physiological emotion from subjective  conscious emotion (aka feeling) If you want to learn more check out What reactions make atp and be able to explain what is happening in each reaction?

- Components of Emotion:

- main components are physiological, behavioral, and subjective feeling - Question: Why have qualia and not just information processing? - Core emotions: valence and arousal

What does the james lange theory of emotion suggest about how we experience emotion?

- valiance (positive vs. negative)

- arousal (intensity)

- Ex. low valence, low arousal = depression


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

- Many emotions are universal

- Six basic universal emotions:

- anger, fear, disgust, happiness, surprise, sadness

- What is the function of the physiological effects of emotion?

- of disgust: maybe scrunching nose helps block bad smell

- Measuring emotion:

- direct assessment — but people don't always know how they're feeling or why - observe choice of action

- response facilitation or inhibition

- physiological variables associated with the autonomic nervous system - heart rate, galvanic skin response (GSR) = skin conductance response  (SCR) We also discuss several other topics like What is the procedure milgram experiment?

- Models of emotion:

- William James-Lange argues we’re sad because we cry, not cry because we’re  sad — very oversimplified (not every time we tear, we get sad)

- The subjective experience of emotion is the awareness of our own bodily  changes in the presence of arousing stimuli

- James-Lange theory of emotion:

- Pro: everyday experience suggests info. from our body contributes to emotional  experience, facial feedback hypothesis, emotional intensity appears to be  reduced in patients with spinal chords which have been accidentally severed

- Con: emotional arousal may last longer than physical, emotional “feelings” are  too rapid compared to autonomic responses, epinephrine study (Ex. spiked  lemonade before exam)

- Somatic Marker theory:

- a somatic marker is a physiological emotion (ex. increased heart rate) - somatic markers tell your body how to act — a change in soma (body) acts as a  marker (sign or signal) for how you're feeling


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

- extreme hypothesis: brain concocts experience of feelings to explain bodily  reactions

- con: same autonomic responses can accompany different emotions - Subcortical regions are key to emotion We also discuss several other topics like What is the meaning of contrast and examples?

- subcortical regions mediate emotion (cats with hypothalamus removed do not  display emotional responses) If you want to learn more check out Is it really more expensive to eat healthy food?

- subcortical structures often have a double function

- coordinate motor commands regulate peripheral signs of emotion - control cognitive perception of emotion We also discuss several other topics like Which layer of soil contains dead and decaying plants and animals?

- Hypothalamus: controls body temp, hunger, important aspects of parenting, thirst,  fatigue, sleep, etc

- Autonomic Nervous System:

- subcortical structures are critical for controlling smooth muscles, heart, exocrine  glands

- sympathetic division governs “fight or flight”  

- parasympathetic division governs “rest and digest”

- emotions can help maintain homeostasis — change in environment leads to  change in action to balance out/reject the “disturbance to your system” to keep  body stable

- physical and emotional homeostasis controlled by same region of the brain - Ex. of ANS function — provides rapid response to sudden changes in  environment and self

- Orbitofrontal cortex: Don't forget about the age old question of What is the number of wave cycles per second?

- impulse control

- mostly associated with executive function: cognitive processes that regulate,  control, and manage other cognitive processes

- associated with social and emotional decision making

- Site of “Gage” lesion: includes regulation of our ability to inhibit, act on social and  emotional stimuli


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

- Decisions Require Emotion:

- perceptually dominated behavior (Ex. patient sees glasses, puts them on even  though he already has a pair on)

- Orbitofrontal cortex processes emotional feedback, associated with  reinforcement properties, failure to encode reinforcement leads to poor decision  making

- Orbitofrontal lesions: absence of autonomic response to disturbing images, but  can give normal description using emotion words

- this affects decision making — verbalizing and actually feeling are different - Amygdala’s role in emotion:

- important for emotional learning and memory

- damage impairs conditioned fear response

- Fear Conditioning and implicit emotional learning: Ex. — meet someone on train,  train crashes, later see the person and feel uneasy around them (this shows fear  conditioning)

- Implicit emotional learning: a patient with bilateral damage to amygdala does not  acquire conditioned fear response, although has explicit knowledge, is aware of  contingencies

- Sociopaths have 18% smaller amygdala on average, greatly reduced fear  conditioning, decreased responsiveness to negative stimuli  

- Implicit and Explicit Learning and Emotion:

- Implicit emotional learning depends on Amygdala

- Two Important Pathways:

- fast — from thalamus — incomplete stimulus analysis

- slow — from cortex — in-depth analysis of stimuli

- Explicit emotional learning Amygdala interacts with hippocampal memory system - most memory is emotionally laden

- Summary:

- Emotions result from interplay between:


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

- amygdala and hippocampus

- autonomic nervous system and frontal cortex

- Amygdala triggers autonomic responses, then responses are integrated by the  hypothalamus

- cortex modulates response by way of a second circuit

- Emotion seems to be required for decision-making

- Why have an unconscious physiological response and a subjective/conscious  emotion?

- Need speed in decision making

- Don’t necessarily need conscious emotion to make good decision (cant hold  many things in the working memory at the same time, so a lot of decisions need  to be made subjectively)

- But need conscious decisions because gut reactions aren’t always the right  ones, need to be able to override


- What is consciousness?

- awareness of one’s self and one’s surroundings

- Two levels of consciousness:

- Phenomenal consciousness (P-consciousness)

- describes as attention, qualia, feeling, core or primary consciousness - missing in: persistent vegetative state (PVS), etc.

- Access consciousness (A-consciousness)

- self-awareness, introspection, memory, extended or higher order  consciousness

- Humans cannot be P without A

- P-consciousness “hard problem”:

- it is private (subjective)

- can’t feel your pain; can just imagine feeling it

- watching neurons fire is not experiencing them fire


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

- aka — not measurable

- qualia — sensory experience is different from knowledge

- What use is consciousness?

- “as far as anybody knows, anything that our conscious minds can do they could  do just as well if they weren't conscious”  

- a lot of what we do and our decision-making is unconscious

- Perception need not be conscious

- Blindsight (unilateral neglect)

- Someone who lost his smell suddenly realized he was smelling all the time - We do many things unconsciously:

- regulate body (breathe, digest food, etc.)

- physical actions (throw ball, ride a bike, drive car, etc.)

- implicit memory, decision making (judge people as good/bad, etc.) - Why not be a (philosophical) zombie?

- zombie — a being that lacks consciousness

- Why have P-consciousness:

- attention, unite different brain modules, differentiate actual experience from  memory and dreams

- Consciousness unites perception:

- sensory input from the world is sporadic and distributed, but we perceive the  world as continuous and integrated

- unites memory and perception: allows for scene construction and interpretation  (integration of present scene with previous conscious experience)

- relation of decision and action — decisions often precede consciousness - Auditory continuity illusion — tone sounded like a continuous sound with the noise  overlaid on top, not broken up or interrupted by the noise

- tone followed by noise followed by tone perceive tone as continuing through the  noise


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

- tone followed by noise perceive tone as stopping when noise starts - creates paradox, as if your basing your decision on something happening in the  future

- Delays in conscious awareness

- if you electrically stimulate the cerebral cortex of conscious patients, stimulus  must be continued for ~0.5s for subjects to report conscious experience of the  stimulation

- Decisions precede consciousness

- experiment: ask subjects to move their fingers when they feel like doing so,  showed that with EEG, could predict when subjects were going to move several  seconds before they did it; people are conscious of deciding to move 200ms  before moving

- Have dual thought mechanisms (unconscious [heuristic, emotional, fast], conscious  [rational, reasoned, slow])

- Have dual visual perception — for perception and for action  

- Origins of consciousness:

- physiological emotion —> awareness (P-consciousness) —> self awareness (A consciousness)

- Why have A-consciousness?

- movie-inside-the-brain contains the observed self as well as the observed  environment

- Modeling of self vs. others — I form models of how others think, so I form models  of how I think

- Consciousness is serial:

- much of mental processing is in parallel (ex. early visual or auditory processing) - a small amount of perception rises to be conscious (nearly serial processing) - limited working memory and limited attention

- Neurons follow attention:

- Necker Cube Ex. — when Necker cube perception switches, neurons switch 7

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

- Flash suppression experiment Ex. — Flash a new image onto one eye, while  maintaining image on the other eye, will only perceive the flashed image

- Neural correlates of consciousness

- not primarily cortex

- recurrent thalami-cortical resonance key — reduced in PVS patients - binding of multi-model perception (and consciousness) may be accomplished by  synchronized gamma oscillations

- Different regions of the brain synchronize oscillations when they are unifying  parts of the perceptual field or other percepts into a single gestalt

- Human awareness seems to derive from “winner-take-all” competition amongst  subconscious neural assemblies

- Neuronal Oscillations:

- neuronal groups tend to oscillate (3-8 Hz = theta oscillations, 30-80 Hz = gamma  oscillations)

- The oscillations affect timing and likelihood of spike output, sensitivity to synaptic  input

- oscillations propagate through brain

- Thalamus (ILN) needed for awareness

- ILN (Intralaminar nuclei) in thalamus is part of system that connects brains tim to  cortex

- “Aha” Experience:

- solving problems is mostly done unconsciously

- when one becomes aware of solution to the problem: this instant is characterized  by long distance synchronized oscillations

- activates prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate, insula

- The Insula: unites body representation and subjective emotional experience - receives information from "homeostatic afferent" sensory pathways via thalamus  - sends output to the amygdala, the ventral striatum and the orbitofrontal cortex


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

- implicated in conscious desires, such as drug and food addictions - damage to insula can break cigarette addiction

- The Chinese Room — can argue the room is conscious; not all the components are,  but the system altogether is

- can pass the Turing Test but not be conscious; counterargument: the neurons of  your brain are not conscious (rather, the whole system together is conscious)


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