From: William Treurniet <wtreurniet.nul> Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2012 13:21:13 -0400 Archived: Mon, 23 Apr 2012 07:07:47 -0400 Subject: Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary >From: Cathy Reason<Cathym.nul> >To: UFO UpDates - Toronto<post.nul> >Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2012 12:26:27 +0100 >Subject: Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary >>From: Eugene Frison<cthulhu_calls.nul> >>To:<post.nul> >>Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2012 10:56:18 -0500 >>Subject: Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary ><snip> >>There is no such thing as red or blue light. There is a field of >>energy composed of electric and magnetic vectors propagating at >>right angles through space, of a frequency (rate of vibration) >>that causes the brain to create the experience of red or blue. >>There is no red or blue color anywhere in the electromagnetic >>field itself. >Now I think you're confusing the mechanisms of perception with >the phenomenology. And it's true that the phenomenology of >perception is something we don't really understand - hence the >notorious "hard problem" of consciousness. It's also true that >some people believe the same sort of functional approaches we >use to understand the mechanisms of perception should also work >on the phenomenology. I don't agree with this and believe it >leads to all sorts of conceptual confusion, so to that extent, I >think you have a point. >But when it comes to the mechanisms of perception, what we >really want to know is whether those mechanisms are reliable >enough to extract from the world the information we need to >survive in it. And that is pretty much guaranteed by natural >selection. >>What psychology does when it proceeds from this premise is no >>different from what other fields of science do when they proceed >>from a premise that they view as valid (having been well >>established) in their field. >It's true that all sciences involves assumptions. But in most >sciences, these assumptions are stated explicitly and always >subject to revision and test. It's true this doesn't always >happen the way it's supposed to. The difference is that in >psychology it hardly ever happens the way it's supposed to. I think I'm finally starting to see in the last paragraph some of what Cathy is getting at. Many psychology experiments are designed based on a particular underlying model. The models have progressed from a telephone switchboard analogy, to a computer software analogy, to an analogy with networks having strange attractor dynamics. Unfortunately, experimenters have often behaved as if each model were true and not just an analogy. Early on, a node in the telephone switchboard model would be a single neuron standing, for example, for one's grandmother, hence the 'grandmother cell'. In the computer software model, grandmother would be represented in a box of the schematic diagram as a list of properties in a grandmother schema. It's not entirely clear how this box mapped onto the physiology of the brain. Later, in the network model, grandmother would be represented by the state of a large population of cells and their interconnections. In each case, the model was taken from fields outside of psychology and was assumed to underlie how the brain worked. Ideally, if the brain's functions are to be explained at the physiological level, it should be in terms of what is known about the brain's physiology. Neural network models are a step in this direction, but they are typically too simplistic, and modelers bring over concepts from mathematics and engineering only because they can. If the brain's functions are to be understood symbolically, then a model based on what we know about symbols would be appropriate. This seems to be what Jung and his ilk were all about. Incidentally, such differences in level of analysis may be adding some degree of confusion to the overall picture. A psychological theory of F.W.H. Myers published around 1900 is very clear in assuming that the contents of conscious awareness is a small part of a large sea of mostly unconscious information. The mind implements filters that allow more or less of this information into awareness. This theory has been resurrected by Kelly et al. (2007) in "Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century". Maybe this is a sign that psychology is getting back on track. Myers' theory lost traction against the push of behaviourism probably because it assumed a mind-body dualism. But such dualism is obvious based on phenomenological arguments, so it has to be part of a comprehensive theory of psychology. I used a version of Myers' theory in an article on another topic at http://www.treurniet.ca/psi/narcolepsy.htm Figure 1 in the article shows a schematic diagram of a dualistic mind-brain model where the brain is the interface between the physical world and the mind. The mind is also connected to a non-material information field where personal and transpersonal information is stored. If the transpersonal information is accessible to all minds, we can account for shared archetypal experiences, including those reported by people abducted by fairies or ETs. William Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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