A Relativistic Theory of Consciousness - Step Forward In Understanding Consciousness

in LeoFinance9 months ago


Consciousness is a difficult to understand, yet a very fascinating phenomenon. For centuries this topic has been within the domain of philosophers who attempted to explain consciousness in different ways. It is only recently, with an advancement in neuroscience and efforts to study and understand the brain, and development of new technologies that can read the neural activity, cognitive science has emerged. The question of consciousness still remains as one of the biggest mysteries even for science. It was, is, and will remain as one of the main interests for us to understand more about consciousness, as it may help us understand our inner selves.

Scientists from Bar-Ilan University in Israel have proposed a new theory in physics that claims to solve the mystery of consciousness. It is a Relativistic Theory of Consciousness. Feel free to read the article about this theory yourself here. Following is the summary of of the claim.

Consciousness can not simply be reduced to neural activity alone, researchers say. A novel study reports the dynamics of consciousness may be understood by a newly developed conceptual and mathematical framework.

Consciousness is our ability to observe, understand, and experience the world. It is a quality of being aware of ourselves and the world around us. For the most part it is a subjective phenomenon, in that we don't share the same exact conscious experiences. It is really fascinating how it works. We know it has something to do with the brain. Now the question is if the brain creates the consciousness or it simply represents the conscious activities and experiences.

According to the article conscious experiences is the hard problem in cognitive science. While we can read the neural activity we can't necessarily read the conscious experiences. Only the subjects of the neural activity can articulate their conscious experiences. Then we try to map patterns in neural activity based on expressed conscious experiences. In other words the one reading brain's the neural activity, would have to ask what kind of feelings the person was experiencing at a time.

The one who is actually having conscious experience would have a different perception than the one who is just observing the neural activity. They may even have complete opposite interpretations, while can be true. By developing a relative theory of consciousness, the researches believe to be able to produce conceptual and mathematical framework in understanding the consciousness. By embracing the idea that neural activity in the brain is merely representation of consciousness and looking at neural activity from relativistic point of view, will allow researchers to use the same mathematical tools that physicists use.

In a nutshell, different physical measurements in different frames of reference manifest different physical properties in these frames of reference although these frames measure the same phenomenon.

A person who is experiencing the conscious activity would have different frame of reference than a person looking at brain activity as an observer. A person who is have first hand experience is directly interacting between one part of the brain with other parts. The observer would need to observe neural representation of conscious experiences in relations to other neural representations.

I won't pretend that I fully understand the topic. But I am alway curious about how consciousness and brain works and I find these topics intriguing. Any new knowledge, understanding, and advancement in this field will have great implications in understanding ourselves as humans and the universe we live in. Any research in this field is a positive step forward, and will answer many interesting questions like the origins of consciousness. Another interesting questions that comes up these days is can AIs gain consciousness? By having a better understanding human consciousness, we might be able to answer these questions as well one day.

One of the most interesting conscious experiences is thinking, which always reminds me the brilliant philosopher and mathematician, Rene Descartes and his words "I Think Therefore I am". What do you think? Let me know int the comments.

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I think you answered your own question rather beautifully and it was just what I was going to suggest...

In my experience of "science" (which admittedly is not very much but just enough in one particular area to question the whole field...)...

I would rather consider the philosopher's than the scientist's opinion on anything to do with life and the great mysteries :)

With all due respect... scientists tend to only look at a small part of the whole and too often their "findings" are more about what they want to see, or what they already believe to be true.

Probably because of the way consciousness may "work" 😁

Great post. Again! 💥

Indeed consciousness is an ability to observe and be aware of the happenings around us. Thanks for this piece.

I think awareness with regards to consciousness should be approached scientifically from the perspective of seeing humans as higher beings.
Perhaps, the concepts of evolution might give some insight to consciousness especially in more developed forms.

I think measuring anything that has to do with our perception and topics related to consciousness will best be studied if we can extract useful data from what goes on in our brains.

Consciousness in its different ramifications can however be so abstract when studied largely from a representation of the physical measurements of what goes on in the brain.

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imagings, Electroencephalograms etc have helped us understand to some degree these concepts, but scientists still have a long way to go in defining more concrete statements about how these things work.

I am also fascinated about the topic, but the amount of information what that article added, is rather diappointing.
"when we change our assumption about consciousness and assume that it is a relativistic phenomenon, the mystery of consciousness naturally dissolves." seems a total BS to me.

The actual paper is very long and has some math in it. I didn't get a chance to go through the full paper yet. I am sure there is more substance in it. A Relativistic Theory of Consciousness

I don't understand it that much. However, if people could understand it, I wouldn't be surprised to see machines surpass humans. I just don't think it is possible to do so though.

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To me, consciousness is a kind of experience which is recorded in our mind for a lifetime. Therefore, I think the feelings such as joy, pain, fear come from there in our dreams.

That is an interesting point. I sometimes wonder if the memories are what define who we are.

Very interesting and certainly to be explored, thanks

The mystery of consciousness lies in the fact that each of us has some sort of subjectivity, something that is liking to the sense of feeling and thinking.

In contrast to being in a dreamless deep sleep, while we’re awake we don’t live in the dark or a void ,we simply experience the world and ourselves.

However, how the brain creates the conscious experience and what area of the brain is responsible for this absolutely remains a mystery.

I'm a student of science but not knowledgeable to share more about mathematics an philosophy but your thinking and knowledge share motivating me to make more research on it. My academic subject for graduation and post graduation was Physics which I love most and its near to math. I think your philosophy deserves a thumbs up and I can be a learner from your wise posts. Have a nice day mam Geekgirl.

This is indeed Interesting and it is going to be explored for sure

It's a journey. 🙏🏽🌻💚

Your post was very interesting to me, but the idea of what the world is like and how artificial intelligence can one day reach human status is very terrifying for me! Imagine that this kind of knowledge can be achieved according to the existing thinking of some governments! God have mercy on us! But if we look at it from the other side, how much such knowledge can help us as humanity!
My friend, I'm new to Hive and I'd be happy to be a part of your upvote list! Thank you.

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