tv Michael Gazzaniga The Consciousness Instinct CSPAN June 11, 2018 7:00am-8:00am EDT
it is my great pleasure to welcome those of you who are new tohis room. to the 21st anniversary meeting. into introduce today's keynote speaker. you may have come across this intriguing sentence. in the backseat of a new york city taxi. was one of those passengers and he has been the father and of common neuroscience. trying to understand how the human brain gives rise to the human experience. he is therefore someone who needs no introduction and who also who could never be given an introduction sufficiently long to give justice. this work has been cited over 45,000 times with 10,000 of
those citations. ranging from his 1976 paper. to t0 p00er in brain. he has edited the book that has gone many of us excited about the field of study in the first place and that serves as our compass. if you haven't read those foundational texts. i encourage you to do so. the many books that he's written he's also ensured that they findings are communicated clearly.
it is not hyperbole i don't think. for the training a inspiration that mike has provided. it is hard to trace an academic lineage that does not find its roots intertwined. in addition to his groundbreaking research he has invested tremendous time i expect we all continue that they are presenting at this, fritz. in addition to being a founder
for the study the mind at ucsb. founding record of the author residence. among his accolades which are far too long for me to list here. he is been elected to the academy of arts and scientists. if you're interested in learning more about his maroc -- miraculous career. read his book about the life in neuroscience. he also has a new book out.
there is no one more fitting for this keynote address that michael. his vision for what the field could become through many of us. he continues to inspire future generations. he is uniquely able to reflect back on the history of this field and how we have gone to where we are now. and if the past is any predictor of the future he is also well-suited to look ahead at what insights they can provide over the next quarter-century. a particular honor to take that there. [applause]. >> think you liz for that marvelous introduction. some of my family is here i hope they heard it.
i really very honored to be here with the invitation of society and i deeply appreciate it and my appreciation is shown by the fact that my new book is out therend m t you is to take a copy. and if you don't like it give it to your graduate student or whoever. i thought before we get into the subject of consciousness i would like to say with five minutes or so the history of the great society. we kept evolving and now we had free and open discussions about extremely important topics. you know what. i think they loaded the wrong
and george and i used to meet there after work. they have a way of motivating its faculty. he invented fire to what has he done legally. and that sort of keeps you on your toes. it's really a story about his generosity and his vision. he immediately incorporated the ideas into his thinking even though he has a time was a scientist and we immediately arranged to have them talking to them we cultivated the
field enter growth of that. convinced other foundations to launch this new field. and you can see your favorite neural psychologist there. they all came to new york enthusiastically to help us kick this thing off. but i also want two-point out to you that have a cough. i want to emphasize the role of play and part of that early time. we still hold these early
meetings. and those of you to hold that hold meetings let me give you a piece of advice. pick a wonderful place for there's no cell phone activity and stay there week. in ideas and memory lane. we went off to maria. they're smart. they all take to having lively discussions. a lot of things were going on in those late 70s and 80s. it was the derivatives of this wonderful discussion.
and peter fox. they really launched a thousand shipshere could be a human neural ogy. now there are discussions of where it goes and house to interpret it. and then of course there was the founding of the journal of cognitive narrative scientists. it is in fact charlotte :-) the managing editor. he started the journal into this day and remains a managing editor under the new leadership of mark esposito. and all of this was in there
it is impossi tcify what it is and what it does. and why it is evolved. it goes deeper than that. a few years back i was on my way to oxford for a brain meeting. that is the passport control. an agent says somebody do. i said i'm a professor. he said what in. neuroscience. he's looking at my passport. neuroscience. he said left brain right brain, and i said i said yes.
he seems my passport hands it back to me and says where you going. to oxford for meeting unconsciousness. have you ever thought about quitting while your head. it's a tough problem. we know there are lots of people worrying about it. we can frame it that some people think that that consciousness itself can be studied something in the
brain. you will find a mechanism of it. you think someone like dian bennett it is certainly interesting. it's an illusion. there is things in their working along. we understand all of that. but we are full every time. we will find out are we going to replace it because maybe the rest of it is in the illusionary category. i will give you a quick breakneck review of the matter from the history of philosophy. and then tell you a little bit about the structural model.
egyptians. the egyptians the egyptians believed the nature and the world were one. in the nile river and it just like i did. she was meant mad and it was not because there was the brain at the other end. the understanding of the world. it was ported out by henrietta. it's about. it's a third-party we can understand it.
just think what an enormous idea it was. their disciples they decided to look at this thing called the human body and some greeks went to egypt where you can dissect bodies. i have this idea that the spirits may flow through the hollis -- the hollow nerves. he couldn't dissect. because you couldn't dissect in rome.
he was allowed to use gladiator bodies. and baboons. the appellate the processes in the art. they're all famous things. and then paved the way. little did he think that that view of what was going on would stick around for 1400 years. we are worried about our three three-year grant renewal. none of us think this is the last for 1400 years. he gets the anatomy right. he basically puts everything in the brain.
that same coffeehouse was others who came up with the idea of the molecule. also the french philosopher. they didotind the relief hysterical either. any combination could reflect on themselves. therefore a human human must have another soul. guess who else was at that same sloan. can you imagine. thomas hobbes was there. will get to that in a second. they're all working the stuff out.
i'm thinking and i have no doubt about it. i am not wrong. i think therefore i am. it's out of that he arrives. but he was there. he believed that this irrational mind that he constructed and makes contact in the brain as we all know. that was the only undecided a structure in the brain. i have to point out his notion of brain as a machine came directly from there. hobbes as i said it was at
that same sloan he said no to the steel. didn't buy any of it. and as i liked it put it. thought like an engineer about the mind in the brain. he then have a fruitful life meaning. it's fascinating and it has tentacles. working out all the intricacies. each one is rich. what we look back on. is setting the stage. and let's establish the science. and get this done. and him to my way of thinking.
with the british neuroscience. and he really has the engineering view that he believes that there a immortality of the soul. and my mentor robert sperry at there was emergent properties that were than controlling the lower process in the brain. thehey are. those are the three ideas that they came up with. he didn't believe the mind hit the brain. sperry and the chemical
some of which it was even reviewed for us. and i would say that there was many cognitive miles that think there is a system in the brain. into what patterns have to be involved in order for the conscious experience. there are many incredible scientists that had worked on it. and they are all they all i would say they involve the notion of the systems.
we will figure will figure out how this thing i would say they are relying on what i would call large centralized circuits. i have a different hunch and i'm an essay if we are going to understand this problem then able particular school skills that we have. what i'm going to suggest is that in fact what consciousness is as a bubbling up of different specialized systems in a moment in time and through time it appears as a stream of conscious
experience. that's a big statement. and it's time to see why anybody would say that. let me try to tell you. this allows me to say i continue to think the most riveting each with its own set of controls. we've been studying this for a long time. that's what we want to examine. the moment i would show this short clip of my colleague several years ago testing the
i don't see it, i just did it. here were two things. and then you think about disruptions which the neuropsychologist and we all know about. they are truly astounding. you can get disruptions of space and memory and language of all kinds. wherever the legion is. you never say the purchase -- the person is not conscious. you can't stamp it out. you can't stamp it out.
and each one of these particular specialties have its own enabling circuit that allows that skill to have a felt sense of some capacity. and let me just show you how you can possibly think about this. this is an absolutely fascinating thing. a split brain patient. the words can be breakfast. and the way it set up. she fixates in the middle of the word. the right brain sees the word break you and i would just see it as breakfast. this particular patient actually speaks out here.
what she can do. what she does is in fact the right brain speaks first. and you'll hear her say the left brain hears that a it has to do fast. and so it corrects the right brain and she says breck fast. but that's not why i'm saying it. that's just a little sidelight to the table it's too mental systems pouring out itself through time. in fact it's module. much of it and it and see what you think.
anybody in science and physics and elsewhere. the thought of figuring out an explanation for how mind generates and how they find a mental state. it's something that has worried people for years. the passage from physics to the brain of the correspondent facts. is unthinkable how are these processes connected. the chasm between the two classes of phenomenon. more recently we have no idea how the physical object could constitute that.
there seems to be no discernible connection between those things. this is impossible. and as far as i know there's absolutely no buddy that actually knows how it works. we should be thinking about it. as an important idea. and it turns out as you dig into the literature and read around an early philosophy and biology. the book that you all get on the way out. i i'm in a call at it the chicago school. michael polygamy. the great philosophy.
the great theoretical biologist. and my mentor. they all touch each other. i discovered in the process of writing. there's something else to figure out here. we have to get our have around something. what they did. you have to set the boundary conditions. so as he put it. the machine as a whole works under the control of two distinct principles. the higher one as a principal of the machine says i and this one is a lower one which consists of physical chemical processes. it's in the defined space
robert rosen was right there. but it this way. organization must be independent from the material particles which seemingly comes into a living system. it completely changes the matter it has made every eight weeks. they will follow them right through the organism and missing entirely. you're working in a space these people. contributed to what is called of field relational biology. the structure and architecture. and the organization. as they put it and throw away the matter.
people know this but i would not say it's a dominant view or feeling and those of us trying to figure out how the how the brain does the tricks. two current pioneers. and my knowing about how he came through writing this book. he was a sanford trained physicist. he spent his life. over the course of his professional career. he sought writing 15 so writing 15 or so. he thinks deeply about the cut between in adamant.
of how the brain does is tricks. about john doyle the professor of control and dynamic positions. they are picking up on this and more. about layered systems is how we should think about our problem. he want to know about how he became adamant. it's actually a fascinating story. he was sitting in a lecture. in caltech as a high school student and given by linus pauly. and he sort of raises the question in the quantum physics dilemma.
the sandman this young man got this question in his head. and then trying to spent his life figuring it out. to figure out how in animate stuff goes from here it follows all chemical principles of the world. and becomes life. this is by the way a little editorializing here. it is a real inter- disciplinary idea. i've no business reading the stuff. we talk about all the time. but we really do it. as i think really exciting. and it's fun too.
anyway. the editorial over. replicability. he have to replicability. obviously if somethings can have life. and in order to do that. and needs a set of extra extruded instructions to tell the system how to build another one. and as we know. from life it's a vulnerable so that coded symbolic information can vary much and in the variation you can of course have natural selection work on the variation in that process go forward. and then finally there is a complementarity. somehow obscene cheated the physical matter. and then you have a code that is read by this instruction
which then becomes what can be changed in implementation. so evolvability becomes the clue for closing the gap let me just say this and then see if i can make it clear. hopefully this is clear in the book. to evolve the process is to introduce variations so natural selection can begin its work and variation had to come from a code and abstract reliable presentation of the wrist instructions. it codes themselves but they are symbols and they are subjective to follow note physical laws and there's the trick right there. the gap between life and substance.
so how are becky's idea. let me restate it. and then we will go. each layer has indeed demand. how do the letters communicate across i love that. on one side there is a firing of neurons on the other side there are symbols and representation of the physical but also has a physical reality. only one side can be evaluated at a time. both are real in physical intangible and this then is complementarity idea on a larger scale. you don't get this up and have a drink. if you think about it and go
around and roll around. it's also part of this whole layed idea that brings up my last thing.about john doyle at caltech. you think of layers we all know what layers are as common in computer science world. just to make it concrete is a perfect analogy but help you think about it. this is a hardware or software distinction. you've a motherboard in your computer that's useless. and lets you put them together and then you get a powerpoint presentation of the deal. understanding what's going on.
repssented wit one of the deep scientific problems everywhere. how do the layers interact. we have layers everybody knows this. you all flew here. this little plane has a hundred 50,000 modules in us thousand computers. it used to be this didn't have any computers in the pilot actually it was really manipulating the waters on the wing. the 747 has a thousand computers. they are playing with the joystick. it's because of all of the layers that are allowing for stability but also fragility.
and this is because of my voice. the system's bride to is bride to understand biological systems. the wind up the constant consciousness and instinct. as william james says. they are the functional core list of structure. a single complex action may involve successfully the waking of impulses it could be a quick in sync. but then something like language and consciousness it's just a rattling off of the little instincts into one that looksike something else. and william james made the bold statement. every brain cell has its own individual const justice. i don't go there but i thought i would throw it in.
is there any evidence for this kind of things. let me just refer to this exciting new word. we figure it out and there's 29 specific networks in the brain. each controlling a specific layer. as is just a resequencing of these capacities. you get it. there is an underlying notion that there is in our specific systems to every reordered through time to produce behavior. so that bubbling brain. i lined myself up at these people. every impulse and every step
in every insync shines with its own sufficient light and seems at the moment the only internally right and proper thing to do. it's done for its own thing. as i said earlier. the mind is kind of a theater. they glide away and mingle. in the incident variety of postures and situations. and the great british physiologists. how far is is the mind. in large measure by concurrence. it can just join it all. it's in the book. read it. but i should leave you with one thought of william james. good humor as a physical philosophical state of mind. the nature that we take no more seriously than she takes us.
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when you what he noticed about that ad. it's funny. what else you notice. it is entire not to smoke. i was driving with my kids on the way to camp in the summer of 2016 i was telling them about this book i was starting to work on they said what's it about and it's all about how change happens. everybody's to smoke and now nobody does. smoking is really bad. like that cap video. the only person on earth that have never seen that video. we got home and we search on youtube. it had millions of views. it works.
not necessarily could i told him not too. but because kids care about their pets. more importantly no stupid pet videos. it sounds silly but there were millions of research on a lot of evidence behind that campaign. they got into get into the psychological profile the behavioral economics and how to get things and makes decisions. then they hired up a big ad agency to come up with something that would be a hit. and the reason why it works is because it's appealing. it makes smoking uncool it sells it the same way that tobacco companies were selling you marble man. you can watch this and other programs online at book tv.org.
here is a look at some books being published this week. in jerusalem j second low offers a political and social argument. investigative journalist reports on corruption within fee for the world governing body for soccer in red card. in the bone and sinew of the land. anna lisa cox recalls a black pioneers in the frontier they settled prior to the civ war. they explore the changes in how wars have been fought over the past 60 years. how the upbringing shook the psychological career. watch for many of the others in the near future on book tv.
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