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Not that simple.

The Mind reconfigures neural pathways.  Among those so configured are the pathways to/from the diencephalon where the Thalamus and Hypothalamus major control areas for the endocrine system are.  

Thus, what you think may become what you are.

Also, the Thalamus is the 'ante room' to the two cerebral hemispheres where higher cognitive functions are located.  As the body does its 'thing' messages are passed to the Thalamus through the Central Nervous System and the biochemical signals of the endocrine system.  Together these 'inform' the Thalamus which then transmits messages to the cerebral hemispheres.

Thus, what you are may become what you think.

Out of the googleplex of messages being transmitted eventually some of what you think will become what you are.  Out of the googleplex of messages being transmitted eventually some of what you are will become what you think.

On a simplistic level, the homeostasis system will generate signals to the Thalamus which send signals to the cerebral cortex which will result in the thought, "Let's go out for a pizza."

It works the other way as well.  That's how we can make the decision to hold our breath so we don't drown while swimming under water.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 09:56:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How does this involve quantum mechanics?

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 12:59:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At any level from chemical or electrical activity within brain cells to the unfolding and decay of galaxies, the basic building blocks are in action according to their QM or post-QM laws?

Newton's Gravity still affects brain components.  Why not other physical aspects?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 02:52:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quantum effects can be ignored in transistors down to a certain size, that is, above the feature size cutoff, starting from maxwell's equations we can predict the transistor's behavior mathematically among all the transistor's variables we are concerned with to the degree of precision we want. Below the cutoff, quantum effects have a non-negligible impact on a number of variables we do care about and Maxwell's equations are not good enough for our purposes.

Similarly we may or may not need quantum mechanics to describe consciousness to an extent we are satisfied with. If it turns out our brains store data in quantum states, for example (admittedly I know very little about QM), then sure, QM will have to be into incorporated into an adequate description of consciousness.

I'm not equating transistors or logic gates to neurons, by the way. I'm claiming that in a universe with no apparent absolutes, pinning down assumptions through approximate models is all we can do, that this is useful, and that less sophisticated models, even those that have been superseded by models that work in a broader range of cases, can be adequate for our purposes.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 03:49:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quantum effects can be ignored in transistors down to a certain size  

Not quite:  Transistors only work BECAUSE of quantum effects.  

Without quantum effects we would still be using vacuum tubes.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 02:14:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Comment specific to the "...understanding the brain at the cellular level."  You can't understand the brain at that level.  All you understand is the diffusion of neuro-transmitters across the synaptic cleft, the electo-chemical interactions along and across the myelin sheath, & so on.  It's like trying to understand an automobile by looking at the alloys used in the metal and the petrochemicals used in the plastic.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 03:07:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What are the deeper levels involved?

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 03:57:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't understand your question.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 05:27:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If we use QM, what else can we look at?

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 01:23:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anything. Just enumerate a set of states and postulate a set of transition amplitudes.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 01:27:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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