[David Goldstein (2013.07.26.15:45)]
Chapter 3, Premises
Study Guide for
Chapter on Premises
If all perceptions are âneural currentsâ? then
why do all perceptions seem so different from each other. Why does the
perception of âblueâ? differ from a perception like âhonestyâ? if they are both just
the rates of firing of neurons?
The input functions which create the perception of âblueâ?
and âhonestyâ? must be different. As we
will see when we discuss the hierarchy, blue is at a sensation level and
honesty is probably at a principle level.
What is the advantage of the premise that all
perceptions are âneural currentsâ??
This premise allows the different levels in the hierarchy to
work together. The error signals at one level become the reference signals at
the immediately lower level. Perceptual signals at one level are combined to
become perceptual signals at the immediately higher level. If the common currency of âneural curentsâ?
(more generally, nervous system activity) was not used, this would not be
Do you agree that âexperienced realityâ? is
different from âa supposed external realityâ? as Bill says on page 39 of the
chapter? If so, why? If not, why not?
Yes. People with hallucinations and delusions take them as
reality. Dreams seem real to a younger child who may think that the dream is
taking place in the environment.
Why does Bill prefer the analog computer as
a model for the nervous system over the digital computer?
I think the basic reason has to do with the phenomenon of
control. Bill had the insight that the amplifier was controlling its input. As
he said, when one is going to model a control system with a digital computer,
one has to introduce make some special adjustments. Bill also says in the
chapter that the assumptions of taking the digital computer as a model of the
nervous system has some serious problems with it.
As an exercise, try to relate the
analog components described in Ch. 3 to the components of the basic control
system as implemented in Powersâ Live Block Diagram program.
The adder is a model for how the
input function might work. The
subtractor may be a model for the comparator. The integrator and differentiator
may be a model for the output function, I am not really sure.