Imagination Connection

[Rick Marken 2019-05-21_12:37:05]

RM: I had an interesting conversation a couple days ago with Eva de Hullu, who has made some very nice diagrams of Powers’ hierarchical model. And one of these diagrams was of the “imagination connection”. It’s the diagram on the left in the figure below. Â
image591.jpg

RM: At first I thought there was something wrong with Eva’s diagram because it shows the Output/Memory signal being short-circuited away from the reference to a lower level system (where it would go in normal “control” mode) back up into the Input function of the control system that is sending that Output/Memory signal. This seemed wrong to me because the Input function creates the perceptual signal – the one going into the comparator – from lower level perceptual inputs. So sending a remembered Output into the Input function would not create the perceptual signal specified by the reference signal. And imagination presumably occurs when a control system produces the perception specified by the reference signal without having to go through the outside world to get it.Â

RM: So thinking that Eva’s figure was incorrect, I went to the diagram of the imagination connection in B:CP and found that it’s not clear whether the diagram is right or not. The diagram in B:CP (copied on the right side of the figure above) shows only the part of Eva’s diagram that I’ve circled. It’s not clear whether the “Perceptual or Memory Signal” in the B:CP diagram is going “To” an Input function or directly to the perceptual signal of the system from whence came the Output/Memory signal. I’ve drawn a dashed line in Eva’s diagram to show where I think the short-circuited Output/Memory signal should go.Â

RM: So I post this because I think Bill’s diagram of the imagination connection is not clear (to me anyway). What Bill calls the “Perceptual or Memory Signal” could be the input to the Input function of the system to which it is going (which is how Eva’s diagram shows it) or it could simply become the perceptual signal in that system (which is how my dashed line augmentation of Eva’s diagram shows it). Any ideas about the correct way to model imagination in PCT?Â

BestÂ

Rick

···


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[Martin Taylor 2019.05.21.18.02.03]

[Rick Marken 2019-05-21_12:37:05]

    RM: I had an interesting conversation a couple days ago with Eva

de Hullu, who has made some very nice diagrams of Powers’
hierarchical model. And one of these diagrams was of the
“imagination connection”. It’s the diagram on the left in the
figure below. Â
image591.jpg

          RM: At first I thought there was something wrong with

Eva’s diagram because it shows the Output/Memory signal
being short-circuited away from the reference to a lower
level system (where it would go in normal “control” mode)
back up into the Input function of the control system that
is sending that Output/Memory signal. This seemed wrong to
me because the Input function creates the perceptual
signal – the one going into the comparator – from lower
level perceptual inputs. So sending a remembered Output
into the Input function would not create the perceptual
signal specified by the reference signal. And imagination
presumably occurs when a control system produces the
perception specified by the reference signal without
having to go through the outside world to get it.Â

        RM: So thinking that Eva's figure was incorrect, I went

to the diagram of the imagination connection in B:CP and
found that it’s not clear whether the diagram is right or
not. The diagram in B:CP (copied on the right side of the
figure above) shows only the part of Eva’s diagram that I’ve
circled. It’s not clear whether the “Perceptual or Memory
Signal” in the B:CP diagram is going “To” an Input function
or directly to the perceptual signal of the system from
whence came the Output/Memory signal. I’ve drawn a dashed
line in Eva’s diagram to show where I think the
short-circuited Output/Memory signal should go.Â

        RM: So I post this because I think Bill's diagram of the

imagination connection is not clear (to me anyway). What
Bill calls the “Perceptual or Memory Signal” could be the
input to the Input function of the system to which it is
going (which is how Eva’s diagram shows it) or it could
simply become the perceptual signal in that system (which is
how my dashed line augmentation of Eva’s diagram shows it).
Any ideas about the correct way to model imagination in PCT?

You send the imagined output to the comparator of a lower-level

controller as a reference value. You get the input to the next level
from the lower-level perception. This implies that the effect of
imagination is to produce an action that influences something in the
environment that produces the desired perception to be provided by
that lower-level loop. That’s not imagining. Imagining does what
Eva’s diagram does – pretend that the lower level is doing its job
and producing the desired perception that is fed into the perceptual
input function of the upper level.

Martin
···

BestÂ

        Rick


Richard S. MarkenÂ

                                  "Perfection

is achieved not when you have
nothing more to add, but when you
have
nothing left to take away.�
  Â
            Â
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[Rick Marken 2019-05-21_22:32:14]

[Martin Taylor 2019.05.21.18.02.03]

. Â

image591.jpg

        RM: ....It's not clear whether the "Perceptual or Memory

Signal" in the B:CP diagram is going “To” an Input function
or directly to the perceptual signal of the system from
whence came the Output/Memory signal. I’ve drawn a dashed
line in Eva’s diagram to show where I think the
short-circuited Output/Memory signal should go.Â

MT: You send the imagined output to the comparator of a lower-level

controller as a reference value.

RM:Â Are you talking about the dashed red arrow going into the comparator of the lower level system? If so, that is part of Eva’s diagram and it corresponds to the reference signal arrow in Bill’s diagram. And it is not send to the lower level controller as a reference signal; note that there is a switch below the Memory unit that is connected to an arrow that brings the Output of the Memory unit right back up to the input of the system that produced the output. My suggestions is to route that returning Memory/Output signal around the Input function so that it becomes the perceptual signal in the higher order control system. This is what I was asking about; does that seem right? Why or why not?Â

RM: Bill’s diagram shows the Memory/ Output signal returning to the higher level system that produced that signal; but his diagram doesn’t show whether that signal returns through the Input function or simply become the perceptual signal (as shown by the dashed blue arrow that I added to Eva’s diagram.Â

BestÂ

Rick

···
You get the input to the next level

from the lower-level perception. This implies that the effect of
imagination is to produce an action that influences something in the
environment that produces the desired perception to be provided by
that lower-level loop. That’s not imagining. Imagining does what
Eva’s diagram does – pretend that the lower level is doing its job
and producing the desired perception that is fed into the perceptual
input function of the upper level.

Martin

BestÂ

        Rick


Richard S. MarkenÂ

                                  "Perfection

is achieved not when you have
nothing more to add, but when you
have
nothing left to take away.�
  Â
            Â
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[Eetu Pikkarainen 2019-05-22_05:51:35 UTC]

image002117.png

···

[Rick Marken 2019-05-21_22:32:14]

[Martin Taylor 2019.05.21.18.02.03].

RM: …It’s not clear whether the “Perceptual or Memory Signal” in the B:CP diagram is going “To” an Input function or directly to the perceptual signal of the system from whence came the Output/Memory signal.
I’ve drawn a dashed line in Eva’s diagram to show where I think the short-circuited Output/Memory signal should go.

MT: You send the imagined output to the comparator of a lower-level controller as a reference value.

RM: Are you talking about the dashed red arrow going into the comparator of the lower level system? If so, that is part of Eva’s diagram and it corresponds to the reference signal arrow in Bill’s diagram. And
it is not send to the lower level controller as a reference signal; note that there is a switch below the Memory unit that is connected to an arrow that brings the Output of the Memory unit right back up to the input of the system that produced the output.
My suggestions is to route that returning Memory/Output signal around the Input function so that it becomes the perceptual signal in the higher order control system. This is what I was asking about; does that seem right? Why or why not?

RM: Bill’s diagram shows the Memory/ Output signal returning to the higher level system that produced that signal; but his diagram doesn’t show whether that signal returns through the Input function or simply
become the perceptual signal (as shown by the dashed blue arrow that I added to Eva’s diagram.

I think this is a very good question. An input function forms a perceptual signal from many lower level perceptions. If the memory/imagined signal goes to the input then it would be just like one among those many lower
level perceptions. However it could be meant to be the imagined result that the input function forms from all those lower level perceptions if their control were successful. In the latter case the memory signal really should pass and overwrite the result of
the input function.

What I think is that the diagram in B:CP is a very rough simplification of a very much more complex phenomenon. Perhaps there must be those kind of switches somewhere but what sense and function there could be in imagination
in one loop? Maybe it could work as a temporary defense mechanism in a situation of an overwhelming disturbance. Imagination as we think about it and as Powers described it somewhere in connected to consciousness and many levels of hierarchy. When we imagine
we combine many possible lower level perceptions to some possible higher level perceptions. And in addition we often perceive our environment and control these perceptions at the same time we imagine that things could be differently. I am not sure does that
really happen, but I feel so. Some data could be useful. If it happens so then those switches must be leaky.

Confusedly

Eetu

[Eva de Hullu 2019-05-22_07:58:20 UTC]

Hi all,
First, allow me to clarify. I just drew the diagram of the imagination mode in an effort to understand these modes, after reading B:CP. It is not ‘my model’.

I drew it based on this text by Bruce Abbot http://users.ipfw.edu/abbott/pct/pct.html and this youtube presentation by Warren Mansell: https://youtu.be/Z1USiP4qdAQ (see slide at 20:00 min). I believe the drawing is not different from that of Warren’s image, but then again, I don’t know if any deviations from Powers’ drawing were intentional.

The interesting point is that Rick perceives some error when looking at these diagrams. And it’s not simple: Eetu’s error even spans more of the hierarchy.

For me, this means that there’s room for improvement of our understanding or improvement of our models, and it’s fruitful to work on this together and see which perception fits best.

Eva

image002117.png

···

On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 8:20 AM Eetu Pikkarainen csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Eetu Pikkarainen 2019-05-22_05:51:35 UTC]

[Rick Marken 2019-05-21_22:32:14]

[Martin Taylor 2019.05.21.18.02.03].

image.png

RM: …It’s not clear whether the “Perceptual or Memory Signal” in the B:CP diagram is going “To” an Input function or directly to the perceptual signal of the system from whence came the Output/Memory signal.
I’ve drawn a dashed line in Eva’s diagram to show where I think the short-circuited Output/Memory signal should go.

MT: You send the imagined output to the comparator of a lower-level controller as a reference value.

RM: Are you talking about the dashed red arrow going into the comparator of the lower level system? If so, that is part of Eva’s diagram and it corresponds to the reference signal arrow in Bill’s diagram. And
it is not send to the lower level controller as a reference signal; note that there is a switch below the Memory unit that is connected to an arrow that brings the Output of the Memory unit right back up to the input of the system that produced the output.
My suggestions is to route that returning Memory/Output signal around the Input function so that it becomes the perceptual signal in the higher order control system. This is what I was asking about; does that seem right? Why or why not?

RM: Bill’s diagram shows the Memory/ Output signal returning to the higher level system that produced that signal; but his diagram doesn’t show whether that signal returns through the Input function or simply
become the perceptual signal (as shown by the dashed blue arrow that I added to Eva’s diagram.

I think this is a very good question. An input function forms a perceptual signal from many lower level perceptions. If the memory/imagined signal goes to the input then it would be just like one among those many lower
level perceptions. However it could be meant to be the imagined result that the input function forms from all those lower level perceptions if their control were successful. In the latter case the memory signal really should pass and overwrite the result of
the input function.

What I think is that the diagram in B:CP is a very rough simplification of a very much more complex phenomenon. Perhaps there must be those kind of switches somewhere but what sense and function there could be in imagination
in one loop? Maybe it could work as a temporary defense mechanism in a situation of an overwhelming disturbance. Imagination as we think about it and as Powers described it somewhere in connected to consciousness and many levels of hierarchy. When we imagine
we combine many possible lower level perceptions to some possible higher level perceptions. And in addition we often perceive our environment and control these perceptions at the same time we imagine that things could be differently. I am not sure does that
really happen, but I feel so. Some data could be useful. If it happens so then those switches must be leaky.

Confusedly

Eetu

[Martin Taylor 2019.05.22.09.16]

Yes, I was. Sorry about that. I didn't notice the dashed line that

presumably short-circuits the input function of the higher level
loop (there are two dashed lines that go out of frame, and I’m
presuming they are connected off-screen).
But this seems to suggest a more fundamental problem with Bill’s
diagram, using either interpretation. The output of a control unit does not the reference
value of a unit at the next level below; it to
the lower-level reference value. The perceptual value sent up by the
lower-level unit in the normal non-imagined control mode will
usually not approximate the reference value sent down by that single
higher-level unit. In the imagination switch settings of the
diagram, however, the signal pretending to be the perceptual signal
sent up from the lower-level loop is what the lower-level would send
if it controlled perfectly and there were no contributions to its
reference value from other higher-level units. The two values sent
up to the higher level are different in imagination versus on-line
modes.
I think Eva had it right when she said [Eva de Hullu
2019-05-22_07:58:20 UTC]:Martin

image591.jpg

···

Sorry, I clearly misinterpreted the
nature of the ambiguity you saw.

[Rick Marken 2019-05-21_22:32:14]

[Martin Taylor 2019.05.21.18.02.03]

.

                  RM: ....It's not clear whether the "Perceptual

or Memory Signal" in the B:CP diagram is going
“To” an Input function or directly to the
perceptual signal of the system from whence came
the Output/Memory signal. I’ve drawn a dashed line
in Eva’s diagram to show where I think the
short-circuited Output/Memory signal should go.

          MT: You send the imagined output to the comparator of a

lower-level controller as a reference value.

        RM:  Are you talking about the dashed red arrow going

into the comparator of the lower level system? …

define**contributes

  •  For me, this means that there's room for
    

improvement of our understanding or improvement of our models, and
it’s fruitful to work on this together and see which perception
fits best.

[Rick Marken 2019-05-22_15:12:17]

[Eva de Hullu 2019-05-22_07:58:20 UTC]

EdH: The interesting point is that Rick perceives some error when looking at these diagrams. And it’s not simple: Eetu’s error even spans more of the hierarchy. For me, this means that there’s room for improvement of our understanding or improvement of our models, and it’s fruitful to work on this together and see which perception fits best.

RM: Exactly. But I’m sorry if you got the impression that I was finding something wrong with your diagrams. Your diagrams are masterpieces (what else would one expect from the land of Rembrandt and Vermeer;-)Â And correct in terms of the descriptions you had available from others. They were so good that they allowed me to see an ambiguity in Bill’s diagram of the imagination connection in B:CP. I realized that it was not clear whether his diagram meant that the rerouted output of a control system in imagination mode goes back into the input function of that same control system (as shown in your diagram) or directly into the perceptual signal. It could be either one. But I think it makes more sense for it to go directly into the perceptual signal. I have set up my hierarchy spreadsheet this way and it works like a charm. Actually, I can’t see it working any other way.

BestÂ

Rick

image002117.png

···


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[Bruce Nevin 20190523.0852 ET]

What we are puzzling over is how the error output from above becomes a reference signal below.Â

At the point where it enters the “Memory” box in the diagram it is an error output signal (or many error outputs). The error says how much of the signal that is stored in “Memory” is required by the system(s) above that are issuing the error signals to that reference input.

At the point where it exits the “Memory” box it is a reference signal for the lower system, a remembered perceptual input with which the current perceptual input is to be made to conform. That’s why when the hypothesized imagination connection shunts it over to the input side it serves perfectly as perceptual input.

That “Memory” box is a reference input function. The reference input function combines a plurality of error signals into a single firing rate, the amount that is to be perceived of whatever perceptual input the lower system controls.

The “Memory” label comes from a confusion about the objective firing rate (“reference signal” and “perceptual signal”) and the subjective experience that is associated with that firing rate (“desire” and “perception”). Slipping with unconscious equivocation between the model and the experience in order to communicate in effective terms what it means to us to control, Bill’s account in B:CP says that the memory of the perception is stored there and the input from higher-level error only specifies the amount of that remembered perception. The fact of that memory is given solely by its location relative to other control systems in the hierarchy; the experience of that memory is something that PCT explains just as satisfactorily as it explains the experience associated with a perceptual input signal.

Just as we distinguish “perceptual signal” from “perception”, we must distinguish “reference signal” from “Memory”. The simple fact that the reference signal is input to the same comparator as a particular perceptual signal in the objective terms of the model is what makes that reference signal a “memory” of that “perception” in subjective experience.

Perceptual input functions and reference input functions mirror each other. In both cases, a plurality of quantitative inputs are somehow made into a single quantity which is input to a comparator, one from above, the other from below. These two kinds of input functions occasion a great deal of the hand-waving in PCT .

···

On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 6:13 PM Richard Marken csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Rick Marken 2019-05-22_15:12:17]

[Eva de Hullu 2019-05-22_07:58:20 UTC]

EdH: The interesting point is that Rick perceives some error when looking at these diagrams. And it’s not simple: Eetu’s error even spans more of the hierarchy. For me, this means that there’s room for improvement of our understanding or improvement of our models, and it’s fruitful to work on this together and see which perception fits best.

RM: Exactly. But I’m sorry if you got the impression that I was finding something wrong with your diagrams. Your diagrams are masterpieces (what else would one expect from the land of Rembrandt and Vermeer;-)Â And correct in terms of the descriptions you had available from others. They were so good that they allowed me to see an ambiguity in Bill’s diagram of the imagination connection in B:CP. I realized that it was not clear whether his diagram meant that the rerouted output of a control system in imagination mode goes back into the input function of that same control system (as shown in your diagram) or directly into the perceptual signal. It could be either one. But I think it makes more sense for it to go directly into the perceptual signal. I have set up my hierarchy spreadsheet this way and it works like a charm. Actually, I can’t see it working any other way.

BestÂ

Rick


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[Martin Taylor 2019.05.23]

Are you saying that the "Memory" module is the reference input

function of the lower-level system? That certainly is worth
considering, but it’s a novel concept.
Ah, yes. I see that you do. It takes its inputs from the outputs of
all the upper-level units to which the “imagined” perception
contributes when it is not being imagined.
Yes. You seem to be restating from a different starting point an
idea that Rick squashed when I proposed it, that the control
hierarchy should be considered vectorially rather than in the scalar
fashion in which it is normally discussed. The Memory as an
associative memory addressed by the multiple outputs of one level
with the result distributed to multiple reference inputs of the
level below seems to be a logical consequence of Bill’s discussion
of the associative memory, though not necessarily of the diagram
under discussion. In its simple form, this way of looking at it has
the same issues as does looking at the neural current rather than at
the distribution of contributions of many neurons to that current.
The spread matters, in the same way that reciting the average income
tells you nothing about the spread between the incomes of the
richest and the poorest.
Martin

···
      [Bruce Nevin

20190523.0852 ET]

      What we are

puzzling over is how the error output from above becomes a
reference signal below.Â

      At the point

where it enters the “Memory” box in the diagram it is an error
output signal (or many error outputs). The error says how much
of the signal that is stored in “Memory” is required by the
system(s) above that are issuing the error signals to that
reference input.

      At the point

where it exits the “Memory” box it is a reference signal for
the lower system,

      a

remembered perceptual input with which the current perceptual
input is to be made to conform. That’s why when the
hypothesized imagination connection shunts it over to the
input side it serves perfectly as perceptual input.

      That

“Memory” box is a reference input function. The reference
input function combines a plurality of error signals into a
single firing rate, the amount that is to be perceived of
whatever perceptual input the lower system controls.

      The "Memory"

label comes from a confusion about the objective firing rate
(“reference signal” and “perceptual signal”) and the
subjective experience that is associated with that firing rate
(“desire” and “perception”). Slipping with unconscious
equivocation between the model and the experience in order to
communicate in effective terms what it means to us to control,
Bill’s account in B:CP says that the memory of the perception
is stored there and the input from higher-level error only
specifies the amount of that remembered perception. The fact
of that memory is given solely by its location relative to
other control systems in the hierarchy; the experience of that
memory is something that PCT explains just as satisfactorily
as it explains the experience associated with a perceptual
input signal.

      Just as we

distinguish “perceptual signal” from “perception”, we must
distinguish “reference signal” from “Memory”. The simple fact
that the reference signal is input to the same comparator as a
particular perceptual signal in the objective terms of the
model is what makes that reference signal a “memory” of that
“perception” in subjective experience.

      Perceptual

input functions and reference input functions mirror each
other. In both cases, a plurality of quantitative inputs are
somehow made into a single quantity which is input to a
comparator, one from above, the other from below. These two
kinds of input functions occasion a great deal of the
hand-waving in PCT .

      On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 6:13

PM Richard Marken <csgnet@lists.illinois.edu >
wrote:

[Rick Marken 2019-05-22_15:12:17]

[Eva de Hullu 2019-05-22_07:58:20 UTC]

                  EdH: The interesting point is that Rick perceives

some error when looking at these diagrams. And
it’s not simple: Eetu’s error even spans more of
the hierarchy. For me, this means that there’s
room for improvement of our understanding or
improvement of our models, and it’s fruitful to
work on this together and see which perception
fits best.

            RM: Exactly. But I'm sorry if you got the impression

that I was finding something wrong with your diagrams.
Your diagrams are masterpieces (what else would one
expect from the land of Rembrandt and Vermeer;-)Â And
correct in terms of the descriptions you had available
from others. They were so good that they allowed me to
see an ambiguity in Bill’s diagram of the imagination
connection in B:CP. I realized that it was not clear
whether his diagram meant that the rerouted output of a
control system in imagination mode goes back into the
input function of that same control system (as shown in
your diagram) or directly into the perceptual signal. It
could be either one. But I think it makes more sense for
it to go directly into the perceptual signal. I have set
up my hierarchy spreadsheet this way and it works like a
charm. Actually, I can’t see it working any other way.

BestÂ

Rick


Richard S. MarkenÂ

                                    "Perfection

is achieved not when you have
nothing more to add, but when
you
have
nothing left to take away.�
 Â
             Â
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[Rick Marken 2019-05-23_13:31:17]

[Bruce Nevin 20190523.0852 ET]

BN: What we are puzzling over is how the error output from above becomes a reference signal below.Â

RM: No, I was actually puzzling over how the output of a control systems becomes the perceptual signal in that same control system when the system is in imagination mode. The imagination mode model is meant to account for the subjective phenomenon of imagining something “on purpose”. For example, I can, at this very moment, imagine that there is an apple on my desk. The imagination model explains this as me setting a reference for the perception of an apple which produces an error that creates an output that is routed right back into the input of that control system and, voila, I perceive (in imagination) an apple without doing all that pain in the ass lower level controlling I would have to do (walking to the kitchen, opening the refrigerator, looking in the fruit compartment, etc) to actually get an apple onto my desk.Â

RM: The puzzle was whether this rerouting of the output to the input of a control system goes back through the input function of the control system or bypasses the input function to directly become the perceptual signal of that control system. My hierarchy model shows that this second approach – routing the output signal right back as the perceptual signal – works rather nicely. In fact I don’t believe it could be done any other way. That is, I don’t think there is any other way for the reference signal to produce exactly the perception it wants in imagination model. The imagination connection must work this way because there is no way a single output signal could line up all the appropriate inputs to the input function in order to produce the perceptual signal demanded by the reference signal.

RM: However, at first it didn’t seem intuitively obvious to me that rerouting the output as the perceptual signal would produce the exact perception demanded by the reference signal. But then I remembered the simple algebraic expression for the output of a control system is:

o = r -1/k(d)

RM: And since, in imagination mode, there is no d, then o = r. So if o goes right back to become the perceptual signal we get r = p; that is, the reference signal gets precisely the perception it wants. Or, as the Rolling Stones would say, in imagination mode “You can always git what you want, but if you try and try you won’t git what you need” because you are not actually controlling anything about the real world out there.

RM: By the way, since Warren asked, I’ve attached the spreadsheet hierarchy model where each system can be placed into imagination model by placing an asterisk above the system. What you will see when you do this is that the system in imagination mode produces output that is equal to the reference (as per the equation above); and this output becomes the perceptual signal so the system is getting exactly what it wants. And this is true even when the reference to the system is continuously changing, a fact that is particularly noticeable if you put one of the level 1 systems into imagination mode. Â

RM: I’m going to try to extend this spreadsheet to show that while a system gets what it wants when it controls in imagination mode, the aspect of the environment that it would be controlling if the system were not controlling in imagination is not what the system needs. To do this, I have to correctly compute the controlled variables; right now they are the same as the perceptions that are controlled. But if you are controlling a variable in imagination, an observer would see that that variable is not being controlled. I want the spreadsheet to should that.Â

Best

Rick

Â

newhierarchy1.xlsx (19.1 KB)

···

At the point where it enters the “Memory” box in the diagram it is an error output signal (or many error outputs). The error says how much of the signal that is stored in “Memory” is required by the system(s) above that are issuing the error signals to that reference input.

At the point where it exits the “Memory” box it is a reference signal for the lower system, a remembered perceptual input with which the current perceptual input is to be made to conform. That’s why when the hypothesized imagination connection shunts it over to the input side it serves perfectly as perceptual input.

That “Memory” box is a reference input function. The reference input function combines a plurality of error signals into a single firing rate, the amount that is to be perceived of whatever perceptual input the lower system controls.

The “Memory” label comes from a confusion about the objective firing rate (“reference signal” and “perceptual signal”) and the subjective experience that is associated with that firing rate (“desire” and “perception”). Slipping with unconscious equivocation between the model and the experience in order to communicate in effective terms what it means to us to control, Bill’s account in B:CP says that the memory of the perception is stored there and the input from higher-level error only specifies the amount of that remembered perception. The fact of that memory is given solely by its location relative to other control systems in the hierarchy; the experience of that memory is something that PCT explains just as satisfactorily as it explains the experience associated with a perceptual input signal.

Just as we distinguish “perceptual signal” from “perception”, we must distinguish “reference signal” from “Memory”. The simple fact that the reference signal is input to the same comparator as a particular perceptual signal in the objective terms of the model is what makes that reference signal a “memory” of that “perception” in subjective experience.

Perceptual input functions and reference input functions mirror each other. In both cases, a plurality of quantitative inputs are somehow made into a single quantity which is input to a comparator, one from above, the other from below. These two kinds of input functions occasion a great deal of the hand-waving in PCT .

On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 6:13 PM Richard Marken csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Rick Marken 2019-05-22_15:12:17]

[Eva de Hullu 2019-05-22_07:58:20 UTC]

EdH: The interesting point is that Rick perceives some error when looking at these diagrams. And it’s not simple: Eetu’s error even spans more of the hierarchy. For me, this means that there’s room for improvement of our understanding or improvement of our models, and it’s fruitful to work on this together and see which perception fits best.

RM: Exactly. But I’m sorry if you got the impression that I was finding something wrong with your diagrams. Your diagrams are masterpieces (what else would one expect from the land of Rembrandt and Vermeer;-)Â And correct in terms of the descriptions you had available from others. They were so good that they allowed me to see an ambiguity in Bill’s diagram of the imagination connection in B:CP. I realized that it was not clear whether his diagram meant that the rerouted output of a control system in imagination mode goes back into the input function of that same control system (as shown in your diagram) or directly into the perceptual signal. It could be either one. But I think it makes more sense for it to go directly into the perceptual signal. I have set up my hierarchy spreadsheet this way and it works like a charm. Actually, I can’t see it working any other way.

BestÂ

Rick


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[Martin Taylor 2019.05.23.17.12]

[Rick Marken 2019-05-23_13:31:17]

            [Bruce

Nevin 20190523.0852 ET]

            BN:

What we are puzzling over is how the error output from
above becomes a reference signal below.Â

        RM: No, I was actually puzzling over how the output of a

control systems becomes the perceptual signal in that same
control system when the system is in imagination mode.

We puzzle over different things, but the solution to one puzzle can

lead to answers to another, and I think that your suggestion here
does open up some avenues of thought that were not available. In
your model, it isn’t the lower system that is in imagination mode,
as I had interpreted Bill’s diagram. It’s the upper loop that is
doing the imagining.

Thank you.

Martin
···
        The imagination mode model is meant to account for the

subjective phenomenon of imagining something “on purpose”.
For example, I can, at this very moment, imagine that there
is an apple on my desk. The imagination model explains this
as me setting a reference for the perception of an apple
which produces an error that creates an output that is
routed right back into the input of that control system and,
voila, I perceive (in imagination) an apple without doing
all that pain in the ass lower level controlling I would
have to do (walking to the kitchen, opening the
refrigerator, looking in the fruit compartment, etc) to
actually get an apple onto my desk.Â

        RM: The puzzle was whether this rerouting of the output

to the input of a control system goes back through the input
function of the control system or bypasses the input
function to directly become the perceptual signal of that
control system. My hierarchy model shows that this second
approach – routing the output signal right back as the
perceptual signal – works rather nicely. In fact I don’t
believe it could be done any other way. That is, I don’t
think there is any other way for the reference signal to
produce exactly the perception it wants in imagination
model. The imagination connection must work this way because
there is no way a single output signal could line up all
the appropriate inputs to the input function in order to
produce the perceptual signal demanded by the reference
signal.

        RM: However, at first it didn't seem intuitively obvious

to me that rerouting the output as the perceptual signal
would produce the exact perception demanded by the reference
signal. But then I remembered the simple algebraic
expression for the output of a control system is:

o = r -1/k(d)

        RM: And since, in imagination mode, there is no d, then o

= r. So if o goes right back to become the perceptual signal
we get r = p; that is, the reference signal gets precisely
the perception it wants. Or, as the Rolling Stones would
say, in imagination mode “You can always git what you
want, but if you try and try you won’t git what you
need” because you are not actually controlling anything
about the real world out there.

        RM: By the way, since Warren asked, I've attached the

spreadsheet hierarchy model where each system can be placed
into imagination model by placing an asterisk above the
system. What you will see when you do this is that the
system in imagination mode produces output that is equal to
the reference (as per the equation above); and this output
becomes the perceptual signal so the system is getting
exactly what it wants. And this is true even when the
reference to the system is continuously changing, a fact
that is particularly noticeable if you put one of the level
1 systems into imagination mode. Â

        RM: I'm going to try to extend this spreadsheet to show

that while a system gets what it wants when it controls in
imagination mode, the aspect of the environment that it
would be controlling if the system were not controlling in
imagination is not what the system needs. To do this, I have
to correctly compute the controlled variables; right now
they are the same as the perceptions that are controlled.
But if you are controlling a variable in imagination, an
observer would see that that variable is not being
controlled. I want the spreadsheet to should that.Â

Best

Rick

Â

            At

the point where it enters the “Memory” box in the
diagram it is an error output signal (or many error
outputs). The error says how much of the signal that is
stored in “Memory” is required by the system(s) above
that are issuing the error signals to that reference
input.

            At

the point where it exits the “Memory” box it is a
reference signal for the lower system, a remembered
perceptual input with which the current perceptual input
is to be made to conform. That’s why when the
hypothesized imagination connection shunts it over to
the input side it serves perfectly as perceptual input.

            That

“Memory” box is a reference input function. The
reference input function combines a plurality of error
signals into a single firing rate, the amount that is to
be perceived of whatever perceptual input the lower
system controls.

            The

“Memory” label comes from a confusion about the
objective firing rate (“reference signal” and
“perceptual signal”) and the subjective experience that
is associated with that firing rate (“desire” and
“perception”). Slipping with unconscious equivocation
between the model and the experience in order to
communicate in effective terms what it means to us to
control, Bill’s account in B:CP says that the memory of
the perception is stored there and the input from
higher-level error only specifies the amount of that
remembered perception. The fact of that memory is given
solely by its location relative to other control systems
in the hierarchy; the experience of that memory is
something that PCT explains just as satisfactorily as it
explains the experience associated with a perceptual
input signal.

            Just

as we distinguish “perceptual signal” from “perception”,
we must distinguish “reference signal” from “Memory”.
The simple fact that the reference signal is input to
the same comparator as a particular perceptual signal in
the objective terms of the model is what makes that
reference signal a “memory” of that “perception” in
subjective experience.

            Perceptual

input functions and reference input functions mirror
each other. In both cases, a plurality of quantitative
inputs are somehow made into a single quantity which is
input to a comparator, one from above, the other from
below. These two kinds of input functions occasion a
great deal of the hand-waving in PCT .

            On Wed, May 22, 2019 at > > 6:13 PM Richard Marken <csgnet@lists.illinois.edu                > > > wrote:

[Rick Marken 2019-05-22_15:12:17]

[Eva de Hullu 2019-05-22_07:58:20 UTC]

                        EdH: The interesting point is that Rick

perceives some error when looking at these
diagrams. And it’s not simple: Eetu’s error
even spans more of the hierarchy. For me,
this means that there’s room for improvement
of our understanding or improvement of our
models, and it’s fruitful to work on this
together and see which perception fits best.

                  RM: Exactly. But I'm sorry if you got the

impression that I was finding something wrong with
your diagrams. Your diagrams are masterpieces
(what else would one expect from the land of
Rembrandt and Vermeer;-)Â And correct in terms of
the descriptions you had available from others.
They were so good that they allowed me to see an
ambiguity in Bill’s diagram of the imagination
connection in B:CP. I realized that it was not
clear whether his diagram meant that the rerouted
output of a control system in imagination mode
goes back into the input function of that same
control system (as shown in your diagram) or
directly into the perceptual signal. It could be
either one. But I think it makes more sense for it
to go directly into the perceptual signal. I have
set up my hierarchy spreadsheet this way and it
works like a charm. Actually, I can’t see it
working any other way.

BestÂ

Rick


Richard S.
MarkenÂ

                                          "Perfection

is achieved not when you
have nothing more to add,
but when you
have
nothing left to take
away.�
Â
            Â
  --Antoine de
Saint-Exupery


Richard S. MarkenÂ

                                "Perfection

is achieved not when you have
nothing more to add, but when you
have
nothing left to take away.�
   Â
            --Antoine de
Saint-Exupery

[Bruce Nevin 20190523.0852 ET]Â

 Rick Marken 2019-05-23_13:31:17–

RM: No, I was actually puzzling over how the output of a control systems becomes the perceptual signal in that same control system when the system is in imagination mode.Â

 The “Memory” box is not part of the same control system. It is part of a system or systems at the level below it.

···

/Bruce

Â

On Thu, May 23, 2019 at 4:32 PM Richard Marken csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Rick Marken 2019-05-23_13:31:17]

[Bruce Nevin 20190523.0852 ET]

BN: What we are puzzling over is how the error output from above becomes a reference signal below.Â

RM: No, I was actually puzzling over how the output of a control systems becomes the perceptual signal in that same control system when the system is in imagination mode. The imagination mode model is meant to account for the subjective phenomenon of imagining something “on purpose”. For example, I can, at this very moment, imagine that there is an apple on my desk. The imagination model explains this as me setting a reference for the perception of an apple which produces an error that creates an output that is routed right back into the input of that control system and, voila, I perceive (in imagination) an apple without doing all that pain in the ass lower level controlling I would have to do (walking to the kitchen, opening the refrigerator, looking in the fruit compartment, etc) to actually get an apple onto my desk.Â

RM: The puzzle was whether this rerouting of the output to the input of a control system goes back through the input function of the control system or bypasses the input function to directly become the perceptual signal of that control system. My hierarchy model shows that this second approach – routing the output signal right back as the perceptual signal – works rather nicely. In fact I don’t believe it could be done any other way. That is, I don’t think there is any other way for the reference signal to produce exactly the perception it wants in imagination model. The imagination connection must work this way because there is no way a single output signal could line up all the appropriate inputs to the input function in order to produce the perceptual signal demanded by the reference signal.

RM: However, at first it didn’t seem intuitively obvious to me that rerouting the output as the perceptual signal would produce the exact perception demanded by the reference signal. But then I remembered the simple algebraic expression for the output of a control system is:

o = r -1/k(d)

RM: And since, in imagination mode, there is no d, then o = r. So if o goes right back to become the perceptual signal we get r = p; that is, the reference signal gets precisely the perception it wants. Or, as the Rolling Stones would say, in imagination mode “You can always git what you want, but if you try and try you won’t git what you need” because you are not actually controlling anything about the real world out there.

RM: By the way, since Warren asked, I’ve attached the spreadsheet hierarchy model where each system can be placed into imagination model by placing an asterisk above the system. What you will see when you do this is that the system in imagination mode produces output that is equal to the reference (as per the equation above); and this output becomes the perceptual signal so the system is getting exactly what it wants. And this is true even when the reference to the system is continuously changing, a fact that is particularly noticeable if you put one of the level 1 systems into imagination mode. Â

RM: I’m going to try to extend this spreadsheet to show that while a system gets what it wants when it controls in imagination mode, the aspect of the environment that it would be controlling if the system were not controlling in imagination is not what the system needs. To do this, I have to correctly compute the controlled variables; right now they are the same as the perceptions that are controlled. But if you are controlling a variable in imagination, an observer would see that that variable is not being controlled. I want the spreadsheet to should that.Â

Best

Rick

Â

At the point where it enters the “Memory” box in the diagram it is an error output signal (or many error outputs). The error says how much of the signal that is stored in “Memory” is required by the system(s) above that are issuing the error signals to that reference input.

At the point where it exits the “Memory” box it is a reference signal for the lower system, a remembered perceptual input with which the current perceptual input is to be made to conform. That’s why when the hypothesized imagination connection shunts it over to the input side it serves perfectly as perceptual input.

That “Memory” box is a reference input function. The reference input function combines a plurality of error signals into a single firing rate, the amount that is to be perceived of whatever perceptual input the lower system controls.

The “Memory” label comes from a confusion about the objective firing rate (“reference signal” and “perceptual signal”) and the subjective experience that is associated with that firing rate (“desire” and “perception”). Slipping with unconscious equivocation between the model and the experience in order to communicate in effective terms what it means to us to control, Bill’s account in B:CP says that the memory of the perception is stored there and the input from higher-level error only specifies the amount of that remembered perception. The fact of that memory is given solely by its location relative to other control systems in the hierarchy; the experience of that memory is something that PCT explains just as satisfactorily as it explains the experience associated with a perceptual input signal.

Just as we distinguish “perceptual signal” from “perception”, we must distinguish “reference signal” from “Memory”. The simple fact that the reference signal is input to the same comparator as a particular perceptual signal in the objective terms of the model is what makes that reference signal a “memory” of that “perception” in subjective experience.

Perceptual input functions and reference input functions mirror each other. In both cases, a plurality of quantitative inputs are somehow made into a single quantity which is input to a comparator, one from above, the other from below. These two kinds of input functions occasion a great deal of the hand-waving in PCT .

On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 6:13 PM Richard Marken csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Rick Marken 2019-05-22_15:12:17]

[Eva de Hullu 2019-05-22_07:58:20 UTC]

EdH: The interesting point is that Rick perceives some error when looking at these diagrams. And it’s not simple: Eetu’s error even spans more of the hierarchy. For me, this means that there’s room for improvement of our understanding or improvement of our models, and it’s fruitful to work on this together and see which perception fits best.

RM: Exactly. But I’m sorry if you got the impression that I was finding something wrong with your diagrams. Your diagrams are masterpieces (what else would one expect from the land of Rembrandt and Vermeer;-)Â And correct in terms of the descriptions you had available from others. They were so good that they allowed me to see an ambiguity in Bill’s diagram of the imagination connection in B:CP. I realized that it was not clear whether his diagram meant that the rerouted output of a control system in imagination mode goes back into the input function of that same control system (as shown in your diagram) or directly into the perceptual signal. It could be either one. But I think it makes more sense for it to go directly into the perceptual signal. I have set up my hierarchy spreadsheet this way and it works like a charm. Actually, I can’t see it working any other way.

BestÂ

Rick


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.�
                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[Eetu Pikkarainen 2019-05-24_05:36:08 UTC]

Quite intuitively and introspectively, I see a problem in Rick’s shortcut model. It can be possible, but I have a strong feeling that “imagining� must be a harder job where the current
control unit must put it’s lower units to work. When I imagine an apple it is a different thing than using a concept or word “apple�. I must imagine a apple which has at least some special characteristics like color, shape, size and in the Rick’s example also
the position. To imagine these I must use lower level perceptions than just the configuration level perception of apple.

Eetu

···

[Bruce Nevin 20190523.0852 ET]

Rick Marken 2019-05-23_13:31:17–

RM: No, I was actually puzzling over how the output of a control systems becomes the perceptual signal in that same control system when the system
is in imagination mode.

The “Memory” box is not part of the same control system. It is part of a system or systems at the level below it.

/Bruce

On Thu, May 23, 2019 at 4:32 PM Richard Marken csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Rick Marken 2019-05-23_13:31:17]

[Bruce Nevin 20190523.0852 ET]

BN: What we are puzzling over is how the error output from above becomes a reference signal below.

RM: No, I was actually puzzling over how the output of a control systems becomes the perceptual signal in that same control system when the system is in imagination mode. The imagination mode model is meant to
account for the subjective phenomenon of imagining something “on purpose”. For example, I can, at this very moment, imagine that there is an apple on my desk. The imagination model explains this as me setting a reference for the perception of an apple which
produces an error that creates an output that is routed right back into the input of that control system and, voila, I perceive (in imagination) an apple without doing all that pain in the ass lower level controlling I would have to do (walking to the kitchen,
opening the refrigerator, looking in the fruit compartment, etc) to actually get an apple onto my desk.

RM: The puzzle was whether this rerouting of the output to the input of a control system goes back through the input function of the control system or bypasses the input function to directly become the perceptual
signal of that control system. My hierarchy model shows that this second approach – routing the output signal right back as the perceptual signal – works rather nicely. In fact I don’t believe it could be done any other way. That is, I don’t think there
is any other way for the reference signal to produce exactly the perception it wants in imagination model. The imagination connection must work this way because there is no way a single output signal could line up all the appropriate inputs to the input function
in order to produce the perceptual signal demanded by the reference signal.

RM: However, at first it didn’t seem intuitively obvious to me that rerouting the output as the perceptual signal would produce the exact perception demanded by the reference signal. But then I remembered the
simple algebraic expression for the output of a control system is:

o = r -1/k(d)

RM: And since, in imagination mode, there is no d, then o = r. So if o goes right back to become the perceptual signal we get r = p; that is, the reference signal gets precisely the perception it wants. Or, as
the Rolling Stones would say, in imagination mode “You can always git what you want, but if you try and try you
won’t git what you need” because you are not actually controlling anything about the real world out there.

RM: By the way, since Warren asked, I’ve attached the spreadsheet hierarchy model where each system can be placed into imagination model by placing an asterisk above the system. What you will see when you do this
is that the system in imagination mode produces output that is equal to the reference (as per the equation above); and this output becomes the perceptual signal so the system is getting exactly what it wants. And this is true even when the reference to the
system is continuously changing, a fact that is particularly noticeable if you put one of the level 1 systems into imagination mode.

RM: I’m going to try to extend this spreadsheet to show that while a system gets what it wants when it controls in imagination mode, the aspect of the environment that it would be controlling if the system were
not controlling in imagination is not what the system needs. To do this, I have to correctly compute the controlled variables; right now they are the same as the perceptions that are controlled. But if you are controlling a variable in imagination, an observer
would see that that variable is not being controlled. I want the spreadsheet to should that.

Best

Rick

At the point where it enters the “Memory” box in the diagram it is an error output signal (or many error outputs). The error says how much of the signal
that is stored in “Memory” is required by the system(s) above that are issuing the error signals to that reference input.

At the point where it exits the “Memory” box it is a reference signal for the lower system, a remembered perceptual input with which the current perceptual
input is to be made to conform. That’s why when the hypothesized imagination connection shunts it over to the input side it serves perfectly as perceptual input.

That “Memory” box is a reference input function. The reference input function combines a plurality of error signals into a single firing rate, the amount
that is to be perceived of whatever perceptual input the lower system controls.

The “Memory” label comes from a confusion about the objective firing rate (“reference signal” and “perceptual signal”) and the subjective experience that
is associated with that firing rate (“desire” and “perception”). Slipping with unconscious equivocation between the model and the experience in order to communicate in effective terms what it means to us to control, Bill’s account in B:CP says that the memory
of the perception is stored there and the input from higher-level error only specifies the amount of that remembered perception. The fact of that memory is given solely by its location relative to other control systems in the hierarchy; the experience of that
memory is something that PCT explains just as satisfactorily as it explains the experience associated with a perceptual input signal.

Just as we distinguish “perceptual signal” from “perception”, we must distinguish “reference signal” from “Memory”. The simple fact that the reference
signal is input to the same comparator as a particular perceptual signal in the objective terms of the model is what makes that reference signal a “memory” of that “perception” in subjective experience.

Perceptual input functions and reference input functions mirror each other. In both cases, a plurality of quantitative inputs are somehow made into a
single quantity which is input to a comparator, one from above, the other from below. These two kinds of input functions occasion a great deal of the hand-waving in PCT .

On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 6:13 PM Richard Marken csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Rick Marken 2019-05-22_15:12:17]

[Eva de Hullu 2019-05-22_07:58:20 UTC]

EdH: The interesting point is that Rick perceives some error when looking at these diagrams. And it’s not simple: Eetu’s error even spans more of the hierarchy. For me, this means that there’s room for improvement of our understanding or improvement of our
models, and it’s fruitful to work on this together and see which perception fits best.

RM: Exactly. But I’m sorry if you got the impression that I was finding something wrong with your diagrams. Your diagrams are masterpieces (what else would one expect from the land of Rembrandt and Vermeer;-)
And correct in terms of the descriptions you had available from others. They were so good that they allowed me to see an ambiguity in Bill’s diagram of the imagination connection in B:CP. I realized that it was not clear whether his diagram meant that the
rerouted output of a control system in imagination mode goes back into the input function of that same control system (as shown in your diagram) or directly into the perceptual signal. It could be either one. But I think it makes more sense for it to go directly
into the perceptual signal. I have set up my hierarchy spreadsheet this way and it works like a charm. Actually, I can’t see it working any other way.

Best

Rick

Richard S. Marken

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you

have nothing left to take away.�

                            --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Richard S. Marken

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you

have nothing left to take away.�

                            --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[Eva de Hullu 2019-05-24_06:50:33 UTC]Â Â

Let’s see if I can draw these:

[Rick Marken 2019-05-23_13:31:17]Â Â

RM: The puzzle was whether this rerouting of the output to the input of a control system goes back through the input function of the control system or bypasses the input function to directly become the perceptual signal of that control system. My hierarchy model shows that this second approach – routing the output signal right back as the perceptual signal – works rather nicely. In fact I don’t believe it could be done any other way. That is, I don’t think there is any other way for the reference signal to produce exactly the perception it wants in imagination model. The imagination connection must work this way because there is no way a single output signal could line up all the appropriate inputs to the input function in order to produce the perceptual signal demanded by the reference signal.
EH: Would it look like this? Â

Â

And then I tried to draw Bruce’s idea:

 [Bruce Nevin 20190523.0852 ET] The “Memory” box is not part of the same control system. It is part of a system or systems at the level below it. Â
But I can’t visualize how this would look, other that just the normal control system. What would the difference be between memory and ‘normal’ input?

So following Eetu:

[Eetu Pikkarainen 2019-05-24_05:36:08 UTC]
 Quite intuitively and introspectively, I see a problem in Rick’s shortcut model. It can be possible, but I have a strong feeling that “imagining� must be a harder job where the current control unit must put it’s lower units to work. When I imagine an apple it is a different thing than using a concept or word “apple�. I must imagine a apple which has at least some special characteristics like color, shape, size and in the Rick’s example also the position. To imagine these I must use lower level perceptions than just the configuration level perception of apple.

Would then, as I intuitively and introspectively suspect as well, imagination involve the entire control system?

In Rick Marken’s More Mind Readings chapter The Hierarchical Behavior o Perception I encountered this paragraph [p90] that confirmed my perception that we can’t have upper level perceptions without the lower level perceptions involved. In my mind, that doesn’t match with the idea of the imagination mode shortcut at any level.

image592.png

EH:So then, could we imagine the imagination mode taking place only at the bottom level of the hierarchy? If there’s no input from outside the system, or no ‘triggering’ of the senses (no disturbance, actually), the output signal could serve as input to the current control model. Since at the bottom level each control system has only one single input signal (otherwise it wouldn’t be the bottom level), the input is the same as the perceptual signal (no combination of inputs needed).Â

So the equation:Â o = r -1/k(d), without d, o=r does still apply.Â

In a 4-level hierarchical control system:

Â

And the same system with disturbances and actions (and imagination feedback as well):Â

 Â

Am I missing something? Do we actually need the imagination switch?Â

Best,
Eva

Â

Â

···

On Fri, May 24, 2019 at 7:45 AM Eetu Pikkarainen csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Eetu Pikkarainen 2019-05-24_05:36:08 UTC]

Â

Quite intuitively and introspectively, I see a problem in Rick’s shortcut model. It can be possible, but I have a strong feeling that “imagining� must be a harder job where the current
control unit must put it’s lower units to work. When I imagine an apple it is a different thing than using a concept or word “apple�. I must imagine a apple which has at least some special characteristics like color, shape, size and in the Rick’s example also
the position. To imagine these I must use lower level perceptions than just the configuration level perception of apple.

Â

Eetu

Â

From: Bruce Nevin csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2019 12:40 AM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: Imagination Connection

Â

[Bruce Nevin 20190523.0852 ET]Â

Â

 Rick Marken 2019-05-23_13:31:17–

Â

RM: No, I was actually puzzling over how the output of a control systems becomes the perceptual signal in that same control system when the system
is in imagination mode.Â

Â

 The “Memory” box is not part of the same control system. It is part of a system or systems at the level below it.

Â

/Bruce

Â

Â

Â

Â

On Thu, May 23, 2019 at 4:32 PM Richard Marken csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Rick Marken 2019-05-23_13:31:17]

Â

[Bruce Nevin 20190523.0852 ET]

Â

BN: What we are puzzling over is how the error output from above becomes a reference signal below.Â

Â

RM: No, I was actually puzzling over how the output of a control systems becomes the perceptual signal in that same control system when the system is in imagination mode. The imagination mode model is meant to
account for the subjective phenomenon of imagining something “on purpose”. For example, I can, at this very moment, imagine that there is an apple on my desk. The imagination model explains this as me setting a reference for the perception of an apple which
produces an error that creates an output that is routed right back into the input of that control system and, voila, I perceive (in imagination) an apple without doing all that pain in the ass lower level controlling I would have to do (walking to the kitchen,
opening the refrigerator, looking in the fruit compartment, etc) to actually get an apple onto my desk.Â

Â

RM: The puzzle was whether this rerouting of the output to the input of a control system goes back through the input function of the control system or bypasses the input function to directly become the perceptual
signal of that control system. My hierarchy model shows that this second approach – routing the output signal right back as the perceptual signal – works rather nicely. In fact I don’t believe it could be done any other way. That is, I don’t think there
is any other way for the reference signal to produce exactly the perception it wants in imagination model. The imagination connection must work this way because there is no way a single output signal could line up all the appropriate inputs to the input function
in order to produce the perceptual signal demanded by the reference signal.

Â

RM: However, at first it didn’t seem intuitively obvious to me that rerouting the output as the perceptual signal would produce the exact perception demanded by the reference signal. But then I remembered the
simple algebraic expression for the output of a control system is:

Â

o = r -1/k(d)

Â

RM: And since, in imagination mode, there is no d, then o = r. So if o goes right back to become the perceptual signal we get r = p; that is, the reference signal gets precisely the perception it wants. Or, as
the Rolling Stones would say, in imagination mode “You can always git what you want, but if you try and try you
won’t git what you need” because you are not actually controlling anything about the real world out there.

Â

RM: By the way, since Warren asked, I’ve attached the spreadsheet hierarchy model where each system can be placed into imagination model by placing an asterisk above the system. What you will see when you do this
is that the system in imagination mode produces output that is equal to the reference (as per the equation above); and this output becomes the perceptual signal so the system is getting exactly what it wants. And this is true even when the reference to the
system is continuously changing, a fact that is particularly noticeable if you put one of the level 1 systems into imagination mode. Â

Â

RM: I’m going to try to extend this spreadsheet to show that while a system gets what it wants when it controls in imagination mode, the aspect of the environment that it would be controlling if the system were
not controlling in imagination is not what the system needs. To do this, I have to correctly compute the controlled variables; right now they are the same as the perceptions that are controlled. But if you are controlling a variable in imagination, an observer
would see that that variable is not being controlled. I want the spreadsheet to should that.Â

Â

Best

Â

Rick

Â

At the point where it enters the “Memory” box in the diagram it is an error output signal (or many error outputs). The error says how much of the signal
that is stored in “Memory” is required by the system(s) above that are issuing the error signals to that reference input.

Â

At the point where it exits the “Memory” box it is a reference signal for the lower system, a remembered perceptual input with which the current perceptual
input is to be made to conform. That’s why when the hypothesized imagination connection shunts it over to the input side it serves perfectly as perceptual input.

Â

That “Memory” box is a reference input function. The reference input function combines a plurality of error signals into a single firing rate, the amount
that is to be perceived of whatever perceptual input the lower system controls.

Â

The “Memory” label comes from a confusion about the objective firing rate (“reference signal” and “perceptual signal”) and the subjective experience that
is associated with that firing rate (“desire” and “perception”). Slipping with unconscious equivocation between the model and the experience in order to communicate in effective terms what it means to us to control, Bill’s account in B:CP says that the memory
of the perception is stored there and the input from higher-level error only specifies the amount of that remembered perception. The fact of that memory is given solely by its location relative to other control systems in the hierarchy; the experience of that
memory is something that PCT explains just as satisfactorily as it explains the experience associated with a perceptual input signal.

Â

Just as we distinguish “perceptual signal” from “perception”, we must distinguish “reference signal” from “Memory”. The simple fact that the reference
signal is input to the same comparator as a particular perceptual signal in the objective terms of the model is what makes that reference signal a “memory” of that “perception” in subjective experience.

Â

Perceptual input functions and reference input functions mirror each other. In both cases, a plurality of quantitative inputs are somehow made into a
single quantity which is input to a comparator, one from above, the other from below. These two kinds of input functions occasion a great deal of the hand-waving in PCT .

Â

Â

On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 6:13 PM Richard Marken csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Rick Marken 2019-05-22_15:12:17]

Â

[Eva de Hullu 2019-05-22_07:58:20 UTC]

EdH: The interesting point is that Rick perceives some error when looking at these diagrams. And it’s not simple: Eetu’s error even spans more of the hierarchy. For me, this means that there’s room for improvement of our understanding or improvement of our
models, and it’s fruitful to work on this together and see which perception fits best.

Â

RM: Exactly. But I’m sorry if you got the impression that I was finding something wrong with your diagrams. Your diagrams are masterpieces (what else would one expect from the land of Rembrandt and Vermeer;-)Â
And correct in terms of the descriptions you had available from others. They were so good that they allowed me to see an ambiguity in Bill’s diagram of the imagination connection in B:CP. I realized that it was not clear whether his diagram meant that the
rerouted output of a control system in imagination mode goes back into the input function of that same control system (as shown in your diagram) or directly into the perceptual signal. It could be either one. But I think it makes more sense for it to go directly
into the perceptual signal. I have set up my hierarchy spreadsheet this way and it works like a charm. Actually, I can’t see it working any other way.

Â

BestÂ

Â

Rick

Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you

have nothing left to take away.�

                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Â

Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you

have nothing left to take away.�

                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[Eva de Hullu 2019-05-24_07:54:40 UTC]
Maybe I’m overdoing this, but let’s take it one step further.

When we move the mechanism of imagination to the first level of the hierarchy, the switches are no longer needed.

Take a look at the originally proposed memory switches and modes (these again, I drew based on the sources I mentioned earlier).Â

We could reinterpret these modes as follows without switches. I think the two switches are reinterpreted as input from the environment that is different from the reference (thus a disturbance) and output as action on the environment.Â

To separate the original modes, we might need awareness (which is tied with reorganization, I believe).

Controlled mode: Disturbance present, awareness on the reorganizing parts of the hierarchy. The CEV is disturbed, so the input and output are both ‘active’, working to maintain the desired perception.Â

Automatic mode: No disturbance present, no reorganization and thus no awareness. The CEV is not disturbed. Any actions carried out by the organism do not disturb any CEV. Everything you do runs smoothly (until something goes wrong, you cut your finger and ‘switch’ back to controlled mode - a disturbance has occured).Â

Passive observation mode: Disturbance present, awareness on the reorganizing parts of the hierarchy (but not on actions: no action in the environment needed). Everything that happens can be handled inside the control system. For example; listening to someone giving a lecture.Â

Imagination mode: No disturbance from outside environment present, but new references from top-down are tested in the hierarchy, so reorganization occurs through the changing of reference values. Awareness in currently reorganizing parts of the hierarchy (no actions needed).

Looking at it this way, the modes don’t really fit that well. They overlap all the time. We are aware, then unaware, we act, stop acting, we imagine, then act, then imagine again. We could describe what’s happening in the control hierarchy through the concepts of awareness (tied with reorganization I believe), disturbances to CEV’s and actions. Â

Eva

image592.png

···

On Fri, May 24, 2019 at 9:21 AM Eva de Hullu eva@dehullu.net wrote:

[Eva de Hullu 2019-05-24_06:50:33 UTC]Â Â

Let’s see if I can draw these:

[Rick Marken 2019-05-23_13:31:17]Â Â

RM: The puzzle was whether this rerouting of the output to the input of a control system goes back through the input function of the control system or bypasses the input function to directly become the perceptual signal of that control system. My hierarchy model shows that this second approach – routing the output signal right back as the perceptual signal – works rather nicely. In fact I don’t believe it could be done any other way. That is, I don’t think there is any other way for the reference signal to produce exactly the perception it wants in imagination model. The imagination connection must work this way because there is no way a single output signal could line up all the appropriate inputs to the input function in order to produce the perceptual signal demanded by the reference signal.
EH: Would it look like this? Â

Â

And then I tried to draw Bruce’s idea:

 [Bruce Nevin 20190523.0852 ET] The “Memory” box is not part of the same control system. It is part of a system or systems at the level below it. Â
But I can’t visualize how this would look, other that just the normal control system. What would the difference be between memory and ‘normal’ input?

So following Eetu:

[Eetu Pikkarainen 2019-05-24_05:36:08 UTC]
 Quite intuitively and introspectively, I see a problem in Rick’s shortcut model. It can be possible, but I have a strong feeling that “imagining� must be a harder job where the current control unit must put it’s lower units to work. When I imagine an apple it is a different thing than using a concept or word “apple�. I must imagine a apple which has at least some special characteristics like color, shape, size and in the Rick’s example also the position. To imagine these I must use lower level perceptions than just the configuration level perception of apple.

Would then, as I intuitively and introspectively suspect as well, imagination involve the entire control system?

In Rick Marken’s More Mind Readings chapter The Hierarchical Behavior o Perception I encountered this paragraph [p90] that confirmed my perception that we can’t have upper level perceptions without the lower level perceptions involved. In my mind, that doesn’t match with the idea of the imagination mode shortcut at any level.

image.png

EH:So then, could we imagine the imagination mode taking place only at the bottom level of the hierarchy? If there’s no input from outside the system, or no ‘triggering’ of the senses (no disturbance, actually), the output signal could serve as input to the current control model. Since at the bottom level each control system has only one single input signal (otherwise it wouldn’t be the bottom level), the input is the same as the perceptual signal (no combination of inputs needed).Â

So the equation:Â o = r -1/k(d), without d, o=r does still apply.Â

In a 4-level hierarchical control system:

Â

And the same system with disturbances and actions (and imagination feedback as well):Â

 Â

Am I missing something? Do we actually need the imagination switch?Â

Best,
Eva

Â

Â

On Fri, May 24, 2019 at 7:45 AM Eetu Pikkarainen csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Eetu Pikkarainen 2019-05-24_05:36:08 UTC]

Â

Quite intuitively and introspectively, I see a problem in Rick’s shortcut model. It can be possible, but I have a strong feeling that “imagining� must be a harder job where the current
control unit must put it’s lower units to work. When I imagine an apple it is a different thing than using a concept or word “apple�. I must imagine a apple which has at least some special characteristics like color, shape, size and in the Rick’s example also
the position. To imagine these I must use lower level perceptions than just the configuration level perception of apple.

Â

Eetu

Â

From: Bruce Nevin csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2019 12:40 AM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: Imagination Connection

Â

[Bruce Nevin 20190523.0852 ET]Â

Â

 Rick Marken 2019-05-23_13:31:17–

Â

RM: No, I was actually puzzling over how the output of a control systems becomes the perceptual signal in that same control system when the system
is in imagination mode.Â

Â

 The “Memory” box is not part of the same control system. It is part of a system or systems at the level below it.

Â

/Bruce

Â

Â

Â

Â

On Thu, May 23, 2019 at 4:32 PM Richard Marken csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Rick Marken 2019-05-23_13:31:17]

Â

[Bruce Nevin 20190523.0852 ET]

Â

BN: What we are puzzling over is how the error output from above becomes a reference signal below.Â

Â

RM: No, I was actually puzzling over how the output of a control systems becomes the perceptual signal in that same control system when the system is in imagination mode. The imagination mode model is meant to
account for the subjective phenomenon of imagining something “on purpose”. For example, I can, at this very moment, imagine that there is an apple on my desk. The imagination model explains this as me setting a reference for the perception of an apple which
produces an error that creates an output that is routed right back into the input of that control system and, voila, I perceive (in imagination) an apple without doing all that pain in the ass lower level controlling I would have to do (walking to the kitchen,
opening the refrigerator, looking in the fruit compartment, etc) to actually get an apple onto my desk.Â

Â

RM: The puzzle was whether this rerouting of the output to the input of a control system goes back through the input function of the control system or bypasses the input function to directly become the perceptual
signal of that control system. My hierarchy model shows that this second approach – routing the output signal right back as the perceptual signal – works rather nicely. In fact I don’t believe it could be done any other way. That is, I don’t think there
is any other way for the reference signal to produce exactly the perception it wants in imagination model. The imagination connection must work this way because there is no way a single output signal could line up all the appropriate inputs to the input function
in order to produce the perceptual signal demanded by the reference signal.

Â

RM: However, at first it didn’t seem intuitively obvious to me that rerouting the output as the perceptual signal would produce the exact perception demanded by the reference signal. But then I remembered the
simple algebraic expression for the output of a control system is:

Â

o = r -1/k(d)

Â

RM: And since, in imagination mode, there is no d, then o = r. So if o goes right back to become the perceptual signal we get r = p; that is, the reference signal gets precisely the perception it wants. Or, as
the Rolling Stones would say, in imagination mode “You can always git what you want, but if you try and try you
won’t git what you need” because you are not actually controlling anything about the real world out there.

Â

RM: By the way, since Warren asked, I’ve attached the spreadsheet hierarchy model where each system can be placed into imagination model by placing an asterisk above the system. What you will see when you do this
is that the system in imagination mode produces output that is equal to the reference (as per the equation above); and this output becomes the perceptual signal so the system is getting exactly what it wants. And this is true even when the reference to the
system is continuously changing, a fact that is particularly noticeable if you put one of the level 1 systems into imagination mode. Â

Â

RM: I’m going to try to extend this spreadsheet to show that while a system gets what it wants when it controls in imagination mode, the aspect of the environment that it would be controlling if the system were
not controlling in imagination is not what the system needs. To do this, I have to correctly compute the controlled variables; right now they are the same as the perceptions that are controlled. But if you are controlling a variable in imagination, an observer
would see that that variable is not being controlled. I want the spreadsheet to should that.Â

Â

Best

Â

Rick

Â

At the point where it enters the “Memory” box in the diagram it is an error output signal (or many error outputs). The error says how much of the signal
that is stored in “Memory” is required by the system(s) above that are issuing the error signals to that reference input.

Â

At the point where it exits the “Memory” box it is a reference signal for the lower system, a remembered perceptual input with which the current perceptual
input is to be made to conform. That’s why when the hypothesized imagination connection shunts it over to the input side it serves perfectly as perceptual input.

Â

That “Memory” box is a reference input function. The reference input function combines a plurality of error signals into a single firing rate, the amount
that is to be perceived of whatever perceptual input the lower system controls.

Â

The “Memory” label comes from a confusion about the objective firing rate (“reference signal” and “perceptual signal”) and the subjective experience that
is associated with that firing rate (“desire” and “perception”). Slipping with unconscious equivocation between the model and the experience in order to communicate in effective terms what it means to us to control, Bill’s account in B:CP says that the memory
of the perception is stored there and the input from higher-level error only specifies the amount of that remembered perception. The fact of that memory is given solely by its location relative to other control systems in the hierarchy; the experience of that
memory is something that PCT explains just as satisfactorily as it explains the experience associated with a perceptual input signal.

Â

Just as we distinguish “perceptual signal” from “perception”, we must distinguish “reference signal” from “Memory”. The simple fact that the reference
signal is input to the same comparator as a particular perceptual signal in the objective terms of the model is what makes that reference signal a “memory” of that “perception” in subjective experience.

Â

Perceptual input functions and reference input functions mirror each other. In both cases, a plurality of quantitative inputs are somehow made into a
single quantity which is input to a comparator, one from above, the other from below. These two kinds of input functions occasion a great deal of the hand-waving in PCT .

Â

Â

On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 6:13 PM Richard Marken csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Rick Marken 2019-05-22_15:12:17]

Â

[Eva de Hullu 2019-05-22_07:58:20 UTC]

EdH: The interesting point is that Rick perceives some error when looking at these diagrams. And it’s not simple: Eetu’s error even spans more of the hierarchy. For me, this means that there’s room for improvement of our understanding or improvement of our
models, and it’s fruitful to work on this together and see which perception fits best.

Â

RM: Exactly. But I’m sorry if you got the impression that I was finding something wrong with your diagrams. Your diagrams are masterpieces (what else would one expect from the land of Rembrandt and Vermeer;-)Â
And correct in terms of the descriptions you had available from others. They were so good that they allowed me to see an ambiguity in Bill’s diagram of the imagination connection in B:CP. I realized that it was not clear whether his diagram meant that the
rerouted output of a control system in imagination mode goes back into the input function of that same control system (as shown in your diagram) or directly into the perceptual signal. It could be either one. But I think it makes more sense for it to go directly
into the perceptual signal. I have set up my hierarchy spreadsheet this way and it works like a charm. Actually, I can’t see it working any other way.

Â

BestÂ

Â

Rick

Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you

have nothing left to take away.�

                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Â

Richard S. MarkenÂ

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you

have nothing left to take away.�

                --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Hi Eva, I’m going with you on the fact that imagination requires the lower level systems in order to fully imagine, for example, a cat, in my minds eye.

However, here are a few points I’d like to make…

  • when I have a mental image of a cat, it is definitely much less vivid and detailed than a real cat. Presumably this is because of the lack of actual sensory input from the environment. But could it also be because I am not, for example, rerouting any reference points for intensity back up through the perceptual signal route?

  • disturbances are definitely occurring all the time in automatic mode - the acts that happen outside awareness are often very sophisticated from a PCT point of view and full of dynamic disturbances - sleep walking for example.

  • the fact that the imagination switch can in theory operate outside awareness means that we need to think of this switch, if it exists, as a contributor to conscious imagination, but not sufficient. For example, it is self-evident that Rick’s demo currently shows the switch having a role outside awareness unless we think the spreadsheet is conscious.

  • ultimately we need a way to represent all the symbolism that happens in conscious imagination - I.e. use of language. Bruce might be able to send you something on this.

Talk to you all soon and thanks Eva for pushing this forward so productively!

Warren

image592.png

···

On 24 May 2019, at 08:54, Eva de Hullu (eva@dehullu.net via csgnet Mailing List) csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Eva de Hullu 2019-05-24_07:54:40 UTC]
Maybe I’m overdoing this, but let’s take it one step further.

When we move the mechanism of imagination to the first level of the hierarchy, the switches are no longer needed.

Take a look at the originally proposed memory switches and modes (these again, I drew based on the sources I mentioned earlier).

We could reinterpret these modes as follows without switches. I think the two switches are reinterpreted as input from the environment that is different from the reference (thus a disturbance) and output as action on the environment.

To separate the original modes, we might need awareness (which is tied with reorganization, I believe).

Controlled mode: Disturbance present, awareness on the reorganizing parts of the hierarchy. The CEV is disturbed, so the input and output are both ‘active’, working to maintain the desired perception.

Automatic mode: No disturbance present, no reorganization and thus no awareness. The CEV is not disturbed. Any actions carried out by the organism do not disturb any CEV. Everything you do runs smoothly (until something goes wrong, you cut your finger and ‘switch’ back to controlled mode - a disturbance has occured).

Passive observation mode: Disturbance present, awareness on the reorganizing parts of the hierarchy (but not on actions: no action in the environment needed). Everything that happens can be handled inside the control system. For example; listening to someone giving a lecture.

Imagination mode: No disturbance from outside environment present, but new references from top-down are tested in the hierarchy, so reorganization occurs through the changing of reference values. Awareness in currently reorganizing parts of the hierarchy (no actions needed).

Looking at it this way, the modes don’t really fit that well. They overlap all the time. We are aware, then unaware, we act, stop acting, we imagine, then act, then imagine again. We could describe what’s happening in the control hierarchy through the concepts of awareness (tied with reorganization I believe), disturbances to CEV’s and actions.

Eva

On Fri, May 24, 2019 at 9:21 AM Eva de Hullu eva@dehullu.net wrote:

[Eva de Hullu 2019-05-24_06:50:33 UTC]

Let’s see if I can draw these:

[Rick Marken 2019-05-23_13:31:17]

RM: The puzzle was whether this rerouting of the output to the input of a control system goes back through the input function of the control system or bypasses the input function to directly become the perceptual signal of that control system. My hierarchy model shows that this second approach – routing the output signal right back as the perceptual signal – works rather nicely. In fact I don’t believe it could be done any other way. That is, I don’t think there is any other way for the reference signal to produce exactly the perception it wants in imagination model. The imagination connection must work this way because there is no way a single output signal could line up all the appropriate inputs to the input function in order to produce the perceptual signal demanded by the reference signal.
EH: Would it look like this?

And then I tried to draw Bruce’s idea:

[Bruce Nevin 20190523.0852 ET] The “Memory” box is not part of the same control system. It is part of a system or systems at the level below it.
But I can’t visualize how this would look, other that just the normal control system. What would the difference be between memory and ‘normal’ input?

So following Eetu:

[Eetu Pikkarainen 2019-05-24_05:36:08 UTC]
Quite intuitively and introspectively, I see a problem in Rick’s shortcut model. It can be possible, but I have a strong feeling that “imagining� must be a harder job where the current control unit must put it’s lower units to work. When I imagine an apple it is a different thing than using a concept or word “apple�. I must imagine a apple which has at least some special characteristics like color, shape, size and in the Rick’s example also the position. To imagine these I must use lower level perceptions than just the configuration level perception of apple.

Would then, as I intuitively and introspectively suspect as well, imagination involve the entire control system?

In Rick Marken’s More Mind Readings chapter The Hierarchical Behavior o Perception I encountered this paragraph [p90] that confirmed my perception that we can’t have upper level perceptions without the lower level perceptions involved. In my mind, that doesn’t match with the idea of the imagination mode shortcut at any level.

image.png

EH:So then, could we imagine the imagination mode taking place only at the bottom level of the hierarchy? If there’s no input from outside the system, or no ‘triggering’ of the senses (no disturbance, actually), the output signal could serve as input to the current control model. Since at the bottom level each control system has only one single input signal (otherwise it wouldn’t be the bottom level), the input is the same as the perceptual signal (no combination of inputs needed).

So the equation: o = r -1/k(d), without d, o=r does still apply.

In a 4-level hierarchical control system:

And the same system with disturbances and actions (and imagination feedback as well):

Am I missing something? Do we actually need the imagination switch?

Best,
Eva

On Fri, May 24, 2019 at 7:45 AM Eetu Pikkarainen csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Eetu Pikkarainen 2019-05-24_05:36:08 UTC]

Quite intuitively and introspectively, I see a problem in Rick’s shortcut model. It can be possible, but I have a strong feeling that “imagining� must be a harder job where the current
control unit must put it’s lower units to work. When I imagine an apple it is a different thing than using a concept or word “apple�. I must imagine a apple which has at least some special characteristics like color, shape, size and in the Rick’s example also
the position. To imagine these I must use lower level perceptions than just the configuration level perception of apple.

Eetu

From: Bruce Nevin csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2019 12:40 AM
To: csgnet@lists.illinois.edu
Subject: Re: Imagination Connection

[Bruce Nevin 20190523.0852 ET]

Rick Marken 2019-05-23_13:31:17–

RM: No, I was actually puzzling over how the output of a control systems becomes the perceptual signal in that same control system when the system
is in imagination mode.

The “Memory” box is not part of the same control system. It is part of a system or systems at the level below it.

/Bruce

On Thu, May 23, 2019 at 4:32 PM Richard Marken csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Rick Marken 2019-05-23_13:31:17]

[Bruce Nevin 20190523.0852 ET]

BN: What we are puzzling over is how the error output from above becomes a reference signal below.

RM: No, I was actually puzzling over how the output of a control systems becomes the perceptual signal in that same control system when the system is in imagination mode. The imagination mode model is meant to
account for the subjective phenomenon of imagining something “on purpose”. For example, I can, at this very moment, imagine that there is an apple on my desk. The imagination model explains this as me setting a reference for the perception of an apple which
produces an error that creates an output that is routed right back into the input of that control system and, voila, I perceive (in imagination) an apple without doing all that pain in the ass lower level controlling I would have to do (walking to the kitchen,
opening the refrigerator, looking in the fruit compartment, etc) to actually get an apple onto my desk.

RM: The puzzle was whether this rerouting of the output to the input of a control system goes back through the input function of the control system or bypasses the input function to directly become the perceptual
signal of that control system. My hierarchy model shows that this second approach – routing the output signal right back as the perceptual signal – works rather nicely. In fact I don’t believe it could be done any other way. That is, I don’t think there
is any other way for the reference signal to produce exactly the perception it wants in imagination model. The imagination connection must work this way because there is no way a single output signal could line up all the appropriate inputs to the input function
in order to produce the perceptual signal demanded by the reference signal.

RM: However, at first it didn’t seem intuitively obvious to me that rerouting the output as the perceptual signal would produce the exact perception demanded by the reference signal. But then I remembered the
simple algebraic expression for the output of a control system is:

o = r -1/k(d)

RM: And since, in imagination mode, there is no d, then o = r. So if o goes right back to become the perceptual signal we get r = p; that is, the reference signal gets precisely the perception it wants. Or, as
the Rolling Stones would say, in imagination mode “You can always git what you want, but if you try and try you
won’t git what you need” because you are not actually controlling anything about the real world out there.

RM: By the way, since Warren asked, I’ve attached the spreadsheet hierarchy model where each system can be placed into imagination model by placing an asterisk above the system. What you will see when you do this
is that the system in imagination mode produces output that is equal to the reference (as per the equation above); and this output becomes the perceptual signal so the system is getting exactly what it wants. And this is true even when the reference to the
system is continuously changing, a fact that is particularly noticeable if you put one of the level 1 systems into imagination mode.

RM: I’m going to try to extend this spreadsheet to show that while a system gets what it wants when it controls in imagination mode, the aspect of the environment that it would be controlling if the system were
not controlling in imagination is not what the system needs. To do this, I have to correctly compute the controlled variables; right now they are the same as the perceptions that are controlled. But if you are controlling a variable in imagination, an observer
would see that that variable is not being controlled. I want the spreadsheet to should that.

Best

Rick

At the point where it enters the “Memory” box in the diagram it is an error output signal (or many error outputs). The error says how much of the signal
that is stored in “Memory” is required by the system(s) above that are issuing the error signals to that reference input.

At the point where it exits the “Memory” box it is a reference signal for the lower system, a remembered perceptual input with which the current perceptual
input is to be made to conform. That’s why when the hypothesized imagination connection shunts it over to the input side it serves perfectly as perceptual input.

That “Memory” box is a reference input function. The reference input function combines a plurality of error signals into a single firing rate, the amount
that is to be perceived of whatever perceptual input the lower system controls.

The “Memory” label comes from a confusion about the objective firing rate (“reference signal” and “perceptual signal”) and the subjective experience that
is associated with that firing rate (“desire” and “perception”). Slipping with unconscious equivocation between the model and the experience in order to communicate in effective terms what it means to us to control, Bill’s account in B:CP says that the memory
of the perception is stored there and the input from higher-level error only specifies the amount of that remembered perception. The fact of that memory is given solely by its location relative to other control systems in the hierarchy; the experience of that
memory is something that PCT explains just as satisfactorily as it explains the experience associated with a perceptual input signal.

Just as we distinguish “perceptual signal” from “perception”, we must distinguish “reference signal” from “Memory”. The simple fact that the reference
signal is input to the same comparator as a particular perceptual signal in the objective terms of the model is what makes that reference signal a “memory” of that “perception” in subjective experience.

Perceptual input functions and reference input functions mirror each other. In both cases, a plurality of quantitative inputs are somehow made into a
single quantity which is input to a comparator, one from above, the other from below. These two kinds of input functions occasion a great deal of the hand-waving in PCT .

On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 6:13 PM Richard Marken csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Rick Marken 2019-05-22_15:12:17]

[Eva de Hullu 2019-05-22_07:58:20 UTC]

EdH: The interesting point is that Rick perceives some error when looking at these diagrams. And it’s not simple: Eetu’s error even spans more of the hierarchy. For me, this means that there’s room for improvement of our understanding or improvement of our
models, and it’s fruitful to work on this together and see which perception fits best.

RM: Exactly. But I’m sorry if you got the impression that I was finding something wrong with your diagrams. Your diagrams are masterpieces (what else would one expect from the land of Rembrandt and Vermeer;-)
And correct in terms of the descriptions you had available from others. They were so good that they allowed me to see an ambiguity in Bill’s diagram of the imagination connection in B:CP. I realized that it was not clear whether his diagram meant that the
rerouted output of a control system in imagination mode goes back into the input function of that same control system (as shown in your diagram) or directly into the perceptual signal. It could be either one. But I think it makes more sense for it to go directly
into the perceptual signal. I have set up my hierarchy spreadsheet this way and it works like a charm. Actually, I can’t see it working any other way.

Best

Rick

Richard S. Marken

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you

have nothing left to take away.�

                            --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Richard S. Marken

"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you

have nothing left to take away.�

                            --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

[Bruce Nevin 20190524.0610 ET]

Eva de Hullu 2019-05-24_07:54:40 UTC –

I tried to draw Bruce’s idea:

[Bruce Nevin 20190523.0852 ET] The “Memory” box is not part of the same control system. It is part of a system or systems at the level below it.

But I can’t visualize how this would look, other that just the normal control system. What would the difference be between memory and ‘normal’ input?

Bill’s proposal in B:CP for the ‘Control Mode’ position of the two switches is that error output at the higher level evokes memory of the given perception by specifying the amount of each of the tributary lower-level perception(s), where the lower-level perceptions themselves are stored in memory.

The error signal from a given higher-level system typically or perhaps always branches so as to specify the amount of each of the many lower-level systems which contribute perceptual input to that higher-level perceptual input function. A single rate of firing is diversified into the several rates of firing appropriate to get the right amount of each tributary perception. (See “amplification” in B:CP.)

So I am oversimplifying to say that the “Memory” box in the diagram is part of the lower-level systems. According to Bill’s verbal formulation in B:CP, that box in the diagram represents a copy of the input perception which has been stored in memory at the same level. However, what is memory? It is not off in a box someplace. It is stored electrochemically at every synapse. (A source of confusion: people sometimes talk imprecisely about memory functions in the brain. There are functions in the brain that are instrumental in storing and reinforcing memory, apparently by feedback to the synapses where the memory is actually stored.)

The “Memory” box has an arrow entering it from the error output of the comparator above it. The particular perception controlled by that comparator comprises in its perceptual input function a set of perceptual inputs which contribute to it from below. The fact that it is memory of that particular perception arises from and is identical with its connections in the hierarchy. It arises from the fact that certain higher-level systems call for that perception as part of the perceptions that they control. It arises from the fact that this particular higher-level system has both its perceptual input function and its branching error output signal connected precisely to each and all of those particular lower-level systems. (At the lowest level, sensors providing input and effectors receiving error output are distinct kinds of organs, but precisely there the loop is closed through the environment rather than through lower-level comparators.) The branching of error output to just those systems which contribute perceptual input could properly be called the error-output function of the higher-level comparator; and that is what the “Memory” box represents: the error-output function which distributes just the appropriate rate of firing to the reference input functions of the connected lower-level systems.

The oversimplification is in our diagram which represents a single arrow entering a box labeled “Memory” and a single arrow exiting (via a “switch”) either to a reference input below or to the imagination shunt over to the perceptual input.

I have proposed here and in print that every system is always imagining its input; that is, that every comparator is always receiving a signal through its reference input. Absent control from above and perceptual input from the environment, this is a low rate of firing. Not much of that perception is requested, and the difference between the reference and current perceptual input generates weak reference signals for the tributary lower-level systems. A higher-level system calls for that perception by way of a stronger error signal generating a stronger reference signal. Choosing to imagine an apple generates these stronger reference signals down the hierarchy, but absent input from the environment to sensors the lowest level or levels have only a pallid activation.

If this were not the case, then the natural state of mind when sitting quietly in a static environment would be vegetative. Anyone who has meditated knows that this is not the case. FMRI scans also show apparently random activity, what one neurologist told me was the brain talking to itself. (What was surprising to him – I had the impression that it was unprecedented in his experience–was that my wife’s brain was completely quiet when, minutes later, she put herself into a trance state to channel. But that’s another story, probably over the event horizon for some folks here, and should not distract from present purposes.)

This is consistent with brain activity during sleep. As we approach a waking state, the narrative-making functions in the brain fashion this into what we recall as dreams.

It is consistent with the phenomenon of perceiving aspects of the environment that are not presently perceptible, as though they were present. This ranges from recognizing the cat by glimpsing its tail twitching under a bush through constructed illusions to the phenomena of confirmation bias.

Martin, I’m really swamped right now. Do you think it would be useful to dredge up some of the discussion that we had about this a year or two ago?

···

From my first reading of B:CP the mechanistic character of the switches in Bill’s diagram has been unconvincing to me. As I have learned more, I understand that neural connections are not at all static, and that neurons make and break synaptic connections all the time. But the purposeful changing of connections when something calls for imagining a given perceptual input, at one or many levels depending upon the vividness of the imagining, is not explained. The way in which some current perception ‘triggers’ a memory, which is in fact an imagined perception, is obviously related.

/Bruce

[Martin Taylor 2019.05.24.11.33]

···

On thing that seems missing from this
discussion is that, no matter how Bill drew his diagram, imagined
perceptions are conscious, and are never (in my conscious
experience) isolated from the rest of the consciously perceived
environment. In Rick’s example of the imaginary apple on his desk,
he says he is not conscious of an isolated “location” perception.
he is conscious of a apple (not an “apple”), which has a location
property relative to the desk.

  What attracted me to Rick's interpretation of the Powers drawing

was that it allows just this conscious inclusion of imagined
properties in a background of perceptions built from current
sensory data. A consciously perceived apple, whether imagined or
not, is a bundle of properties, many of which are not included in
the visually imagined apple, though thy could be in other ways of
imagining the apple. I think of its texture, taste, acidity,
hardness, etc. Rick could imagine the apple on his desk having
particular values of those properties, but he mentioned only its
visual properties, so I am assuming that its other properties were
not at that moment included in his consciously imagined perception
of an apple on the desk, though they might have been if he wanted.
The rest of the context could have been imagined away, such as a
pencil lying on the desk where he wanted to imagine an apple. And
maybe it was.

  Another point that is usually missed, usually with no ill effects,

in CSGnet discussions is that a “neural current” is no more than a
hypothetical variable introduced only to make some calculations
easier. Its a collective effect of the actions of many nerves, no
two of which are likely to have the exact same connections with
other nerves, and which do not therefore all have the same
sensitivity to any specific pattern of inputs. Each neuron is a
“Memory” function like that in the diagram, and the “neural
current” effect of Bill’s associative memory is the effect of all
those micro-memories on the thousands of other nerves with which
each output synapses. All this means is that the boundaries of ANY
“neural bundle” are fuzzy, with core contributing nerves and
nerves that contribute less and less consistently to ANY scalar
signal in a control loop. Most of the time, using just the neural
currents works just fine, but sometimes it doesn’t, and this may
be such a case.

  Bruce, it might be an idea to include the earlier discussion in

the new forum as an early example thread. What with preparing for
two different meetings with close deadlines, writing a book, doing
“Spring” things i the garden, and dealing with changing home
computer organization, I, too, am pretty much swamped. Taking time
to write CSGnet messages is really something I should not be
doing. Unfortunately it is more fun than what I should be doing.

  Martin
                  [Bruce Nevin

20190524.0610 ET]

                    Eva

de Hullu 2019-05-24_07:54:40 UTC –

                    I

tried to draw Bruce’s idea:

                    [Bruce Nevin

20190523.0852 ET] The “Memory” box is not part
of the same control system. It is part of a
system or systems at the level below it.

                    But

I can’t visualize how this would look, other
that just the normal control system. What would
the difference be between memory and ‘normal’
input?

                  From my first

reading of B:CP the mechanistic character of the
switches in Bill’s diagram has been unconvincing
to me. As I have learned more, I understand that
neural connections are not at all static, and that
neurons make and break synaptic connections all
the time. But the purposeful changing of
connections when something calls for imagining a
given perceptual input, at one or many levels
depending upon the vividness of the imagining, is
not explained. The way in which some current
perception ‘triggers’ a memory, which is in fact
an imagined perception, is obviously related.

                  Bill's proposal

in B:CP for the ‘Control Mode’ position of the two
switches is that error output at the higher level
evokes memory of the given perception by
specifying the amount of each of the
tributary lower-level perception(s), where the
lower-level perceptions themselves are stored in
memory.

                  The error signal

from a given higher-level system typically or
perhaps always branches so as to specify the
amount of each of the many lower-level systems
which contribute perceptual input to that
higher-level perceptual input function. A single
rate of firing is diversified into the several
rates of firing appropriate to get the right
amount of each tributary perception. (See
“amplification” in B:CP.)

                  So I am

oversimplifying to say that the “Memory” box in
the diagram is part of the lower-level systems.
According to Bill’s verbal formulation in B:CP,
that box in the diagram represents a copy of the
input perception which has been stored in memory
at the same level. However, what is memory? It is
not off in a box someplace. It is stored
electrochemically at every synapse. (A source of
confusion: people sometimes talk imprecisely about
memory functions in the brain. There are functions
in the brain that are instrumental in storing and
reinforcing memory, apparently by feedback to the
synapses where the memory is actually stored.)

                  The "Memory" box

has an arrow entering it from the error output of
the comparator above it. The particular perception
controlled by that comparator comprises in its
perceptual input function a set of perceptual
inputs which contribute to it from below. The fact
that it is memory of that particular perception
arises from and is identical with its connections
in the hierarchy. It arises from the fact that
certain higher-level systems call for that
perception as part of the perceptions that they
control. It arises from the fact that this
particular higher-level system has both its
perceptual input function and its branching error
output signal connected precisely to each and all
of those particular lower-level systems. (At the
lowest level, sensors providing input and
effectors receiving error output are distinct
kinds of organs, but precisely there the loop is
closed through the environment rather than through
lower-level comparators.) The branching of error
output to just those systems which contribute
perceptual input could properly be called the
error-output function of the higher-level
comparator; and that is what the “Memory” box
represents: the error-output function which
distributes just the appropriate rate of firing to
the reference input functions of the connected
lower-level systems.

                  The

oversimplification is in our diagram which
represents a single arrow entering a box labeled
“Memory” and a single arrow exiting (via a
“switch”) either to a reference input below or to
the imagination shunt over to the perceptual
input.

                  I have proposed

here and in print that every system is always
imagining its input; that is, that every
comparator is always receiving a signal through
its reference input. Absent control from above and
perceptual input from the environment, this is a
low rate of firing. Not much of that perception is
requested, and the difference between the
reference and current perceptual input generates
weak reference signals for the tributary
lower-level systems. A higher-level system calls
for that perception by way of a stronger error
signal generating a stronger reference signal.
Choosing to imagine an apple generates these
stronger reference signals down the hierarchy, but
absent input from the environment to sensors the
lowest level or levels have only a pallid
activation.

                  If this were not

the case, then the natural state of mind when
sitting quietly in a static environment would be
vegetative. Anyone who has meditated knows that
this is not the case. FMRI scans also show
apparently random activity, what one neurologist
told me was the brain talking to itself. (What was
surprising to him – I had the impression that it
was unprecedented in his experience–was that my
wife’s brain was completely quiet when, minutes
later, she put herself into a trance state to
channel. But that’s another story, probably over
the event horizon for some folks here, and should
not distract from present purposes.)

                  This is

consistent with brain activity during sleep. As we
approach a waking state, the narrative-making
functions in the brain fashion this into what we
recall as dreams.

                  It is consistent

with the phenomenon of perceiving aspects of the
environment that are not presently perceptible, as
though they were present. This ranges from
recognizing the cat by glimpsing its tail
twitching under a bush through constructed
illusions to the phenomena of confirmation bias.

                  Martin, I'm

really swamped right now. Do you think it would be
useful to dredge up some of the discussion that we
had about this a year or two ago?

/Bruce

[Bruce Nevin 20190524.1456 ET]

Martin Taylor 2019.05.24.11.33–

MMT: One thing that seems missing from this discussion is that, no matter how Bill drew his diagram, imagined perceptions are conscious, and are never (in my conscious experience) isolated from the rest of the consciously perceived environment

It is easy to find examples where it is realized after the fact that something was imagined and not consciously perceived at the time. In addition, I also include dreaming in this. Recommended reading:

20190524_150050.jpg

MMT: Taking time to write CSGnet messages is really something I should not be doing. Unfortunately it is more fun than what I should be doing.

Yup.

···

On Fri, May 24, 2019 at 12:06 PM Martin Taylor csgnet@lists.illinois.edu wrote:

[Martin Taylor 2019.05.24.11.33]

  On thing that seems missing from this

discussion is that, no matter how Bill drew his diagram, imagined
perceptions are conscious, and are never (in my conscious
experience) isolated from the rest of the consciously perceived
environment. In Rick’s example of the imaginary apple on his desk,
he says he is not conscious of an isolated “location” perception.
he is conscious of a apple (not an “apple”), which has a location
property relative to the desk.

  What attracted me to Rick's interpretation of the Powers drawing

was that it allows just this conscious inclusion of imagined
properties in a background of perceptions built from current
sensory data. A consciously perceived apple, whether imagined or
not, is a bundle of properties, many of which are not included in
the visually imagined apple, though thy could be in other ways of
imagining the apple. I think of its texture, taste, acidity,
hardness, etc. Rick could imagine the apple on his desk having
particular values of those properties, but he mentioned only its
visual properties, so I am assuming that its other properties were
not at that moment included in his consciously imagined perception
of an apple on the desk, though they might have been if he wanted.
The rest of the context could have been imagined away, such as a
pencil lying on the desk where he wanted to imagine an apple. And
maybe it was.

  Another point that is usually missed, usually with no ill effects,

in CSGnet discussions is that a “neural current” is no more than a
hypothetical variable introduced only to make some calculations
easier. Its a collective effect of the actions of many nerves, no
two of which are likely to have the exact same connections with
other nerves, and which do not therefore all have the same
sensitivity to any specific pattern of inputs. Each neuron is a
“Memory” function like that in the diagram, and the “neural
current” effect of Bill’s associative memory is the effect of all
those micro-memories on the thousands of other nerves with which
each output synapses. All this means is that the boundaries of ANY
“neural bundle” are fuzzy, with core contributing nerves and
nerves that contribute less and less consistently to ANY scalar
signal in a control loop. Most of the time, using just the neural
currents works just fine, but sometimes it doesn’t, and this may
be such a case.

  Bruce, it might be an idea to include the earlier discussion in

the new forum as an early example thread. What with preparing for
two different meetings with close deadlines, writing a book, doing
“Spring” things i the garden, and dealing with changing home
computer organization, I, too, am pretty much swamped. Taking time
to write CSGnet messages is really something I should not be
doing. Unfortunately it is more fun than what I should be doing.

  Martin
                  [Bruce Nevin

20190524.0610 ET]

                    Eva

de Hullu 2019-05-24_07:54:40 UTC –

                    I

tried to draw Bruce’s idea:

                    [Bruce Nevin

20190523.0852 ET] The “Memory” box is not part
of the same control system. It is part of a
system or systems at the level below it.

                    But

I can’t visualize how this would look, other
that just the normal control system. What would
the difference be between memory and ‘normal’
input?

                  From my first

reading of B:CP the mechanistic character of the
switches in Bill’s diagram has been unconvincing
to me. As I have learned more, I understand that
neural connections are not at all static, and that
neurons make and break synaptic connections all
the time. But the purposeful changing of
connections when something calls for imagining a
given perceptual input, at one or many levels
depending upon the vividness of the imagining, is
not explained. The way in which some current
perception ‘triggers’ a memory, which is in fact
an imagined perception, is obviously related.

                  Bill's proposal

in B:CP for the ‘Control Mode’ position of the two
switches is that error output at the higher level
evokes memory of the given perception by
specifying the amount of each of the
tributary lower-level perception(s), where the
lower-level perceptions themselves are stored in
memory.

                  The error signal

from a given higher-level system typically or
perhaps always branches so as to specify the
amount of each of the many lower-level systems
which contribute perceptual input to that
higher-level perceptual input function. A single
rate of firing is diversified into the several
rates of firing appropriate to get the right
amount of each tributary perception. (See
“amplification” in B:CP.)

                  So I am

oversimplifying to say that the “Memory” box in
the diagram is part of the lower-level systems.
According to Bill’s verbal formulation in B:CP,
that box in the diagram represents a copy of the
input perception which has been stored in memory
at the same level. However, what is memory? It is
not off in a box someplace. It is stored
electrochemically at every synapse. (A source of
confusion: people sometimes talk imprecisely about
memory functions in the brain. There are functions
in the brain that are instrumental in storing and
reinforcing memory, apparently by feedback to the
synapses where the memory is actually stored.)

                  The "Memory" box

has an arrow entering it from the error output of
the comparator above it. The particular perception
controlled by that comparator comprises in its
perceptual input function a set of perceptual
inputs which contribute to it from below. The fact
that it is memory of that particular perception
arises from and is identical with its connections
in the hierarchy. It arises from the fact that
certain higher-level systems call for that
perception as part of the perceptions that they
control. It arises from the fact that this
particular higher-level system has both its
perceptual input function and its branching error
output signal connected precisely to each and all
of those particular lower-level systems. (At the
lowest level, sensors providing input and
effectors receiving error output are distinct
kinds of organs, but precisely there the loop is
closed through the environment rather than through
lower-level comparators.) The branching of error
output to just those systems which contribute
perceptual input could properly be called the
error-output function of the higher-level
comparator; and that is what the “Memory” box
represents: the error-output function which
distributes just the appropriate rate of firing to
the reference input functions of the connected
lower-level systems.

                  The

oversimplification is in our diagram which
represents a single arrow entering a box labeled
“Memory” and a single arrow exiting (via a
“switch”) either to a reference input below or to
the imagination shunt over to the perceptual
input.

                  I have proposed

here and in print that every system is always
imagining its input; that is, that every
comparator is always receiving a signal through
its reference input. Absent control from above and
perceptual input from the environment, this is a
low rate of firing. Not much of that perception is
requested, and the difference between the
reference and current perceptual input generates
weak reference signals for the tributary
lower-level systems. A higher-level system calls
for that perception by way of a stronger error
signal generating a stronger reference signal.
Choosing to imagine an apple generates these
stronger reference signals down the hierarchy, but
absent input from the environment to sensors the
lowest level or levels have only a pallid
activation.

                  If this were not

the case, then the natural state of mind when
sitting quietly in a static environment would be
vegetative. Anyone who has meditated knows that
this is not the case. FMRI scans also show
apparently random activity, what one neurologist
told me was the brain talking to itself. (What was
surprising to him – I had the impression that it
was unprecedented in his experience–was that my
wife’s brain was completely quiet when, minutes
later, she put herself into a trance state to
channel. But that’s another story, probably over
the event horizon for some folks here, and should
not distract from present purposes.)

                  This is

consistent with brain activity during sleep. As we
approach a waking state, the narrative-making
functions in the brain fashion this into what we
recall as dreams.

                  It is consistent

with the phenomenon of perceiving aspects of the
environment that are not presently perceptible, as
though they were present. This ranges from
recognizing the cat by glimpsing its tail
twitching under a bush through constructed
illusions to the phenomena of confirmation bias.

                  Martin, I'm

really swamped right now. Do you think it would be
useful to dredge up some of the discussion that we
had about this a year or two ago?

/Bruce

[Martin Taylor 2019.05.25.16.25]

You surprise me. Could you offer one? If you were to describe one of

these easy to find examples of things imagined but not perceived, I
might understand what you mean.
How so? I am very much conscious of the content of my dreams, and I
would call them imagined. An outside observer is not conscious of MY
dreams, but I imagine that one would be conscious of his or her own
dreams.
I suspect we are using the word “conscious” rather differently.
Martin

20190524_150050.jpg

···
        [Bruce

Nevin 20190524.1456 ET]

            Martin

Taylor 2019.05.24.11.33–

        MMT: One
        thing that seems missing from this discussion is that, no

matter how Bill drew his diagram, imagined perceptions are
conscious, and are never (in my conscious experience)
isolated from the rest of the consciously perceived
environment

        It is easy

to find examples where it is realized after the fact that
something was imagined and not consciously perceived at the
time.

        In

addition, I also include dreaming in this.

Recommended reading:

MMT: Taking
time to write CSGnet messages is really something I
should not be doing. Unfortunately it is more fun than
what I should be doing.

Yup.

      On Fri, May 24, 2019 at 12:06

PM Martin Taylor <csgnet@lists.illinois.edu >
wrote:

[Martin Taylor 2019.05.24.11.33]

          On

thing that seems missing from this discussion is that, no
matter how Bill drew his diagram, imagined perceptions are
conscious, and are never (in my conscious experience)
isolated from the rest of the consciously perceived
environment. In Rick’s example of the imaginary apple on
his desk, he says he is not conscious of an isolated
“location” perception. he is conscious of a apple (not an
“apple”), which has a location property relative to the
desk.

          What attracted me to Rick's interpretation of the Powers

drawing was that it allows just this conscious inclusion
of imagined properties in a background of perceptions
built from current sensory data. A consciously perceived
apple, whether imagined or not, is a bundle of properties,
many of which are not included in the visually imagined
apple, though thy could be in other ways of imagining the
apple. I think of its texture, taste, acidity, hardness,
etc. Rick could imagine the apple on his desk having
particular values of those properties, but he mentioned
only its visual properties, so I am assuming that its
other properties were not at that moment included in his
consciously imagined perception of an apple on the desk,
though they might have been if he wanted. The rest of the
context could have been imagined away, such as a pencil
lying on the desk where he wanted to imagine an apple. And
maybe it was.

          Another point that is usually missed, usually with no ill

effects, in CSGnet discussions is that a “neural current”
is no more than a hypothetical variable introduced only to
make some calculations easier. Its a collective effect of
the actions of many nerves, no two of which are likely to
have the exact same connections with other nerves, and
which do not therefore all have the same sensitivity to
any specific pattern of inputs. Each neuron is a “Memory”
function like that in the diagram, and the “neural
current” effect of Bill’s associative memory is the effect
of all those micro-memories on the thousands of other
nerves with which each output synapses. All this means is
that the boundaries of ANY “neural bundle” are fuzzy, with
core contributing nerves and nerves that contribute less
and less consistently to ANY scalar signal in a control
loop. Most of the time, using just the neural currents
works just fine, but sometimes it doesn’t, and this may be
such a case.

          Bruce, it might be an idea to include the earlier

discussion in the new forum as an early example thread.
What with preparing for two different meetings with close
deadlines, writing a book, doing “Spring” things i the
garden, and dealing with changing home computer
organization, I, too, am pretty much swamped. Taking time
to write CSGnet messages is really something I should not
be doing. Unfortunately it is more fun than what I should
be doing.

          Martin
                          [Bruce

Nevin 20190524.0610 ET]

                            Eva

de Hullu 2019-05-24_07:54:40 UTC –

                            I

tried to draw Bruce’s idea:

                            [Bruce

Nevin 20190523.0852 ET] The “Memory” box
is not part of the same control system.
It is part of a system or systems at the
level below it.

                            But

I can’t visualize how this would look,
other that just the normal control
system. What would the difference be
between memory and ‘normal’ input?

                          From my

first reading of B:CP the mechanistic
character of the switches in Bill’s
diagram has been unconvincing to me. As I
have learned more, I understand that
neural connections are not at all static,
and that neurons make and break synaptic
connections all the time. But the purposeful changing
of connections when something calls for
imagining a given perceptual input, at one
or many levels depending upon the
vividness of the imagining, is not
explained. The way in which some current
perception ‘triggers’ a memory, which is
in fact an imagined perception, is
obviously related.

                          Bill's

proposal in B:CP for the ‘Control Mode’
position of the two switches is that error
output at the higher level evokes memory
of the given perception by specifying the amount of
each of the tributary lower-level
perception(s), where the lower-level
perceptions themselves are stored in
memory.

                          The

error signal from a given higher-level
system typically or perhaps always
branches so as to specify the amount of
each of the many lower-level systems which
contribute perceptual input to that
higher-level perceptual input function. A
single rate of firing is diversified into
the several rates of firing appropriate to
get the right amount of each tributary
perception. (See “amplification” in B:CP.)

                          So I am

oversimplifying to say that the “Memory”
box in the diagram is part of the
lower-level systems. According to Bill’s
verbal formulation in B:CP, that box in
the diagram represents a copy of the input
perception which has been stored in memory
at the same level. However, what is
memory? It is not off in a box someplace.
It is stored electrochemically at every
synapse. (A source of confusion: people
sometimes talk imprecisely about memory
functions in the brain. There are
functions in the brain that are
instrumental in storing and reinforcing
memory, apparently by feedback to the
synapses where the memory is actually
stored.)

                          The

“Memory” box has an arrow entering it from
the error output of the comparator above
it. The particular perception controlled
by that comparator comprises in its
perceptual input function a set of
perceptual inputs which contribute to it
from below. The fact that it is memory of
that particular perception arises from and
is identical with its connections in the
hierarchy. It arises from the fact that
certain higher-level systems call for that
perception as part of the perceptions that
they control. It arises from the fact that
this particular higher-level system has
both its perceptual input function and its
branching error output signal connected
precisely to each and all of those
particular lower-level systems. (At the
lowest level, sensors providing input and
effectors receiving error output are
distinct kinds of organs, but precisely
there the loop is closed through the
environment rather than through
lower-level comparators.) The branching of
error output to just those systems which
contribute perceptual input could properly
be called the error-output function of the
higher-level comparator; and that is what
the “Memory” box represents: the
error-output function which distributes
just the appropriate rate of firing to the
reference input functions of the connected
lower-level systems.

                          The

oversimplification is in our diagram which
represents a single arrow entering a box
labeled “Memory” and a single arrow
exiting (via a “switch”) either to a
reference input below or to the
imagination shunt over to the perceptual
input.

                          I have

proposed here and in print that every
system is always imagining its input; that
is, that every comparator is always
receiving a signal through its reference
input. Absent control from above and
perceptual input from the environment,
this is a low rate of firing. Not much of
that perception is requested, and the
difference between the reference and
current perceptual input generates weak
reference signals for the tributary
lower-level systems. A higher-level system
calls for that perception by way of a
stronger error signal generating a
stronger reference signal. Choosing to
imagine an apple generates these stronger
reference signals down the hierarchy, but
absent input from the environment to
sensors the lowest level or levels have
only a pallid activation.

                          If this

were not the case, then the natural state
of mind when sitting quietly in a static
environment would be vegetative. Anyone
who has meditated knows that this is not
the case. FMRI scans also show apparently
random activity, what one neurologist told
me was the brain talking to itself. (What
was surprising to him – I had the
impression that it was unprecedented in
his experience–was that my wife’s brain
was completely quiet when, minutes later,
she put herself into a trance state to
channel. But that’s another story,
probably over the event horizon for some
folks here, and should not distract from
present purposes.)

                          This is

consistent with brain activity during
sleep. As we approach a waking state, the
narrative-making functions in the brain
fashion this into what we recall as
dreams.

                          It is

consistent with the phenomenon of
perceiving aspects of the environment that
are not presently perceptible, as though
they were present. This ranges from
recognizing the cat by glimpsing its tail
twitching under a bush through constructed
illusions to the phenomena of confirmation
bias.

                          Martin,

I’m really swamped right now. Do you think
it would be useful to dredge up some of
the discussion that we had about this a
year or two ago?

/Bruce