Sunsts and PCT

[From Bruce Gregory (2003.0702.0816)]

According to HPCT you do not look at a sunset because you enjoy it, you
enjoy the sunset because you look at it. Fortunately fMRI will enable us
to determine which of these descriptions is the more accurate. When
confronted by a threat, do the frontal lobes light up before the
amygdala, or is the reverse true? We shouldn't have to wait long for
these answers. For all I know, we have them already.

···

--
Bruce Gregory lives with the poet and painter Gray Jacobik in the future
Canadian Province of New England.

www.joincanadanow.org

[From Rick Marken (2003.07.02.0850)]

Bruce Gregory (2003.0702.0816)--

According to HPCT you do not look at a sunset because you enjoy it, you
enjoy the sunset because you look at it.

No. This is not HPCT. I think HPCT would say that, if an emotion (such as
enjoyment) is part of the "sunset" perception you are controlling for, you will
have successfully controlled for the perception "sunset" to the extent that
enjoyment was part of it.

Emotion is part of what I control for when I control many perceptions,
particularly musical perceptions. When I play the tenor aria "Che celida manina"
from La Boheme I am controlling not only for the luscious melodic form but also
for those prickles on the back of my neck that I get when a guy like Pavoratti
holds that sustained high F (or whatever the hell it is) for what seems like a few
minutes. I'm still getting close to the perception I want even when I don't get
the prickles on the neck. But the emotional component of the perception is
definitely part of the perceptual experience I am controlling for. Since HPCT
explains the control of perception, it obviously explains the control of emotional
perceptions, too.

Best regards

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Senior Behavioral Scientist
The RAND Corporation
PO Box 2138
1700 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
Tel: 310-393-0411 x7971
Fax: 310-451-7018
E-mail: rmarken@rand.org

[From Rick Marken (2003.07.02.0930)]

Bruce Gregory (2003.0702.1203)]

Me:

> Emotion is part of what I control for when I control many perceptions,
> particularly musical perceptions.

I don't recognize Bill's theory of emotions in this statement. Perhaps
he will comment.

Bill's theory of emotion explains why emotions occur; why we experience enjoyment,
for example, when we see a sunset or hear "Che celida manina". I was just saying
that such emotional experiences (which are perceptions) can be (and, from my
experience, are) aspects of some of the perceptions we control.

Best regards

Rick

···

---
Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Senior Behavioral Scientist
The RAND Corporation
PO Box 2138
1700 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
Tel: 310-393-0411 x7971
Fax: 310-451-7018
E-mail: rmarken@rand.org

[From Rick Marken (2003.07.02.1100)]

Marc Abrams (2003.07.02.1314) --

> Rick Marken (2003.07.02.0850)--

> Emotion is part of what I control for when I control many perceptions,

How do you 'control' for emotions? I thought you said emotions _result_ from
control. Oh well, there goes your consistency.

Yes. Emotions do result from control. But that doesn't mean that you can't also
control for the emotions that result from control. Consider Bill Powers'
(2003.07.02.0726 MDt) nice description of how fear is produced:

What you experienced as fear was a mixture of the cognitive
desire to avoid pain or injury, and the physiological preparation
to support the pending action...

This perception of fear can be produced by putting yourself in a situation where
you are making all the physical preparations to support control actions that, if
they occurred, would be aimed at pain avoidance. I know exactly how to control
for this perception of fear: I go to the pier (only a block away) and ride the
roller coaster. I know that when I am riding a roller coaster I will be making
all the physical preparations to support actions that will keep me from smashing
into the ground. I am controlling for the perception of fear -- the physical
preparations for actions that include the adrenaline rush, the sinking stomach,
etc. -- by putting myself in a situation where my controlling for pain avoidance
will produce the perception I want to feel (in a situation where I imagine that I
won't actually have to take action to avoid pain).

Best regards

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Senior Behavioral Scientist
The RAND Corporation
PO Box 2138
1700 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
Tel: 310-393-0411 x7971
Fax: 310-451-7018
E-mail: rmarken@rand.org

from [ Marc Abrams ( 2003.07.02.0836 ) ]

[From Bruce Gregory (2003.0702.0816)]

According to HPCT you do not look at a sunset because you enjoy it, you
enjoy the sunset because you look at it. Fortunately fMRI will enable us
to determine which of these descriptions is the more accurate. When
confronted by a threat, do the frontal lobes light up before the
amygdala, or is the reverse true? We shouldn't have to wait long for
these answers. For all I know, we have them already.

At least some believe we do. I am among the believers. The evidence is quite
a bit more then the fMRI imaging. It is the imaging in conjunction with
electrochemical analysis in primates that has been done over the last 10 -
20 years. Again, at this point, it's all a bunch of hand waving, but _very_
interesting hand waving it is.

Marc

[From Bruce Gregory (2003.0702.1203)]

Rick Marken (2003.07.02.0850)]

No. This is not HPCT. I think HPCT would say that, if an emotion
(such as
enjoyment) is part of the "sunset" perception you are controlling for,
you will
have successfully controlled for the perception "sunset" to the extent
that
enjoyment was part of it.

Emotion is part of what I control for when I control many perceptions,
particularly musical perceptions. When I play the tenor aria "Che
celida manina"
from La Boheme I am controlling not only for the luscious melodic form
but also
for those prickles on the back of my neck that I get when a guy like
Pavoratti
holds that sustained high F (or whatever the hell it is) for what
seems like a few
minutes. I'm still getting close to the perception I want even when I
don't get
the prickles on the neck. But the emotional component of the
perception is
definitely part of the perceptual experience I am controlling for.
Since HPCT
explains the control of perception, it obviously explains the control
of emotional
perceptions, too.

I don't recognize Bill's theory of emotions in this statement. Perhaps
he will comment.

[From Rick Marken (2003.07.02.1410)]

Marc Abrams (2003.07.02.1435) --

> Rick Marken (2003.07.02.1100)--

> Yes. Emotions do result from control. But that doesn't mean that you can't
> also control for the emotions that result from control....

Sorry Rick. This makes no sense. Do you really believe you can 'control' for
your emotions?

I know I can. And I believe you can, too. Emotions can't be controlled as
precisely as other perceptions but they are definitely controllable.

Can you please tell me how to make myself content
and happy 100% of the time.

It's impossible to control any perception perfectly and emotions (from my
experience) are probably the most poorly controlled perceptions of all. But they
certainly can be controlled.

> What you experienced as fear was a mixture of the cognitive
> desire to avoid pain or injury, and the physiological preparation
> to support the pending action...

I would like to understand this. Please, first explain what 'cognitive
desire' is? and What 'causes' physiological 'preperations'?

Bill has explained this to you several times. If you still don't understand it yet
it's probably because you don't want to understand it.

Emotions are not perceptions.

What are they, then? How do you know they exist if they are not perceptions?

As an a side Rick, How do emotions change when your perceptions don't? What
is 'controlling' your emotions?

The physiological cause of the emotion perception dissipates.

> I know exactly how to control for this perception of fear: I go to the
> pier (only a block away) and ride the roller coaster. I know that when
> I am riding a roller coaster I will be making all the physical preparations
> to support actions that will keep me from smashing into the ground.
> I am controlling for the perception of fear -- the physical preparations
> for actions that include the adrenaline rush, the sinking stomach,
> etc. -- by putting myself in a situation where my controlling for pain
> avoidance will produce the perception I want to feel (in a situation
> where I imagine that I won't actually have to take action to avoid pain).

Sorry Rick. Not even close on this one.

Well, I try.

I don't suppose you would be willing to actually explain why I'm not even close?

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Senior Behavioral Scientist
The RAND Corporation
PO Box 2138
1700 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
Tel: 310-393-0411 x7971
Fax: 310-451-7018
E-mail: rmarken@rand.org

[From Bill Powers (2003.07.02.1228 MDT)]

Bruce Gregory (2003.0702.0816)--

When confronted by a threat, do the frontal lobes light up before the
amygdala, or is the reverse true? We shouldn't have to wait long for
these answers. For all I know, we have them already.

First you have to decide what your assumptions are. Is the "threat" an
actual disturbance, like the car ahead of you suddenly showing up too close
to you? In that case, I would expect the amygdala to light up first,
because I presume it's an output function of lower level systems that
detect the distance error and start to correct it before the higher systems
notice anything happening.

The other possibility is that the "threat" is something that you have to
use higher systems even to recognize as a threat -- for example, a spoken
threat which requires that you at least understand the words before you can
know they mean "I'm going to kill you". And then there's the implied
threat, say an unusually long stretch of weather without rain, which a
farmer eventually recognizes as a danger to his livelihood. For these
latter kinds of threats, I would expect higher systems to light up before
the amygdala, because they have to reset lower reference signals as
appropriate to correcting higher-order errors. The amygdala might be
involved, but only as part of the somatic branch of the output processes of
lower systems. Saying "forebrain" doesn't really make fine enough
distinctions, I would think. I wouldn't want to guess where we would see
the difference between controlling, say, programs versus principles, or
sequences versus categories.

I think the state of the neurological art is still at the point where we
can learn more by analyzing behavior than by doing crude circuit-tracing in
the brain. Keep in mind that the people who report their findings about
brain functions are still assuming that they're dealing with a
stimulus-response or input-driven system. That tends to put a crimp in the
explanations. I'd say we will need about a thousand time the present
spatial resolution and a hundred times the temporal resolution to learn
anything important about behavior directly from observing brain activities.

Best,

Bill P.

[From Rick Marken (2003.07.02.1600)]

Marc Abrams (2003.07.02.1723)

> Rick Marken (2003.07.02.1410)--

> It's impossible to control any perception perfectly and emotions (from my
> experience) are probably the most poorly controlled perceptions of all.
> But they certainly can be controlled.

Actually Rick, I was talking about emotion-on-demand Can you have any
emotion you want at any time you want?

Emotion on demand is control of emotion, isn't it? The "demand" is the reference
specification for the emotional perception. I can't reliably have any emotion I
want at any time. But I can "demand" (control for) certain emotions with pretty
high reliability. As I said, I can demand the experience of enjoyment and produce
it for myself by playing (on the guitar, piano or, most often now, on the CD)
certain pieces of music. I can demand bittersweet joy and produce it for myself
by playing the "Ah yes, I remember it well" scene from "Gigi" on the video. I can
demand fear and produce it for myself by riding on a roller coaster (or, standing
anywhere near Glacier Point, with its 3000 ft straight down drop to Yosemite
basin). In the good ol' days I used to (too often) demand a pretty good feeling
and get it for myself by puttin away a pint of Jack Daniels. In all cases I was
acting to produce a preselected emotional perception and I was pretty successful
at producing the intended perception.

And the converse, can you not have any emotion you don't want?

Sure, when I've actually tried (like by standing near the edge of Glacier point to
see how much I could take). But unwanted emotions manage to occur often enough
when I'm not trying so I haven't spent a lot of time trying to get them.

> > Emotions are not perceptions.
>
> What are they, then?

They are emotions.

Well, ya got me there.

Yes Rick, there are physiological explanations for biological control.

I certainly agree with that. I think PCT is the physiological explanation of
biological control.

> I don't suppose you would be willing to actually explain why I'm not even
close?

Sure, but I can't, and would not attempt to do it with a quick 3 line
answer.

Take as many lines as you need.

If your question is a serious one you'll need to do a bit of reading.

So you won't tell me?

I'll take this off-line for the time being and provide you with the
requisite reading material if you want.

I'd rather you left it on line and just explained it to me. I said:

I know exactly how to control for this perception of fear: I go to the
pier (only a block away) and ride the roller coaster. I know that when
I am riding a roller coaster I will be making all the physical preparations
to support actions that will keep me from smashing into the ground.
I am controlling for the perception of fear -- the physical preparations
for actions that include the adrenaline rush, the sinking stomach,
etc. -- by putting myself in a situation where my controlling for pain
avoidance will produce the perception I want to feel (in a situation
where I imagine that I won't actually have to take action to avoid pain).

And you said:

Sorry Rick. Not even close on this one.

If I'm not even close, it should be easy to explain what I've gotten wrong.

Have you ever gone on a roller coaster in order to feel the thrill? If so, then
you have controlled an emotion (that's why they call them "thrill rides"; hey are
for people who want to control for thrill). That was the main point of what I said
above. If there is something very wrong with what I said why not just point it
out?

Best regards

Rick

···

---
Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Senior Behavioral Scientist
The RAND Corporation
PO Box 2138
1700 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
Tel: 310-393-0411 x7971
Fax: 310-451-7018
E-mail: rmarken@rand.org

from [ Marc Abrams (2003.07.02.1314) ]

[From Rick Marken (2003.07.02.0850)]

Emotion is part of what I control for when I control many perceptions,

How do you 'control' for emotions? I thought you said emotions _result_ from
control. Oh well, there goes your consistency.

Since HPCT explains the control of perception, it obviously explains the

control of emotional perceptions, too.

'Obvious' to whom?

Marc

from [ Marc Abrams (2003.07.02.1435) ]

[From Rick Marken (2003.07.02.1100)]

Yes. Emotions do result from control. But that doesn't mean that you can't

also

control for the emotions that result from control. Consider Bill Powers'
(2003.07.02.0726 MDt) nice description of how fear is produced:

Sorry Rick. This makes no sense. Do you really believe you can 'control' for
your emotions? That's a pretty good trick. Can you please tell me how to
make myself content and happy 100% of the time. Or how about being able to
'control' exactly when I do or don't want to be in a certain mood. If I
could tell others how to do that we could be famous.

> What you experienced as fear was a mixture of the cognitive
> desire to avoid pain or injury, and the physiological preparation
> to support the pending action...

I would like to understand this. Please, first explain what 'cognitive
desire' is? and What 'causes' physiological 'preperations'?

This perception of fear can be produced by putting yourself in a situation

where

you are making all the physical preparations to support control actions

that, if

they occurred, would be aimed at pain avoidance.

'Pain avoidance' is a plan. Fear is an emotion. Not the same, Emotions are
not perceptions. Emotions do not go through the control process.
As an a side Rick, How do emotions change when your perceptions don't? What
is 'controlling' your emotions?

I know exactly how to control for this perception of fear: I go to the

pier (only a block away) and ride the

roller coaster. I know that when I am riding a roller coaster I will be

making

all the physical preparations to support actions that will keep me from

smashing

into the ground. I am controlling for the perception of fear -- the

physical

preparations for actions that include the adrenaline rush, the sinking

stomach,

etc. -- by putting myself in a situation where my controlling for pain

avoidance

will produce the perception I want to feel (in a situation where I imagine

that I

won't actually have to take action to avoid pain).

Sorry Rick. Not even close on this one.

Marc

from [ Marc Abrams (2003.07.02.1723) ]

[From Rick Marken (2003.07.02.1410)]

It's impossible to control any perception perfectly and emotions (from my
experience) are probably the most poorly controlled perceptions of all.

But they

certainly can be controlled.

Actually Rick, I was talking about emotion-on-demand Can you have any
emotion you want at any time you want? And the converse, can you not have
any emotion you don't want? If you can say yes to these two things you are a
very unique individual.

>I would like to understand this. Please, first explain what 'cognitive
> desire' is? and What 'causes' physiological 'preperations'?

Bill has explained this to you several times. If you still don't

understand it yet

it's probably because you don't want to understand it.

Gee, I guess I missed that. Can you please tell me when he did and where I
might find the answer. I really don't recall me ever asking him that. Maybe
your confusing me with someone else. That's ok just point me to the post
that Bill explains this.

> Emotions are not perceptions.

What are they, then? How do you know they exist if they are not

perceptions?

They are emotions. Emotions are a substrate of consciousness. You cannot be
conscious and not have emotions. Emotions are intrinsic. How do you know
your conscious?

> As an a side Rick, How do emotions change when your perceptions don't?

What

> is 'controlling' your emotions?

The physiological cause of the emotion perception dissipates.

_Everything_ we are and do is not 'caused' by, but is attributed to
physiological processes, including processes of the brain, like control. Yes
Rick, there are physiological explanations for biological control.

> Sorry Rick. Not even close on this one.

Well, I try.

That you do.

I don't suppose you would be willing to actually explain why I'm not even

close?

Sure, but I can't, and would not attempt to do it with a quick 3 line
answer. If your question is a serious one you'll need to do a bit of
reading. I'll take this off-line for the time being and provide you with the
requisite reading material if you want. I will not use the time honored
tradition on CSGnet of me trying to 'explain' something to you or Bill and
then have to wind up arguing against my own arguments because of
misinterpretations. No thanks. If your interested, which I must say I don't
believe you are. You'll do your homework.

Marc

from [ Marc Abrams (2003.07.02.1929) ]

[From Rick Marken (2003.07.02.1600)]

I certainly agree with that. I think PCT is the physiological explanation

of

biological control.

Ok, Please explain how the brain 'compares' your perceptual 'signal'?, and
where does the 'error' signal go?, That is where in the brain is the
'output' function?, Input Function? What parts of the brain contain the
various levels in the hierarchy and how exactly does feedback work in the
brain? How is your blood pressure controlled?

Take as many lines as you need.

No thanks. Not a chance

> If your question is a serious one you'll need to do a bit of reading.

So you won't tell me?

No.

I'd rather you left it on line and just explained it to me. I said:

Nope.

If I'm not even close, it should be easy to explain what I've gotten

wrong.

Sure, just as easy as you 'explaining' PCT. Want to give me a 3 sentence
wrap-up on PCT that would make me a well informed individual on the subject.
Stay in your cave if you want. I could care less.

I knew you weren't serious. Thanks for saving me some time, I do appreciate
that.

Marc

[From Rick Marken (2003.07.02.2000)]

Marc Abrams (2003.07.02.1929)

> Rick Marken (2003.07.02.1600)--

> I certainly agree with that. I think PCT is the physiological explanation
> of biological control.

Ok, Please explain how the brain 'compares' your perceptual 'signal'?, and
where does the 'error' signal go?, That is where in the brain is the
'output' function?, Input Function? What parts of the brain contain the
various levels in the hierarchy and how exactly does feedback work in the
brain? How is your blood pressure controlled?

I'll answer that question the way you answer my questions: by pointing you to a
book, but in this case a book that I presume you have on hand, _Behavior: The
control of perception _ (B:CP) by William T. Powers. Your first question is
answered on p. 83, in Figure 7.1. Actually, the loop shown there goes through
the spinal cord, not the brain, but as you will see, it works the same in the
brain (cortex, cerebellum, etc).

The Figure shows that the perceptual signal in this is carried by sensory nerve
impulses. The reference signal is carried by efferent nerve impulse, the
reference efferent neurons in this case descending down the spinal cord. The
comparison itself is done by the cell body of a spinal motor neuron (which I
believe makes up the motor ganglia next to the spinal cord). The comparison (an
approximate subtraction) is the result of the simultaneous inhibitory effects
of the sensory synapse and excitatory effects of the efferent synapse on the
firing rate of the spinal motor neuron itself, which carries the error signal
as neural impulses. This error signal enters the environment, a muscle, at the
motor end plates, causing the muscle to contract in proportion to the rate of
firing of the spinal motor neuron. The degree of muscle tension (which also
depends on any loads on the limb to which the muscle is attached) is sensed by
the Golgi tendon receptor (in the tendon that connects muscle to bone) .
Tension on the Golgi receptor causes neural firing in the sensory nerve, the
rate of firing being a perceptual representation of the tension on the tendon.

A more thorough picture of the parts of the brain and spinal cord that are
thought to be involved in three lower levels of the hierarchy is shown on p.
117, Figure 9.1. The first order control systems are in the spinal cord, the
second order systems are in the cerebellum and the third order systems are in
the cerebellar cortex.

If you don't have B:CP a paperback version should be available soon.

Best

Rick

···

---
Richard S. Marken
MindReadings.com
marken@mindreadings.com
310 474-0313

from [ Marc Abrams (2003.07.03.0039) ]

[From Rick Marken (2003.07.02.2000)]

If you don't have B:CP a paperback version should be available soon.

If it does I would strongly recommend that he re-write this part of the
book. It's showing it's age.

I'll answer that question the way you answer my questions: by pointing you

to a

book, but in this case a book that I presume you have on hand, _Behavior:

The

control of perception _ (B:CP) by William T. Powers.

Got it right here.

Your first question is answered on p. 83, in Figure 7.1. Actually, the loop

shown there goes through

the spinal cord, not the brain, but as you will see, it works the same in

the brain (cortex, cerebellum, etc).

Sure, brain, spinal column, liver, kidney, what difference does it make, you
know what he's talking about.

The Figure shows that the perceptual signal in this is carried by sensory

nerve impulses.

"THE" perceptual signal? One perception = one signal?, Do you actually mean
_one_ signal? What are 'nerve impulses'? Is that the oscillation of the
interneurons or neurons?

What happened to the chemical ions in the neurons? Do they play a part in
synaptic actions and neuronal communication? Exactly where in B:CP should I
find these answers?

The reference signal is carried by efferent nerve impulse,

Did you know that many neurons are _bi-directional_? How do you know the
'reference signal' ( again, only one signal? ) is efferent? I know, Bill
told you so in B:CP. Seems reasonable. Where does this 'reference' signal
come from? Don't tell me from the level above. Again you do not mention the
chemical component in intercellular communication. Where do you think the
'electrical impulses' come from?

the reference efferent neurons in this case descending down the spinal

cord.

Where did they originate? These of course being 'motor neurons' right?

The comparison itself is done by the cell body of a spinal motor neuron

(which I believe makes up the motor ganglia next to the spinal cord).

A ganglia is nothing more then a cyst. What is a 'motor ganglia'. There is a
part of the brain known as the basal ganglion, and in the visual cortex
there are ganglion cells, but I never heard of a 'motor ganglia'. The cell
body does nothing. The cell is a highly specialized and compartmentalized
entity and the cell body simply holds the parts of the cell. The only way
that cells speak to each other is through ionic channels. Most neurons do
act independently. They 'act' in 'patterns'. Might I suggest _I of the
Vortex_ by Rodolfo Linas 2001 MIT Press. Dr. Llinas is the Chairman of the
Physiology and Neuroscience Department at NYU's Medical School here in NYC.
Either that or look for the Cliff notes in your nearest book store.

The comparison (an approximate subtraction) is the result of the

simultaneous inhibitory effects of the sensory synapse and excitatory
effects of

the efferent synapse on the firing rate of the spinal motor neuron itself,

Huh? You mean _all_ sensory inputs are 'inhibitory' and _all_ motor outpouts
are 'excitatory'? How can a synapse be efferent? A synapse is nothing more
then a cleft between two neurons. And finally, what is a 'firing rate'? What
gets 'fired' from one cell to another? This is real bad. Not only is it
totally wrong, but it makes the rest of the model, which has some
_excellent_ properties, look like ^%#&^%.

which carries the error signal as neural impulses. This error signal enters

the environment, a muscle, at the motor end plates, causing the muscle to >
contract in proportion to the rate of firing of the spinal motor neuron.

On and on you go. What the hell is an 'error' signal? Is it a special type
of coded transmission between cells? How would you know an 'error' signal
from a 'reference' signal?

The degree of muscle tension (which also depends on any loads on the limb

to which the muscle is attached) is sensed by

the Golgi tendon receptor (in the tendon that connects muscle to bone) .

How does the receptor 'sense' the weight?

Tension on the Golgi receptor causes neural firing in the sensory nerve,

the

rate of firing being a perceptual representation of the tension on the

tendon.

This sounds 'wonderful'. Where is the feedback and control? I just see
motor output. What if the receptor 'senses' wrong? How does the 'Golgi
Receptor' adjust?

A more thorough picture of the parts of the brain and spinal cord that are
thought to be involved in three lower levels of the hierarchy is shown on

p.

117, Figure 9.1.

Very nice, but not quite accurate.

The first order control systems are in the spinal cord, the second order

systems are in the cerebellum and the third order systems are in

the cerebellar cortex.

Says who? Outdated, and old ideas about the brain had it divided
'functionally', that is, certain parts of the brain performed certain
functions. The cerebellum was thought to be involved with our motor (
muscle ) skills. It has been learned that the pure 'functional' view of the
brain is not accurate. Lots of things happen in all parts of the brain. Yes,
certain parts of the brain seem to have more of one type of activity then
another, but things pretty much get spread around. In one recent experiment,
they found that blind people were utilizing there 'visual cortex' area (
that's in the back of the brain ) for verbal memory. The pure functional
model, although still adhered to by some, is out of fashion. Of course this
is all very sophisticated hand waving. But I'd venture to say that these
people have a lot more to work with then Bill had 50 years ago. Brain
research has come a long way in the past 5-10 years, and it's getting better
and better.

If you don't have B:CP a paperback version should be available soon.

I think I'll wait for the movie.

Marc

[From Rick Marken (2003.07.03.01015)]

Marc Abrams (2003.07.03.0039)--

> Rick Marken (2003.07.02.2000)--

> The Figure shows that the perceptual signal in this is carried by sensory
nerve impulses.

"THE" perceptual signal? One perception = one signal?,

Yes, one perceptual variable = one signal.

Do you actually mean _one_ signal?

Yes.

What are 'nerve impulses'?

The traveling change in voltage polarity across the cell membrane of a neuron that
is known as a "spike" or action potential. PCT assumes that a neural signal
(perceptual, reference, error) is the average spike rate.

What happened to the chemical ions in the neurons? Do they play a part in
synaptic actions and neuronal communication? Exactly where in B:CP should I
find these answers?

I think that's a level of detail that is unnecessary. The PCT model is at the
level of circuit analysis in electronics. To build a functioning circuit you don't
need to know the details of the atomic structure of the conductor (though its
certainly nice to know it) just its resistance and capacitance. In PCT, you don't
have to know the ionic basis neural impulse conduction (though its certainly nice
to know it), just that these impulses are generated at differential rates
depending on the level of input stimulation to the cell.

> The reference signal is carried by efferent nerve impulse,

Did you know that many neurons are _bi-directional_? How do you know the
'reference signal' ( again, only one signal? ) is efferent?

Neurons that function as reference signal carriers must carry their impulses away
from the central nervous system. Some neurons may carry impulses bidirectionally.
That's certainly interesting and it may have implications for how control loops
are actually architected in the nervous system. But it doesn't lead me to revise
my assumption that the nervous system is a perceptual signal controller

Where does this 'reference' signal come from?

Reference signals exist at many levels in the nervous system. The reference
signals for the spinal motor loops described on p. 83 are presumably carried by
neurons that descend through the spinal cord from connections in the cerebellum;
the references signals for the control loops in the cerebellum are presumably
carried by neurons that descend from the next level up in the nervous system, the
cerebellar cortex.

Don't tell me from the level above.

Oops.

Again you do not mention the
chemical component in intercellular communication.

I think this is an unnecessary level of detail. What's relevant to PCT is that
there be a way for the nervous system to carry signals of varying magnitude from
one place to another. Clearly, there is a way. Exactly how it is done is
interesting but not of crucial functional significance to the model.

Where do you think the 'electrical impulses' come from?

As far as I can recall, they are carried by a change in potential across the cell
wall of the neuron, the change at one point being caused by the electrical force
caused by the change at the previous point along the cell, all this being stated
by electrical stimulation at the "input" to the neuron, which is typically the
dendrites, though I believe there are cells sans dendrites so the input to these
cells must be the cell body itself.

>the reference efferent neurons in this case descending down the spinal
cord.

Where did they originate? These of course being 'motor neurons' right?

As I said, they originate in higher levels of the nervous system. They are (from a
PCT perspective) mistakening called motor (or efferent) neurons because they were
thought to directly cause motor output. In fact, all efferent neurons except
those directly connected to the environment, as in the spinal motor loop, are
probably reference neurons, specifying the intended firing rates of sensory input
neurons.

A ganglia is nothing more then a cyst. What is a 'motor ganglia'.

It's a collection of cells bodies of "efferent" (what we would call reference)
neurons. So they are likely to be the anatomical site of a collection of
comparators.

There is a
part of the brain known as the basal ganglion, and in the visual cortex
there are ganglion cells, but I never heard of a 'motor ganglia'.

There are motor ganglia but they are apparently distributed throughout the body,
not just near the spinal cord.

The cell
body does nothing. The cell is a highly specialized and compartmentalized
entity and the cell body simply holds the parts of the cell. The only way
that cells speak to each other is through ionic channels. Most neurons do
act independently. They 'act' in 'patterns'. Might I suggest _I of the
Vortex_ by Rodolfo Linas 2001 MIT Press. Dr. Llinas is the Chairman of the
Physiology and Neuroscience Department at NYU's Medical School here in NYC.
Either that or look for the Cliff notes in your nearest book store.

I'm willing to take a look if you can convince me that what I learn will affect my
understanding of the functional nature of the perceptual control system model and
how it explains purposeful behavior. What does the fact that nerve cells "act in
patterns" have to do with the fact that a person balancing a broom on their hand,
say, is controlling perceptions of torque, velocity and so on.

Huh? You mean _all_ sensory inputs are 'inhibitory' and _all_ motor outpouts
are 'excitatory'?

Not necessarily. It can work either way as long as negative feedback around the
loop is preserved.

How can a synapse be efferent?

The synapse is not efferent; the neuron is efferent. The synaptic connection of
efferent neuron to "comparator" cell body can inhibit (prevent the comparator cell
from propagating an impulse) or excite (facilitate propagation).

A synapse is nothing more
then a cleft between two neurons. And finally, what is a 'firing rate'?

The inverse of the time between neural impulses (spikes). Dag does a rather nice
vocal imitation of variations in neural firing rates. Give him a call and treat
yourself.

What
gets 'fired' from one cell to another? This is real bad. Not only is it
totally wrong, but it makes the rest of the model, which has some
_excellent_ properties, look like ^%#&^%.

My admittedly simplistic understanding of neural conduction is that impulses
(spikes) carried down the axon of one neuron (A) lead, via synaptic connection, to
activation of an impulse that goes down the axon of the next neuron (B). So a
neural impulse in neuron B is "fired" by a neural impulse in neuron A. What is so
"real bad" about that?

On and on you go. What the hell is an 'error' signal? Is it a special type
of coded transmission between cells? How would you know an 'error' signal
from a 'reference' signal?

An error signal is a signal carried by a comparator neuron, representing the
difference between the firing rates of a perceptual and reference neuron.
According to PCT, there is no coding involved in the transmission of any neural
signals. It's the magnitude of the neural signal (in terms of neural current,
impulses/sec) that matters. You can, in principle, tell an error signal from a
reference signal in terms of function or in terms of the anatomy of the neurons
carrying the signals.

How does the receptor 'sense' the weight?

I don't know the exact mechanics of sensor function. But I don't think the Golgi
tendon receptors sense weight; just tension in the tendon. Weight would be sensed
at a higher level

> Tension on the Golgi receptor causes neural firing in the sensory nerve,
> the rate of firing being a perceptual representation of the tension on the
>tendon.

This sounds 'wonderful'. Where is the feedback and control? I just see
motor output. What if the receptor 'senses' wrong? How does the 'Golgi
Receptor' adjust?

The feedback control is through the muscle to the Golgi receptor. The variable
under feedback control is (of course) the perceptual signal coming out of the
Golgi receptor representing tendon tension. The control loop keeps perceived
tension at the reference. If the reference is constant, muscle tension will vary
to compensate for any load variations to keep tendon tension constant. What is
controlled is what the sensor senses. Depending on how what the receptor senses
is wrong, the system either won't work (if the perceptual signal is the inverse of
the tension, say) or will work poorly (if the sensor resolution is poor).

> A more thorough picture of the parts of the brain and spinal cord that are
> thought to be involved in three lower levels of the hierarchy is shown on
> p. 117, Figure 9.1.

Very nice, but not quite accurate.

I don't suppose you would consider explaining _why_ it's inaccurate?

> The first order control systems are in the spinal cord, the second order
> systems are in the cerebellum and the third order systems are in
> the cerebellar cortex.

Says who?

It's a guess based on the neuroanatomy.

Outdated, and old ideas about the brain had it divided
'functionally', that is, certain parts of the brain performed certain
functions.

OK. Let's say all my ideas about brain functionality are outdated. How should this
affect my understanding of purposeful behavior? Should I change my ideas about the
nature of perception? The nature of control? About the idea that behavior is the
control of perceptual variables?

How about giving just one, specific example of how new findings about how the
brain works leads to a specific change in the PCT model.

Best regards

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Senior Behavioral Scientist
The RAND Corporation
PO Box 2138
1700 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
Tel: 310-393-0411 x7971
Fax: 310-451-7018
E-mail: rmarken@rand.org

[From Rick Marken (2003.07.03.1330)]

Marc Abrams ( 2003.07.03.1346 )--

> Rick Marken (2003.07.03.01015)--

> OK. Let's say all my ideas about brain functionality are outdated. How
> should this affect my understanding of purposeful behavior? Should I
> change my ideas about the nature of perception? The nature of control?
> About the idea that behavior is the control of perceptual variables?

Good question, and it deserves a no nonsense straight forward answer.
...

Let me give you a very rudimentry outline of my present assumptions...

5) behavior is both controlled and reflexive

Ok. This contradicts my understanding of behavior based on PCT. Could you point
out the new findings in brain functionality that led you to this conclusion?

6) emotions and reflex's precede control.

Ah. Another one. What's the data that supports this?

7) memory is needed to control human perceptions

This contradicts PCT, too. Where's the data?

10) human behavior is a by-product of consciousness, emotion, and
purposefulness. memory is the adaptive glue, that holds it all together

Got data?

> How about giving just one, specific example of how new findings about how
> the brain works leads to a specific change in the PCT model.

I gave you 10. You figure out the rest.

You gave me 10 examples of what you now believe about behavior based on the new
findings about how the brain works. You didn't tell me what those findings were
or, more importantly, _how_ they led you to believe these things about behavior.
What, for example, leads you to conclude that behavior is controlled and
reflexive? I'm laboring under the assumption that behavior _is_ control; it is
controlled only when an agent is trying to control it and it is never reflexive (a
response to an external stimulus). As I noted above, some of the things you now
believe about behavior seem to be rather significantly at odds with what one would
believe based on PCT. So apparently the new brain findings contradict PCT. Can't
you just tell us what one of those findings is? How about the finding that shows
that emotions precede control? That sounds interesting.

Best regards

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken, Ph.D.
Senior Behavioral Scientist
The RAND Corporation
PO Box 2138
1700 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
Tel: 310-393-0411 x7971
Fax: 310-451-7018
E-mail: rmarken@rand.org

from [ Marc Abrams ( 2003.07.03.1346 ) ]

[From Rick Marken (2003.07.03.01015)]

OK. Let's say all my ideas about brain functionality are outdated. How

should this

affect my understanding of purposeful behavior? Should I change my ideas

about the

nature of perception? The nature of control? About the idea that behavior

is the

control of perceptual variables?

Good question, and it deserves a no nonsense straight forward answer.

It could change some, all, or nothing in your 'interpretation' of the HPCT
model. What and if you change will depend on what you choose to believe is
true and what you don't. The main reason I refuse to 'explain' this stuff,
is because, from my experience on this list, the discussion soon breaks down
into trying to define exactly what I meant by what I said and I wind up
defending my argument rather then the ideas they represent. I don't need nor
want that. You will, if you read this stuff, probably interpret some of it
the same way I did and some of it differently.

You think you are looking at this ( i.e. behavior ) from the 'ground-up'.
Your not. The ground in this case, in my mind, starts with the brain. Fifty
years ago Bill did not have access to the kinds of analytical equipment they
have today, nor 30 years ago. There has been a _major_ evolution in
techniques, equipment, and methods over the last 5 -10 years, with the
emphasis on the last 5. There are at least 6 good quality books on the
market all from the year 2000 on that provide some very interesting insights
into how our brain regulates ( controls ) our body. The best one so far is
Llinas book. The book is 266 pgs and has a 36 pg. bib. Llinas specialty is
neuronal interaction. he spent the decade of the eighties investigating how
neurons communicate. I've learned more biology and physiology from 3 pages
in that book then I learned in all my biology courses in school.

So now rthe question is, Is his stuff accurate, is it plausable, can his
model work? Well, if I did not have this understanding of HPCT I probably
would not feel as strongly as I do, that it might just work. His book is a
_STARTING POINT_ for investigation, it's not the ending point. It helps
provide the understanding needed to know what one might need to know if one
were interested in studying how the brain regulates the body and provides
the substrate for consciousness, emotion, and memory.

Now if you are a dualist and believe that mind/brain are 2 seperate entites,
don't waste your time or money on this book. This book will not convince you
to change your belief system. It was not intended for that purpose.

That is the second reason I refused to 'explain' my position. If in fact you
are a dualist, I have no desire to either change your way of thinking or try
to convince you that I have a superior position. I don't. I could be wrong
in my thinking. From the facts as I interpret them now, I believe I am on
the right path. That could change tomorrow.

As I said in my adendum to you, I am not interested in 'arguing' over what
parts of the brain contain what functionality, and I would be thrilled to
discuss, and debate with you on the merits and demerits of Llinas book but I
will not explain it to you.

Let me give you a very rudimentry outline of my present assumptions. I will
not provide any details and I will not justify to you why I feel the way I
do. Read the book, and then we can Talk.

1) We control our perceptions
2) Our perceptions are _not_ continuous, and neither is control, although
both _appear_ to be continuous.
3) negative feedback ( control ) operates at the neuronal level.
4) A network exists, and within that network are discriminatory hierarchies
that are used to perceive the world
5) behavior is both controlled and reflexive
6) emotions and reflex's precede control.
7) memory is needed to control human perceptions
8) the 'comparator is not a thing, it's part of a process of control and no
computation is necessary. It's done by comparison ratio's, and it is done
throughout the brain at the neuronal level.
9) there is no such thing as a biological 'error' signal that is different
from a 'reference' or 'perceptual' signal. They are all the same. Neurons
perform different functions. It's called coherence. There are over 50
different types of neurons.
10) human behavior is a by-product of consciousness, emotion, and
purposefulness. memory is the adaptive glue, that holds it all together

> > Rick Marken (2003.07.02.2000)--

Yes, one perceptual variable = one signal.

I don't believe this to be the case. We have different working definitions
for what a perceptual variable is. Whatever it is, a perceptions is _never_
just one neuron. One neuron does not represent anything. It's groups of
neurons that are interconnected in a network that communicate information.
It might make modeling a bit easier, but it isn't how we are wired.

The traveling change in voltage polarity across the cell membrane of a

neuron that

is known as a "spike" or action potential. PCT assumes that a neural

signal

(perceptual, reference, error) is the average spike rate.

Rick, this might seem like a nit, but it's not the average that matters,
it's the _pattern_ of interacting neurons _and_ the various potentials among
them that counts

I think that's a level of detail that is unnecessary.

I don't. That's precisely where and why your control takes place.

The PCT model is at the level of circuit analysis in electronics.

_NO WAY_ Jose. I don't know what level it's at, But it's not at the neuronal
schematic level.

To build a functioning circuit you don't need to know the details of the

atomic structure of the conductor (though its

certainly nice to know it) just its resistance and capacitance.

I disagree. I think understanding what causes the ability of neuron to be
inhibitory or excititory is important. You certainly don't need to know the
DNA composition of the cell for our work, but It probably wouldn't hurt
either

In PCT, you don't have to know the ionic basis neural impulse conduction

(though its certainly nice

to know it), just that these impulses are generated at differential rates

depending on the level of input stimulation to the cell.

Thats not true. You need to learn about 'coherence'. Groups of neurons that
_coordinate_ firing or inhibition.

> Did you know that many neurons are _bi-directional_? How do you know the
> 'reference signal' ( again, only one signal? ) is efferent?

But it doesn't lead me to revise
my assumption that the nervous system is a perceptual signal controller.

It shouldn't. That's the main reason the brain is in business. To
_REGULATE_. But it regulates more then your perceptions.

I'm willing to take a look if you can convince me that what I learn will

affect my

understanding of the functional nature of the perceptual control system

model and

how it explains purposeful behavior.

As I said in the beginning. This is for you to decide. I can't honestly say
that you would be moved one way or the other.

What does the fact that nerve cells "act in
patterns" have to do with the fact that a person balancing a broom on

their hand,

say, is controlling perceptions of torque, velocity and so on.

Everything, or close to it.

How about giving just one, specific example of how new findings about how

the

brain works leads to a specific change in the PCT model.

I gave you 10. You figure out the rest.

Marc

from [ Marc Abrams (2003.07.03.1910) ]

Actually, I gave you 9 discrepancies. The first one we both agree on. We do
control our perceptions.

You left out discontinuous vs. continuous as another major difference in our
beliefs.

I already gave you one reference 3 times. I will not give it again. I have a
ton of references. But as you said in your reply to Bruce Gregory. You have
kept up with the literature over the last five years and you know what's
going on. I am not one to argue. I'm sure the journals you have read are in
the fields of neuroscience, physiology, & biology and _NOT_ in psychology.
But of course you know that.

I am not going to attempt to convince you of a thing. I have absolutely
nothing vested in PCT& I don't plan on it anytime soon. You just might want
to bring it into the 21st century and have B:CP align more with known
physiological facts then with fiction. I could care less what you and Bill
do. My life and my enjoyment are not tied to your ability to adapt.

[From Rick Marken (2003.07.03.1330)]

You gave me 10 examples of what you now believe about behavior based on

the new

findings about how the brain works. You didn't tell me what those findings

were

or, more importantly, _how_ they led you to believe these things about

behavior.

And I don't intend to, thank you. Do your own home work.

What, for example, leads you to conclude that behavior is controlled and
reflexive? I'm laboring under the assumption that behavior _is_ control;

You can labor under any assumptions you want. As I said in my last post. I
am not interested in your thinking one way or the other. You will believe
ultimately in what you want to believe, regardless of the 'data' and
evidence.

it is controlled only when an agent is trying to control it and it is never

reflexive (a response to an external stimulus).

Whatever you say.

As I noted above, some of the things you now
believe about behavior seem to be rather significantly at odds with what

one would

believe based on PCT. So apparently the new brain findings contradict

PCT. Can't

you just tell us what one of those findings is? How about the finding that

shows

that emotions precede control? That sounds interesting.

If it sounds so interesting, do your own leg work. I will give you the
pieces of the puzzle.

_i of the Vortex: From Neuron to Self_ by Rodolfo Llinas MIT Press 2000
Chairperson of Physiology & Neuroscience @ NYU Medical School.

You also might want to check out the journals;

Nature Neuroscience
Nature Reviews Neuroscience
Neuron
Learning & Memory
Journal of Neuroscience
Journal of Physiology

and a few more books;

By Gerald Edelman, Nobel Prize winner in medicine in 1972.
His seminal trilogy;
_Topobiology_
_Neural Darwinism_
& _The Remembered Present_

he also has 2 other fine books;

_Bright Air, Brilliant Fire_
& with Giulio Tononi _ A Universe of Consciousness_

also;

Joaquin M Fuster _ Cortex and Mind_ Oxford University Press 2003

I would also check out the 32 page bibliography in Llinas book, and I think
the National Academy of Sciences has free downloadable PDF files you might
find in the bib's in each of the books.

have fun Rick. Let me know when you finished Llinas Book. I won't be holding
my breath.

Marc

[From Rick Marken (2003.07.03.2050)]

Marc Abrams (2003.07.03.1910)--

Actually, I gave you 9 discrepancies. The first one we both agree on. We do
control our perceptions.

You left out discontinuous vs. continuous as another major difference in our
beliefs.

I don't know that that's a difference between us. I certainly think control can
be discontinuous in the sense that a perception can be controlled even if it's
state is sampled discontinuously.

I already gave you one reference 3 times.

If that's all you're going to do then I'll reply to you by giving you
references. I'll start with Marken, R. (2002) _More Mind Readings_, NC: new
view. Check it out.

I am not going to attempt to convince you of a thing.

What are you doing, then?

My life and my enjoyment are not tied to your ability to adapt.

> What, for example, leads you to conclude that behavior is controlled and
> reflexive? I'm laboring under the assumption that behavior _is_ control;

You can labor under any assumptions you want. As I said in my last post. I
am not interested in your thinking one way or the other.

Then why do you keep posting to CSGNet? You must care about what someone here
is thinking, no?

Best regards

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken
MindReadings.com
marken@mindreadings.com
310 474-0313