User talk:Looie496

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If you leave a message for me here, I'll respond here. If I leave a message on your talk page, I'll look there for a response (but of course you can respond here if you want to).

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Hi. I haven't read much about consciousness but I've been wondering about something and hope you might know the answer: In philosophy and neuroscience, what language is used to refer to the state I'm in when I'm driving successfully along a familiar route, but so wrapped up in a conversation or in my thoughts that I'm effectively unconscious of my surroundings? I'm clearly, on some level, "alert" to the environment but most of me (I think actually sometimes all of me) is absent. A kind of blindsight. Is that state addressed by either of those disciplines? --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 14:33, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

Hi Anthony. That's a widely recognized phenomenon, but hasn't been studied very extensively as far as I know. There is no formal term for it as far as I know, but "zoning out" is sometimes used. I think it is probably better described as a type of amnesia than as a phenomenon related to consciousness -- what happens is that after the task you don't remember anything that happened during it, but that doesn't necessarily imply anything about consciousness during it. I don't think "all or part of me is absent" is a productive way to think about what is happening. I've written a (rather long) essay that tries to explain why, which can be found on my website if you're interested. (Metaphorical dualism and the Cartesian Airplane). Best regards, Looie496 (talk) 15:36, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
I find this topic very interesting (if, ultimately, unresolved). It's still at the infant stage in neuroscience, but in psychology, there's a large literature on attention and cognitive inhibition. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:35, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, Looie, it could be a severe curtailing of working memory. I'll take a look at your essay later, when I've had some sleep. Mmm. I'll check out cognitive inhibition, too, Tryptofish. I've never heard of that. (21:40, 9 July 2014) I just peeked at the latter. In the lede: "...neural inhibition, which refers to the ability of individual neurons to stop elements of thought". I might drag out my old Psychology 101 textbook. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 21:50, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
I, too, saw that mention of "neural inhibition". I'm very skeptical that cognitive inhibition is anything as reductive as inhibitory synaptic transmission or long-term depression. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:57, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
I have a vague recollection of reading a paper or two about this stuff at some point, but I can't remember any details and haven't been able to formulate a Google search that gets me back to it. Looie496 (talk) 01:03, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Hi Looie, I looked at your website; do you prefer replies here, or there. I tried googling Salience because it appears claustrum is part of the machinery for salience. Regarding absent-mindedness, I found a public domain test: Attention-Related Cognitive Errors Scale (ARCES). --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 01:33, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Feel free to reply wherever is most convenient. About absent-mindedness, what I was trying to say and didn't get across clearly is that I remember seeing a paper about the phenomenon of driving along a familiar route and then not remembering anything about the trip at the end. That might be a spurious memory though. Looie496 (talk) 13:12, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Carl Sagan mentioned that he had to make a conscious effort to remember to drive to point A when getting in his car; otherwise, he would either drive to work, or drive home. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 14:21, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
I had a pet hypothesis, spurred by Ronald Graham, mathematician and juggler, who observed that no one had juggled more than 6 balls at a time; the correspondence with the 6 layers of cortex was just too suggestive. But the 7 ball feat was published via youtube in 2011. Anyway, since the claustrum has been mooted as a "7th layer", maybe I can still hope. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 14:08, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
That sort of numerology pretty much leaves me cold, but if you're interested in such things check out The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two. Looie496 (talk) 14:35, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Also, given what we know of information flow in the cortex, it's extremely unlikely that it is one juggled ball per cortical layer. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:12, 11 July 2014 (UTC)


Having spent half the sumers of my youth not leaving footsprints in the bed of the North Branch of the Big Timber Creek I was wondering when someone would point out this bullshit. μηδείς (talk) 01:14, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Um, yeah. Looie496 (talk) 12:22, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

RD deletion[edit]

Why does this not belong on the reference desk? It's not a request for funding, it's a request for information on how they might obtain funding. That is a factual question. --Viennese Waltz 13:45, 18 August 2014 (UTC)


I rather expect that today's Nobel is going to give the theta oscillation more prominence. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:21, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Wow! All three of them are good friends. I knew that they were doing Nobel-quality work but I never expected anything to happen so soon. Looie496 (talk) 22:45, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
I've never met them, but I was very happy to see them selected. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:51, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Following up on your helpful comment at Talk:John O'Keefe, I made an edit that attempted to make it clearer that it isn't simply spike timing. I also wanted to briefly follow up with you about what you said about your own theory about precession function, and I figured I should do that here. Per your paper to which you linked, am I correct that the theory to which you were referring is the idea about precession leading to LTP? --Tryptofish (talk) 20:39, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

No, I still think that idea probably has some level of validity, but I don't think it can be anything like the full story. I was really referring to later unpublished thoughts. That conjecture does make the point though that precession could do something useful without doing anything that could reasonably called "temporal coding". Anyway I've replied there. Looie496 (talk) 01:31, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

Well, well, well[edit]

Look whose talk page pops up on my watchlist after such a long time. Looie, I think Tfish and I are kind of getting cabin fever over at Talk:Phineas Gage, and I wonder whether you wouldn't mind rejoining the conversation there after your long absence. Talk:Phineas_Gage#Comparison_of_proposals would be a good place to start. EEng (talk) 05:52, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

For me, not cabin fever, but maybe a strong urge to heave. (EEng knows what I mean, and no, not Ebola.) --Tryptofish (talk) 21:42, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
Don't be scared off, Looie -- we take all appropriate precautions, and not one discussion participant has become infected (except with enthusiasm, of course). Please come join us. EEng (talk) 02:31, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't do well with extended disputes like that. If things don't get resolved in a reasonable time I get too frustrated. Looie496 (talk) 14:43, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
You could just drop in and give your opinion. You don't have to sign up for the long haul. Tell you what -- suppose a question was succinctly summarized and your opinion was solicited. Could you consider responding, with no obligation to stick around? EEng (talk) 15:50, 1 November 2014 (UTC)