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A Theory On A Direct Link Beteeen After-Images And The Binding Problem


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#1 Aethelwulf

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 05:45 PM

I believe there is a unique relationship between the After-Images created by the Brain and the Binding Problem of psychology.

First of all, let's quickly explain what the Binding Problem is.

Ask the question, ''how does the brain make observations in this world, and binds that world together into a unified understanding?''

Let's take an excerpt from wiki which will help explain the visual side of this phenomenon:

''In the case of visual perception, the brains of humans and other animals process different aspects of perception by separating information about those aspects and processing them in distinct regions of the brain. For example, Zeki[3] and coworkers have shown that different areas in the visual cortex specialize in processing the different aspects of colour, motion, and shape. This type of modular coding yields a potential for ambiguity in many instances. Thus, when humans view a scene containing a blue square and a yellow circle, some neurons signal in response to blue, others signal in response to yellow, still others to a square shape and a circle shape. Here, the binding problem is the issue of how the brain represents the pairing of colour and shape, i.e. is the square blue or yellow?''

Consider now the after-images experienced by a brain - after-images is when the brain continues to see a ghost image which continues to appear in one's vision after the exposure to the original image has ceased. Many may have come to recognize this phenomenon - I certainly have. When playing cards long enough if I blink my eyes after the game, I can still see the jack of spades and many other cards, which eventually fade out.

Neuroscientists don't actually know why we experience the after-image, only that they think it has something to do with a kind of neural adaptation. A neural adaptation is similar to thinking of the body or mind, becoming adaptive to it's environment. One example provided by wiki http://en.wikipedia....ural_adaptation is the idea of one placing their hand on the table. They feel the sense of that table for a short while but then after a moment of seconds, the feeling dissipates.

I believe there is a connection between the immediate experience of feeling the table and the Binding phenomenon. The Binding Problem is an issue of memory and the after-effect is the memory of an image related to neural adaptation. The binding of reality in our minds, the binding of shapes and colours seems definitively related to the visual perception of images processed by the neural networks of our brains - the after-images are a result of the Binding of these qualia over a certain period of time which has an after-effect on the mental adaptation of the brain.



This was an idea I just wanted to hit out there and I welcome any kind of criticism.

Edited by Aethelwulf, 07 August 2012 - 05:54 PM.


#2 Moontanman

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 06:49 PM

How do you account for the after images having either a different color than the original or black and white images leaving color images as after images? or is this a valid concern in your idea?

#3 Aethelwulf

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 07:23 PM

How do you account for the after images having either a different color than the original or black and white images leaving color images as after images? or is this a valid concern in your idea?


I think you are asking, how would I account for different colours made in the negative of the image after the image is not being observed?

Probably has to do with with the receptors in the eyes. The photo-receptors deal with the colours in the negative after-image. My theory does not take into account negative after-images, for instance, wiki says on the colour phenomenon:

''The opponent color theory suggests that there are three opponent channels: red versus cyan, blue versus yellow, and black versus white. Responses to one color of an opponent channel are antagonistic to those to the other color. Therefore, a green image will produce a magenta afterimage.''

So your's is a good question, because I never made a distinction. In my case where the Binding Problem might have something to do with after-images in the concepty of qualia, it is in respect of positive after-images - perhaps hinted at this by discussing the effect purely in terms of neurological phenomenon. The positive after-image is about neurological persistence where the stimulation remains in the brain over a period of time. However, the idea of colours are of course highly connected to the idea of qualia which is an interesting subject - and could answer why colours may often seem the same.

The Inverted Spectrum Argument is perhaps the best way to explain whether a quale is a physical manifestation or not. In this argument, proposed by John Locke explains that if you woke up one morning and found all the colors of nature had inverted, such as the grass had turned red, but no physical change has been found in the brain, then it would stand to reason that qualia would seem to be a subjective phenomenon, one part of our perception and experience alone rather than being tied to a physical explanation.

I don't believe qualia are physical - I believe it has to do with a ''conditioning'' to the reality about us - it is learned. In order to summarize how this happens, I have catagorized it into three requisites:

Qualia therefore, arise from three arguements:

1) Conditioning

2) Experience (the personal attachment which will affirm the attribution between the qualia in question)

3) Self-consistency (a certain recurrence of the same experience which will solidify the original experience)

One then can assume that if all colours had been inverted, axiom 3) and would have a chain reaction then on 2) and 1).

I have actually a quantum explanation for the neural example of positive after-images. The zeno effect is when a particular system is suspended for a short amount of time without giving up any energy. In this sense, the neurons responsible for the after-images seen the ''eye of the mind'' may in fact be a result of systems being suspended in a given state over a few second interval. The zeno effect may have wide applications for consciousness in general, not just the case I have just mentioned. Henry Stapp in his book ''Mindful Universe'' believes the zeno effect might have something to do with conscious choice as well.

Edited by Aethelwulf, 07 August 2012 - 09:13 PM.


#4 Aethelwulf

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 07:28 PM

I am reading this back and it sounds like I am saying the positive after-image is purely neurological - that is not the case and this is not what I meant. Only that the negative after-images are the case of inverted colours and is due to the photo-receptors. Both negative and positive after-images of course, will be signals that stimulate the brain.

Edited by Aethelwulf, 07 August 2012 - 07:29 PM.


#5 Aethelwulf

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 07:29 PM

The medical name for this is Palinopsia.

#6 Aethelwulf

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 07:35 PM

So let me explain how I think the zeno effect is involved. The photo-receptors will be sending the image to the brain in a form of electrical signals which will stimulate the appropriate neurons. The neurons being stimulated in such a way, will be akin to them being measured ''over short durations'' invoking the zeno effect - holding the image in brain in what I called before, ''the minds eye.'' We don't see with our eyes - all information is processed by the brain. We see in our neurological network where the information is inexplicably arranged.