LifeOS: exploring the system that executes DNA

April 4, 2009

Systemic Emotion

Emotion: an instinctive response to environmental situations, that is distinguishable from logic and reason.

Many folks feel that emotions are a throw back to our animal past and therefore, should be suppressed in favor of a logical state of mind. To those that see the human species as the pinnacle of evolution, emotions seem like a primitive mechanism that threatens to pull us down, impeding our progress. Our reptilian brain, favoring primitive behavior if survival is threatened, is a case in point.

Primitive or Fundamental?

Rather than looking at emotions as primitive, there are advantages to thinking of them as fundamental, performing valuable functions at all levels of biological systems. The emotional mechanism is just as important in our “advanced” civilization, as ever, it is the recorded behaviors and their settings that are primitive and need to be updated.

In the individual, emotions manage the state of readiness to meet environmental situations. The source of our emotions is definitely in our subconscious. Environmental situations, real or imagined, cause the release of a flood of chemical messengers, that reset the state of all subsystems, in preparation to react.

Security Alerts

One way to look at emotion is that it is a part of the security system, that instantly alerts Captain Self and the rest of the crew to danger or any situational change. Emotions can switch the state of readiness of the entire organism in a flash. Emotions work in real time, but are also intimately involved with memory and recall. In memory, emotions continue their role as an alert mechanism.

Not only is the emotional state recorded in memory right along with events, it also measures and grades the experience. The type and intensity of the emotion becomes a flag that marks the experience, both for a gauge to its importance and for easier recall. We know that emotional state has a lot to do with how well we remember things. So, the flow of data that our memory processes is categorized, referenced and assigned degree of importance(prioritized) on the fly.

Systems Level Emotions

Besides looking at what emotions do for the individual, we want to understand what function emotions perform for the system. From this vantage point it is immediately apparent that, as well as managing the agent’s internal state of readiness, emotions affect the external world. Emotions are part of the communications network that manages social relationships.

Body Language

In animals we see that emotions are communicated, between individuals and groups, by body language and other visual cues. It appears to be a separate channel of information from vocal exchanges. For example, the tails of dogs and cats project their emotional state to any observer. Barking guard dogs will often be wagging their tails while appearing to be vigorously defending their turf. One end of the dog is yelling, “I’m doing my job”, while the other end is saying, “Take me for a walk.”

For we humans, facial expressions and other body language communicate hidden feelings. No matter what the conscious mind is trying to convey, the subconscious is often projecting a different picture. To whom? The subconscious of other agents.

Color Coded

Throughout the animal kingdom, color is used to broadcast emotional state, especially in mating. From the red rumps of female baboons in heat to the colorful displays of cuttlefish, emotions play an important role in the reproductive process. Displays of fear serve to warn local residents of danger. Emotions serve a survival function for individuals and groups, but go even farther, providing realtime feedback to the higher levels of control, like species and ecosystems.

The Brine Shrimp Massacre

Remember the brine shrimp experiments in Cleve Backster’s lab? Death is a radical change of state for any organism. The traumatic termination of any living thing registers on all local agents, and beyond. The Primary Perception revealed by Backster’s experiments, is the core communicator of agent states to the nonlocal environment. This is fundamental emotion, highlighting, organizing and prioritizing the holographic feedback loops of all living things. How agents feel about what they are doing, is important to the system. The total of all agents states, generates the holoverse, the emotional state of System.

Suppressed Connectivity

Our attempts to suppress our emotions has hampered our ability to communicate with our local environment as well as the System at large. Many folks recognize that the root cause of much of our troubles is our separation from the natural world. We have done it to ourselves.

Advertisements

June 6, 2008

Flatworms

Filed under: Ch 07 Biological Holography — Tags: , , , , , — insomniac @ 7:42 am

Science tends to ignore it’s own findings when they don’t fit the currently accepted theory. That’s not a big deal, lots of things in life don’t seem to fit, but it would seem to me that they would pay more attention to anomalies, just because that’s the best way to debug anything. If you are in computer science you look to the anomalies. Those are the clues as to how to eliminate errors. That should be true all across the board, but get into biology and a lot of interesting bits get swept under the rug.

“Some fifteen worms were placed in a small aquarium over which hung an electric light and which was equipped to give its occupants an electric shock. The light went on two seconds before the electric charge came, and very quickly the worms started to react characteristically to the shock from the time the light went on. Using scissors, the experimenters cut each worm in half and put the severed heads and tails into separate aquariums. The experimenters found that all the regenerated worms, both those building from the original tail and those from an original head, retained the memory of this training.”

It’s from a book called “Non-Human Thought”, by Graven, published in ’74. It took about 150 tries before the first flatworms learned that the light meant impending shock. The severed halves figured it out in about 100 tries.

This is representative of a series of standard conditioning experiments done with flat worms that show how our nervous system functions. Granted that we have a far more complex nervous system than does the lowly flatworm, but the basic process is the same.

What is memory?

This brings up the question: What is memory? In the flatworm experiment, they call the process “conditioning”. Whether you call it conditioning, adaptation or learning, the result involves some sort of memory. The organism remembers an event.

It isn’t a vivid memory, but a vague sort of recall that intensifies with repetition. Each time the event happens the memory becomes stronger. The event is remembered as a sequence of events. The memoryof the flatworm identifies the light as the start of the sequence and acts accordingly. Here the lowly flatworm clearly spots the “difference that makes a difference” and initiates action in advance of the shock. Granted that panic wriggling is not a solution to the problem, but there isn’t much else a flatworm can do in a crisis situation. It does show us that the organism recognized the light as a warning that the shock would soon follow.

The most important thing it tells us is that the memory of this “trauma” was recorded in the cells rather than in the brain, which only one end of the flatworm possessed. It also shows us a consistent pattern of learning behavior.

Isn’t this the very same process we go through when we learn everything we do? We practice. Every time we repeat a behavior it gets easier. Our body has to learn the action, just the same way that our brain remembers something. They say our brain remembers by growing “pathways” in our gray matter. The more these pathways are reinforced, the stronger becomes the memory. Our muscles learn the same way. These pathways carry blood and neural signals to the cells. They “remember” the use patterns for the cells they service and are prepared to supply their needs. If the demands increase, the pathways are expanded as necessary.

These pathways are the result of interference patterns created by the appropriate coherent electromagnetic field. The body has a copy that remembers what each muscle has to do and the brain has one that remembers what commands it has to give for the action to take place.

The nervous system of the flatworm learns in the same way that our nervous system learns. This really fits with the concept of holographic memory, where each unit of memory contains the whole, but lacks detail. It is this vague pattern that is filled in by the details as the organism learns its new behavior.

Educated Cannibals

In further experiments, “educated” flatworms were minced and fed to worms that had never faced the light bulb and its shock. These worms also learned the reflex much faster than worms without any clues. What this tells us is that the information recorded in the memories of the minced worms was decoded by the digestive system and understood by the nervous systems of the “cannibal” worms.

What form could a memory take in order for it to pass through the digestive system, be decoded and made available to the living creature? Thirty years and science has yet attempted to answer that question. Science is still trying to find memory in the brain. In that time scientists have carved up the brains of all kinds of creatures trying to eliminate their memory, to no avail. They have studied human subjects with damaged and/or developmentally retarded areas of the brain and found little or no correlation between specific locations of the brain and memory.

On the other hand, the reports of transplant patients having memories related to the donors are legion. How else could this be possible? The model of a holographic memory is the only one that fits, yet it is hard to find a scientist that thinks so.

In the case of the flatworms, their memory is a fact that can be proven by a repeatable experiment. The memory is passed by some natural process that we should be able to identify, but there doesn’t seem to be much interest from the scientific community.

Security Breach

If we were operating a computer system and we found information being encrypted, secreted and passed in such a way, we would be forced to track down the pathways taken by the data and discover its source and destination. It is the job of the IT administrator to maintain the security and integrity of the system and this clearly represents a previously unknown breach of security.

In biology there is no one looking after the integrity of the system they study. The current paradigm doesn’t recognize that the system is controlled by information. It ignores information pathways for the most part. When they find an obvious information pathway, they credit the chemical message carrier and ignore what it does for the system. I guess they still figure that it all runs on the magic of instinct and random encounters. This holographic view of the information channels of nature has been passed around for decades, yet the obsolete paradigm is still dominant.

Blog at WordPress.com.