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More questions and answers about consciousness

Consciousness was discussed extensively in previous thoughts . These are further clarifications:   How can consciousness be unique? Consciou...

Consciousness was discussed extensively in previous thoughts. These are further clarifications:
How can consciousness be unique?

Consciousness is a unique, inner property. Only I know I have it, but I’m sure I possess it. I feel, I know, that I exist, which is only possible having consciousness. Knowing and experiencing existence is created by consciousness.

Of course, others can feel, know that I exist, because they can perceive my reality. But no one else can know how it feels to be me, to know my own existence. 

Why is consciousness individual?

Consciousness is obviously a brain function, created by the functioning brain. Every human brain experiences its own reality. Every human brain looks very similar from the outside, however, each brain carries different neutral connections. Each brain’s unique, actual neural structure creates its own reality. Consciousness is the product of this inner, unique structure creates the cause that consciousness is specific, individual. 

Why is consciousness unique? Why is exclusively mine my own consciousness? Why can't anyone else access it, and why do I access it in an absolute way? What kind of brain process is consciousness?

Consciousness can exist in an exclusive way because it is created by internal brain processes that have no direct connection to the outside. Consciousness is created by internal neural pathways of the brain, consciousness is the activity of neural pathways that have no external connection. 

How can everyone have it?

Every normally functioning human brain  certainly can carry the function of consciousness. Because consciousness is an internal, unique property, I cannot directly experience whether someone else has consciousness. However, when I ask another person if he or she feels existence, the answer I get is always yes. (There are non-self-conscious states, but then I don't get an answer to the question.)

Because consciousness is created by the brain, and every human brain is locally different and has the same global structure, the brain structure that creates consciousness must be a global structure. 

How can consciousness be a general property of the brain?

Consciousness is a general property of the brain. Every normal human brain is able to create the phenomenon of self-awareness, even though the individual neural connections in the brain are unique, only the global structure is the same. The nervous system that creates self-awareness is therefore a non-specific, global structure. The self-awareness cannot function in everyone’s brain because the local structure of the nervous system is the same. Hence, self-awareness must be created by global, non-specific neural pathways. Therefore, the local plasticity of the brain does not affect the phenomenon of consciousness, and therefore consciousness can be a general property of the brain. Self-awareness is a non-specific, global neural system structure with plasticity. 

How can self-awareness be continuous?

Self-awareness is created by a non-unique, global neural system structure, so plasticity does not affect its function. How is it possible that I will remain myself even after the nervous system connections can be transformed, rearranged locally? How can it be that when self-awareness turns off, for example at a deep sleep, always I, myself come back after? Of course, I may not have noticed that I have become a different person with different consciousness, but people around me who know me would surely notice the change. How can my self-consciousness always mean me, always bring me back after shutting down? What does this stability mean? It suggests that the nervous system structure that is related to self-awareness creates the phenomenon of consciousness, but consciousness is not its own direct function.

Does this mean that in addition to the non-unique global nervous system structure mentioned earlier, there is any other, more fundamental neural system structure that is related to consciousness creating self-awareness? No. It does not mean that there is a more basic, dedicated neural system structure that creates self-awareness. The background global neural system causes consciousness, but it is not its function.

(It is interesting to examine the change in personality, and with it, self-consciousness in certain nervous system injuries from this perspective. The medical literature mentions a number of cases of this.) 

So who am I? What is my consciousness?

In another thought, the resonance model of the brain was discussed. Consciousness is a property that can be interpretable in the resonance model, self-awareness can be a suitable part of the resonance model, it can be a function that can be inserted into that model. If the resonance model is a proper description to explain the brain’s functionality, the phenomenon of consciousness is an interpretable function in this model. According to the resonance model, self-awareness is an internal feedback mechanism of the nervous system, a consequence of evolutionary development. 

Who am I in the brain resonance model? How will I be unique and continuous?

The plastic global neural system structure responsible for the phenomenon of consciousness activates in a non-specific way, figuratively speaking, it like twang the unique structure of the brain, creating extensive resonance. This resonance is a unique resonance that exists only in my brain and is individual. Even if this extensive resonance disappears from time to time, if the phenomenon of consciousness disappears for a while, when it returns, when it re-emerges, then only my unique resonance can re-emerge. I am me, only me, and if my self-consciousness ceases, only mine can return to me.

As a result, self-awareness cannot be transferred to another physical system. My unique consciousness is solely the consequence of the structure in which it was created. 

Self-consciousness can in principle be duplicated by cloning the creating structure, but the two conscious states are separate, independent individuals after separation. The question of who I am after cloning no longer makes sense. Both are me, but our consciousness no longer connects with each other, so we have no connection to each other through self-awareness. We both say it’s me, but we don’t know about each other's inside feelings anymore. If the other person ceases, then that ceases not me. When I cease, my consciousness ends and it will not live in the other. 

What is a brain that does not have the property of self-awareness?

The nervous system structure that evokes self-awareness is a plastic, global neural network, so a nervous system that operates solely on local connections, no matter how complex, does not carry the function of self-awareness. It’s a hypothetically named zombie brain, but in nature, many animal species have such a neural system. The human brain also works sometimes this way when this background global structure shuts down, not active, and we lose our self-consciousness. 

What is a brain that has the property of self-awareness?

The brain that has self-awareness is having a global background structure in addition to local connections. This global neural structure interacts, globally connects to local structures, induces and transmits activity, and creates extensive resonance. 

How does the brain create consciousness? How does self-awareness work?

The effect of the internal feedback created by extensive resonance of the internal global neural system on local neural structures independent of external stimuli is the sense of consciousness

How to turn self-awareness on and off?

Self-awareness can be turned off by inhibiting the internal global nervous structure. Turning on is by stimulating that network. A well functioning brain has many of these regulatory processes and structures, for example, in the regulation of wakefulness and sleep. 

How can there be more than one consciousness in a brain?

If the internal global neural system that creates the phenomenon of self-awareness disintegrates as a result of external intervention, the subsections can create consciousness that functions independently of each other. We can see this phenomenon in people with split brains. 

How can self-awareness be reduced and expanded?

It becomes part of our awareness that is covered by our consciousness, to which the internal global neural system’s resonance is extended. Brain operations that are not part of this relationship cannot become part of our consciousness, our perceived reality. For example, our brain can affect heartbeat, can affect bowel movements, yet they do not become part of our consciousness. Because it is unnecessary for these operations to become part of our consciousness. The resonance created and mediated by the internal global neural system does not extend to these nervous areas.

The complex process of walking controlled by the brain can function completely without the presence of consciousness, as can breathing also. However, these processes can also become part of our consciousness, as it means, the resonance can extend to these neural areas.

Our brain is a plastic, malleable structure, suitable for making new connections when properly stimulated. The internal global neuronal structure that creates consciousness is also a plastic network, and if properly conditioned, it can connect to nervous structures with which it has not been connected before. Consciousness can be expanded with proper stimulation. Consciousness can be extended even into originally fully subconscious processes too, they can become part of our consciousness and thus become controllable by our will. Some people are able to influence their body temperature, their heartbeat by their will.

Self-awareness can be narrowed in a similar way. The nervous system activity to which the resonance extends is experienced as part of our consciousness. For those that are not, it does not become to the part of consciousness, even if there is the connection to the global nervous system that creates consciousness. This is how motions become automatic. A tennis player cannot be a good player if he or she has to consciously control his or her movements, even though he or she must use conscious control while learning to play. The same process takes place when we learn to ride a bike.

How does attention and will work?

Attention and will have been discussed in previous thoughts. The operation of attention and will can be well integrated into the extensive resonance model of the global nervous system that creates consciousness. 

What is personal death?

There are several definitions of death. We can talk about physical death when the biological functions of the body cease. We can talk about brain death when brain function is irreversibly impaired, but the vital functions of the physical body continue to function.

There is also personal death, which is related to consciousness. I exist because I experience that I exist, I exist because my self-consciousness works. I personally die when my self-awareness ceases to function irreversibly. From this point of view, it is completely indifferent whether my body works, or which parts of my brain work. If my consciousness is unable to function, then I have ceased to exist. Thus, according to the previously defined definition of consciousness, personal death occurs when my brain is unable to create a resonant state of the internal global neural structure that causes self-awareness. The primary reason for this may be that the structure that creates the resonance loses its ability to function.

From this point of view, deep sleep is also a state of personal death, only this state can usually be reversed in a natural way. The biological organism needs this physiological state, probably because regeneration processes take place under this phase. Lack of sleep can cause physical death.

People in a coma are permanently unable to utilize resonance of the global neural system creating consciousness. These individuals are in a state of personal death, however, this state might be abrogated if resonance of the background neural system can be properly re-established in the brain. Knowing how consciousness works can give people in a coma a chance to return to self-awareness through a medical procedure.

It is interesting to note that the Bible describes death as a dormant state. It is an interesting question whether the author of the text consciously (sic!) uses the state of personal death to physical death. The descriptions in the Bible go further than this, there are indications that such personal death is a temporary state. Scientific advances may one day reach the level where this description of death in the Bible becomes feasible by human. 

How can we create consciousness?

If the model of resonance of the internal, plastic, global, background neural structure can be applicable for describing and explaining the phenomenon of consciousness, then this model can offer a tool, a physical way of realizing artificial creation of consciousness. Knowing the principle that creates self-awareness, a function can be created, structure, physical procedure can be implemented resulting in the appearance of consciousness in non-biological systems. Self-awareness is an emergent property of the biological brain, the result of physiological and physical processes, which, after understanding its operation, can undoubtedly be artificially induced, created, and implemented in other suitably complex physical systems. 

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