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A Letter to Doug Hofstadter:

How we can (re)discover Mind by measuring Brain.

“The mind is what the brain does.”

“How can particles push ideas around?”


I will begin with an overview of my current research projects which include detection of deception and classification of attention deficit using cognitive activity measures derived from high-density evoked potential (ERP) data. The origins of the ERP signal are then discussed and Libet's work on the temporal nature of these signals provides a jumping off point to the experimental world of modern neuroscience where Koch and others suggest that neural correlates of vision likely provide the best framework for studying consciousness perception.

      Drawing from philosophical (Husserl to Hofstadter) and psychological (James to Jackson) sources I then provide some perspectives on how Tegmark's arguments from Quantum Decoherence against the ORCH OR model of consciousness of Hammeroff and Penrose, provides a framework where states of mind may be derived from measurements from the whole brain. Within this framework I will discuss the physical and psychological nature of bi-stable pictures (e.g., the Rubin Vase-Face) and sketch an argument for the instantiation of a conceptual self within the physical brain.

       I will conclude with ideas for future research using portable EEG systems to assess the degree to which stress and attention may be modulated to help refine and improve waveform classification and the subsequent automation of machine driven tasks. i.e., a brain-machine interface.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Manning Hall Room 202, 4:00 – 5:00 pm

Presented by Michael Jay Schillaci
Managing Director and Physicist
McCausland Center for Brain Imaging
University of South Carolina

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