Reportability and consciousness

What you think about how you think.
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Dimebag
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Reportability and consciousness

Postby Dimebag » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:47 am

http://feeds.feedburner.com/TEDTalks_audio
https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/tedtalks-video/id160892972?mt=2&i=390022849

I recently watched this Ted talk featuring Anil Seth, a very interesting and inciteful chap, who talked about consciousness. In this talkie describes a particular visual illusion involving color perception and areas of shade vs non shade, and how what is actually the same color when referenced side by side, can be perceived as being different when viewed as being a shaded vs non shaded area. This I find fascinating, as on the one hand, when presented with the initial image of the unconnected sections, it certainly does appear as though the two blocks are a different shade of grey, and only after they are connected by a same coloured column, do they then appear similar.

Seth then went on to describe how we can view consciousness as a kind of hallucination, and this is due to the idea that what we perceive is our brains best guess of what is out there a top down informing, and it can be controlled or reigned in by information filtering bottom up, from the senses.

When I think about this, we view the feature detecting mechanisms of the retina and subsequent perceptual areas, as providing definable characteristics, such as shape, color, pattern, for our brains hallucination to use as building blocks of a conscious experience, which form a quick snapshot for the top down process to hallucinate its best guess of what those features represent.

Getting back to the phenomenon described, I wonder, when we have the initial perception of the shaded vs non shaded image, is it that what we actually see is changed, once the connecting column is added to show the colors are the same, or is it that what we can report about the color of the shaded sections is updated, and this reportability directly "flavours" (for lack of a better term) our perception in a way that deceives us.

I guess what I am wondering is, is feature reportability a separate thing from feature perception, or is it intertwined so much with the direct perception of something, that it is inseparable and therefore for all intensive purposes, it is that perception.

Edit: added video version of podcast, as you might need to see the illusion to appreciate it.

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Nikki Nyx
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Re: Reportability and consciousness

Postby Nikki Nyx » Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:56 am

Dimebag wrote:...when presented with the initial image of the unconnected sections, it certainly does appear as though the two blocks are a different shade of grey, and only after they are connected by a same coloured column, do they then appear similar.
This is a perceptual illusion I first encountered back in Color Theory in college, a course for which we were required to purchase a quite expensive set of paper in Pantone colors (which, I don't believe, is made anymore in this age of computerized graphic design).

One of our assignments was to take squares of a medium shade of the absolutely neutral shade of grey and mount them on several differently-colored backgrounds to make each grey appear to be different. It worked, too. A blue background made the grey look bluer, while a red background made it look redder. Next to each other, the two greys looked like different colors.

Grey, apparently, is difficult to identify without context, so we take the context by whatever color happens to be nearest the grey. Blacks and whites are similarly difficult, which you can tell by going to a paint store and picking up a paint chip of seemingly similar whites.

Check out these grey illusions.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

bobbo_the_Pragmatist
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Re: Reportability and consciousness

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:37 am

applying optical illusions to anything "conscious" related is..................not very informative, usually worse.

Its a shame it got by Ted Screening.
Real Name: bobbo the existential pragmatic evangelical anti-theist and Class Warrior.
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Dimebag
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Re: Reportability and consciousness

Postby Dimebag » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:31 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:applying optical illusions to anything "conscious" related is..................not very informative, usually worse.

Its a shame it got by Ted Screening.

Care to elaborate? What exactly about the use of optical illusions do you take issue with, and what were your thoughts about the rest of the talk?


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