Sunday, November 6, 2011

Connectionism II, the implications

There have been a lot of studies trying to confirm one theory or another. "Hypnosis is a dissociation between A and B", or perhaps "there is part of the brain that feels pain when anesthesia is suggested".

The outcome from all these experiments has come back the same. You get what you suggest. If you want to show A dissociating from B, suggest it. If you want to show there's more to the story, suggest something that the limited model doesn't allow. The effects of suggestion don't break down cleanly among brain regions. You just get what you suggest (but not necessarily what you think you suggest, of course).

This seems to suggest that any node can have a strong connection to any other node. Think about what that implies! If you can create and destroy associations arbitrarily, then you're limited just by your creativity!

Considering a few examples, IF we can create and destroy associations at will...

False memories are trivial to create. You just have to get someone to imagine something (and remember imagining it) and have it associated with "real", not "fake".

Name amnesia is just an inhibition of name recall. Ideomotor is just excitation of the node that controls that movement. Complex ideomotor movement is just excitation of a node higher up on the control hierarchy. Pain control is inhibition of sensation, or inhibition of unpleasantness from that sensation. All simple.

Getting more complicated, DID can be constructed  by inhibiting the entire set of things associated with the "other" personality (and has even been theorized to be mostly created by shitty therapists).

If its possible to create multiple completely distinct people inside on brain, then its no surprise that you can have "parts" that are in conflict. These parts aren't ontologically basic, and they aren't human shaped, but they are still real patterns.

Estabrooks talks about going several layers deep when 'programming' spies so that even enemy hypnotists will be fooled. Imagine the insane plot twists you can have in that story!

Associations appear to be the fundamental building block, and if we have full access, humans are reprogrammable!

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