Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Online consciousness course formally begins Sept 22 2014

 Please note that had  "in real life" sessions at UC Berkeley starting with a 
Seminar in Beach Room, 3rd floor Tolman hall, UC Berkeley April 18 2014 2pm
The next took place 2-10 pm May 30  Beach Room, 3rd floor Tolman hall, UC Berkeley and they continued till the summer recess
Please see updates at  http://foundationsofmind.org/blog.html
Proceedings of FOM have been  available free on the e-journal "Cosmos and History" since late June 2014


and will later be issued by Cambridge scholars' as a book. 
Both the consciousness and general cog sci  online courses will now start Sept 22 2014

Starting Sept 22, we will discuss 1 lecture a week here

The first formal week's lectures will be at  sites to be announced; this is a summary and a sample lecture wich is also an introduction;h



 User name and password have been  given to registered students

You will also have access to the entire foundations of mind video archive, including great videos like this;

 Please note;

1. This course costs $75. that fee also gets you access to the video record of the landmark associated conference;


Please register at http://foundationsofmind.org/register.html

2. While it has been taught for credit at Stanford, the on-line version is beta. It will be precisely as taught for credit at Stanford, by the same professor, who will issue a certificate of completion.

3. For the moment, communication will be done through the blog, with students commenting on the blog. They are of course free to contact each other independently. We may have Skype meetings later

4. The text is "The Search for Mind" by Sean O Nuallain (third edition).

5. The material moves into pretty cutting-edge neuroscience for a few sessions - I deliberately put this on the sampler lecture to discourage the uncommitted

Have fun!


The detailed syllabus is as follows;

Course description
 Subject area Cognitive:  science
 Position within subject area: Neuroscience and philosophy of mind
 Intended audience
 College students; intelligent and interested laypeople
 Course objectives
When students have Completed this course, they will:
 -know the essentials of neuroscience, including the perhaps more veridical theories of neural function and communication that may currently be emerging from such areas as non- linear systems, quantum mechanics, and analysis of subthreshold neural oscillations
 - know the basic arguments in the philosophy of mind from Plato through Descartes, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Levine and such popular putative contributions as that of Chalmers.
 - In the absence of any certain conclusions about the nature of subjective experience , which this course dues not claim to give, be able to evaluate the many current and future claims that will be presented to them proposing a direct link from neural fact to subjective experience
 Prerequisites for students
 Interest in the area; commitment to engage with others in dialogue
 Session by Session
 Week 1: Historical aspects: Plato, Aquinas, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Husserl, Levine; the advent of cognitive science.  Neurophysiological plausibility: assessment of conventional neural networks, the integrate and fire paradigm, and approaches built on subthreshold resonance. Introduction of the resonate and fire (RFNN)paradigm; vocabulary of non-linear systems to be used in the course. The Hilbert transform as superset of the Fourier transform; its applicability to brain function. Criteria for consequences for phenomenal experience.
 Week 2: RFNs continued. The encompassing context; how does this work relate to contemporary controversies exemplified by the Noe/Hurley/Block debate, and the notion of a neural correlate of conscious experience.
 Week 3:   Continuation of analysis of the work of RNF theorists like Izhekevich, Reinker and Doris. The interaction of spatial and temporal codes. Topographic maps that go point-to-point into higher-level maps and retinotopic mapping  from the retina to LGN, from there to V1, and in the other "V areas" up to IT.  How do these spatial maps interact with spectral codes of Karl Pribram?
 Week 4: Multimodal mapping. Spatial location and information integration. What other binding mechanisms are there, for example in Martin's LIMSI work? ;Filling ; mechanisms and change blindness.
 Week 5  The contrastive approach in consciousness studies. Axonal versus dendritic communication. The FM radio analogy pioneered by Izhekevich, Doris  and Freeman. Meaning as AM  in the work of Freeman
 Week 6:  Other theories of consciousness; conscious inessentialism in Lashley and Jackendoff. Fodor versus Descartes on modularity. Freeman, Suppes; consciousness as a sample.
 Week 7:   Edelman, involving the dynamic core hypothesis. Llinas and the thalamocortical system. Pellionisz and Llinas on tensors in the work popularized by Churchland
 Week 8: Recapitualtion of historical aspects and summary.. What theory, if any, will prevail? What seem to be the relevant criteria?
 Weeks 9 and 10 Student presentations.
 Methods of Instruction While the instructor will prepare a detailed presentation for each topic, the students will be encouraged to debate the topics vigorously throughthe internet , and work together to give presentations
 Credit requirements and course grade 50% end of session examination50% project work (to be finalised)
 Background Reading
 Barlow H. B. (1972) Single
Neurons and Sensation: A neuron doctrine for perceptual psychology. Perception. Perception 1, 371-394.
 Biebel, U.W., Langner, G., 1997. Evidence for "pitch neurons" in the auditory midbrain of chinchillas. In: Syka, J. (Ed.), Acoustic Signal Processing in the Central Auditory System. Plenum Press, New York
 Braun, M., 2000. Inferior colliculus as candidate for pitch extraction: multiple support from statistics of bilateral spontaneous otoacoustic emissions. Hear. Res. 145, 130-140.
 Braun, M., 1999. Auditory midbrain laminar structure appears adapted to f 0 extraction: further evidence and implications of the double critical bandwidth.
 Hear. Res. 129, 71-82.
 J. C. Eccles (1957). The Physiology of Nerve Cells. Academic Press, New York, 1957
 G Callewaert, J Eilers, and A Konnerth Axonal calcium entry during fast 'sodium' action potentials in rat cerebellar Purkinje neurones J Physiol (Lond) 1996 495: 641-647
 Georgopoulos, A., Kalaska, J., Caminiti, R., & Massey, J. (1982). On the relations between the directionof two-dimensional arm movements and cell discharge in primate motor cortex. Journal ofNeuroscience, 2(11), 1527-1537.
 Hubel and Wiesel (1959) Receptive fields of single neurons in the cat's striate cortex
 Hutcheon, B. and Yarom, Y. "Resonance, oscillation, and the intrinsic frequency preferences of neurons" Trends Neurosci. 2000 May; 23(5): 216-22
 Izhikevich (2002) "Resonance and selective communication via bursts in neurons having subthreshold oscillations" Biosystems 67(2002) 95-102
 Langner, G., Schreiner, C.E., Biebel, U.W., 1998. Functional implications of frequency and periodicity coding in auditory midbrain. In: Palmer, A.R., Rees, A.,
 Summerfield, A.Q., Meddis, R. (Eds.), Psychophysical and Physiological Advances in Hearing.
 Whurr, London, pp. 277-285. Langner, G., Schreiner, C.E. and Merzenich, M.M. (1987) Covariation of latency and temporal resolution in the inferior colliculus of the cat. Hear. Res. 31, 197-201
 McCulloch, W. and Pitts, W. (1943). A logical calculus of the ideas immanent in nervous activity. Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics, 7:115 - 133.
 Rees, A. and Sarbaz, A. (1997) The influence of intrinsic oscillations on the encoding of amplitude modulation by neurons in the inferior colliculus. In: J. Syka (Ed.), Acoustic Signal Processing in the Central Auditory System, Plenum Press, New York, pp. 239-252
 O Nuallain, Sean (2003) The Search for Mind; third edition. Exeter: England
 Pribram, K. (1991) Brain and Perception: holonomy and structure in figural processing. N.J. : Lawrence Erlbaum
 Reinker, S, E. Puil, and R.M. Miura (2004) "Membrane Resonance and Stochastic resonance modulate firing patterns of Thalamocortical neurons: Journal of computational Neuroscience 16 (1): 15-25, January-February, 2004
 Rock, I. (1983) The logic of perception. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press
 Rudolph, M. and A. Destexhe (2001) "Do neocortical pyramidal neurons display stochastic resonance?" Journal of computational neuroscience 11,19-42
 DeSchutter, E. and Bower, J.M. (1993) Parallel fiber inputs gate the Purkinje cell response to ascending branch synaptic inputs. Soc. Neurosci. Abst. 19:1588.
 Sherrington CS. 1906. Integrated Action of the Nervous System. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK
 Wu, M, C-F Hsiao, and S.C. Chandler (2001) "Membrane reonance and subthreshold membrane oscillations in Mesencephalic V Neurons: Participants in Burst Generation The Journal of Neuroscience, June 1, 2001, 21(11):3729-3739

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