Unconscious inferences...

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rhinogrey
 
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 09:56 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;90516 wrote:
I thought this was pretty cool when I saw it. Its probably one of the best optical illusions I've come across yet. But its also great because it is an unconscious inference (arguably).

Click for the full view for best effect...

http://i26.tinypic.com/2djtpx.jpg

The interesting part about these optical illusions are the fact that as far as empirical sensory perception goes, its is strong evidence against the reliability of a-posteriori (knowledge gained from the senses) knowledge. Simply put, the fact that you are seeing a moving image even though it is a still image (note: its not a Gif... seriously.... print it out, works just the same) proves that what you see with your eyes is not entirely accurate knowledge (or perception, whatever have you).

Empiracle inferences can be wrong. Interesting, right? Especially considering the fact that the are many who are stead fast empiracle proponents out there.


It doesn't prove anything, it shows that your brain perceives motion where there isn't any, but your brain can quickly apprehend that it is being fooled and that something "screwy" is going on. Similar to hallucinating on drugs, you are not 'fooled' into thinking reality is producing these illusions, but your brain is perceiving in a particular way. But your brain is capable of realizing it is perceiving something inaccurately and therefore works to correct the inaccuracy by seeking further empirical evidence or rational insight gained from previous experience.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 09:12 am
@rhinogrey,
rhinogrey;90782 wrote:
It doesn't prove anything, it shows that your brain perceives motion where there isn't any, but your brain can quickly apprehend that it is being fooled and that something "screwy" is going on.
infer a moving picture as a regular motionless image. So my inference may be wrong because, for all intents and purposes, the picture could have some innate motion within it. However, there are arguments to discover that the image is still most clearly and distinctly. May be interesting to explore.
rhinogrey;90782 wrote:
Similar to hallucinating on drugs, you are not 'fooled' into thinking reality is producing these illusions, but your brain is perceiving in a particular way. But your brain is capable of realizing it is perceiving something inaccurately and therefore works to correct the inaccuracy by seeking further empirical evidence or rational insight gained from previous experience.

Perception and George Berkeley walk hand and hand (they are just friends though, nothing more). But as far as rationalistic notions are concerned, you are relying heavily on the fact that the individual is going to be able to extrapolate what exactly is going on. If "the brain" is capable of determining truth and falsity, there is some sort of rationalistic modus at play. But I don't know if I would buy into the glued-on empirical principles though. As far as I can tell, you are mixing rationalism and empiricism up into one amalgamation, which I can't say I agree with.
 
Exebeche
 
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 04:51 pm
@rhinogrey,
rhinogrey;90782 wrote:
It doesn't prove anything,


I don't agree.
It definitely proves that our mind CAN be fooled.
However, as Salima's amazing post shows, it also proves that our mind does not HAVE TO be fooled.
Your statement that our mind can correct the mistake doesn't change anything about the fact that it CAN be fooled in the first place.
You shouldn't forget though that you were made aware of your mind being fooled.
There is no security about how many perceptions we have, where we are not aware of such.
The world could be full of such illusions.
You certainly know for example that any picture you perceive optically is turned bottom up.
Any image of the world around you hits the back of your eye 180 degrees twisted.
It's your brain that turns it around, so you perceive the world the right way.
Your brain permanently processes the information it perceives in a way that makes it fit your need to deal with reality in a way that you can handle it.
The image provided by VideCorSpoon is only one obvious example of how your brain is used to process optical patterns.
The illusion in that picture is a result of your brain processing information due to its natural patterns.
When you know that it's an illusion your brain can correct it.
What if you don't know it however?
How do you know wether or not a perception is a precise image of reality?
Have you ever even noticed that your eyes perceive the world bottom up?
 
salima
 
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 05:10 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
you mean everybody sees that thing moving except me?

actually my brain is easy to fool in other ways-sounds for example, i hear coming from places i think they are instead of where they really are. and various other tricks my brain seems to play on me, i am not sure if it is being fooled or it is fooling me...

i was really interested though in the post that said the brain can tell when it is having a hallucination-is that true for only some people? what is the point of having a hallucination if you can tell it isnt real? but i think someone also said a person who is schizophrenic hears voices but may be able in time to tell which are the ones that are real and which arent.

i had thought that if the brain were so biological that it would have a sort of warning in it when it was providing its own sensory stimulation. not to mention i have to wonder how can it do that? how could it project something that would appear to be coming in from our eyes when it really wasnt? especially if it made the kinds of things people tell me they see when they take certain drugs-things that they have never seen before in real life, so how would the brain be able to manufacture those false perceptions when it had no memory to use and no frame of reference? and then be so bizarre as to not know it was doing it?
 
Caroline
 
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 05:56 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
Chemicals do weird things to the brain especially synthasied ones but I'm not a biologist, however drugs I feel should be well maintained and controlled and the dealers need to be sorted out ok.Wink
 
Exebeche
 
Reply Sat 19 Sep, 2009 03:29 pm
@salima,
salima;91062 wrote:

i had thought that if the brain were so biological that it would have a sort of warning in it when it was providing its own sensory stimulation. not to mention i have to wonder how can it do that? how could it project something that would appear to be coming in from our eyes when it really wasnt? especially if it made the kinds of things people tell me they see when they take certain drugs-things that they have never seen before in real life, so how would the brain be able to manufacture those false perceptions when it had no memory to use and no frame of reference? and then be so bizarre as to not know it was doing it?

The example of drugs shows how both is possible:
Some drugs totally cut you off from reality one hundred percent, others don't.
For example you can deal with a horror trip on LSD remembering that "it's not real". This is what people on a horrortrip necessarily do.
Some drugs are not so userfriendly though.
Thornapple (scopolamine and adropine) will completely take away your memory of having taken a drug at all.
So while people wonder why you are naked in the street, having a discussion with a plant, for you everything seems totally normal. You wouldn't be suprised about a plant talking to you in a dream, so why should you now? And that's what you actually do: You dream while being awake.

When you know that you have taken LSD your brain normally works good enough to compare the input with the normal patterns of reality. You will (depending on the dosage) not have a problem to realize that the demonlike red glowing of the woman's eyes who is talking to you is far from being a typical pattern of your reality.
So you will easily be able to tell it's an illusion.
It may not always be so easy however. For example it may become difficult to tell if you are looking at a pile of fabric or a dead animal. Both is at least possible.

Personally i prefer a three stages kind of model for explaining the way we perceive reality:
First of all there is an outside reality. We know almost nothing about what it is like. This is the first stage of reality, Kant's world of things where the thing in itself does actually exist.
The second stage of reality is created by the means of informaton processing: A tiny part of the outside reality can be perceived by our senses. A tiny range of electromagnetical waves e.g. is sensed as light (and colors), particular waves created by events will be perceived as sound, and so on. Any of this information enters an extremely complex system of cameras, mirrors and filters which is your whole nervous system from your brain to your finger tips. Whatever happens in this (pretty huge) system is like a black box.
These cameras, mirrors and filters finally create the third stage of reality: Like in a cinema the pictures are projected to the cinema screen which is called our consciousness. You can imagine the screen like the inside of our skull. The pictures on the cinema screen are in fact the only thing we can refer to when we try to recognize reality.
We will never be able to see reality itself, the only thing we will ever see is the movie on the inside of our skull.
The second stage, at which the information is being processed in the black box is so relevant, that the output comes with a huge number of elements that haven't really been there in stage one.
For example when you go for a walk in a forest seeing the pictures: forest - man - woman - girl - little dog will be summed up to the output: Family.
On the inside of your skull there will be a family going for a walk. This may be close to the actual outside reality or it may not.

Now when you see a picture like the one provided by VideCorSpoon, a reprocessing takes place. That's nothing unusual actually. Something might make us wonder: Was that really a family? Maybe the guy was black and she was asian while the girl looked european. Something breaks up the common patterns.
The mentioned picture breaks up the common patterns when you print it and it still moves. Your experience tells you that it's impossible that a drawn picture moves in any way. so you question what you see and reprocess it.
You look at the projection on the inside of your skull and say: "I see it moving but i know that this is only the result of my mirrors and cameras being fooled."
 
Exebeche
 
Reply Sat 19 Sep, 2009 06:07 pm
@salima,
salima;91062 wrote:
you mean everybody sees that thing moving except me?

Yes. In this case you are extremely exceptional.
I would even call it fascinating.
It would also be interesting to investigate if you are a person who is talented in drawing pictures... how you start drawing a picture..
and so on...

---------- Post added 09-20-2009 at 02:35 AM ----------

Exebeche;91983 wrote:

Now when you see a picture like the one provided by VideCorSpoon, a reprocessing takes place. That's nothing unusual actually. Something might make us wonder: Was that really a family? Maybe the guy was black and she was asian while the girl looked european. Something breaks up the common patterns.
The mentioned picture breaks up the common patterns when you print it and it still moves. Your experience tells you that it's impossible that a drawn picture moves in any way. so you question what you see and reprocess it.
You look at the projection on the inside of your skull and say: "I see it moving but i know that this is only the result of my mirrors and cameras being fooled."


In fact i come to the conclusion that this is a major difference between animals and humans.
Humans have the potential to reprocess the information and to question the output.
This is what is called the reflective consciousness.
Reconsider what they have seen on the cinema screen.
Reconsider what they have said and done.
Become conscious of what they have said and done.
This is what an animal will never do.
 
salima
 
Reply Sun 20 Sep, 2009 01:13 am
@Exebeche,
Exebeche;92035 wrote:

In fact i come to the conclusion that this is a major difference between animals and humans.
Humans have the potential to reprocess the information and to question the output.
This is what is called the reflective consciousness.
Reconsider what they have seen on the cinema screen.
Reconsider what they have said and done.
Become conscious of what they have said and done.
This is what an animal will never do.


but animals remember what they have done-they remember which people are threatening or friendly, i think...they may not sit and stew about it like human beings do, but it will come back to them when they meet the same person again, and they can use that memory to reprocess information-for instance, if they had started out with genetic memory and experience that human beings were not predators towards them, and then they met one who beat them severely and tied them up, and they managed to escape, they would change their outlook. right?

or do you think,...maybe you know, and for sure i am only guessing...that what i have suggested would only be a pavlovian sort of behavior change?

i always ponder what it is that makes animals different from us...and i have not been able to come to any conclusions. that is, i am not sure we are the one and only species that doesnt fit into the animal kingdom. and i have also not been able to assume that we are at the top of the ladder! (especially compared to cats).
 
Exebeche
 
Reply Sun 20 Sep, 2009 12:56 pm
@salima,
salima;92138 wrote:
but animals remember what they have done-they remember which people are threatening or friendly, i think...they may not sit and stew about it like human beings do, but it will come back to them when they meet the same person again, [...]
or do you think,...maybe you know, and for sure i am only guessing...that what i have suggested would only be a pavlovian sort of behavior change?

Damn it's my fault, i shouldn't have brought it up.
Especially as i do not even believe there is such a thing as THE difference between humans and animals.
I sure see there is a difference that can be expressed in quantitative and qualitative terms, however that's more like talking about a lake and an ocean.
You are definitely right, that an animal can also reprocess information.
This reprocessing that you describe however will normally be triggered by an outside stimulus (like meeting the same person again).
As oppose to that a great part of the information reprocessing in a human brain is caused by the brain activity itself, without an outside trigger -> reflective consciousness.
For the sake of harmony we may want to keep the question of a difference between man and animal to a different thread.
The reason why i felt i had to mention it was because from an epistemological perspective this is of course a very important observation if correct.
I do not believe that there is ONE definition of consciousness that is universally true, just like it would be ridiculous to try to define intelligence in one sentence and believe this will serve all aspects of intelligence.
But actually i think the aspect of our consciousness that i picked up in this post is a very interesting description when you try to look at consciousness from a more - sorry - reductionist perspective, which is helpful when you try to catch the interest of nature scientists.
Seeing the amount of reflective information reprocessing as an indicator of consciousness could help if one day we have to make a decision about how we treat our artificial intelligence.
You may find it somewhat perverted that someone thinks about computer rights when even the animals' rights are so underrated.
However the day will come when we have to face the question wether a computer has something like a consciousness or not.
How would you feel for example when your AI asks you something as simple as: "Why is the sky blue?"
This would make you realise that it must have been wondering about some things independently.
Maybe.
 
salima
 
Reply Sun 20 Sep, 2009 04:34 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
things are beginning to blur more and more, arent they?
i think one of the issues would be whether or not there is the capability of being any intent to cause pain or harm...we would have to seriously think about a lot of things to answer the question. i remember reading i, robot almost a millenium ago which i think was a robot being on trial for killing a child.
actually i forgot the theme of this thread now...better go check.
 
Exebeche
 
Reply Sun 20 Sep, 2009 05:03 pm
@salima,
salima;92278 wrote:
things are beginning to blur more and more, arent they?
i think one of the issues would be whether or not there is the capability of being any intent to cause pain or harm...we would have to seriously think about a lot of things to answer the question. i remember reading i, robot almost a millenium ago which i think was a robot being on trial for killing a child.
actually i forgot the theme of this thread now...better go check.

I think a thread about unconscious inferences is bound to lead to a discussion about what the word 'consciousness' means.
Which is open to any direction of philosophy.
You can discuss it from a metaphysical perspective as well as in a sense of philosophy of mind. But at the same time 'consciousness' can be explaned from an ethical angle.
Depends what kind of philosophy you are more attached to.
You connect it to wether or not there is 'any intent to cause pain or harm'.
So i see this connected to the philosophy of mind, where consciousness is defined by intention, speech, and errrm what was the other thing?
My suggestion in this particular post was that:
Consciousness might be defined by the amount of (reflective) information reprocessing.
So, when looking at the picture that we are talking about, an animal would probably regard it as moving, whereas a human might be able to reconsider if the input can be taken as real.
This is in fact far from the philosophy-of-mind kind of understanding of consciousness. However it does not criticise it.
I see it as an extension.
 
salima
 
Reply Tue 29 Sep, 2009 08:43 am
@Exebeche,
Exebeche;92035 wrote:
Yes. In this case you are extremely exceptional.
I would even call it fascinating.
It would also be interesting to investigate if you are a person who is talented in drawing pictures... how you start drawing a picture..
and so on...


update on the optical illusion-
i finally got someone over here to look at this thing, worried about my monitor you know...and he also could not see the wavey thing moving. so then he called someone else over, and they could see it moving. so why two of us cannot, i dont know. we both wear glasses-but he was able to remove his and still see that it does not move. if i remove mine, i wont even be able to see the monitor let alone any picture on it...but anyway, just had to let you know i am really not so special after all!
 
Exebeche
 
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2009 09:48 am
@salima,
salima;94257 wrote:
update on the optical illusion-
i finally got someone over here to look at this thing, worried about my monitor you know...and he also could not see the wavey thing moving. so then he called someone else over, and they could see it moving. so why two of us cannot, i dont know. we both wear glasses-but he was able to remove his and still see that it does not move. if i remove mine, i wont even be able to see the monitor let alone any picture on it...but anyway, just had to let you know i am really not so special after all!


Really interesting.
I wouldn't have thought that could happen so frequently.
I also wear glasses, this seems to have nothing to do with it.
 
salima
 
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2009 05:46 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
what will also be interesting is whether it looks any different to me after my cataract surgery!
 
Exebeche
 
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2009 04:45 pm
@salima,
salima;94484 wrote:
what will also be interesting is whether it looks any different to me after my cataract surgery!

Looking up the word 'cataract' in the dictionary, it looks like you have a serious condition about your eyes.
Let me express my best wishes for the surgery first of all.
I have to say that, not seeing that picture move is a perception that has surprised me, however it does not mean, that i regard it as abnormal.
You tend to reduce it to a defect of your eyes, but i don't see it as such.
First of all your perception is not object of the illusion.
So you see it more clearly, actually as it is.
I don't see it as it is, even if i stand on my head or do anything, i will not be able to perceive it the way it is.
This reminds me of the thing about toungs.
You certainly know it, can you role your toung?
Some people can roll their tounge like a tortilla, others can only stick it out flat. It's a genetical thing. When you can roll it, it's hard to believe that others can't.
Ask your neighbours :bigsmile:
There's many who can not.
It's nothing inferior or superior, plain can or can not.
Just like writing with left or right hand.
Sounds a little bit profane for a philosophy forum.
However i think there could be differences in information processing just like that.
My guess would be that the reason for you not seeing the picture move is because your mind's architecture differs from average in the way that some people use the right hand for writing and others use the left one.
This wouldn't say anything about your personality, just like writing with left or right hand doesn't.
But from a neurological perspective it is certainly something fascinating to do some investigation.
And for this particular thread it is definitely an enrichment that we found somebody who can say:
"I don't know what you are talking about"
Because this thread is about perceiving reality more or less subjectively.
The picture shown in the opening thread suggests that we all see a shape that does not exist.
Anybody could have said: "It takes a lot of fantasy to see the rectangle shape you are talking about".
So your comment breaks up the presuppositions we all have and as such is certainly an enrichment to this thread.
 
 

 
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