Discussion 11H: Structure – The price of Plasticity and the cost of Stability

Since the salience in the emotive motivational attachments to foveal objectifications comes from the limbic system, a foveal imaging process having attached emotive motivations with conditional, or temporary significance would require a collusion between the limbic cingulate gyrus and the foveal imaging processes of the PFC, bypassing the roundabout path of emotives through the hippocampus and their episodic association and abstraction in the cerebral triad, which then migrate to the PFC in the semantic abstraction process. Now, neuro-anatomists have identified a distinct type of high-speed signaling neuron, called spindle neurons, in the anterior cingulate gyrus and fronto-insular cortex, two brain regions which could form this axis of collusion. As these cells are found only in humans and terrestrially a select group of great apes, they could form Natures first adaptation of the foveal imaging process to create objectifications having “emotive” motivational significance with a more abstract quality.

And foveal images with an abstract motivational significance will allow Nature to fashion anticipatory structures to organize the projection of objectifications into the future behavior of rational organisms, which brings the dialog to the final discussion of the Third Fundamental Precept – the neural essence of change.

The path to rationality that Nature followed in the evolution of organisms has been convoluted and indirect, and so it is understandable if the bottom-up engineer is still somewhat fuzzy on the particulars, but there is one final ambiguity that Nature must resolve before the foveal objectification process can become a rational systematic to abstract change in an organisms’ environment, an abstraction which is the essence of knowledge. The perception of where the world is at, for any given moment of an organisms’ existence, is indeed information, but the abstraction of the world as it changes from here to there is knowledge.

In this foveal objectification process, structures are built up, probably in conjunction with the cerebellum, to begin resolving the invariances in those objectifications, so that when the objectification is perceived again, there is the potential for the PFC to “re-cognize” the present objectification as the same “thing” as a previous objectification. However, rarely does a “thing” present itself to the perception apparatus from one encounter to a wholly separate encounter in an identical manner. Fixed, immobile “things” in the environment (which are signified in the episodic maps of the hippocampus), and those “things” which trigger a phylogenetic response indicating predators or potential mates aside, any mobile or changing entity in the environment will be perceived differently from encounter to encounter. Changes in viewing distance or viewing perspective, or even changes in the entity itself, will present the PFC with different perceptions. So in the biological game of “re-cognition”, the PFC must build abstractly connected semantic maps (uncoupled in both time and space) which express just the pure semantic invariances in previous objectifications, and whose abstract connections express “cause and effect” relationships instead of temporal contiguity. These maps and their abstract “cause and effect” transformations, which the bottom-up engineer can rightly characterize as “models” of the environment, can resolve the fundamental dilemma posed in the categorization of any objectification that may be perceived differently in appearance or form from encounter to encounter, a dilemma created by the logical contradiction in perceptions that are “same-but-different”.

Sameness in a present objectification is represented in the PFC as a correlation with the built-up invariances of a previous “modeled” objectification. And so, ”semantic perception” in the primordial primate is the on-going cycle of (subconsciously) deciding whether a present objectification correlates with one of the existing collection of “models”, or is different enough to warrant the semantic memory process, creating a new objectification “model”. Now, the Organon Sutra wants to remind the bottom-up engineer at this point that whenever there is the creation of structure in the neural assembly, the organism is also localizing entropy from the environment. From the standpoint of our primordial primate, the entropic equation has been so far held in check by marshaling processes in the structures which the PFC builds upon, but what mechanism will Nature contrive to marshal the structures being built up by semantic memory to reverse their entropic direction?

In the level of sophistication obtained by primordial tree-dwelling primates, the continuous cycle between the accommodation of change and the assimilation of new structure forming the entropic equation for our primordial primate will be dictated by the environment itself, but only to the degree that the environment constrains the amount of changing objectification that our primordial primate must absorb. So the bottom-up engineer must agree that any constraint that existed in an unchanging arboreal environment would surely disappear as primordial man returns to the grassy savannah and the chaotic environment of ground habitation.

In his adaptation to this “new” environment, primordial man (or, as is commonly called, prehistoric man), will be confronted with an increasing amount of novel experiences, and in the semantic spaces of the evolving PFC, every new semantic acquisition generated by a novel experience must either modify an existing “model” (refine the invariances being abstracted in a “sameness” semantic), or assert a new structure, a new model for a different sameness. And it was prehistoric man, who, while observing his hands manipulate his environment, began to include himself in these semantic “models” of the environment.

However, unlike perceptions, which are temporally structured by the continuity of (apparent) linear emotive time, each new semantic structure risks a contradiction, a possible conflict with a previous, temporally uncoupled semantic structure, so semantic assimilation carries with it a requirement to “rationalize” the creation of new structure, (although in a subconscious modality, and not in our modern-day, conscious sense), the creation of which carries a much higher entropic cost than all other neurologic structures that the PFC has built upon.

And since the semantic memory process exists at the very interface between the semantic experience of the PFC and the environment itself, there is no tertiary neural process to internalize this “rationalization” process, which is essentially the mechanism necessary to marshal the entropy of semantic structure creation. With no neurological mechanism available to facilitate this marshaling, Nature resorted to a mechanical process.

Nature developed speech.

Evolving as a memory aid in the neural restructuring of semantic “models”, speech allowed prehistoric man to literally eject the entropy of the semantic “rationalization” process back out into the environment. And when, at a subsequent time, speech was perceived as its own environmental semantic, this created an evolutionary feedback cycle, accelerating the expansion of the PFC, as perceived semantic speech by others became communication.

The creation of anticipatory structures in their arboreal environment, uncoupled in time, allowed the primordial primates to learn relationally as well as associatively, but explicitly relational structures could not develop in the PFC until Nature found a way to pay the price of their huge cost in entropy. Now, the context in which a bit of knowledge is acquired is tied to the context of the environment as perceived by one individual, and this is not necessarily the context in which the knowledge can be advantageously assimilated. Since every new semantic acquisition either modifies an existing model, or asserts a new structure, there comes a time when a new semantic structure creates a true, present contradiction in an existing structure. And this “deer-in-the-headlights” condition that people experience in the brief “consciousness breakdown” caused by contradictory structures, forms the pre-cursor to intellectual knowledge. However, the actual formation of intellectual semantics in the neural assembly of man carries the steepest price of all semantic structures for the entropy of their creation.

Prehistoric man formed social structures organized around the ejected entropic product of speech, organizations which served as a social apparatus in the process of restructuring the conflicts in individual semantic structures. And with this, the formation of semantic structures begins to cross the boundary between the PFC in prehistoric man and the very environment itself, as prehistoric man becomes social man.



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