Evolution of the brain: Short Thought 2

Recurring patterns

Deja vu (as far as I have been able to investigate and incorporate existing research) is the moment the mind recognizes a pattern that has been (at some prior time) ‘considered’. This means that the brain has a response structure for it and at the moment of deja vu, it fills in the blanks. That is why the consciousness feels everything that transpires is predicted. But this only goes for the very basic response to stimulus. 

Survival patterns

Humans are the result of evolution over a long line of organisms that were (for a long time) not the top of the food chain. Our brains is the evolved version of the brain of other primates. However, our line has had the luxury to gain so much overhead in responses, that we could counter possible threats, before they occurred. This means that our system has space and basal response blueprints (instincts) embedded that are not used anymore. These options made us, as species become self aware. The same options caused us to become ‘religious’ (seeking a parent outside, or generally called animism), plan extensive, become verbal in more complex ways and sometimes have been hotwired in the complex structure of neurons.

Reaction Chain

Our brain is behaving primarily to respond to threats. We don’t have those in all levels of society anymore. There are levels where most of these parts of the brain are used for more cognitive options. The structures in which the brain is wired is inherited to extend. The decisions are caused by impulses coming in initially. When we come to a moment of deja vu, some arbitrary part of such a decision tree, is activated and the brain shoots hormones and other neurotoxins into the bloodstream to activate defenses of the organism. Such gives the organism a hastened response (heightened awareness) and the moment the brain sees something. The organism has the idea it has already transpired. We as humans are aware of direction of time and know that we can’t act what has already transpired, so our consciousness tries to make the event fit and you get the ‘idea’ that it was a repetition of an earlier event (but as we KNOW we haven’t been in that specific situation, we tell ourselves it must have been a dream).

Evolution of the Brain: a short thought 1

The brain is evolved from millions of years of neural synapses integrating (as said by others much like the processors we create for computers etc), when life was but worms, there were still only a few strands of nerves. A small lump in the ‘seat’. What was the ‘brain’ set to? For food. The worm is one long intestine and basically we are a intestine with vertibrates. Our brain has been evolving ever since life became multiple celltypes with specific functions. When complex animals arose, the brain was already a complex neural box. It was so intrinsic that even mice have basically selfawareness options (who says they aren’t?). But the brain still has the same function over all those millions of years: Making sure the body gains food and survives dangers in doing so. We as mammals have been on lower steps of the food chain for thousands of thousands of years. (imagine that. A life span of about 40 years and so generations every 15 to 20 years….imagine how many ancestral generations have gone before THAT point.). Then the weather changed, climate changed and we got less predators to take care of, but we still needed to find food. We ate what was in trees, bushes, die with failure, live with good food. Those choices are all embedded in the blueprint of our brain. They are the unlearned reflexes. Many of them come to pass each generation, without being triggered. And from that moment on, the brain needs less for certain type of reflexes. Eventually we are in our current era and we are the top of the food chain and we changed the ability of running from danger, to preparing for danger for many hundreds of thousands of years. Now, we don’t have to run anymore, but some of the reflexes don’t die that easily (hence religion and other fear aspects, causing diversion and anger).

We are in a time where the brain evolves on. It might become smaller, but not ‘lighter’ per se. The density changes, but also its functions ‘narrow’. Who of us still know from instinct what to do with babies? With a wild animal attacking us? With how the weather predicts the effects on crops tomorrow? We are all losing parts that are ‘irrelevant’ to the specific ‘bloodline’. Those in cities don’t know about carpenting or farming, while in the suburb there will be those that still know. Life still requires it from them to sometimes build something themselves. The same happens for many things, not just ‘job’ related, but also personal. In the country, people are welcoming to new (new blood, information, etc), but also cautious of differences (dangerous behavior, different unknown bloodlines and physical attributes). In the suburbs where all come together, it is a mediate, while in the city it is the same as in the country, but reversed. They are less welcoming (busy lives, close quarters and thus more shortlived interhuman contacts), but also less cautious. In all, the brain grows smaller, but not around the globe. There are likely locations where it grows. 

It will also still depend on the activities within the bloodlines, whether there is either higher density or loss of reflex/cognitive abilities.

Body works: Fear, the first emotion

Figure 1

Ever wondered, how the brain learns to contain information? Ever wondered how we, as humans ‘learn’ empathy and use emotions to respond to our environment? And what does fear has to do with that?

Nothing to fear but fear itself?

I will start of with an eye opener: Fear is the first emotion. ALL, without any exception, organisms are embodied with fear. Why? because it is the most basic and primal survival instinct.

Simple deduction: What is your initial choice between life or death? I am guessing over 60% of the people who read this question ‘well, life of course’. There will be about 30% saying: ‘In what situation?’ and approximately 10% or less will say: ‘I guess it would be death’. Why? Because death means end of existence of you. And why would you not want that? Because that is how our brain works. And from that our mind.

Mortal coil

Before animals were able to see, everything it touched could be instant death, or slow death. Imagine you are a single cell. You have no arms, no legs, no eyes, no nose, no ears, no brain. You consume, but not much else. When you have gathered enough proteins and building blocks, your RNA/DNA starts to split, diffusing the amount of ‘weight’. But if something would touch your cell, or start to lower the fluid-level inside the cell, you would start moving away from the place where that started to happen. You would try to find a safe place. You would go heads on. How would you do that? ‘Bore me to death?’

Figure 2

Is fear a good thing, or a bad thing?

Well, lets see, for a single cell organism it is the only thing that will indicate to the core that it is in danger of perishing. What about a larger organism? A snail, or an worm?

Trigger happy

Even as humans are more complex, the response mechanism is still the same. A trigger when something touches the outer skin, which takes away either density or causes dehydration of the cells (salt on the finger of a human will cause the fluids from a snail to compensate for the solution difference within a cell and outside. Also a snail is not used to warmth, so it will ‘shy away’ from it.) In all, the initial response from such organism is still the same. It will ‘fear’ the change in environment. All organisms after come from the same genepool. Some changed their response to how fear influences the internal system. Predators, for instance will get forced by their hormone levels and neuron response to attack, instead of retreat, unless the situation contains signals or causes enough pain (like the dehydration of a single cell) to make it choose the safer route for survival.

So, though the quote in Figure 2, comes from a seemingly very intelligent person, it is not entirely right. What we should fear, is losing touch with our ability to respond to signals that are cause for fear to survive and to fear too much.

Fear of history

Human history has shown what happens when you are cognitively enabled (self aware and can ‘think’) and still have a very strong sense of fear response for survival. It means that in a changing world, with less dangers, more false positives will occur. False positives are ‘detections of danger’, which aren’t really dangers. This is what we now call ‘superstition’. This caused the early man to see dangers in wind waving the grass, or a bush. And as we know, as a child with limited cognitive understanding of processes of nature, we had little way to see anything more in those false positives, than projections of our fears. Of ourselves.

Figure 3

Prey and Predator

Eventually, in different parts of the world, where humans traveled and settled, different social growth and different cultures caused different ways to fill the false positives. The oldest agreed within the community to different ‘animism’ to cause the wind to howl, or the sun to shine or thunder to strike. Eventually humanity grew and and its freedom from fear of predators in nature, gave it the possibility to explore different ways to survive. But all these new emotions and ways to interact with our surrounding, within our groups, with problems, with opportunities, were still based on the very first: fear. Love for others, is often showing its real face: fear of losing. Fear of losing offspring, fear of losing protection, fear of losing the posibility to be empowered by sheer number (social group dynamics). Anger, love, sorrow, all come from fear.

But as Lucas Jonkman said (Figure 3): Fight your fears and you’ll be in battle forever (fears don’t go away, you can’t kill fear, it is a symptom. Most often for the unknown), face your fears and be free forever (accept that your body and mind responds to something with fear, and find out what that thing is, is it really to be feared?)

When Logically inclined, Honesty frames the view of Reason

Brain works: Dreams 2

Dream a little dream

The body is an organism that is build to survive. Thus, input and internal processes are meant to have it live and keep living. We have chemical influences to the brain, making sure that the neural responses stay in favor to survival, but of course we have an abundance of neural input from visual, auditive and haptic stimuli. However, most organisms (and humans are no exceptions to this rule) have instinctive behavior to these stimuli. The crux is, that the more complex the neural network, the more diversion there is in processing the incoming signals.

Fear the dream

Emotions are the level where instincts can be ‘conflicting’. Animals have this, where they are ‘instinctive’ to act one way and eventually are forced by either other instinct or stimuli to divert from this. That is why dogs also are sometimes noticed to be vividly dream. Humans have not only instincts and emotions on top of them. They are even self-aware of their choices from both these two layers. The stimuli are electrical current changes in the nervous system. Neurons are the storage/processing containers of these electrical charges and respond to specific ‘levels’ of charges. When something is processed repeatedly, the neurons/nervous system will ‘etch’ it. It becomes an instinctive behavior. Before it becomes something like that, it requires quite some work. The layer above it, is the emotional processing. We store most memories by emotional hooks (do understand that these are also connected to strongest stimuli during these emotions: smell, sound, visuals).

These emotional hooks decide how we will respond to these kinds of stimuli the next time. But before such emotional hook is stored, it has to have a unique flow in the nervous system (If you know what an EEPROM is, you might get some analogy here).

The Alpha and the Omega

When we receive new stimuli, that cause (and they always do, don’t kid yourself) emotional feedback on the nervous system, it doesn’t mean the brain will automatically process it. Often we are cognitively so busy that the default electrical charge on the brain the ‘signals’ to be bouncing through the matter, without having any effect. But you can understand (I guess) that this just adds to the already existing charge in the brain (consider it the Beta, Alpha and Gamma wavelengths, where the level of stimuli adds to the lowest, causing it to move to a higher frequency). When we go to sleep, the average charge is lowered, because we are not actively influencing our own awareness anymore. Visual cortex is ‘shutdown’, Auditive cortex is shutdown. etc. So, the brains ‘instinctive’ and ‘emotional’ responses are shutdown. But what is left is the residual charges that bounce through the brain. This residual charge will fire parts of the cortexes, that will result in dreams. The same is also why especially as a child, our dreams seems so random and often have no limit in weirdness. Because as a child we are learning about our instincts, emotions and cognitive abilities (often most apparent in our social behavior), we dream more during our younger years. Our brain needs more answers to ‘unknown’ emotions etc.

Dream Ja Vu

When we sleep enough (and dream enough in REM level), our brain has time to process all the ‘overhead’ charge. It has time to settle in the sediments and etch or sink down the new behavioral patterns.

When we don’t sleep enough, we tend to feel restless, because these additional charges cause a discrepancy in our instinct/emotional and cognitive responses. Consider the following:

  • We have experienced something.
  • We have responded, but are unaware if this is the right way.
  • We sleep but the emotional charge is not dispersed into the brain.

    We experience the same situation, but we are aware we do, but we are also aware we ‘haven’t made up our minds yet’ on how our response will be.

This is a short example on the neuro-biological behavior.

Why does THC influence dreaming?

Because the neurological impulses are held back (basically THC causes the nerve endings to slowdown and stimuli to not reach the brain the same moment for instance visual input does. Unless the intake also influences the visual cortex, in which case, the brain will fill in random blanks with very weird stuff), and therefore there is a disassociation between the different signals (besides the signals being weakened. When you finally stop the THC feed, the nerve endings will discharge and even the slightly lower levels of charge will hit the brains neurons full on, with the extra. Consider it a hose, where you left water in it, because the tap was not closed correctly, and you open the tap and the hose will burst water (including that which was already there).

Basically, neuron charge is like water. Yes.

Brain works: Dreams 3

Because not only humans dream, but other animals, too, we know that dreams are not based on cognitive (thoughts) impulses, but rather emotional ones. This has to do with the fact that our brain works in three layers.

Instinctive behavior

Either by genetic blueprint or attained through learning, any organism will adapt to recurring patterns to prevent it from danger. The genetic part is of course hard to change, but the ‘tree’ of choices (I call it the decision tree), the response mechanism of most mammals is automated. Meaning, if something gives an impulse, especially repeatedly, that causes a positive or negative reaction to the nervous system, it will become an instinctive behavior to move to or from such stimulus.

Emotional behavior

Mammals and especially primates (being very recognizable to us). They differentiate in group sizes and survival mechanisms because of that. They have empathic abilities to survive in social groups. But they also see emotional behavior in strong generational cohesion. Where offspring is heavily dependent on parents, we see the equivalent of our own emotions within such ‘family’. These emotional behaviors have different reasons.

  1. They cause automatic bonding, dependency.
  2. They cause mimicking of behavior (we have seen this behavior between species even, remember the stories of Tarzan, or Romulus and Remus?).
  3. They set a path for pattern recognition within the nervous system.

Certain key values which change with each generation to ensure possible survival. The emotional layer, can be seen as a ‘neural’ filter level.

Cognitive behavior

With awareness comes the growth to conceptualization in communication. Because we are instinctive, emotional beings, but also self aware and sometimes differ in meaning of emotion, we need a way to explain when an emotional behavior is not meant as a threat, etc. You could call it a protocol equivocation behavior. These concepts are starting with leveling of emotional responses between the self and others (independent of species), but evolve through a process of emotional impulses to stimuli and responses within relations and our interactions with the world around us into cognitive structures of words, representations and a general worldview.


We as humans are in possession of all three layers. When we are young (between age of 3 and 9) we run through many changes in emotional responses. We are first heavily bombarded with positive responses to new abilities we show to parents. At the same time on increasing occasions during that time we are shown that we are also growing within boundaries of the use of such abilities. The brain will process these responses into the emotional layer. That layer starts quite blank and if repeated and found with consistency, will filter into the instinctive layer. If we find ourselves with a conflicting response, it can cause emotional dissonance (not cognitive). When the brain ‘shuts down’ at night, the reflux/feedback of these neural charges will cause the brain to fire memory or general pathways that are perceived as dreams. Because emotional ‘challenges’ are becoming rarer as we grow older (They are more frequent during more active development stages like adolescence), we tend to dream less obvious the older we get.

Keep your dream alive

In general dreams are a process of the nervous system to make emotional conflicts of the day, be adapted into the instinctive layer, so we don’t have to cognitively or emotional deal with them again.

So, why would advanced civilisations not understand or even notice us (assuming they exist)

We have a strange sense of humor (no that is not the reason…is it?). We see back and recognize our own evolution, our language, physics, technology, everything. But what we don’t see, is that evolution isn’t just ongoing, but (as far as I can see) we will not use language anymore within the next 1500 years. We will have evolved, in which our communication now will look like bird songs to us then. Or like grunts….perhaps even like ant signals.

See, it isn’t about words, concepts. Concepts are a way of visualisation, of controlling information and processes. We are growing in numbers (though the current state of humanity will cause some decline in the next 50 to 100 years.) and the way we process the future, is requiring faster and faster communication. We will eventually not use words anymore, because our cognition will surpass the emotional limitations that evolution has given us (well…they are leftovers). We will continue to increase brain activity and cognitive awareness. Imagine an individual that needs to transgressing time and space (if that is to be transgressed, when intelligence reaches a threshold that understands the actual quantum entanglement and what is at the levels below. It requires a neurological speed that isn’t possible for humanity yet. It doesn’t allow for one brain to cope with the amount of modelling and layering of data. Perhaps a person who has been on LSD and is autistic (missing large part of the emotional layer) can understand the abstract imaginary that would be required.

In all, at such level, our signals, how advanced they may seem, are less than rocks that tick together as the stream of water pushes them. They sound like something, but it is part of nature.

Imagine to finding out water is actually living individuals?

Illogical god ideas

A Quora question: A religion has god(s). Do gods have religion too?

The question is regarding gods, not one specific entity. It is a simple question actually. some have only mentioned why (on an emotional subjective level) they feel they should answer this question regarding their specific fantasy.
The question is very simple really:
If A requires B, can B have A?
The question can logically be pulled apart:

  1. A can have B.
  2. B can have A.
  3. results A can have A
  4. results B can have B

Now, A is a religion, B is a god (not a specific one, a general concept of a super being):
A can have B, religion can have a god? Yes, it can, we know this, as monotheistic and deistic religions, but also polytheistic religions have one or more gods or senses of such.
B can have A, in all sense, we have a imaginary situation. Religions are constructs of humans regarding life and its requirement to conform to the will of a non-existing entity (in the sense of a theist this entity does exist).
Now, before we continue, we should consider whether gods are intelligent. What traits require intelligence and what traits are required by intelligence. And do gods require either.
Now, for a god to have any influence in reality it requires to be aware of that reality, right? Think so.
For a god to have influence on reality, it requires ability to reason, right? I think so, as intelligence equals ability to solve problems.
For intelligence to exist, it thus also requires problems. Now I will not go into any mention that someone’s specific god is required to be perfect, because that invalidates the whole idea of a god (something in state of perfection doesn’t change nor can it be influenced or influence anything that is not perfect. If it could it would immediately render it imperfect and as such either shifts goalposts or renders its core purpose invalid).
Because religion is a way of handling certain issues in life (making sure people have ‘answers’ to questions they feel they require answered), we would wonder whether gods could have such existential crisis. If they are intelligent, they have problems, if they have problems, they have questions (how do I solve this, why does this issue exist). If they exist, they have (like humans) self-awareness, or they have no intelligence, so they will wonder why they themselves exist. If someone claims they do not, they add special pleading. As such, we come to the conclusion that gods (if they could exist) can have questions that require answers which they might not be able to answer, as such they might even fabricate a proxy that is beyond their own understanding, which answers these questions, soothing the ‘mind’.
So, can gods have religions? Yes, in the occurrence that gods would be real, they too would be able to have religions (even one without any gods).