Week 4: Mnemotechnophenomenological Experience

The neurons are firing this week in the exploration of memory, cognition and neuro-technical consciousness. I need some psychedelic-synth to get through this, so pass the electro-pipe and neural oscillator because this psychonaut is going in…

 

[Cmd Bypass: Psycho-motor system  / Brainwave Status: Delta / Memory Access: Wk4]

[Read: Kay]
The Learning: retro tennis style video was remarkable and reminded me of the more recent Flow Phenomenon, that is learning through bodily engagement. It’s similar to being ‘in the zone’ with games; getting in the ‘Flow’ means a merging of action and awareness focused in the present moment, a loss of reflexive thought and a distortion of temporal experience.

[Read: Clark / Chalmers]
Extended Mind Theory talks about ‘active externalism’ whereby objects that aid cognitive processes in an environment act as extensions of our material brain. So the mobile phone acts as a small part of our mind in a ‘coupled system’ because it supplements our memory, social interaction and is capable of manipulating emotional states.

[Read: Steigler]
Hypomnesis goes way beyond the Extended Mind; sensory/symbolic systems (e.g. the alphabet)  function as an organisational apparatus for knowledge that determine memory formation (mnemotechnics). In the exteriorisation of memory to recording/playback media (mnemotechnology) human knowledge is both extended and surpassed. Time can also be expanded/contracted, and these displacements constitute a loss of symbolic memory (facts and numbers) that heightens procedural memory (experience, performance) while affording greater control over cognitive functions. As always there is an anti-industrial, pro-humanist sentiment: “correlatively we are losing more and more knowledge which is then delegated to equipment, but also to service industries which can network them, control them, formalize them, model them, and perhaps destroy them – for these knowledges, escaping our grasp, induce an “obsolescence of the human.”

[Read: Noe, 2010]
Alva’s Thinking refutes the Cartesian Mind/Brain duality and looks at the efforts of neuroscience to map and predict thought in real-time via the ‘neural substrates of experience.’  Through fMRI studies, Neuroscientists believe (Musser, 2011) that we are living in the immediate past (that our consciousness is not ‘present’ and is the last point in the mind’s feedback loop), that perception is biased towards patterns, and chemicals/emotions effect memory experience. Also check out Brain Mysteries for the layman’s neuroscience news, these Ringplot Visualisations of the Brain and how MRI Visualisation works.

[Cmd Bypass: Neural Uplink / Brainwave Status: Alpha / Memory Access: Null]

Now, back from the mind-hack. Forms of Brainwashing and Mind Control (Pamoukaghlian, 2011) are fascinating to me, particularly the MK Ultra LSD experiments, brainwave frequencies and electromagnetic energy fields that Pamoukaghlian mentions. I feel that as microelectronics with direct mind-computer interfaces become progressively sophisticated and implantable, hacking for access or control becomes a serious embodied issue. And what about the potential of electronic or digital drugs? It’s already happening with Optogenetics and Dopamine Receptor (Dvorsky, 2013).

Enjoy this short, bitter-sweet animation that touches on some of this week’s issues. Time for me to shut down the extended minds, clear my temporary memory cache, recalibrate my body clock and reboot.

fMRI: fuck… Mental Ride Initiating!

Wikimedia Commons: fMRI Gif – Dilmen

References
Anon ‘Extended Mind’ Wikipedia <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extended_Mind>
Dvorsky, George (2013) ‘A device that controls your mind with pleasurable stimulation’ io9 <http://io9.com/scientists-take-the-first-steps-toward-remote-mind-cont-472969088>
Dvorsky, George (2013) ‘A fascinating new way to visualize your brain’s connections’ io9 <http://io9.com/a-fascinating-new-way-to-visualize-your-brains-connect-473175929>
Muser, George (2011) ‘Time on the Brain’ Scientific American <http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2011/09/15/time-on-the-brain-how-you-are-always-living-in-the-past-and-other-quirks-of-perception/>
Noë, Alva (2010) ‘Does Thinking Happen in the Brain?’ NPR <http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2010/12/10/131945848/does-thinking-happen-in-the-brain>
Pamoukaghlian, Veronica (2011) ‘Mind Games: Science’s Attempts at Thought Control’ Brain Bloggers <http://brainblogger.com/2011/12/28/mind-games-sciences-attempts-at-thought-control/>
Stiegler, Bernard ‘Anamnesis and Hypomnesis’ Ars Industrialis <http://arsindustrialis.org/anamnesis-and-hypomnesis>

Media
Autopathic ‘Autopathic On Earth – Are You Experienced?’ SoundCloud <https://soundcloud.com/audiopathik/audiopathik-on-earth-are-you-experienced>
Coghlan, Neal ‘The Shell’ Vimeo <https://vimeo.com/1079909>
Dilmen, Nevit ‘fMRI GIF’ Wikimedia Commons <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NPH_MRI_272_GILD.gif>
Hangmann, et al. ‘Connectome Extraction Procedure’ Wikimedia Commons <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Connectome_extraction_procedure.jpg>
Kay, Alan ‘On Learning’ Youtube <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50L44hEtVos>

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