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Subconscious communication

wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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2/3/2010 3:21:00 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I'm not too familiar with neuroscience, but I believe I have a legitimate question.

Subconsciously, we don't think in the same language as we talk. All of our thoughts must be translated before they can be communicated. We are capable of thinking very complex ideas, but we are not capable of expressing them due to the language in which we speak.
In theory, it should be possible to communicate directly with another person nonverbally through some form of electrical current. Such a communication would be considerably faster than ordinary talking.

(I've realized this before, but this thought came up again when I was at McDonalds.)

Does anyone know any information regarding this?
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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2/3/2010 3:23:53 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Not entirely sure I get your meaning. The subconscious refers to what's 'below' your awareness, functions, brain activity etc.

To communicate one must have a given drive, recognition of what to communicate, making it a conscious act.
Puck
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2/3/2010 3:27:00 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
If you just simply mean brain > brain communication, ehhhh. Don't forget we are wired to both send and just as importantly receive information in specific ways. It would require bypassing, for example, auditory or visual pathways > translation areas. As far as I know we don't have the capability to 'read' pure thought pulses if they were transmitted.
wjmelements
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2/3/2010 3:29:37 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/3/2010 3:23:53 PM, Puck wrote:
To communicate one must have a given drive, recognition of what to communicate, making it a conscious act.

Subconscious events occur all of the time. When we dream, we are thinking self-consciously. To communicate subconsciously, one would only have to be able to share ideas passively and instantaneously.
Even if I'm incorrect subconscious thinking (thought I'm pretty sure I've made subconscious thoughts before), then I suppose everything I was thinking regarding subconscious thinking simply translates to nonverbal thinking. Nonverbal communication, in this same way, could become instantaneous with electrical currents.
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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2/3/2010 3:30:15 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
The only communication that can be considered subconscious is body language and pheromones, as most of the time these forms of communication occur without us directing it consciously, pheromones especially.

But, I believe you might be hinting at something grander, something like telepathic communication. If that is the case - no, such a thing does not exist, conscious or subconscious. There is no way you could either sense such a thing, and therefore no way to decipher it. And if you cannot decipher something, you cannot, by definition, be communicating.
wjmelements
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2/3/2010 3:31:46 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/3/2010 3:27:00 PM, Puck wrote:
If you just simply mean brain > brain communication, ehhhh. Don't forget we are wired to both send and just as importantly receive information in specific ways. It would require bypassing, for example, auditory or visual pathways > translation areas. As far as I know we don't have the capability to 'read' pure thought pulses if they were transmitted.

Pulses from the thinking brain to part that controls the jaw and vocal cords could be redirected directly to the part in another person that sends translated audio messges to the thinking brain. "Bypassing" would be very efficient.
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
wjmelements
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2/3/2010 3:32:57 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/3/2010 3:30:15 PM, Volkov wrote:
But, I believe you might be hinting at something grander, something like telepathic communication. If that is the case - no, such a thing does not exist, conscious or subconscious. There is no way you could either sense such a thing, and therefore no way to decipher it. And if you cannot decipher something, you cannot, by definition, be communicating.

I was thinking more along the lines of a wire. Electrical waves travel very difficultly through the air.
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
mongeese
Posts: 5,387
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2/3/2010 3:33:06 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I'm pretty sure he's talkign about if you could take a wire or wi-fi thing of some sort and attach it to your brain, then communicate with someone else's brain directly, without the output/input of speaking/hearing. "Subconsious" would be poor word choice, in this case.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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2/3/2010 3:37:40 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/3/2010 3:27:00 PM, Puck wrote:
If you just simply mean brain > brain communication, ehhhh. Don't forget we are wired to both send and just as importantly receive information in specific ways. It would require bypassing, for example, auditory or visual pathways > translation areas. As far as I know we don't have the capability to 'read' pure thought pulses if they were transmitted.

I think there's a recent technology that converts thoughts to speech. Something that Stephen Hawking could benefit from.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Volkov
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2/3/2010 3:38:18 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/3/2010 3:32:57 PM, wjmelements wrote:
At 2/3/2010 3:30:15 PM, Volkov wrote:
But, I believe you might be hinting at something grander, something like telepathic communication. If that is the case - no, such a thing does not exist, conscious or subconscious. There is no way you could either sense such a thing, and therefore no way to decipher it. And if you cannot decipher something, you cannot, by definition, be communicating.

I was thinking more along the lines of a wire. Electrical waves travel very difficultly through the air.

It is still wildly implausible. Every brain is different in some way, and an attempt to transfer something, thought by thought, through a "wire," would end up being fruitless because not every brain will react the same way to the pulses of another brain which bring up, say, memories.

Furthermore, there would still be no way to decipher such a transfer. The most you could do would possibly have someone control certain pulses in another person's body, by raising their hand or whatever, and writing whatever it is you mean. But you're still relying on the normal, "inefficient" senses, and there is no perceivable benefit to doing such a thing that can easily be done by your own hand.
Puck
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2/3/2010 3:38:26 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/3/2010 3:29:37 PM, wjmelements wrote:
At 2/3/2010 3:23:53 PM, Puck wrote:
To communicate one must have a given drive, recognition of what to communicate, making it a conscious act.

Subconscious events occur all of the time.

Never denied they did. :P

When we dream, we are thinking self-consciously.

Sub?

To communicate subconsciously, one would only have to be able to share ideas passively and instantaneously.

Passively? So like leaking brain activity that we are unaware of?

Even if I'm incorrect subconscious thinking (thought I'm pretty sure I've made subconscious thoughts before)

Subconscious refers to activity below a certain level of awareness. Actions created from such occur frequently, often, and make a good % of everything you do.

then I suppose everything I was thinking regarding subconscious thinking simply translates to nonverbal thinking.

Ok, nonverbal is different.

Nonverbal communication, in this same way, could become instantaneous with electrical currents.

Ok, I see what you mean. Drop the subconscious part because it's wrong and misleading.

Major issue I can see is as I already noted, the brain is most likely not wired to correctly receive or translate 'thought' if we did receive it. The brain does decode electrical signals yes, but they follow select causality and translations along the way.

Secondly is the issue of training a brain to 'send' along a certain pathway to the receiver. At best you would get an open floodgates access, or spillover. The ability to 'send' is likely as problematic as it is to 'receive'.
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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2/3/2010 3:41:32 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
There is ADD/ADHD treatment with training brain > on screen action (thoughts control screen response), look up that if you are interested.
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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2/3/2010 9:02:30 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/3/2010 3:21:00 PM, wjmelements wrote:
I'm not too familiar with neuroscience, but I believe I have a legitimate question.

Subconsciously, we don't think in the same language as we talk. All of our thoughts must be translated before they can be communicated. We are capable of thinking very complex ideas, but we are not capable of expressing them due to the language in which we speak.

I doubt it. Our language is extremely complex, and I would say can express any Idea you have.
You might have spatial ideas, which (if your vocab is extremely limited) you can't put into words, but I think all ideas can be, given a rich knowledge of a human language.

I know, from my physio.psych class that those who get areas of their brain where language and language functions reside that language, or lang. function is lost.

In theory, it should be possible to communicate directly with another person nonverbally through some form of electrical current. Such a communication would be considerably faster than ordinary talking.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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2/3/2010 9:06:03 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/3/2010 3:37:40 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 2/3/2010 3:27:00 PM, Puck wrote:
If you just simply mean brain > brain communication, ehhhh. Don't forget we are wired to both send and just as importantly receive information in specific ways. It would require bypassing, for example, auditory or visual pathways > translation areas. As far as I know we don't have the capability to 'read' pure thought pulses if they were transmitted.

I think there's a recent technology that converts thoughts to speech. Something that Stephen Hawking could benefit from.

yeah? I don't know, that seems to me like it would be impossible, at the moment, unless they're picking up on sub-vocal muscle movements or something, B/c the locations of speech items are different in different people's brains, and probably much too fine to actually read which words/ideas were triggered even if you knew where they were.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
belle
Posts: 4,113
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2/8/2010 4:59:45 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/3/2010 9:06:03 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 2/3/2010 3:37:40 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 2/3/2010 3:27:00 PM, Puck wrote:
If you just simply mean brain > brain communication, ehhhh. Don't forget we are wired to both send and just as importantly receive information in specific ways. It would require bypassing, for example, auditory or visual pathways > translation areas. As far as I know we don't have the capability to 'read' pure thought pulses if they were transmitted.

I think there's a recent technology that converts thoughts to speech. Something that Stephen Hawking could benefit from.

yeah? I don't know, that seems to me like it would be impossible, at the moment, unless they're picking up on sub-vocal muscle movements or something, B/c the locations of speech items are different in different people's brains, and probably much too fine to actually read which words/ideas were triggered even if you knew where they were.

like puck said, they have technologies where you can train your brain to control and onscreen image (not just for ADHD) so people can learn to move a cursor around to point to letters and spell things out. not as exciting as computers reading the mind, but its something. i know that at the very least they got monkeys to control a cursor with their brains, no reason humans couldn't do it too...
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
mattrodstrom
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2/8/2010 8:03:22 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/8/2010 4:59:45 AM, belle wrote:

like puck said, they have technologies where you can train your brain to control and onscreen image (not just for ADHD) so people can learn to move a cursor around to point to letters and spell things out. not as exciting as computers reading the mind, but its something. i know that at the very least they got monkeys to control a cursor with their brains, no reason humans couldn't do it too...

Yeah, I think almost-Cyborgs are on the horizon. though I think the best way to do it would be to tap into our movement systems.

Im pretty sure that When you think of gesturing your hand, the areas in your brain that are involved actually fire, so perhaps we can hook up a computer to read those simple (and more straightforward/understood) thoughts, and come up with a interface language of movement-thought.

Then we hook up a visual input to the vision processing areas, and you've got a screen in your head that you can manipulate with your thought-movement.

then you quickly think of doing the gesture to open the missile launcher function... think of pointing at the target.... and KABOOM!
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
feverish
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2/8/2010 8:03:24 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/8/2010 4:38:19 AM, Puck wrote:
What Freud determined as the subconscious and what neuro/cognitive science says, is very different.

In what way?

I'm not disagreeing but curious.
belle
Posts: 4,113
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2/8/2010 2:22:57 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/8/2010 8:03:24 AM, feverish wrote:
At 2/8/2010 4:38:19 AM, Puck wrote:
What Freud determined as the subconscious and what neuro/cognitive science says, is very different.

In what way?

I'm not disagreeing but curious.

well freud actually disliked the term subconscious... he thought it was vague, and obfuscated the real issue- the division between conscious and unconscious. so he had several structures (id, superego) operating below the level of consciousness with specific functions. the modern view of it, as far as i know, is simply any kind of cognitive process that goes on without you being consciously aware of it- things like perception, regulating body temp/heartbeat/breathing, as well as information processing (stuff leading up to stuff like AHA moments, and thoughts popping into your head). theres no constructs in there pitting instinct vs conscience; its just information processing beneath the level of our awareness.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Vi_Veri
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2/8/2010 2:56:18 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Even if we could somehow communicate on the subconscious level, the information you would receive from someone else would be completely meaningless without language as a tool to help explain it another mind.
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cult-logic
Posts: 20
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2/11/2010 7:29:24 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/8/2010 2:56:18 PM, Vi_Veri wrote:
Even if we could somehow communicate on the subconscious level, the information you would receive from someone else would be completely meaningless without language as a tool to help explain it another mind.

This is true.
If there were some wire or other connection between two brains, you would only be passing electric currents to the other brain without a way to interpret them. Although neuroscientists can study the brain's patterns during conversations (I know the left side of the brain, along the sylvian fissure, is associated with language and communication), they cannot analyze the electric currents and chemicals and read your mind.

The brain can be likened to computers in many ways. It is basically operating bytecode, which must be translated in order for humans to understand and connect this meaning to an output. Not sure if that was the most effective comparison, but it's worth a shot.

The only way to communicate your specific thoughts is through language, whether spoke or written.

As for subconscious thought, well. You cannot really be "aware" of your possession of subconscious thoughts, for as soon as you become aware, they would become conscious thoughts. The only scientific reasoning I can see for this would be a minor chemical imbalance causing slight behavioral changes, which would lead to a subtle change in the way you perceived the actions around you- think of schizophrenia patients, who have increased dopamine in their brain.
I'd assume if an idea was too complex for the brain to interpret and translate into language, synaptic signals would be similarly complex, most likely to the point of not being able to happen in the first place.

If you're looking for a nonverbal way to communicate, perhaps manipulating body language would be a better method than any attempts to wire skulls together..
NotArrogantJustRight
Posts: 18
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2/14/2010 10:24:52 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/8/2010 2:56:18 PM, Vi_Veri wrote:
Even if we could somehow communicate on the subconscious level, the information you would receive from someone else would be completely meaningless without language as a tool to help explain it another mind.

At 2/11/2010 7:29:24 PM, cult-logic wrote:
The brain can be likened to computers in many ways. It is basically operating bytecode, which must be translated in order for humans to understand and connect this meaning to an output.

A person can learn numerous verbal languages and the interpretation of thousands of written symbols and yet none of you believe a person could learn to communicate via interbrain communication?

Cult-logic was right on the money with his comparison to computers but missed the best part. A computer runs on machine language. Basically a bunch of electrical circuits running around in binary; either on or off, zero or one, true or false. This is obviously not what we see on the screen of course because there is software interacting between the computer and the human. A translator, if you will. There are thousands of computer engineers in the world who understand machine language very easily simply because they took the time to learn it just as you would any other language. (A cool geek shirt I saw said, "There are 10 types of people in this world, those who can read binary and those who can't.")

I'll see if I can run down the experiments and post a link or reference for the following.

There was an experiment in which human brain waves were shown to interact with a random number generator. The brain was able to communicate its intentions to the computer without connection and without regard to timeframe.

There are dozens of reports that twins are able to know details and feelings about their respective twin regardless of spatial separation.

There are experiments involving the effects of thought (i.e. brain waves) on plants and animals.

We have an endless array of possibilities regarding the functions of our brain; the vast majorities of which we have no clue exist! Our conscious activity engages a minimal fraction of the entire capacity of our brain. We only have to learn to unlock these capabilities.