Reconceptualizing the Mind

Many neuroscientists think of the human mind as a vague and murky psuedo-phenomenon. The mind (whatever it is, there’s no clear definition) is “processed,” “computed” or “mediated” by the brain. Moment by moment, our mind — perception, recognition, cognition and emotion, intention etc. — is processed. Also the result of neural processing are meaning, arousal, executive control, goals, attention, motor control, and the rest of the mind.

The main flaw in this view is it basically ignores external experience. The brain is primary, the mind secondary, and experience (as it occurs in vivid detail, external to the brain) a insignificant afterthought.

The MA (Memory Activation) Theory expands this highly constrained view of the mind. The conscious mind features experience. It encompasses all of it. And, the meaning of experience is comprised of general memory — which is in turn built FROM experience. The mind inside the brain is dominated by experience.

What do we know about human experience? We know it occurs beyond the confines of the perceived skull. This is common knowledge. We also know that what we are aware of — the contents of our consciousness — unfolds through space and time within our (modal and amodal) visual field.

As this three-dimensional field changes, or not, mind and brain make copies of it. This field, and the episodic memory thereof (ex: that phone), continually activate (matching) general memory (ex: a phone). In turn, active-state general memory creates most of the mind: recognition, meaning, thought, goals, state of arousal, etc.

The current understanding of the (conscious and unconscious) mind is fundamentally flawed. This is no one’s fault. However a new paradigm will need to feature human experience as the centerpiece of memory and the mind. This will enable a new and more accurate understanding of the mind, AND its neural correlate in the brain.

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