7th Jan 2001

Just like stimuli have to be well grounded in reality so do thoughts = ideas = recalled stimuli and habits (recognized patterns). Recollections or ideas must come from recalled stimuli (+habits) and when recalled, remembered must match themselves as memories and the original stimuli (habits). Thus memory of reality is what ideas are matched up against as well as the same ideas if previously thought about.

15th April 2001

Thoughts – Do we remember thoughts? If so why? What good is it to remember them? I certainly can’t remember my exact thoughts from last week. But we do remember ideas – just not necessarily the context that they were thought in. If we learn how to think then we must remember them. One can only learn by using memories. So what do we learn when we learn how to think? There must be a variety / selection of thought mechanisms to choose from and we learn which one to use in which circumstances. These thinking mechanisms most likely are short term memory manipulation / comparison / pattern recognition operations.

16th April 2001

Why do we think?

How do we think?

What is a thought?

When do we think?

What do we think of?

Do we learn to Think?

What’s the difference between an idea, a thought and an expectation?

If we learn to think, i.e. the correct thinking operations, in the right order, the learning needs context to base its learning. I.e. we need trigger stimuli. I suggest these are not recalled stimuli (i.e. expectations of stimuli) but patterns of operational feedback. Example would be 1/ executing a habit and an unexpected stimulus occurs. 2/ response done and expected resulting stimulus is not correct (same as 1/). 3/ recognized series of stimuli and get an unexpected one. 4/ Expecting feeling of ? and it does not occur. 5/ expecting the thought what was next expected stimulus from sense X and experience memory can’t provide answer. 6/ The feeling of success – found the idea/thought that matches the desired properties.

#6. I probably thought of the desired properties first and they exist in STM. Memory then came up with a match which felt certain.

Why do we think? There must be a biological advantage to thinking. If we think of thinking as modelling the real world using our experiences as the knowledge base on which to predict what is going to happen if we do something. Then thinking is: given a triggering stimulus we look up the expected resulting stimulus and determine if any good feeling resulted. Briefly we have modelled reality before we can make the decision to proceed or not with any action. This is learning!

Or we could (for some unknown reason) expect a stimulus with an associated good feeling and want to obtain it. Our experience should provide a solution, what we need to do in the current context to obtain the expected stimulus. It will if ever we have recorded the expected stimulus and current context (stimuli) followed by a response that achieved the expected stimulus input. This is problem solving, finding a solution for a problem.

But there is the need not just to experience the absolute stimuli but also a change in stimuli. Either senses or 1st layer of neurons are needed to generate differences between stimuli, as stimuli, so increases and decreases and expectations of increases and decreases can be used in learning and thinking.

If thinking is modelling then the criteria that directs it is the thoughts of success or failure! I.e. expected success or expected failure. Using problem solving approach the expected success (good feeling) could be the starting – good stimulus and the mind/memory comes up with an experience for the current context in which the success feeling occurred.

Should the good feeling stimulus be treated as any other stimulus – it’s just coming from a different sense and it is the one the mind uses as a measure of success/failure. Otherwise it can be associated with any other stimulus in recognizing something? I’ve asked this question before and the answer has been NO. It’s not just another stimulus; it is a value judgment, property of a stimulus. So most have / generate no feelings but a few generate strong ones!

So thoughts are directed by expected stimuli which have feeling properties. Thought as modeling – thought reproduces the reality as a series of expectations each of which matches its actual stimulus and produces the next one as expected.

STM produces stimuli that attract attention. Example: the most recent stimuli was the same as the previous one or next to previous one. The last 2 were the same as the previous two.

18th April 2001

Example of learning:

Context entering secured area – need to 1st swipe security card, the door clicks and one enters.

Problem – drink from fountain beside door, reach for door and pull, it’s not unlocked – failure -> swipe card and enter.

2nd time: drink, go to reach for door handle (don’t pull), remember failure, swipe card, go in.

The contexct of drinking different from walking up to door in which swipe normally done. 3rd time: drink, swipe card, enter.

10th Aug 2001

A=Lightening       B=thunder

1st time experience memory is:

A  B

N  N

2nd time experience is

A  Be  B             Where Be = expectation of thunder

F  N  F

Where F is familiar and N=New / Novel

3rd time experience could be

A  Be                    Which could collapse into a habitualized stimulus?

F  F

Or does expectation of B cause recall of actual B?

Certainly don’t have an expectation of the expectation. We have the same thought Be again just in case there is some other thoughts / expectations associated with Be.