LECTURE 3: NEUROSCIENCE I
- The Matrix Problem:
Maybe the world is not actually as we see it
ARE YOU LIVING IN A COMPUTER SIMULATION by Nick Bolsom
- The Matrix:
1. The brain constructs your world
• Heuristics and Prior Knowledge: basic math question about and ball but
so many people got it wrong. Why?
• Our prior knowledge shapes how we look at the problem
• Example of teacher who used top-down processing (all of our prior
knowledge acts as a filter to how we interpret stimuli) and made
judgment about mother
• Even though it is just a drawing, we assume it represents a
checker board which has alternating shades of dark and gray.
Because of this assumption, we think that A and B are two
different colors although they are not. This is an example of the
brain constructing our world.
2. We use a process called Hebbian learning which provides a mechanism for
• There is an actual physical connection between neurons that fire
• In classical conditioning, the neurons for CS and US become physically
• Phantom limb syndrome: although someone has lost their hands
(physical stimulus is no longer present), they still experience their left
hand moving. The left hand is physically no longer present but the
neurons are still intact.
o Person experiences all the sensations of their hand moving but
there is no hand to move and they felt pain in extreme cases.
o Person in case study felt like his left hand was clenched and he
couldn’t open it o Patients told to clench both hands so the right hand also
clenches and then they let i