Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Dark matter hierarchy, hierarchical structure of nervous system, and hierarchy of emotions

I told already earlier about the identification of great leaps of evolution as emergence of new levels of dark matter hierarchy: here I propose a grand vision about the evolution of brain. One can of course wonder what emotions have to do with dark matter hierarchy. The brief answer is that there are two kinds of intelligences: the fast, computational intelligence and the slow emotional and holistic intelligence crucial for goal directed behavior which has evolved via the emergence of new levels in dark matter hierarchy. For a detailed representation see the last section of Dark Matter Hierarchy and Hierarchy of EEGs.

The basic picture wherefrom one can start is following.

  1. The emergence of nervous system corresponds to the emergence of kem=3 level of dark matter hierarchy. For instance, worms and insects would correspond to this level.

  2. Vertebrates have EEG and thus the most primitive vertebrates (reptiles) should correspond to kem=4. kem=7 is the highest level for which the natural time scale is below the duration of the human life cycle but need not be the highest level present in CNS of the highest mammals.

  3. The emergence of new structures need not mean the emergence of new levels of dark matter hierarchy. Rather, the most reasonable criterion for the presence of these levels is the emergence of behaviors involving long term goals and the magnetic bodies of the parts of brain assignable to the control of this kind of behaviors would correspond to higher values of kem. Also the maximum span of memories at given level should be characterized by the value of kem associated with the brain structures involved (hippocampus, mammillary bodies). This picture conforms with the fact that already insects possess neurons, ganglia, and head containing the predecessor of cerebrum but correspond to kem=3 most naturally.

It is useful to list some basic time scales. 5 Hz frequency in EEG defines the characteristic "drum beat" associated with kem=4 level. The counterpart of .2 second time scale would be 6.7 minutes for kem=5, 9.3 days (day=24 hours) kem=6, and 50.7 years for kem=7 for λ≈ 211.

For goal related emotions the maximal time scale assignable to the achievement of the goal might allow to identify the time scale characterizing corresponding level of dark matter hierarchy. The lowest level emotions would be "primitive" emotions not related to any goal and would be assignable to organs consisting of ordinary cells and correspond to kem≤ 2 levels of dark matter hierarchy. Also the typical span of memories should correspond to the time scale T(kem).

Brain has anatomic division into midbrain, hindbrain, and forebrain. Midbrain and hindbrain (sometimes both are included in brain stem) is possessed by even the most primitive vertebrates and its emergence could hence correspond to the emergence of kem=4 level and EEG. The emergence of kem>4 levels relates naturally to the emergence of long term planning of motor actions in motor areas. The emergence of limbic brain, which defines the most primitive forebrain, could mean the emergence of kem=5 level and goal related emotions. This conforms with the fact that for mammals forebrain and cerebral hemispheres dominate whereas for other vertebrates hindbrain and cerebellum are in the dominant role.

1. Reptilian brain as kem=4 system

Reptilian brain contains only the structures corresponding to brain stem (midbrain and hind brain, in particular cerebellum) and would thus correspond to kem=4 level of the hierarchy. Cerebellum is not believed to contribute directly to our consciousness and this might be true quite generally for kem=4 level of dark matter hierarchy (visual awareness might be an exception as will be found).

Simplest emotions correspond to emotions involving no goal. Moods like excitement, feeling good/bad/tired/strong, etc.. could represent examples of such emotions and could be experienced already by reptilians. Of course, the scaled up variants of these emotions could appear at higher levels of hierarchy and would relate to the states of magnetic bodies (degree of the quantum coherence of Bose-Einstein condensates!).

2. Limbic system

Limbic system is not possessed by reptiles. It is responsible for emotions, control of emotions, and also emotional intelligence. Limbic system corresponds to the brain of the most mammals. The limbic brain includes the amygdala, anterior thalamic nucleus, cingulate gyrus, fornix, hippocampus, hypothalamus, mammillary bodies, medial forebrain bundle, prefrontal lobes, septal nuclei, and other areas and pathways of the brain.

  1. The sub-cortical part of the limbic system involves amygdalar and septal divisions. Amygdalar division promotes feeding, food-search, angry, and defensive behaviors related to obtaining food. Septal division promotes sexual pleasure, genital swelling, grooming, courtship, and maternal behavior. These divisions are emotional mirror images of each other hand could correspond to kem=5 with 6.7 minute "drum beat".

  2. The cortical part of the limbic system contains cingulate gyrus which is the newest part of the limbic system and belongs to thalamo-cingulate division which promotes play, vocalization (e.g., the separation cry), and maternal behavior. kem=6 level would correspond to a "drum beat" of 9.3 days.

  3. Frontal lobes are often regarded as the organ of volition. The frontal lobes are involved in motor function, problem solving, spontaneity, memory, language, initiation, judgement, impulse control, and social and sexual behavior. Prefrontal lobes representing the extreme front part of frontal lobes belong also to the limbic system and are responsible for motivation and ability to pose long term goals. This ability distinguishes humans from other primates. For these reasons frontal lobes, in particular prefrontal ones, could involve the highest levels of dark matter hierarchy in the case of humans. kem=7 with a characteristic time scale of 50 years could be assigned naturally to this level.

    Cortico-striatal emotions like sadness, hate, fear anger, surprise, embarrassment, happiness, contentment, and joy involve goal structures and failure or success to achieve the goal in essential manner and would involve prefrontal lobes.

    kem=7 and even lower levels can also relate to collective levels of consciousness coded by hyper genes. Hence these emotions could also relate to goals not directly related to the fate of biological body. Mirror neurons are crucial prerequisite of social behavior (autistic children seem to lack them), which suggests that hyper genes are involved at least with them.

    Social emotions (feeling embarrassed, ashamed, guilty, loved, accepted, ...) could be induced by the collective levels of dark matter hierarchy as punishments or rewards for social behavior very much like neurotransmitters are believed to provide rewards and punishments at neuronal level.

3. Neocortex and two kinds of intelligences

Neocortex is often assumed to be superior ("neomammalian") part of the brain and makes the majority of brain hemispheres. The species which are considered to be highly intelligent, such as humans and dolphins, tend to have large amounts of neocortex. The amount of neocortex is roughly proportional to the brain size for primates.

Neocortex cannot correspond to kem=7 as a whole. The decomposition of sensory areas to layers is consistent with kem=4 since it is time resolution which matters in the case of sensory representations. Same conclusion applies to sensory association areas. The fine tuning of the motor control performed by cerebellum is of course consistent with kem=4. Intelligence understood in the conventional sense of the word is accurate, works fast, and is computer like. The part of neocortex responsible for ordinary intelligence would be a rapid and accurate processor of sensory and cognitive representations. Hence kem=4 would be naturally characterize sensory areas, secondary and primary motor areas, to hippocampal representation of declarative memories, and all association areas except dorsolateral prefrontal sensory-motor association cortex where short term memories are represented.

Emotional intelligence works slowly and is responsible for visions and holistic views and would thus correspond to higher levels of dark matter hierarchy. Limbic system is involved with emotions, motivation and long term planning and would thus be responsible for emotional intelligence. Indeed, the damage to frontal lobes need not affect ordinary intelligence but affects emotional intelligence.

4. The levels of dark matter hierarchy associated with short and long term memory

The time spans of memories should correspond to the time scales assignable to the dark matter hierarchy. The span of other than visual short term memories is 30-45 seconds. Visual short term memories representing selected features of visual field are reported to have time span of few seconds whereas so called iconic memories representing entire visual field have much shorter time span.

Visual short term memories are marginally consistent with kem=4 level of hierarchy since for the right brain hemisphere T=2 seconds is predicted to correspond to the lowest EEG frequency. Iconic memories could also correspond to kem=4 level and to higher EEG frequencies.

kem=5 level of dark matter hierarchy corresponds to 400 second "drum beat": hence 40 seconds would correspond to 50 Hz EEG frequency by scaling so that the time span of other than visual short term memories is consistent with kem=5 identification. The short term memories representing stimuli to which motor system is going to respond are located in dorsolateral prefrontal sensory-motor association cortex which could thus correspond to kem=5.

kem=6 would correspond to memories whose span would have upper limit of 9 days. Scaling up of short term memory span would give span of about 1 day and this might relate to the sleep-wake-up cycle. Perhaps it is good to remember what I did during the day and that I existed yesterday! This could also relate to the fact that dreams use the memories of previous day as a material. Usually long term memories are defined as memories with a span longer than year so that few days time scale is a hopefully testable prediction. Frontal lobes are central for personality, which must based on some kind of a self narrative. Hence at least kem=6 should be assignable with some regions of frontal lobes.

kem=7 would correspond to the time scale of 50 years assignable to prefrontal cortex forming part of the limbic system. Scaling from the span of short term memories would give 10 year scale. The stimulation of some regions of temporal lobes induces vivid sensory memories. Hence also temporal lobes should contain kem=7 regions crucial for the long term memory recall. The instantaneous communications with geometric past as a mechanism of long term memory recall involve naturally higher levels of dark matter hierarchy.

Hippocampus and mammillary bodies involved with long term memory recall are part of the limbic system. That hippocampal theta rhythm is in the range 4-12 Hz suggests kem=4 for hippocampus itself and that hippocampus just builds kind of bit sequence which during memory recall is communicated from the geometric past to some part of the future brain or magnetic body.

5. What about transpersonal levels of consciousness?

kem > 7 levels of dark matter hierarchy cannot relate to the biological body. They could relate to higher collective levels of dark matter hierarchy and evolution of social structures. For instance, the "god module" located to temporal lobes could correspond to kem>7 level of dark matter hierarchy. The memories extending over personal life span claimed by meditators could have interpretation in terms of kem>7 transpersonal levels of consciousness.

For a slightly more detailed representation see the chapter Dark Matter Hierarchy and Hierarchy of EEGs of "Genes, Memes, Qualia, ...".

Matti Pitkanen

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