The Top Questions About The Brain
On June 10, 2003 the call was made for questions in numerous online forums. 10 days later the call ended:
Moving from step one to step two implies completion of step one.
For most of our collective human history step one of understanding the brain has been routed in ignorance.
Ignorance is a horrible thing.
It is not surprising that the first attempts at explaining the brain began where they did:
Nicolaus Steno, born in Copenhagen in 1638 as "Nils Stensen, latinized to Nicolaus Stenonis, and anglicized to Steno"  is quoted from 1669 as saying:
"The brain, the masterpiece of creation, is almost unknown to us." 
Until the time that science had managed to actually delve into the physical brain a great deal of speculation ruled the study:
To Aristotle the brain was not the primary organ of the body. The heart was. He coined a term:
We use it to this day (common sense) although not in the way he meant it. (Common-Sense is defined and illustrated in chapter twelve.)
"By the first century A. D., Alexandrian anatomists such as Rufus of Ephesus (50 AD) (in "On the naming of the parts of the body") ha d provided a general physical description of the brain.
Basic structures such as the pia mater and dura mater (the soft and hard layers encasing the brain) were identified in addition to the basic divisions of the brain itself.
Building upon this research in the next century, the Roman physician Galen concluded that mental actively occurred in the brain rather than the heart, as Aristotle had suggested. His observations of the effects of brain injuries on mental activity formed an important practical basis for his conclusions.
Galen concluded that the brain was the seat of the animal soul - one of three "souls" found in the body, each associated with a principal organ. The brain was a cold, moist organ formed of sperm." 
"In the Middle Ages, the anatomy of the brain had consolidated around three principle divisions, or "cells," which were eventually called ventricles. Each cell localized the site of different mental activity.
Traditionally imagination was located in the anterior ventricle, memory in the posterior ventricle, and reason located in between. Yet where was the sensus communis?
The Islamic medical philosopher Avicenna wrote in the early eleventh century that it was housed in the "faculty of fantasy," receiving "all the forms which are imprinted on the five senses." Memory preserved what common sense received.
By contrast, the great anatomist Mondino de' Liuzzi wrote in his Anatomy (1316) that common sense lay in the middle of the brain. Aware of the contractions that had proceeded him, he affirmed that "there is only the sensus communis which is variously called fantasy and imagination." "
"Other problems remained open to debate.
For instance, Avicenna chastised physicians for favoring Galen over Aristotle. A century later, Master Nicolaus of Salerno marveled at the confused humoral accounts of the brain. "The brain ... is, according to some, of hot complexion; according to others, cold; according to others, moist." Such difference of opinion underscore how little was known of the brain's anatomy, let alone its physiology." 
It also underscores a pattern of brain study.
Whatever was in 'vogue' at the time was the reference used.
Today we reference the brain in terms similar to the only other thing we know of that looks like it does the same thing. The computer.
A computer is logical to us because we understand the logic it uses. A computer is a thing that takes space and as such a thing it has a location we are aware of.
A computer has sequence in that its functions are understandable in order. A computer has size and we all know bigger or faster is better, right?
As humans we all strive to find order. Sense. Logic. Placement. Sequence. Size. Importance. observations of the effects of brain injuries on mental activity formed an important practical basis for his conclusions.
We use the measurements in vogue to measure ourselves and we impart a kind of first step stumble along the way.
We keep coming back to the first concept made.
That concept was location.
It is our sense of time that gives rise to the need for order and our need for order that gives rise to the notion that time somehow exists outside of what gives its awareness to us.
At first, the brain was considered another organ but not 'the' organ since the 'heart' was 'the' organ of the day.
Once we understood the heart was a nice pump science stopped calling on it to think but religion held on to the idea that the heart was something more.
Over the years the single most prevalent concept employed in brain study has been location.
We have moved from long held beliefs that thinking was in the heart to the now long held belief that the brain has 'centers' of subjective observational causes.
We have moved from 'centers' of the brain to 'genes' of the DNA.
Almost every month we witness new claims from under-nourished researchers having found a gene that is responsible for some subjective observable trait. We never hear the follow up. And when asked about the follow up the press shrugs it off.
There is a 'doctor' now hitting the talk circuits, speaking to sports teams and being reported in newspapers claiming there are 16 different types of brains. When the reporter was informed of how ridiculous that claim is the response was this:
" This wasn't meant to be an investigative piece, more of a fun/feature. There is no doubt many in the scientific community disagree with this gentleman, but there is also no argument that major sports teams are paying him big bucks regardless."
That response was received from WFIE at http://www.14wfie.com
It doesn't matter that the whole concept is seeing symptoms and developing uses for them, at least not to the news.
As our progress in brain studies has moved ahead concentrating on 'where': we learned that 'where'has ... parts.
And we all know that reverse engineering means looking for something smaller as a cause. Or do we?
After all of the studies, surgeries, autopsies, dissections and now DNA research we are still consumed with where and what part is responsible for what thing we can observe.
We can observe many things the brain does (since now we know the brain is doing them) but without language we could not communicate those things to others.
Language applied to new things needs comparisons by which the new thing can be judged to make it easier for students to comprehend.
Fancy that. Comparisons are used as a matter of course to make things more understandable.
Just like the brain itself, when a comparison is used enough it is no longer comparable to the original goal it is comparable to the comparison it is.
Language has provided us with the ability to impart our individual perspective upon others who, given enough reason to trust what we say (whether that is by our title, our affiliation, our publisher, our name brand) will either accept our perspective as theirs or impart their own perspective on ours to create a hybrid and oft' times convoluted observational deduction.
When others have attempted to answer questions about the brain they do so by giving its parts and describe what they are. Check  for one of the most interesting such examples.
"There are certain phenomena which once seemed familiar and obvious and appeared to provide an explanation for things which had been obscure.
Subsequently, however, these phenomena began to seem quite mysterious themselves and began to arouse astonishment and curiosity.
These phenomena, above all others, were zealously investigated by the great thinkers of antiquity." 
Physicists on the other hand address the brain from a more 'human' approach. 'Human' approach means by observation.
The empirical. Physicists call that qualitative properties, which involves quality of any kind and is essentially and inherent feature or Qualia for short.
Qualia, when evaluated, is essentially what Merriam-Webster says it is: "a property as it is experienced as distinct from any source it might have in a physical object".
That would make the study of Qualia subjective. "Characteristic of or belonging to reality as perceived rather than as independent of mind". (MW)
Physics is not alone in attempting to explain the 'black box' by looking for things 'black'. Psychiatry and Psychology do the same thing.
If apples come from apple trees how can the duplication of an apple artificially result in understanding the tree? It cannot. There are many ways to duplicate anything. There is only one way to make it for real.
If we referred to our cars in the same way we refer to intelligence we would all be driving the latest artificial horse because transportation 'evolved' from horse to automobile yet we don't.
We do still refer to its power as a horse.
Horses replaced human legs for more efficient transportation yet we do not call horses, artificial leg devices.
How we 'view' things (not from which variety of the 16 different brain types we are supposed to use, according to the over paid motivational speaker with an angle) depends on how our brains are wired.
L. Ron Hubbard was a highly visual short-term thinker who like most other persons never gave it a thought that others may not think the same way.
He 'discovered' "...that the mind was, in fact, a collection of mental image pictures." 
For some people, yes, for others, no and still for others yes, and no.
L. Ron Hubbard was a highly visual short-term thinker who like most other persons never gave it a thought that others may not think the same way.
Hubbard then claimed that the 'mind' "is capable of taking 25 pictures per second. At that rate, the mind is recording 1500 pictures a minute." 
And "...Dianetics explains that it's not just the visual record — but many more perceptions are recorded, as well: temperature, smells, sound, mood, heartbeat, muscular tension, motion, and dozens of different perceptions.
As Ron later discovered, there are 57 different perceptions.
Multiply that by the number of mental image pictures you record in sixty seconds, and that's nearly a hundred thousand concepts committed to memory in one minute!" 
But wait, we're not finished yet:
"Each mental image picture is made up of millions of bits of information. So, the mi nd is taking in trillions of bits of information every hour." 
The assertion that 'pictures' are in the 'mind' is indicative of the time it was thought.
1950 was the height of motion pictures as a phenomenon.
It was the beginning of television and the start of the growing visual culture but the brain no more takes pictures than it records tapes of sound.
The medium we see is not the medium that sees.
The perceptions recorded by the brain are not the perception we have of it.
Hubbard was right in his assertion that memory is recorded in order but we do not need a brand name "time-track" to explain memory and using time to explain memory is like eating an apple and explaining the process that allowed the tree to give fruit.
By observing what comes out of the brain our science has tried to duplicate those things observed as 'intelligent'. But what is intelligence?
The term 'intelligence' is applied to knowledge gathering by 'intelligence services'. But is intelligence the gathering of knowledge? Do you get more 'intelligence' when you gain knowledge?
The United States Government Printing Office provides an intelligence cycle of handling information (knowledge). But is handling information intelligence?
The Cray Super Computer is a pretty powerful piece of hardware. It handles information pretty darn fast. But it isn't the slightest bit intelligent.
So what is 'intelligent'?
"Intelligence is a general mental capability that involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas/language, and learn." 
That definition would make intelligence the cause of what makes a brain intelligent.
Nice definition for not having to be very specific.
And it fits the comfortable 'mind-set' of those who continue to duplicate, treat, diagnose and 'mess-with' what they have not a clue about. Anything can be justified if one does not have to define it.
Intelligence is actually the process that gives rise to observable intelligent behavior. It isn't a very specific definition but it is not its own conundrum either.
By defining intelligence as the process that gives rise to observable intelligent behavior we are able to address the process and the system from which it stems and are able to delve deeper into that system for what causes all other observable brain results as well as some not so observable yet readily available.
To have the slightest chance at being accurate any such examination of a process must not be cluttered with the subjective. After all, the method of science is supposed to be objective. A process can only be objective or it is not a process it is a result of a process.
Luckily for us the two main processing pathways of the brain are both located in the same close proximity area.
Can you imagine if the two competing processing pathways were pressure and temperature?
We would perceive 'I' to be 'all' instead of 'I'.
Our mind needs order and placement just as much as every other process of intelligence.
That we do not perceive other things the brain is known to cause or be involved in causes us to label locations of activity we associate with those subjective experiences and we are satisfied without objective reason.
We, as humans perceive ourselves to be in our heads.
There are those who do not perceive a placement of the 'mind' at all.
Those people are subject to want to achieve such a 'thing' if its form of presentment provides incentive to fulfill some other need or desire or subject to reject such a thing if it challenges an already accepted truth.
The mind is the name we have given to the 'thing' that is us, the being that we are. It has been called other names in the past and sought after through every conceivable attribute given to it from subjective evaluation:
The soul: we know we better protect it as it is us and the thought of anyone or anything else 'possessing' 'it', even if we do not perceive ourselves to actually 'have' one is a horrible contemplation and easily capitalized through secret possession of mystical means to ward off such 'possession' and if we do not perceive a 'mind' yet desire to find fulfillment we may be tempted to fall for that.
The enlightenment: the level of being that we can become by following someone's clear cut path that is able to be obtained personally without another person's method or rules and therefore implies lower levels of being and since only the few and perhaps chosen have attained such higher level of being those not yet doing so are relegated to lower levels of life as well as enlightenment.
Meditation: the word given to the process of reaching inside to become one with the power within. If we do not perceive such 'power within' yet seek identification of the 'thing' we know is in there we might be tempted to believe that acquiring the 'power' is fleeting and only for the very wise.
The 'power': the name of the universal spirit thought to justify our existence as we could never have the 'power' unless we reach a level of 'understanding' and is acquired through either prayer or sacrifice which is in some beliefs described as being veiled by the 'illusion'.
The spirit: where a connection is made to the potential that the inner being is somehow part of a larger being as the thought of being alone is rejected.
To understand how a 'mind' can emerge from a collection of biological hardware it is possible to 'sense' the 'mind' at will.
Yes, that sounds like enlightenment in search of the 'power' but it is simply identifying an emergent Qualia.
The way to do that is to first identify which sense, aural or visual is dominant in your short-term, 'conscious' memory.
That is accomplished by (while reading this section) come out of the page, away from the words, see yourself looking out at the page and seeing the words and hear yourself reading the words in your head then select a few words and see them in your head instead of on the page and read them out loud from the image in your head instead of in your monitor.
So while you assimilate those instructions read on:
If you 'come out' of the page you back away from awareness of the page.
It is the same process that happens when someone interrupts your intent concentration in a motion picture or your 'being inside' of a book or your 'feeling' the music.
The deeper one enters such condition of 'becoming' the film or the book or the music the more an observer would brand the action as a 'trance'.
The 'trance' condition is really a focused and interested concentration of short-term processing which becomes far greater in the value of 'now' than long-term values of 'then'. Since a movie or a book or a song does the progression of logical steps for you the short-term process can simply accept input and send it to long-term which it remains focused as it is compared to the same input creating new short-term processes which sets up a loop of both short and long-term.
To be 'away' from the words is to read a word by its syllables instead of the image of the word as a whole.
Parse the word while reading it.
Long-term processing does not discriminate between parts, as it is not aware that parts are in a whole.
But your short-term process can discriminate parts from a whole and if you read words by their parts you will be able to deliver that speech without stumbling and if your voice is 'good enough' you may qualify to become an announcer if you don't mind the time spans between announcements.
To "see yourself looking out at the page" it helps to wear glasses as the frames give a reference point close enough to you to be considered part of you in your perspective.
As all wearers of eye enhancements know, one is essentially 'un-aware' of wearing glasses and becomes 'aware' of the glasses when they get in the way or when they are physically bothersome or when first placed 'on'. To "look out" is to be aware that you are inside, behind the glasses not somewhere over on the desk or perhaps in your left elbow.
To "see the words" one needs to realize that words are symbols. Symbols convey meaning they are not 'the' meaning.
Language is a symbol in sound where words are the symbols of those sounds to create the same sounds and thereby communicate the language.
When reading, a reader oft' times will read at a speed comfortable in acquiring the meaning of the sentences in relation to the next and previous sentence.
The words stand as parts of the sentence and meaning is derived by the concept created in acquiring the order of the sentences and phrases.
The single most important element added to the reading of any word or collection of words is 'perspective'.
If one reads a letter as the words are ordered and evaluates the concepts put forth by the symbols with past concepts observed by the reader the reader is totally ignoring and essentially rejecting the perspective of the writer.
When the writer's perspective is considered instead of the reader the purpose and meaning of the letter is understood as the writer intended it to be. Most people read a letter and come out of it wondering how it relates to their memories, if it influences or challenges any concept accepted as truth and fail to consider that unless the concept is the reader the writer did not include the reader in any concept.
To "hear yourself reading the words in your head" one has to first be able to hear words in one's head.
You can, whether you do, or you do not, already.
If you are an aural conscious thinker you will perceive words in your head and some may say they can 'hear' those words but the 'sound' is not 'a disturbance in a medium (a wave) it is an inner 'voice', although not too many will admit to a voice unless they perceive more than one and then they could lose control of both and become either.
Visual conscious thinkers may perceive words as well but not as 'sounds' in their head, more like 'presences'.
A visual person can do a wonderful favor to their brain by reading words out loud when reading text and listening inside to hear the word as well. It is a good goal.
To "see them in your head instead of on the page" one only has to look out at them to realize they are not inside and that the meaning they convey was intended to make a conceptual point and trying to reason what that point might be by accessing any previous point taken in elsewhere is most likely going to convolute the meaning intended by the author.
When "reading them out loud from the image in your head instead of in your monitor" can be a slow process at first it only requires being aware of each word as one reads it. That is accomplished by parsing the words as one reads them.
A word like "fish" is a single syllable and its singularity of being can convey all sorts of intended meaning.
It would depend upon the perspective of the author where the words "I was fishing for hope" meant searching (an implied process) or attempting to hook (an implied success) hope.
And if one completely ignores the author's perspective one might start displaying a Large Mouth Bass as a symbol of what was intended to be the concept of searching.
If you look at the arm attached to the shoulder attached to the neck attached to the head that is reading these words (the left one) then you become 'aware' of that arm (or tilt wondering what happened to your right head) when at first you were not sure which arm so neither or perhaps both were 'known' or 'aware(d)-of'.
If you had problems with this paragraph read the one above it again.
If asked what that extremity is one may reply 'an arm' if one has little awareness of self or may reply 'my arm' if one has an awareness of self they can place in space as within their confined space which is not that arm but is connected to that arm and in charge of that arm (sometimes).
Reaching a level of awareness of any subject, topic, event, item, thing or concept requires simply winning it.
To win is to be any amount greater than the opposition or less than the opposition in some human games.
If nature's method were less than competition the victor would run out of food and evolution would have stopped at the concept of evolution.
A 'win' is a non-zero value. A lose is 0.
It does not matter if your team scores 72 more points than the competition, 1 will do.
That '1' is the singularity of that pathway representing that subject, topic, event, item, thing or concept.
The first singularity attempted by a growing brain is its balance of primary senses. Hearing and vision are those primary senses.
You do not evaluate your past based upon a taste or smell you evaluate your past based upon a reference to a taste or smell or some other less intensive process.
Vision and hearing are also the only two senses in the body that create a specific system focus center point.
In "Meditations on First Philosophy"  by Rene' Descartes, born in La Haye, Indre-et-Loire, France, a lawyer by schooling who never practiced law who wound up in the service of the Netherlands military for nearly 20 years contemplated the "I" or 'self'. He sought a set of principals that were fundemental and realized that if an idea could be doubted it was false and that such a thing was deceiving and that if he was being deceived he surely must exist. It came to be known by a quotation that is not contained in the "Meditations on First Philosophy" : "cogito ergo sum, ("I think, therefore I am")." 
Since he was certain that he existed what form did he exist in?
Since he had discarded his senses as being trustworthy (after all they were the things giving him the feeling of being deceived) and he managed to overcome the deceipt through use of 'judgement' he concluded that the form he existed in was a 'thinking thing'.
The science that followed gave seed to calculus by the use of a coordinate system called cartesian (named after Rene') of intersecting points on a grid from a central 'origin' point.
This effort at merging Euclidean geometry and algebra became a rather precise method for locating where something is based on the system. 
A Cartesian coordinate system is close to the method of finding one's 'self' but lacks the ability to accurately define weight of contributing factors making a placement in a coordinate system truly imprecise as it ignores the perspective of the thing being measured.
Hearing is a direct Cartesian plot: but where Cartesian coordinates fail is in determining the location of an event not caused by the "origin"  point (center of the grid). That would be most things.
With the left ear providing a hypothetical value of 5 and the right ear providing a hypothetical value of 5 , both on the x axis the resulting position of the focal point of hearing would be the origin point. But ears do not provide totally equal values. Perspective alone tilts hearing values to the dominant side giving depth to sound.
Vision also places two values on the same x axis. They are simply closer together than hearing's value sources and perspective alone in vision off-sets the center point to give depth of field.
Rendering the Cartesian coordinate as a location of a singularity is replacing 'origin' with 'result' and default from 0 to 1.
The physical confines of the 'system' determine the outer boundaries while the focal point of the 'system' defines the singularity or 1 value of equality.
When 'looking out' and absorbing instead of taking in and collecting the sense pathway that is dominant in you will determine the manner of which the perspective is generated.
Should your visual processing have reached the conscious stage of approaching singularity (within the outer circle) then your age would normally be between 3 and 8 years while the initial set in of non-zero value occurs just before that time frame (and gives rise to the 'terrible twos': a period when sensation is being replaced with awareness of sensation resulting in miscalculations until consequence is an awareness too.
By coming out of the page, away from the words, seeing yourself looking out at the page and seeing the words and hearing yourself read the words in your head and selecting a few words and seeing them in your head instead of on the page and reading them out loud from the image in your head instead of in your monitor acts to force the awareness of the focused sense closer to 1 or equality.
Another way to arrive at the sensation of awareness requires a friend or spouse.
Sit across from each other and simply converse.
While listening to your friend or spouse are you looking out at them and hearing their words in your head or are you taking in their words from outside and focused on them?
While talking to your spouse or friend take control of your visual short-term process by looking out at them, know that you are not outside of your brain and that the person you are talking to is not you and that you are the you that can be perceived to be in your head.
How well you execute that will determine how well you perceive a location of 'you' in your head.
But for now, read these words again and this time, do the words as well:
Come out of the page, away from the words, see yourself looking out at the page and seeing the words and hear yourself reading the words in your head then select a few words and see them in your head instead of on the page and read them out loud from the image in your head instead of in your monitor.
Did you do it? Only you will know.
Descarte was right about not trusting his senses because senses to Descarte meant long-term memory. He was also right in trusting his 'judgement' as that was short-term memory. How the two become one is the question of binding not the definition of existing.
The two primary senses, aural and visual are split among many input receptors where each input receptor is pulsed to 'fire' twice each second. If they were all at the same pulse we would see life as a series of still and two dimensional images. Instead, we see life as a fluid and three dimensional existence as pulse rates for receptors are staggered across the field of reception, each firing within its pulse point two times per second. This blended input reception starts the binding process.
Synchronous firing of retina showing a firing rate (clock rate) of 1 per second (animated gifs can not duplicate 2 per second with this many receptors showing, actual firing is two times per second for each receptor) with 9 pulses per SP circuit.
(Note: this is a reference drawing only and does not equal an exact count of receptors to firing rate. It does contain an image area of 97 receptors arranged in a staggered spiral method with each 9 pulse episode likewise staggered across the face of the retina. Since each receptor (using the lens method of a single double convex lens either on a concave surface or an optical adapted flat surface for concave presence *See Right) is a quasi-holographic representation of the complete image viewed.
The only difference is perspective of its location on the retina and its firing episode. Retina is depicted in non-linear image representation. 
Each input pulse represents a control valve (or regulated resistor) that permits an amplitude pulse of the subject's base wave frequency to pass into the processing chain in the order it was received by that receptor.
This serves to convert external stimuli of any form (all senses) into the single processing method employed by the brain: the second level of binding.
Your computer providing the information the monitor is displaying to you is capable of sampling an external sensor twice each second and is capable of converting the measurement used to sample into a representational number.
Your computer can then perform a task based on a predetermined number, range of numbers or prior number (if it is recording its previous comparisons).
That would be 1:1 calculation.
Input equals output and if input is fast enough then output will appear just as fast and if both are near to equal to the thing being measured a relatively believable representation of that thing can be generated virtually. That is essentially the science of Artificial Intelligence. It is using a machine process to replicate not duplicate.
The brain employs 'exponential processing'.
It has to.
With speeds like biology can provide naturally and react to fast enough the range of processing speeds must remain very low.
That requires the 'system' to be above all else, efficient.
Exponential Processing is the system that runs your mechanical watch.
It is the system that gives your automatic transmission the ease of shifting gears without damage to the system. It is the concept of the gear.
In this analogy the input receptor 'gear' has two teeth in opposition. Each full circle spin of a one second base frequency turns two revolutions of the input receptor's gear stepping up the processing from 1:1 to 2:1. (In the past I have referred to this process as 'ratio enhancement' but have since dropped that term as it describes the result, not the cause).
This scaled (12 teeth instead of 30) gear represents the speed of processing of long-term memory.
With each 2 times per second rotation of input's speed gear the long-term memory gear moves thirty teeth.
A second gear is likewise attached to the center pin of the long-term gear that causes 900 teeth of the smaller gear to pass for each single tooth movement by the larger gear.
This stepped 'up' process is exponential processing.
In biology is it accomplished by division.
If the base frequency was 35721 hz the first input receptor's pulse rate would start a firing at 1hz and at 17860.5 hz.
Each additional input receptor of the same input source (eye or ear), each either tuned to a specific reaction frequency (rods, cones) or (fenestra ovalis conducting fluid waves in frequencies to hair cells associated with specific frequencies) is pulsed in a wave action..
Long-term memory pulses would occur every 595.35 hz while short-term memory pulses would occur every 19.845 hz. Slower rates mean more processing and therefore efficiency becomes a factor.
When 60 hz is compared to 1800 hz by each being stepped down to 10hz the stronger source (highest amplitudes) will be the controlling source and you will be either visually aware or aurally aware in short-term memory.
It will take a few years for your long-term memory to pick up on that steady range of amplitude values and as it assimilates them your short-term may question the presence of a foreign entity and call it a name and make it an imaginary friend or a monster under your bed.
As you search for perspective the dominate processing pathway will guide the evaluation.
Brains other than human (with some slight similarities in quadrapedals) do not have the luxury of perspective.
Animals are degrees of good and bad, positive and negative in everything we do, regardless of species.
Only the human brain can reason alternatives and override the defensive default to accomplish a concept.
Where we might declare we would really love to have one of those chocolate cupcakes and drool over the thought of its smooth and silky body and moist deep chocolate icing our little friend the family dog can only recognize the smell as a degree of good and the sight as a degree of good. Good might entail extra tail wagging but it is still a degree of good.
Being simply 'other-aware' the over-grown puppy is not aware of the manner in which we treat her like another child she only knows it to be a great degree of good.
Our power of self-aware perspective interprets the body actions, sounds and especially the facial and eye expressions as being emotional reasoning until we realize that our subconscious process is also emotional and if we do not care to use the other one, that short term shorted out loop of self-aware memory trickling down the long term tube then we are only different from animals by the ability to say "I".
If we let subconscious processing rule our lives we will have a ruler we have already suffered through over and over again.
Tyrants and con-men alike keep control through the support of this subconscious process by playing up to its weaknesses and fulfilling its desires.
Animals simply know something is or is not, not what something is. "Good." Will suffice for our baby since her default condition is good.
We have experienced the other default condition before and know how to steer clear of that herd.
That, that, see that, that. Good. That GOOD. THAT GOOD. THAT GOOD! THAT GOO...
Until the wagging and the panting and the shuffling of claws on the door finally reaches the point where my highly developed self-awareness blurts out "she really must want to come in".
She really knows that door when opened, is good.
Talk dog sometime to yourself.
Do it all day long.
Don't use "I" or "me" or even possessives at all.
Simply 'that' for every target of attention and targets of attention must be addressed unless they have been addressed before.
The more addressed the less addressing is required for it to evolve into the background.
Take a day and walk the house only responding to noises you hear or movement you feel or things you see that jump out of the background because they are different by some degree.
If you are a cat person and care to take on the feline it all still applies.
You only have to change your perspective from the aural of dogs to the visual of cats.
Take a day and walk the house only responding to things you see or things you have seen.
The more you see something the less you react to it.
The older you get the more it takes to be reacted to.
Trust you'll spend most of the day avoiding such controlling environment and sleep on the couch or perhaps curled up under the bed or finding a nice sunny windowsill to sleep off the aggravation of it all.
Singularity actually means "the quality or state of being singular" [MW] which the quantity of zero cannot fulfill as zero is nothing so it cannot be singular. The only value a singular may ever have is a non-zero value.
We experience a non-zero value in our being conscious. (Not the same as self-aware). It is that non-zero value that sets up the 'mind'.
The 'mind', being an emergent property of the architecture of a closed loop memory system is self defined, self-imagined and self thought through external stimuli.
The degree to which the 'mind' or short-term memory process is in control of the result of the mixture of long-term memory output and short-term memory output determines the observable intelligence of the subject.
While Binet's "g" or intelligence factor is tested using standard IQ tests the test only works on long-term memory.
It does not provide nor consider any indication of short-term processing which is where human intellect resides.
The speed of the short-term memory's processing amplitudes in relation to the input stimuli processed amplitudes; a result of long-term speeds determines the available intelligence of the subject.
Brains other than human have available intelligence alone.
Human and other forms of brain 'thought' are wave amplitude variations which through architectural blending of identical frequencies in variable amplitudes within neuron chambers, pulsed in the same synchronous pattern, and returned for comparison in the same 'time-frame' as the input (unsupported means 'smaller' amplitude therefore older memory) results in the emergence of observable intellect, as long as the process flow remains in the single direction of its architecture which is controlled by the one-way flowing synapse, the biological diode.
Emerged collection of individual pathways from the same focal point provide not only focus of the whole in 3 dimensions through partial out of focus peripheral receptors, but when architecturally combined to form a central focal point results in the perception that a 'mind' exists within the head, the central focal point of hearing and vision.
Being the only location in the architecture that is dual focused from stereo-optic perspective of each, the head, which luckily also holds the brain responsible for this binding is the focal point of the two most active input receptor types in short-term memory processing since the pattern established by the architecture in humans results in a dual closed loop system where the outer pathway is down and the inner pathway is up, the outer pathway performing all memory amplitude 'calculations', causing reduced amplitude with each neuron event setting up the concept of 'older' or 'time'.
This identical process in long-term memory is running so slow that an emerging self-awareness is a very long process and elusive or a very fast process if nearly all focused senses find an equality through input stimulus.
The same focal point of inputs provides the equality in all brains but the awareness of it is evident only in closed loop short-term memory processing humans.
Short-term processing is running at a power of two over long-term resulting in setting up the closed loop of a single existence, where the comparison of pulsed variable amplitudes is equal with the value presented to it from long-term processing making the short-term not have a concept of 'time'.
Time is considered to be the measurement defined as "the period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues" (MW) (which would be the definition of the measurement) or as a 'non-spatial continuum' (a coherent whole that does not displace space) .
Time as a measurement is definable any way a society deems fit.
Time as a continuum, spatial or non-spatial is a result of amplitude variations in the brain and stops at one of two junctures:
1: When it no longer can be evident:
(emergent whole has become equal, self-aware) or
2: When it no longer can be evident:
(subject is deceased).
Since humans enjoy both long-term and short-term memory processes and the short-term memory process alone will emerge as equal after 3-8 years of use and the awareness of things a brain does is from that short-term memory process's closed loop the process doing all human 'conscious' output is both a product of long-term memory and the cause of long-term memory.
Both memory levels operate independently of the other through an orchestrated symphony of processing patterns, sharing neuron chambers for execution and at the same time as a single entity as long-term feeds short-term from external inputs compared to long-term's depth of recall which processed in short-term feeds long-term resulting in the 'memory' of being self-aware.
Both levels of memory processing output to motion and compete with each other for dominance over motion.
When motion occurs and effects the facial muscles without prior conscious or short-term command control the event is viewed by short-term as being foreign and therefore not 'understood' or 'recognized'.
Those outputs to motion occur in all muscle groups, chemical triggers and input receptor types and are either controlled by long-term memory process or short-term memory process or a degree of both.
When nearly all focused senses reach equality through input stimulus the focal point of that stimulus can be said to be 'loved'.
It is essentially distributed pathways of varying sense types becoming 'aware' of a connection to another entity.
Had history recorded the event of the first utterance of a spoken human word it might very well have recorded the overwhelming desire of a female to aurally express her visually based feeling of equality with another human being.
Had a male been responsible for the first spoken word his long term aural dominance having left a weaker visual long-term memory would seek to satisfy the difference through visual stimulation and could very well have given the first thorny flower to which the first word spoken in response could very well have meant, "ouch", in a new language.
Emotions are 'emotions' because they are both internal and external and like the 'mind' seem to reside in the head but seem to also 'take control' of the body to a degree or another without the 'mind's' awareness.
An emotion is an unaware execution of reactive response that takes place in the long-term memory output process to motion.
With long-term in control over motion it is also in control over internal-output (the variable amplitude presented to the closed loop of short-term memory processing) resulting in an 'awareness' of a degree of difference between the 'normal' with no emotion and the 'emotional' through the presence of it.
Every ''emotion' is to some degree a degree of the preponderance of either good or bad, positive or negative, true or untrue, of extremes.
The degree the 'emotion' varies from 'normal' amplitude ranges in short-term processing establishes the degree it is 'recognized' or 'identified' by short-term processing.
Low amplitudes cause the short-term 'mind' to perceive a slow condition. High amplitudes cause the short-term 'mind' to perceive a fast condition.
How that condition is executed in the combination of supported long-term memory and how that condition is displayed in motion determines 'what' emotion 'name' it will be given to the behavior displayed.
An emotion is a result of long-term memory processing, not known by short-term processing, slowly changing over 'time' to potentially dominate short-term processing and thereby remove short-term control from motion altogether.
It is a process that is architecturally based, therefore very 'machine-like' and results in a collection of timed outputs from a centrally perceived 'mind' within a focal point of reference.
It is our sense of time that gives rise to the need for order and our need for order that gives rise to the notion that time somehow exists outside of what gives its awareness to us.
Luckily for us the two main processing pathways of the brain are both located in the same close proximity area and are accessible by addressing them directly or indirectly.
After the answers to the Top 10 Questions About The Brain (in all 24 varieties of tied poll questions) a simple household amusement will demonstrate a wave within a wave and how parts of a whole are important while the sum of the parts is no more important than its smallest part.
What is wrong in the brains of people who suffer from Schizophrenia? 
If the condition is genetically traceable the problem lies in equal clock rates among distributed input receptor pathways of the same focal point or sense which would result in lower levels of dopamine in memory feedback loop pathways.
If the condition is not evident in the family tree of the subject the condition is most likely attributable to the other cause of lower levels of dopamine in memory feedback loop pathways.
Short-term memory concentration has focused on either a standard or repetitive event or concept, which has connections to parts of prior events but is not directly connected (a previous comparison has become its own comparison).
Schizophrenia is essentially defined as the "lack of interaction between thought processes and perception." 
The 'thought process' is the action while the reaction is the recall or awareness of a place in order. Regardless of psychiatry's insistence in positive and negative forms of schizophrenia there is nothing positive about being out of 'synch'.
What 'is' out of synch in schizophrenia is the opposing sense. If the opposing sense is the dominant sense what goes in will not come out with reference to its having come in as the same thing therefore perception will not equal intention.
It can be solved by reinforcing the weaker sense through acquisition of a sense of true self awareness in that sense.
Such increase amplitudes will require higher levels of dopamine to transmit across synapses and the evidence of schizophrenia will disappear.
If one is aware of one's self one cannot be controlled, nor influenced by the awareness of anything or anyone else.
We all suffer a degree of schizophrenia far lower than the abnormal results required for diagnosis when we do not have a central command, a leader in charge.
When we do not have full self-awareness we are victims to what we were victims to before and with each new victimization a reinforced memory of past victimizations remains strong in recall.
Do we be more happy, if we solve all the unknowns of brain?
That depends on your definition of happy.
If by 'happy' you mean, "enjoying or characterized by well-being and contentment" [MW] it can only be so if there is not too much prior subjective deduction standing in the way.
If it is, and if the short-term doing the evaluation is not completely in control over the long-term's rejections of unknown concepts you will prefer remembering Steno's assertion and feel comfortable that you are not alone in your rejection of an unknown thereby excusing your long-term from its concerns for longevity by rejecting the short-term's desire to find the parts and make connections there; so perhaps your recallable, supported and most often trained long-term memory will win retaining the non-zero control over the 'mind' through recall of past recalls of past recalls.
If by happy you mean, "favored" or "enthusiastic about something to the point of obsession"[MW] then by all means, yes.
If you knew how you thought and you knew that you knew how you thought then you could think about knowing that you know that you think about knowing.
That alone can take a lifetime if you focus on one subject. Applying it to everyday problems means tackling instead of placating.
It also means creating artificial machines to do the same process can become an obsession with specific purpose instead of an obsession for a purpose.
Why do psychiatrists tell us what to do when they don't know how it works? 
Psychiatry is rooted in observation and trial planted in those persons with a desire to solve problems of mental causes either for their own gratification or for the gratification of seeing others grateful.
It is amazing to note although that the term 'cause' can be so eloquently pigeonholed. Once a 'cause' under this confined definition of the word is identified it becomes removed from psychiatry and falls under medical science.
"Historically only two psychiatric disorders have been definitively linked to causes. General paresis of the insane (now known to be a late stage of the disease of syphilis) and pellagrous insanity is caused by niacin deficiency (the mental result of the disorder once referred to as scurrvy.)
Ironically neither of these are any longer thought of as psychiatric disorders."  That makes every single current mental condition treated by psychiatrists to not have known causes. Since nothing is defined just about any treatment if believed by the subject has the same chance at working.
Psychiatrists find success in one form of therapy or another and continue to treat results of brain conditions with drugs that mask the result without addressing the cause and therapies that support the subjective instead of unmask the objective.
Instead of the frequency of success being by addressing the objective cause it is the frequency of success by addressing the subjective result which does, to some degree, reduce support connections to past problems but in no way increases the connections to current relevance.
I suppose such 'find the cause but if you find the cause we can't treat it any longer' mentality justifies keeping therapy sessions running into the years in frequency visits where the same subject having the same results from a repair person who comes in once a week to remove their TV for an hour to fix it and years later continues to insist he can still fix the TV would sue.
Now' is not what we experienced: it is what we do with that experience whether we blindly follow a leader into becoming the drone needed to remain a follower or we choose to take control ourselves and lead.
What is 'the mind'?  
The singularity of the short-term processing pathways of the human brain.
What are dreams and nightmares? 
When you sleep the only difference in your brain is the level of input amplitudes passed for long-term processing.
When long term's 'conscious' non-zero value falls to '0' one half of the output to motion (short-term's contribution) is shut down.
Once that occurs you enter a period of 'light' sleep which is long-term memory fed by nearly no amplitude value.
As the amplitude value decreases one may experience a half awake - half sleep condition and 'dream' or be 'aware' of a 'dream' that is of more recent memories.
For a period of time nearing 90-minute cycles the values of long-term memory are reached that are equal to the near greatly reduced input values.
When that occurs we enter what has been termed 'rapid eye movement' or REM. The eye movements are the only motion of the body (normally) at that period as the eye is the input receptor for major muscle groups and motion to it is coming from the reactive output from long-term processing.
As a series of near equal values filters into short-term memory it is passed back into long term memory near the same level not supporting the very old memories being accessed just replaying them.
Since old memories are accessed without the benefit of the 'now' time reference provided by a 'conscious' awake 'mind' many comparisons are made of similar values whether they are in the same time frame or not.
When the period of low values is met by a wave amplitude increase of a previous a period representing a previous 'awake' state (returns in feedback are not 1:1 they are spread out over 1 so as to be more similar to 1:6 the 'time' reference is 'compressed' and the result is an experience not relating to reality of input 'now'.
We only become 'aware' of a 'dream' when we are in the wake up period of increasing amplitudes are input receptors start to permit amplitude variations and it is then that we can discern and mark the 'dream' as a 'dream' or a 'nightmare'.
Some 'nightmares' invoke much strong outputs from long-term to motion to cause a 'friendly' experience, a sleepwalk event or a 'bad' experience we would then refer to as the 'nightmare' that woke us up.
Regardless of how it is accomplished a 'dream' whether good or bad is only a figment of past figments or past memories not related at all that become related in amplitude values so low that they do not register in recall during the 'awake' state. The discussion of 'animal' dreams in question 16 would be of interest.
Explain: answers to the "hard Problems" of consciousness study (brain mind binding, explaining subjective experience and causes of consciousness, will)    
Just about all of these issues were addressed in the opening and Brain 101 sections of this chapter.
What was not addressed was 'will' which I will not assume was meant to imply that is without cost in some form or another.
'Free-Will' has taken on a portable meaning which undefined things have a habit of doing.
'Will' of any manner is an implied action based upon a choice.
A choice is not a choice if any of its options is contrived. A contrived option removes 'will' and replaces it with 'reaction'. The only method to acquire 'will' is to have a part of a system take control over another part and impart its 'will' or method over the 'will' or method of the subservient ingredient.
What is consciousness?  
Consciousness is the state of being aware enough to know of being aware at all. It is a non-zero value over not being aware.
The sense of 'self' or true awareness is not achieved at a non-zero value it must have amplitude over other amplitudes for it to stand out and it is not the normal default state of a human being.
The normal default state of a human brain is the non-zero value of consciousness. Allowing that non-zero consciousness to control your life amounts to allowing the past (long-term memories) to slide right through short-term processing setting up a default 'on' condition in long-term that rules your life from past rules.
That is the goal of intensive training.
That is the method employed in education; the method tested by Binet IQ tests and the reason for susceptibility to depression and other internally supported non-aligned with reality conditions.
The default condition of non-zero consciousness is so prevalent that those few who do use short-term for more than a way station are relegated to mistrust and disparagement by their refusal to follow accepted practices, write in a manner in which ignorance is supported or follow the same leader.
Short-term memory can be employed by all humans to override the default conditions of reactive long-term processes.
Is it true that we only use 10% of our brains? 
Not at any time.
Any brain cell not used is lost.
There is a wave of the base frequency pulsed in clock rates equal to the division of the pathway's input receptor present in every living neuron.
Without the non-zero value of the frequency (no amplitude) there is no life to make the neuron 'alive'.
If "we only use" refers to taking advantage of: the answer would still be no. All parts of the brain are doing their 'thing' at all times. During sleep all of the brain functions except the input values affecting the initial amplitude are reduced providing very small amplitude with each pulse.
Can you exercise your brain? 
I do it all the time, thanks for asking.
But be careful what part you exercise.
If you exercise long-term memory it will begin to take control and you will follow what ever took you there.
It happens in short spurts with every conversation.
A topic is started that relates to something it is made of which relates to something it is used for which relates to something the use of it has to do with how it was last used which relates to the results of how it was last used and what the topic was is no longer the topic and the conversation is 'interesting' but worthless.
Exercise your short-term memory by playing a game of cards being aware of the game and the rules at the same time.
Exercise your short-term weaker sense by forcing it to meet the dominant sense:
The exercise provided earlier in this piece for gaining the sense of self is one very good way to use idle brain time but should be practiced in periods where brain power is necessary and it will become more and more normal until you will be just as weird as the those great thinkers of the past but you will be thinking 'now' and learning from the past instead of living it over again.
How complex is the human brain?  
From a biological perspective it is complex due to its quantity of connections and components.
From a system perspective it is very simple but nothing at all like the perceptions placed upon it by subjective reasoning.
What is wrong with Rodney Brooks' viewpoint on the brain?      
Professor Brooks has a brilliant long-term memory process.
A normal long-term memory process would make the amplitudes of long-term memory in the same range as the amplitude of that level's base frequency.
An advanced long-term memory would return more amplitude than the base frequency and a brilliant long-term process would return nearly the same amount of pulsed amplitudes as are being created.
If that person was a visual long-term thinker (male, or the rare female) their 'photographic' recall would be celebrated or the cause of their bouts of depression would be consuming.Just as the long-term rate of amplitude return for processing is able to be in excess of 'normal' it is also able to be less than 'normal'.
Less than normal long-term recall can be observed in habits, and learning deficiencies and the lost touch with a sense of 'now'.Professor Brooks undoubtedly does not suffer from any long-term reductions.
And given the depth of his reasoning does not suffer from a short-term reduction.
He does though, have a focus: robotics, the replication of the living.
"In the 1970s both the USA and UK suffered funding contractions in AI research, with specific criticism of AI for ``playing around'' in ``toy worlds'', which did not have ``industrial relevance''. This put a damper on such complete systems --- which could only be constructed in simplified or ``toy'' worlds --- and caused a shift of research emphasis towards implementing systems which contained all of the complexity of real industrial problems.
Of course, complete systems with industrial-strength complexity could not yet be built, so this insistence on ``industrial relevance'' merely changed the kind of simplification researchers employed: from implementing complete systems in simplified worlds, they shifted to implementing realistically complex fragments of complete systems. ...
This change constituted a major paradigm shift. In order to accommodate this change of experimental method, roboticists had to switch from a research program underpinned by the ``sea-slug'' assumptions, to one underpinned by the assumptions of classical AI. This switch was facilitated by the fact that the presumptions underlying their approach had not at that time been made explicit. In other words, I suggest that the switch in experimental methodology consequent on the criticisms and funding contractions of the 1970s entailed a switch of underlying presumptions of which the researchers of the time were not explicitly aware. This illustrates the danger of pursuing research without making one's basic presumptions and philosophy explicit. " 
"Note that Brooks was at this time already a major contributor to the classical approach in assembly robotics. It was while collaborating with Lozano-Perez on a paper defining the next major phase of MIT assembly robotics research that he decided that the whole approach was irretrievably damned, and switched to experimenting with behavior-based architectures in mobile robots. As a consequence, what had been planned as a major publication leading a grand research program into the future became a speculative paper overtaken by events." 
When the method was behavior modeling the behavior is a subjective result and it leads to attempts to create a brain by 'building' one like evolution, program one like chat-bot builders or build one and let it emerge into intelligence and consciousness and self-awareness: never mind the insignificant potential of Cog ever becoming 'conscious' and realizing the center of consciousness was next to him.
In the Professor's own words: "Building an android, an autonomous robot with humanoid form and humanlike abilities, has been both a recurring theme in science fiction and a "Holy Grail" for the Artificial Intelligence community." 
With all due respect, the Professor is missing the point.
His justification of behavior-based modeling has become his 'holy grail' when the 'holy grail' of Artificial Intelligence is described elsewhere as "The holy grail of AI is to create machines that can truly mimic the human brain in the way it thinks, responds and interacts. " 
The way it thinks, responds and interacts has no relation to what it does other than being its cause.
The Professor has settled for results as able to be replicated and accepted causes as unattainable then believes that somehow some emerging system will manage to be programmed that causes the Cog device to not only look human but become human-like in knowing it is a thing unlike any other thing.
There is no memory in Cog that can relate to any other memory in Cog without an instruction.
Therefore Cog is a toy making MIT's contribution to the science of understanding the brain enough to duplicate instead of mimic about moot.
"Our alternative methodology is based on evidence from cognitive science and neuroscience which focus on four alternative attributes which we believe are critical attributes of human intelligence: developmental organization, social interaction, embodiment and physical coupling, and multi-modal integration." 
All of which are results like apples not the tree.
How do neurons carry information?   
Neurons 'carry' information by being the chamber where interaction of amplitudes takes place.
There is a corresponding cellular action, which represents the non-zero value of the amplitude frequency being processed in the neuron which gives rise to the 'firing' or binary state of a neuron's condition.
While the 'charge' can be measured it is indicative of a process present not the process itself. The process itself takes place in the wave opposite in charge to the cellular frequency. This process was attempted by fuzzy logic.
"Fuzzy logic is a generalization of standard logic, in which a concept can possess a degree of truth anywhere between 0.0 and 1.0. Standard logic applies only to concepts that are completely true (having degree of truth 1.0) or completely false (having degree of truth 0.0). Fuzzy logic is supposed to be used for reasoning about inherently vague concepts, such as 'tallness.'" 
Where the wave is amplitude variation from the near non-zero value to the 'tallness' of the base frequency's maximum amplitude fuzzy logic tries to replicate that system as a degree of non-zero as well but models 'subjectives' instead of 'objectives'.
Why have we got a memory and how does it work? 
Imagine yourself without a memory.
You could not as the moment you imagined you would no longer imagine.
Memory, as used in computers is a specific place, a specific value and a specific order.
Memory as used in the brain is a specific place, a specific value and a specific order in order of pulse, in massive parallel processes blended through input firing order rates and internally provided an output that is the sum of the parts.
Memory works the same way brain calculations work.
Each memory 'cell' is a neuron that processes a pulsed amplitude wavelet by comparing it to the base rate of that level of processing.
The result is a wave within a wave.
Wave amplitudes grow as they first fall into memory and then fall as they get older, this provides the sense of 'now' in relation to a moment ago and keeps out being able to discern 'now' as anything other than fleeting and sets up the relation to the time order of processing in which to compare with previous memory to form new memory.
Every memory you have is a relatively new memory. Unlike computers that place a value on a coordinate location of a hard drive disk brain memory goes 'down' the line where it is copied and sent back 'up' the feedback line.
As it travels from one neuron to the next in sequenced order back to processing it is processed with the base rate again of that level of processing which reverses the wave set up going 'down' memory and returns the memory in the same relative relationship that it went in with. How can a there be a wave within a wave?
See the Uno® example at the end of this piece and earlier in chapter two.
Are boys smarter then girls? 
Males and females are indeed different but smarter is not the measurement.
How smart a person is has to do with that person, not their gender, race or personal desires. Human females are primarily visual long-term creatures.
Human males are primarily aural long-term creatures.
How smart a person is, is determined by how much the short-term is in control over long-term in the battle to rule the body. And then 'smart' can be judged instead of 'knowledge recall'.
What will it take for an artificial brain to achieve philosophical consciousness? 
Whatever time you wish to proclaim it as long as consciousness is not defined.
Reaching the internal amplitude level within a single input process' ensemble of orchestrated pathways will take building it and perhaps 3 years of nurturing its growth and environmental perspective.
What does the brain do during sleep? 
The same thing it did while you were awake.
The only difference is while awake the system was being given higher variable amplitudes and in sleep it is being given much less amplitudes.
To a human being the process of sleep is a retreat from reality as well as a charging 'moment' or recharging event.
But to a creature not human (not given output from short-term to long-term but from long-term to long-term) sleep is nothing different than 'awake' other than being moments of different things.
There is no 'conscious' condition in a system without a circular connection. The upcoming (at the time of this writing) Discovery Channel 'exclusive' about animal consciousness is just another in a long stream of visually dominant scientists and film producers imparting their perspective on other creatures because they fail to comprehend their perspective is made from the manner in which they primarily think and is not at all like everyone else primarily thinks.
Yet we sit and watch the speculation presented as fact and it soaks in and supports Steno with every production.
Are there hard and easy problems about the brain?  
Only if you want there to be:
If one wishes to explain their inability to explain something and the only hope of such explanation is that it explains the explaining and not what so far could not be explained then one could impart degrees of difficulty to the acquisition of answers likewise people adhere to.
The notion that some 'problem' with the brain's understanding can be judged in degrees requires the assumption of a priori. When something is self-evident, like Descartes' senses being untrustworthy or that moment of self-awareness most readers will have experienced after reading the above short-term acquisition exercise again, it is a thing that has become 'aware' to the brain.
A person can become aware to a brain and be loved or what that person represents to the brain becoming aware if based in a desire may be lust. Either way it is the same process.
The fact that it has become an aware emergence of brain processing does not mean it is correct or good or right or truth.
Does the body have a mind of its own? (or: why does neuronic signaling sometimes appear AFTER the act - see Binet et al.)    
Yes, it does.
It is housed in a specific part of the body which occupies the most upper extremity also housing the eyes, ears, mouth, nose and sits upon a part of the body that gives it independent movement from the body.
The brain IS a part of the body.
It is not a special thing.
It is what is going on inside of it that is special.
The reference to Binet is indicative of the desire to justify the concept of Binet's assumption: "that lower IQ indicated the need for more teaching, not an inability to learn."
The IQ process developed through Binet's work measures long-term processing results and is best applied to long-term processing where a person with nearly no short-term control can remember logical order processes and comparsions of minute degrees through unimpeeded recall of long-term concepts.
A true IQ test would measure the degree to which short-term is relating to long-term. 'More teaching' has been construed as successful implantation of known and accepted 'state of the art' knowledge.
Without a single reference to how to use that knowledge in the short-term reasoning process a person is tested for their ability to recall concepts created through knowledge.
High IQ persons are more associated with 'different' or 'weird' than 'normal' or 'safe'.
How and why does the brain decide to block out memories of events, and how does it keep them blocked out (until/if retrieved)?   
The use of the term "block" implies "interruption of normal physiological function" [MW which is hunting for the haystack by studying the needle. Instead of implying an obstructive method consider the opposite, that of a reduction method.
If a person experiences a serious jolt to sensibilities, one that does not relate to past experience, does not fit the standard accepted by past experience, that jolt will not have any specific concept in memory with which to be supportive.
As a 'first' event memory the event may not be recallable unless it relates to a previous event. If the event is sexual in nature the jolt will disrupt the sexual concept without direct reference and may be experienced as a rejection of advances for an 'unknown' reason. Memory in the brain is not like a computer.
A computer places a bit value of 1 or 0 in a grid position on the disk and it is going to stay there as long as the disk works unless it is changed or rendered not used (erased).
(There are not 'three' possibilities to a computer memory, either 1 or 0).
The act of 'erasing' simply leaves no current file connection to a registry entry. It does not change the memory's state.
In the brain memory is fluid. It travels in order of timed pulse of input and gets larger and smaller and slightly larger and slightly smaller until it reverses and returns for comparison to new input.
Memory does not reside in a specific neuron or specific 'space' it moves through specific neurons and specific 'space'.
A dog with bad memories will live those bad memories over and over again when confronted with similar stimuli.
Humans are able to take control of those long-term memories and impart a relevance of them to 'now' which reduces their influence on 'now' and lowers their recall-ability. Recalling them is still possible by allowing the depth of return to work on the same concept longer than long-term's in out process.
That requires short-term processing to retain the subject. When short-term processing imparts the relevance of an old memory to no relevance to 'now' that memory is not supported and falls smaller in amplitude.
Is the whole (consciousness, thought, awareness) greater than the sum of the parts (tissue, electrical signals, neurons)?  
Not in the least bit. It simply is the sum of its parts.
The brain is part of a biological machine and is just one part of that machine. It is the part the essentially runs the machine but it can become dependent upon the whole machine and ignore its abilities and simply exists.
That does not make the whole of the brain, the collective result of a working brain any greater than the smallest amplitude pulse wavelet within it.
Does decentralized functioning exist..?
Watch a flock or birds.
Observe a school of fish.
Alone, each creature is but a part of the whole as the parts of the whole move the parts of the whole maintain order and progression and follow the movement in near perfect harmony acting upon their position and reacting to the change of their reference.
The flock of birds or school of fish represent a decentralized function but do not represent the binding of such a decentralized function to become its own function and therefore its own being.
Each part of a school of fish or a flock of birds is a single thinking machine where environment alone determines reaction based on past environmental reactions and the 'thing' remains a subjective as it is not an objective singularity.
Each creature within the group perceives the environment based upon the method of thinking most dominant in that species and that specific creature. It is not a hard thing to comprehend that a thing can be made of its parts that are semi-independent (in that they are focused from the same perspective machine) and merge them to become a single entity that is not the same thing as its parts.
Are all brains born equal..? 
By all means but two.
1: components within the brain are defective or diseased
2: the frequency of the base wave of the brain is an even one. Unless a specific sense is unequal to its companion counterbalance sense (vision-hearing, taste-smell, pressure-temperature) the brain will be equal with human females slightly advanced in long-term visual memory and human males slightly advanced in long-term aural memory.
If the frequency of the base wave is even it will not remain coherent well within a closed and close proximity shared processing environment and will cause the recall of larger amplitudes to not be represented by their correct 'height'.
An even frequency broadcast throughout a closed space sets up interactions in timing that are not provided by the divisions of the bodily clock (which itself is based in the base frequency.
Consequences that should register as warning signs of repeating behavior are not comprehended as 'important'.
Why do some people have obsessive personalities and some don't?  
Imagine a motorcycle where the wheels were not traveling at the same speed.
If the wheel that was lacking in speed was in the rear it could be said to be always trying to 'catch up' and if the wheel lacking in speed was in the front it could be said to be always trying to slow down the pesky rear wheel.
Should the rear wheel (which is perceived to always be the cause of the problem) represent long-term aural processing and the front wheel represent short-term visual processing (a visually dominant short-term memory) the visual short-term 'mind' would be faced with a stream of nearly continuous inability to connect a concept with a visual.
If the rear wheel (still at fault) represents long-term visual processing and the front wheel represents short-term aural processing (an aurally dominant short-term memory) the aural short-term 'mind' would be faced with the need to complete an image it is unable to create.
Need to fulfill a semblance of logic and order can be manifested in compulsion but normally compulsive people are compulsive because they are reacting to long-term memory outputs without much short-term control to balance the reaction with contemplation.
Why are there so many definitions of things no one knows about? 
Every person has their own perspective on observable norms.
What may be caused by one thing to one person may be caused by another thing to another person.
Most often the only thing in common with the perceptions is the thing being perceived. Therefore a name can be given that is agreeable to all perspectives and the more agreeable it is the more reinforced it will become and the most resistant to being tossed out it will be as the closer it reaches the point of becoming its own topic.
The more support of that new topic the person is subjected to, especially in teaching environments where retention of what was learned is paramount to the evaluation, dissection and repair of what is being learned the more the topic becomes real on its own accord.
The closer to the perception of real it is to the believer the more support it will receive from 'believers'.
Whether it is mythical notions of sperm constructed moist brains or the belief that one can ever lower one's goals to pretend to reach one at all the act of knowledge acquisition left unparsed, unevaluated and supported through arranged methods the result is the same: If evolution ever started on the path of the rules of golf we would have no Pebble Beach.
WAVE WITHIN A WAVE:
"The Elliott Wave Theory is named after Ralph Nelson Elliott. Inspired by the Dow Theory and by observations found throughout nature, Elliott concluded that the movement of the stock market could be predicted by observing and identifying a repetitive pattern of waves. In fact, Elliott believed that all of man's activities, not just the stock market, were influenced by these identifiable series of waves." 
Could a wave be present in a simple game of Uno®?
Chart one. Two people play a 5000 point game of Uno®. Enter the points, totals and round points in separate columns into a spreadsheet like Excel. Chart them. Look at the wave within a wave and how the entire game is running its own game with the players thinking they are making it happen.