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E. O. Wilson

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A schema is a configuration within the brain, either inborn or learned, against which the input of the nerve cells is compared. ...the conscious mind ...can fill in details that are missing from the actual sensory input and create a pattern in the mind which is not necessarily present in reality. In this way, the gestalt of objects—the impression...—is aided by the taxonomic powers of the schemata.

 
E. O. Wilson

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The terms "black box" and "white box" are convenient and figurative expressions of not very well determined usage. I shall understand by a black box a piece of apparatus, such as four-terminal networks with two input and two output terminals, which performs a definite operation on the present and past of the input potential, but for which we do not necessarily have any information of the structure by which this operation is performed. On the other hand, a white box will be similar network in which we have built in the relation between input and output potentials in accordance with a definite structural plan for securing a previously determined input-output relation.

 
Norbert Wiener
 

As a brain researcher, I'd started out simply accepting the strictly objective principles of the behaviorist position. In the 1950s and early 1960s, all respectable neuroscientists thought in these terms. In those days, we wouldn't have been caught dead implying that consciousness or subjective experience can affect physical brain processing.
My first break with this thinking — although I certainly didn't see it that way at the time — came in a 1952 discussion of mind-brain theory in which I proposed a fundamentally new way of looking at consciousness. In it, I suggested that when we focus consciously on an object — and create a mental image for example — it's not because the brain pattern is a copy or neural representation of the perceived object, but because the brain experiences a special kind of interaction with that object, preparing the brain to deal with it.
I maintained that an identical feeling or thought on two separate occasions did not necessarily involve the identical nerve cells each time. Instead, it is the operational impact of the neural activity pattern as a whole that counts, and this depends on context — just as the word "lead" can mean different things, depending on the rest of the sentence.

 
Roger Wolcott Sperry
 

The structure of brain and nerves being similar, it is conceivable there may be present masses of such nerve coherers in the brain whose special function it may be to receive impulses brought from without through the connecting sequence of ether waves of appropriate order of magnitude. Röntgen has familiarized us with an order of vibrations of extreme minuteness compared with the smallest waves with which we have hitherto been acquainted, and of dimensions comparable with the distances between the centers of the atoms of which the material universe is built up; and there is no reason to suppose that we have here reached the limit of frequency. It is known that the action of thought is accompanied by certain molecular movements in the brain, and here we have physical vibrations capable, from their extreme minuteness, of acting direct on individual molecules, while their rapidity approaches that of the internal and external movements of the atoms themselves.
Confirmation of telepathic phenomena is afforded by many converging experiments and by many spontaneous occurrences only thus intelligible. The most varied proof, perhaps, is drawn from analysis of the subconscious workings of the mind, when these, whether by accident or design, are brought into conscious survey. … This is not the place for details, but the vis medicatrix thus evoked, as it were, from the depths of the organism, is of good omen for the upward evolution of mankind.

 
William Crookes
 

Even when the sensory objects to be known are in the proximity, when the difference is not taken in, the mind does not cause a break in Yoga.

 
Ramana Maharshi
 

Any model or description that leaves out conscious forces ... is bound to be sadly incomplete and unsatisfactory ... This scheme is one that puts mind back over matter, in a sense, not under or outside or beside it. It is a scheme that idealizes ideas and ideals over physical and chemical interactions, nerve impulse traffic, and DNA. It is a brain model in which conscious mental psychic forces are recognized to be the crowning achievement of some five hundred million years or more of evolution.

 
Roger Wolcott Sperry
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