• You mention pattern-matching. Are you saying there’s a little computer in the head that compares them?
    • No, that is a just short-hand phrase that is well-established.
    • The actual mechanism is that the two patterns trigger the same downstream signals. This occurs due to repeated experiences invoking Hebb’s Law.
  • What is intuition?
    • A primary avenue through which we achieve intuition is with the Almost Gate. Concepts that are not identical are treated as the same.
  • Is there a Left-Right split in the brain? No, but there are lateral preferences in the cortex.
    • One hemisphere is dominant for language and handedness. The other hemisphere handles experience as patterns and sequences.
    • Left-Right split is too stark a term. The hemispheres communicate across the corpus callosum frequently as thoughts travel in our brain.
  • Do two thoughts go on simultaneously in the brain?
    • Yes, sensory data comes into both sides of the brain at the same time. They are handled simultaneously. The physical parallelism in brain and cortical structures make a single thought stream a needless assumption. Evidence must be produced to demonstrate the loss of parallel thoughts rather than visa versa.
  • What’s the difference between concept elevator and neural cascade?
    • They refer to the same process, but from different perspectives.
    • Concept elevator is the term for the increasing abstraction of our thoughts as they travel deeper into our cortex, especially the executive areas.
    • Neural cascade is the term for the decreasing fidelity of our current thoughts with respect to current physical reality, which explains how two people can have a different take on situation.
  • In the scope, what do you mean by Finite Mind?
    • Working storage is constrained, usually estimated as 7 chunks of information can be considered at once.
    • There also is the 100-step rule of thumb. From sensory input to highest cognition (if the sensation ascends that far) is about 50 transfers of neural information, with a corresponding 50 transfers from our decision to its execution.
    • In addition, each person has a cycle of interest, a limited set of concepts. Attention switches through one’s cycle of interest. Most easily noticed in meditation, when no situational items demand immediate action.
  • Why does Mental Construction call the brain a general rule extraction machine?
    • That’s not quite what right. The cortex, the outermost layer of the brain, is a rule extraction machine. It has a very uniform layered structure of neurons. Genetics, for example, creates an occipital lobe hard-wired to detect movement and edges. It’s the patterns or rules of experience which cement the connections that we use to identify objects and positions relative to us.
  • What is the difference between a word and a pattern?
    • Good question to refer to the glossary. A word is a specialized pattern that has a linguistic entity, used to describe our world, to enable us to understand it, communicate about it, and make it do our will. A pattern, in Mental Construction, is a collection of features that the non-dominant hemisphere uses. Communication across the corpus callosum allows the selection of the best description to be used.
  • How comes Mental Construction doesn’t discuss consciousness in any depth?
    • Establishing the link between neural activity and cognition was sufficiently daunting. Consciousness would add a complexity that would obscure Mental Constructions points.
  • What are all the neural pathways within the brain about?
  • Is the 100-step rule due to the corpus callosum?
    • No. The 100-step rule estimates the number of neural thresholds a sensation needs to surmount to be recognized and then reacted to. Although this is a simplification, it’s best thought as the count as the pattern travels forward in its hemisphere. The communication across the corpus callosum is a synchronization of patterns (word in the dominant and pattern in the non-dominant hemisphere).
  • Doesn’t fMRI already tell us how the brain works?
    • Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging is the most detailed observation available of neuron functioning. It’s important to know that 1 mm surface area of the cortex’s 2000 sq. cm is analyzed. Despite that small area, the fMRI result covers a few million neurons with tens of billions of synapses. The optical nerve has 1 million nerves in it. Much smaller than the fMRI resolution.
    • fMRI does not give information about individual neurons or small group actions.


  • What’s the difference between blue underlined words and green underlined words?
    • Clicking on blue underlined words will take you to another page, which deals further with the words underlined.
    • Clicking on green underlined words will popup a message box with a footnote
  • I linked in to the site. Where should I start?
    • If you’re methodical, work your way through the Table of Contents.
    • Follow the links that interest you. That requires giving wide latitude to ideas not yet placed in context.
  • Why aren’t all the terms used explained?
    • They are when they are first used. Afterwards, you can click on the glossary in the side menu. It lists definitions as well as meanings used in the web site.
    • If you still can’t find the meaning, post a comment on that page. Then I’ll add the definition.
  • Why are there so many diagrams?
    • Many people organize information in patterns rather than words.

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