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Multisense Perception Model

20th Century Perception Model

Visual sense is an ’emergent’ (unexplained) ‘representation’ of neurological computations based on optics and conditioning.
Photons smack into molecules in the rod and cone cells into the retina which mechanically trigger a succession of electrochemical ‘signals’ through the cells of the optic nerve and visual cortex.
The process is deterministic and passive until it gets to the cortex, where the signals are actively interpreted through cognitive associations, memory, innately hardwired pattern matching, etc. The final computations are interpreted in such a way as to somehow re-present a simplified reconstruction of the aggregate distribution of trillions of photons, their energy states, location, and geometric groupings into a dynamic narrative.
What this model fails to consider is that there is no original presentation to be simulated. It takes for granted the very perception process it purports to explain, leaving the ‘Hard Part’ to fend for itself in the dark hole left from the extraction of the cerebral Homunculus. It is not clear why such a representation would be useful if the brain can both encode and decode the information it contains, nor is it explained where this final reconstructive simulation takes place…where do the colors come from?

Multisense Perception Model

Once we turn reality right-side up, so that the information and data is the abstract representation of the concrete images, colors, and forms which present themselves to us visually, we can see that the photon model may not be the best model as far as visual perception is concerned.
In the Multisense model, human scale awareness is parallel and concurrent with the subordinate levels of sense being experienced by organs, cells, and molecules. There are no collisions of photons, only photosensitive molecules responding interactively with the changes in their physical environment. They are blooming and shrinking in synch with all of the exposed surfaces that are illuminating them. We are seeing though our eyes, their cells, and their molecules – all of them direct descendants of a single dividing zygote – all of them parts of ‘us’.
In the picture, the pink represents receptive sensitivity and the yellow is intentional motive. We see someone smile and are able to feel an emotion through the smile just as we are able to see an image through pixels or cells. Our sense capacities bridge the gap – mirror neurons, sure, but mirroring what? Signals are what? Feelings. That’s all they are. Experiences. Ours are big and deep and complicated but I think that the principle is the same all the way down to the atom. We see, we feel, we respond.
There is no quantum smile ensemble that physically travels from one person’s mouth to another person’s eye. It would certainly seem like their must be if we looked at it from a completely foreign perspective. We would assume, as physicists do, a purely literal universe of mechanical possibilities and devise exhaustive analyses to predict smile probabilities. Those probabilities would probably work quite well. It is certainly possible to figure out unifying principles of how often and under what circumstances smiles are returned and how glances become entangled.
If instead we take our own experience as a template for real experiences of electromagnetic activity in a biochemical context (and isn’t that what it really is?) and imagine that it evolved from a hierarchy of simpler subjective forms, we arrive at a microcosm which has a figurative, interpretive side as well as a literal, mechanical side. It’s not that hard to conceive of to me. Matter and space on the outside, sense and time on the inside. What’s the big problem?
The key is to realize that the sense of the inside is very different, 100% opposite in fact, from the sense of the outside. It scales up differently. Interior sense doesn’t accumulate like Lego blocks, adding more and more discrete details on different scales. It works the opposite way, condensing qualitatively so that each moment presents a rich, multiplexed narrative of worlds and characters. It peels away appearances to point to deeper semantic connections.
Think of how we recognize a smile in another person’s face with layers of subtle meaning – projected emotions and motives which we share. We can tell when other primates smile too, but it gets a little more fanciful the further out from our own species we go. It seems like a dog or a dolphin is smiling, but who knows for sure. All we can do is have a sense of what might be sharable.
On an atomic level, I would imagine a much more mathematical range of possibilities, but that could just be anthropocentric. What we see of an atom’s smile through a photomultiplier may not be even 1% of the story, just as the movement of facial muscles and optical recognition circuitry in the brain are not even 1% of who we are and why we smile.


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