DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM   

Go Back   DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM > Off Topic Lounge

Off Topic Lounge All Discussions Not Related To Drumming

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 08-03-2014, 04:27 PM
wy yung wy yung is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,029
Default Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

Hi all.

Recently I have been dealing with doctors who specialize in brain surgery. I may have a brain problem. Who'd have thought I even had one? Certainly not me!

Things go wrong. I was teaching a prominent DW member some years ago when the entire left side of my body was numb! Weird.

So anyway...

During a conversation with a neurosurgeon I learned that current experiments may show that choices thought to be made by the subconscious, may actually pre-empt conscious thought by up to 7 seconds!!!

I immediately thought about how this affects musical choices. On a jazz gig, for example, one must express "in the moment".

How can we then figure in 7 seconds?

As it turns out 1.5 seconds seems to be more usual.

But still.....

Thoughts?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-03-2014, 04:41 PM
wy yung wy yung is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,029
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

Forgot; how did guys like Bird and Dizzy respond so quickly within a question and answer musical enviroment?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-03-2014, 04:48 PM
GRUNTERSDAD's Avatar
GRUNTERSDAD GRUNTERSDAD is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Florida's West Coast
Posts: 15,639
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

I'm sure the 7 or 1.5 may be an average and these guys were probably at the fast end of the spectrum and it could be that all of their training improved that, and maybe rehearsed things are different. My cousin stutters very badly, has since childhood, but things she knows like songs, poems come out without a hitch.
__________________
Thank you for sharing my day.
Gretsch Renown
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-03-2014, 04:57 PM
wy yung wy yung is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,029
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

Interesting. The doctor told me that alzsimers patients who have musical skills can often still play. Even though their minds have long since gone the way of the dodo.

The brain is apparently so complex it stores up to 10 million volumes of information!!!!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-03-2014, 06:58 PM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 13,888
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

Quote:
Originally Posted by wy yung View Post
Forgot; how did guys like Bird and Dizzy respond so quickly within a question and answer musical enviroment?
My 2 shekels...my opinion only...when the entire band is riding the same wave...musicians who are able to transcend conscious thought.... have greatly enhanced abilities to anticipate....they almost know what's coming. It's like when you get past the realm of conscious thought, and are in "the zone"....you are ultra sensitive, and without the "background chatter" of the conscious mind, the musician is able to reach a state of understanding, where your sense of prediction, is firing on all 8. I believe it's easy for them. Especially when you've been playing with the same group of people....you get to learn their style.

Friday night...just for a moment...I experienced this. The bass player was taking an accompanied solo, and the guitar player was playing rhythm. When it came time for the 2nd chord progression of the bass solo to begin, the guitar player....and I....out of the blue, automatically started playing/feeling a support figure that was spot on identical. It just happened. It synced perfectly, and was seamless like it was planned, but it wasn't. We both looked at each other and just smiled. Coincidence? Perhaps. I like to think we were riding the exact same wave, and were in shared territory.
__________________
Great art is born out of great pain.

Gomez Addams

Last edited by larryace; 08-03-2014 at 07:08 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-03-2014, 10:33 PM
JimFiore's Avatar
JimFiore JimFiore is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Omicron Persei 8
Posts: 723
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

Quote:
Originally Posted by wy yung View Post
During a conversation with a neurosurgeon I learned that current experiments may show that choices thought to be made by the subconscious, may actually pre-empt conscious thought by up to 7 seconds!!!
Which does not mean that all conscious action is actually decided a few seconds prior.
__________________
"Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear..."
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-04-2014, 12:05 AM
dzarren dzarren is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 89
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

Free will cannot exist in any coherent form of reality. There simply is no room for it unless you forgo logic and introduce magic.

Either our wills are determined by natural laws, and are not within our control, or they are dictated (at least to some degree) by random chance, which again, we have no control over.


With musicians and the like, the "decision making" of improvisation leaves our conscious desires, and I think that what we play "in the moment" is more of an expression of the subconscious mind.
Which I might add, is also not under our conscious control, this time by definition.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-04-2014, 02:11 AM
Anon La Ply's Avatar
Anon La Ply Anon La Ply is offline
Renegade
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Cyberspace
Posts: 4,774
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

Hal Galper video, esp at 5 mins, talks about how the mind works when we play music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_7DgCrziI8 (this is an edited video - there's a full lesson on YT)

Neuroscientist, Sam Harris has spoken extensively on the subject of free will, or lack, including reference to the experiments mentioned in the OP. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcZSLX3eQJE

It's well known that unconscious responses are much faster than conscious thought (which Hal Galper spoke about) - fight-or-flight etc.

So the lag noted in experiments is a matter of speed discrepancy between layers of perception. The discrepancy is due to the time it takes for our relatively slow cerebral cortex to process information.
__________________
Soundcloud

YouTube

Off-the-wall
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-04-2014, 02:17 AM
wy yung wy yung is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,029
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

"Slow cerebral cortex..."

Man, I am in trouble! :D
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-04-2014, 03:20 AM
Anon La Ply's Avatar
Anon La Ply Anon La Ply is offline
Renegade
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Cyberspace
Posts: 4,774
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

Yep, the ole cells just slowly wind down ...

Here's another of Hal Galper's that touches on the moment-by-moment playing process https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9TavIO6PYU
__________________
Soundcloud

YouTube

Off-the-wall
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-04-2014, 04:15 AM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 13,888
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

Great video. Thanks for reminding me to watch that again G.
__________________
Great art is born out of great pain.

Gomez Addams
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-04-2014, 06:16 PM
wsabol's Avatar
wsabol wsabol is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,401
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

Just a couple things to say.

Its important to clarify what you mean when you say "free will", because it can have different implications depending on the context. Absolute willful freedom, doesn't exist, under the argument proposed by dzarren - i think we can all agree on that.. Conscious free will is different and characterized by the feeling that you have the freedom of choice - "you" have a "choose" in how you behave, what you say, etc. Subconscious will is governed by neurotransmitters, hormones, and external stimuli that exist beyond your "self" and behave outside your conscious will, but nevertheless affects your conscious will. This includes fight/flight and psychological disorders, but its more involved than that. Research in this area is changing the way we think about the "self", and is chilling to think about what they are doing and finding. Nevertheless, its really interesting.

I more or less agree with Larry of the 'playing in the moment' stuff. Great improvisation is about moving the music making activity from conscious thought and motor skills back to the areas for language or an 'subconscious' motor control - in the same way we 'improvise' everyday conversation and interaction. That is the level of the brain where we want to cultivate musical experience. And its that level of the brain that isn't subject to the 1.5 - 7 delay.

By the way that experiment goes as follows. The subject is asked to randomly select pick between two identical objects. They are until no time constraints to do this. The examiners found that the brain makes the decision of which object to choose 1.5-7 seconds before the subject thinks they have made the decision. You can see areas of the brain light up on the scanner before you see the subject make a decision.

and Sam Harris is awesome.
__________________
"Lay the backbeat home."
-Donny Hathaway
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-04-2014, 07:10 PM
eclipseownzu's Avatar
eclipseownzu eclipseownzu is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: New London, CT
Posts: 939
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

Read the book "Blink" by Malcom Gladwell. There is quite a bit of validity to what Wy is saying, there has been mountains of research put into the science of why we make the choices we make. In the end you would need to live in a complete vaccuum, devoid of all stimulus in order to make a truely unbiased decision.


I dont know how this relates to music necessarily, but I am sure that all of the musical input we take in have an effect on what we output. I listen to mostly rock and metal music therefore the output from my unconscious mind is an amalgamation of the music I have listened to throughout my life. You brain can process all of that data and spit out a result faster then most of us can imagine. I am sure in a musical situation we are not even aware of why we do the things we do sometimes.
__________________
www.reverbnation.com/stikpin
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-04-2014, 08:08 PM
JimFiore's Avatar
JimFiore JimFiore is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Omicron Persei 8
Posts: 723
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

Quote:
Originally Posted by wsabol View Post
The examiners found that the brain makes the decision of which object to choose 1.5-7 seconds before the subject thinks they have made the decision. You can see areas of the brain light up on the scanner before you see the subject make a decision.
If the interpretation of the results of this experiment are that we don't have free will (in the ordinary sense), I suggest that people are not thinking deeply about the experiment and its constraints. I am not a researcher in the field but I've read enough about it to understand that popular presentation of these experiments is not always in line with a rigorous scientific explanation. First of all, brain imaging is in its infancy. Although we know that "area x is responsible for y" we still don't have a complete understanding of the interconnections and subtleties involved. Second, for the sake of argument let's pretend that we do have a perfect understanding of the process and if area x lights up we can make definitive conclusions on what it means. Further, let's assume that said conclusion is that "a decision has been made". If this precludes the subject's conscious thought of it by a couple seconds, this doesn't mean that the subject does not have free will. What it means is that under these conditions, the subject's choice is determined subconsciously. But the choice is still determined by the subject's memories, experiences, thoughts, etc. leading up to that point. Further, it says nothing about deliberative action as the result of contemplation. By its very design this experiment, to me at least, seems focused on testing simple and subconscious reaction to stimuli. Seriously, we're talking about selecting between two random objects. It's completely reactive and reflexive, there is nothing to consider or ponder or analyze.

Besides, it's entirely possible that seeing those areas light up is, in fact, part of the analysis that leads to the subject's conscious choice.


What bothers me about this is that it seems that people are drawing an unwarranted conclusion, namely that all of our conscious choices have been made by our subconscious mind a few seconds ago. While this might seem plausible if we consider something like choosing a flavor at the ice cream stand, it does not stand up to scrutiny in everyday life. Consider a bunch of sprinters waiting for the gun to go off. They do not know precisely when the gun will fire yet we don't see a bunch of people beginning to run a couple seconds after it does. We know they don't start instantly, there is a lag of maybe 150 milliseconds, but that is due to nerve transmit time, muscle activation time and brain response time to external stimuli. And please don't tell me that a sprinter doesn't consciously think "go!" at that instant. I've run enough races to know otherwise.
__________________
"Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear..."
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-04-2014, 08:36 PM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 13,888
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

Mmm I want a piece of blueberry pie.
__________________
Great art is born out of great pain.

Gomez Addams
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-04-2014, 09:35 PM
wsabol's Avatar
wsabol wsabol is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,401
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimFiore View Post
Further, it says nothing about deliberative action as the result of contemplation. By its very design this experiment, to me at least, seems focused on testing simple and subconscious reaction to stimuli. Seriously, we're talking about selecting between two random objects. It's completely reactive and reflexive, there is nothing to consider or ponder or analyze.
You're right that experiment in particular doesn't say anything directly about the nature of freewill, and drawing that conclusion is reading too much into it.

Consider though that this is an amazingly arbitrary task: pick a box. It's meant to be completely independent of your memories, experiences, thoughts, etc. The expectation is to see a coincidence between brain activity and the point at which a decision is made. But with that delay in mind, it says that your brain knows what box you are going to pick before "you" do - which is crazy to assert, but hard not to think. Conservatively I think one could easily say that there is something happening at the level of the brain during decision making that is fundamentally different than what thought... and that is no small statement.

Also, this isn't the end all be all of free-will experiments, and you shouldn't ride off the whole argument with the results of this one experiment. From Neurotransmitter and hormone manipulation to the destruction, or simply the application of pressure, to different parts of the brain can compel, or worse, coerce people to behave fundamentally differently. All the evidence says that our cognition, personalities, memories, moods, aspirations, and our sense of "self" is more complication and more a product of the brain and our biochemistry than we had thought.
__________________
"Lay the backbeat home."
-Donny Hathaway

Last edited by wsabol; 08-04-2014 at 09:58 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 08-04-2014, 09:58 PM
JimFiore's Avatar
JimFiore JimFiore is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Omicron Persei 8
Posts: 723
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

Quote:
Originally Posted by wsabol View Post
All the evidence says that our cognition, personalities, memories, moods, aspirations, and our sense of "self" is more complication and more a product of the brain and our biochemistry than we had thought.
Everything I have seen leads me to believe that "you are your brain chemistry". Otherwise you wind up following Descartes down the path of mind-body dualism, and good luck with that.
__________________
"Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear..."
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 08-05-2014, 02:11 AM
Anon La Ply's Avatar
Anon La Ply Anon La Ply is offline
Renegade
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Cyberspace
Posts: 4,774
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

When you think about it, it's not surprising that simple parts of the brain/mind respond more quickly than the complex processing centre. It would be odd if they didn't.

That is the entire point of practice, to make the actions so ingrained that they can be left to unconscious processes (lower brain and nervous system) while the conscious mind can sit in a relaxed and diffuse state, immersed in the music.

The effect of music on the brain is seemingly unlike anything else. http://psychcentral.com/lib/music-ho...tions/00017356
"Music involves subtle violations of timing and, because we know through experience that music is not threatening, these violations are ultimately identified by the frontal lobes as a source of pleasure. The expectation builds anticipation, which, when met, results in the reward reaction".
Not sure how this fits into today's music situation.
__________________
Soundcloud

YouTube

Off-the-wall
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 08-05-2014, 02:20 AM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 13,888
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon La Ply View Post

That is the entire point of practice, to make the actions so ingrained that they can be left to unconscious processes (lower brain and nervous system) while the conscious mind can sit in a relaxed and diffuse state, immersed in the music.......


Not sure how this fits into today's music situation.
I'm going to print the first paragraph out and hang it in my practice studio. Brilliant.

As far as the last line, a musician friend of mine works big events, setting up and all that. The other night he worked the Miley Cyrus concert. She came out spread eagle on the hood of a car. Then she got on the mic and dropped the F bomb a few times before taking on water and spitting it on the front rows. She did this multiple times, the water thing. After hearing that I commented that Judy Garland must be rolling over in her grave.

Who do you question, Miley Cyrus, or the people (girls age 10 - 14) who pay to see this stuff? As long as they're happy I guess I have nothing to complain about. But I will anyway :)
__________________
Great art is born out of great pain.

Gomez Addams
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 08-05-2014, 02:57 AM
Anon La Ply's Avatar
Anon La Ply Anon La Ply is offline
Renegade
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Cyberspace
Posts: 4,774
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

To be fair, Lar, Iggy Pop rolled in broken glass on stage, Jimi set his instrument alight and The Who destroyed their instruments. Then you have the early punk bands and their antics, which Miley seems to be drawing from. Mostly teen entertainment, or it used to be.

Meanwhile older listeners are increasingly getting into music with programmed drums. It doesn't have the "danger" of irregularity - everything is guaranteed to be bang on. More people are seemingly wanting to be reassured by music rather than stimulated.
__________________
Soundcloud

YouTube

Off-the-wall
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 08-05-2014, 04:18 AM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 13,888
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

Yea but Pol, the audience is 10 to 14 YO little girls. That makes a difference in my mind.
__________________
Great art is born out of great pain.

Gomez Addams
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 08-05-2014, 04:13 PM
JimFiore's Avatar
JimFiore JimFiore is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Omicron Persei 8
Posts: 723
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

Miley Cyrus is not a problem. Miley Cyrus is a symptom.
__________________
"Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear..."
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 08-05-2014, 04:21 PM
wy yung wy yung is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,029
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

Miley is a product.

It is fascinating and sad to behold the sexualization of Miley Cyrus.

But this is not a Miley thread and I have learned much so far. Let us leave MC behind please.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 08-07-2014, 06:52 PM
JimFiore's Avatar
JimFiore JimFiore is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Omicron Persei 8
Posts: 723
Default Re: Neuroscience. Free will may not exist. So, Bird's solos???

The product is the symptom!

She's a symptom, she's a product. She's two, two, two things in one!

(See how commercialization and marketing invades our brains? I'm sure every American over the age of 40 got the above reference.)
__________________
"Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear..."
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT +2. The time now is 11:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com