Intelligence and the Brain

12 Feb

Intelligence and the Brain: Recent Advances in Understanding How the Brain Works with Jeff Hawkins

A Wonderful Introduction to understand how Intelligence emerges!

On Intelligence – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

According to Hawkins, intelligence emerges in the cerebral cortex, a sheet folded into six layers that consists of many regions. A hierarchical cortical structure guides the functional principles of each region in the cortex. What then is the fundamental magic of the brain? Dynamic predictions based on incoming information. These predictions start in the lower layers of hierarchy and are sent to the upper layers of each region. When predictions are correct, the situation is correctly understood. Incorrect predictions require additional global interpretation and prediction at higher layers. Prediction results from higher levels are sent back to lower layers to help the understanding of incoming information. This system is memory-based: the associative memory of recurrent connections enables new predictions based on past information. In short, Hawkins says that emerging intelligence in the brain is based on the ability to make predictions based on associative memory with invariant representations.

On Intelligence with Jeff Hawkins – Conversations with History


the cerebral cortex, sheet folded into six layers that consists of many regions”

How is this structured in content and context ?

I would like to presume that this may amount to the six planes of “The Harmony Model” and the corresponding sections, sectors, dimensions etc.

Jeff Hawkins, “On Open Intelligence”

The emergence of mind and emotion in the evolution of neocortex.


The most deeply transformative concept for the growth of 21st Century psychiatry is the constellation of the chaotic dynamics of the brain. Brains are no longer seen as rational systems that are plagued with emotional disorders reflecting primitives inherited from our animal ancestors. Brains are dynamical systems that continually create patterns by acting intentionally into the environment and shaping themselves in accord with the sensory consequences of their intended actions. Emotions are now seen not as reversions to animal behaviors but as the sources of force and energy that brains require for the actions they take to understand the world and themselves. Humans are unique in experiencing consciousness of their own actions, which they experience as conscience: guilt, shame, pride and joy. Chaotic brain dynamics strives always for unity and harmony, but as a necessary condition for adaptation to a changing world, it repeatedly lapses into disorder. The successes are seen in the normal unity of consciousness; the failures are seen in the disorders that we rightly label the schizophrenias and the less severe character disorders. The foundation for healthy unity is revealed by studies in the evolution of brains, in particular the way in which neocortex of mammals emerged from the primitive allocortex of reptiles. The amazing facts of brain dynamics are now falling into several places. The power-law connectivity of cortex supports the scale-free dynamics of the global workspace in brains ranging from mouse to whale. That dynamics in humans holds the secrets of speech and symbol utilization. By recursive interactions in vast areas of human neocortex the scale-free connectivity supports our unified consciousness. Here in this dynamics are to be sought the keys to understanding and treating the disorders that uniquely plague the human mind.” (my emphasis)

Emergence of mind and emotion in the evolution of neocortex

Nice online References :-

On Amygdala (emotion relevant)!po=34.5238

On the neocortex (Intelligence relevant)

Smile & take a look at the “The Amygdala Hijacking” scenario!!

Amygdala hijack:

the amygdala…..hijacks the rational brain. This emotional brain activity processes information milliseconds earlier than the rational brain, so in case of a match, the amygdala acts before any possible direction from the neocortex can be received.This emotional brain activity processes information milliseconds earlier than the rational brain, so in case of a match, the amygdala acts before any possible direction from the neocortex can be received. When the amygdala perceives a threat, it can lead that person to react irrationally and destructively….

… The emotional component evolved very early: Do I eat it, or does it eat me?”

Famous Amygdala Hijacks:

“When the amygdala is active with blood and oxygen, there is less activation in the prefrontal cortex. Our thinking power is disrupted and there are deficits in our problem solving, because the blood and oxygen are in the amygdala versus the prefrontal cortex. It is like losing 10 to 15 IQ points temporarily, which explains “what was I thinking?” So we are thinking but with less capacity and brain power.”



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