A Field Trip into the Mind

A Field Trip into the Mind via the COMParison Process

By Herb Wiggins, M.D. Clinical Neurosciences; Discoverer/Creator of the Comparison Process/COMP Theory/Model; 14 Mar. 2014

1. Empirical introspection
2. Commonality establishing validity in introspection; Rule of Commonality (RoC); related to confirmation of scientific findings;
3. Structure/function relationships in brain as a basis for commonality; common cortical cell columns in most all persons
4. Comparison Process (COMP) as the basis of the mind’s higher level cortical functions.
5. Recognition as intrinsically COMP; mental tasks basically similar from person to person, and this establishes the commonality of reading, indexing, etc.
6. The immense complexity of the CCC’s and the impossibility of understanding all of the details/complexity of 10K’s of neurons and interactions of 1000’s of synapses of a neuron with other 10K’s of neurons.

7. Our field trip begins in ancient Sumeria with the Epic of Gilgamesh and his emotions; philias and emotions; Flood stories and possible sources of the myth.
8. To Joseph of the many colors coat and ancient Egypt’s prediction from observation
9. Limits of science which cannot verify our history very well; The past cannot be studied in all cases; no valid scientific evidence that Julius Caesar, ever lived ever lived; The grieving of Achilles like the grieving of Gilgamesh.
10. Cassandra of Troy and prophecy/prediction; a new understanding of forecasting and credibility; the meaning of some myths exposed as deeper than understood before;
11. The antiquity of human emotions. and abilities; The Calculus of Archimedes and of Newton/Leibniz 2000 years apart as a measure of commonality in creativity; Non-euclidean geometries, created FOUR times over.
12. Basis of the COMP by comparing moral laws, scientific laws, legal laws and the conscience in our frontal lobes.
13. Emotions, speech, creativity, moral laws, all comparison processes seen over 5500 years.
14. Motor vehicle laws as a complexity created upon the Pauli Exclusion principle; from the simple comes the complex.
15. Dreams and dream interpretations possibly valid in some cases by empirical introspection; dreams exist by the rule of commonality.
16. Medical substantiation and proofs of introspection being real and valid.
17. A field trip into dreams and the validity of the reports.
18. Substantiation of Freud’s repressed/lost memories by two dreams.
19. The magical, unreal qualities of dreams versus their basis in memories as well as their basis in creating stories and imaginations. flying in dreams; willful telekinesis in dreams
20 Mental processing speeds and computers; do computers make people think faster?
21. Consciousness’ complexity based upon the interactions, organizations and outputs of 100,000’s of cortical cell columns and processes.
22. Stream of Consciousness, Ulysses, and the demons of madness/mania; dreams and madness; delusions and the CCC’s output, the COMP, goes wrong; speaking in tongues as similar.
23. Where do good ideas come from in problem solving; the masses of voices of the CCC’s.
24. Recognition and when it goes wrong; illusions and delusions related; critical thinking necessary to deal with the COMP gone wrong; Pareidolia as a COMP experience and evidence of the COMP.
25. The recognition continuum from madnesses and delusions to accurate and valid recognitions; highly probable brain/mind recognitions imitated by Bayesian statistics in computer models of recognition
26. Dopamine and formation/facilitation of long term memory (LTM).

As a field biologist for over 50 years and experience and training in the neurosciences for 45 years, that field was remarkably similar to field biology in terms of discoveries, approaches, learning and methods, It’s a comfortable way to travel about. So here we go.

1. Essentially, in the article, “Empirical Introspection”, it was shown how to get inside our heads using the Comparison Process (COMP). Basically, human science and medical practice use the same method of observation, testing and then discovery of new findings, or in the case of medicine, diagnosis followed by treatment if possible or necessary.

Observations are reported in journals in the sciences and an equally legitimate report is filed for each patient, all of it documented as to findings, leading to conclusions called diagnoses, with a treatment plan, and so forth. The findings can all be verified by others following much the same methods, if they are true, and more can also be learned about the conditions/events being studied. It’s a valid method, scientifically. Or is most medical practice scientifically invalid?

2. The issue is commonality. That which exists in our universe is that which we all can detect in common. In other words, if that tree in my back yard is real, I can prove it by documentation, images and so forth. It exists despite/independently of my documentations, of course, but that makes it more real for those who cannot see it directly. In the same way events in the universe can be studied by the scientific method to show that they exist and are real by the carefully done, scientific studies, published in good literature, and then confirmed at least twice by other, credible, independent groups to establish if what was found is indeed real. These confirmations establish commonality. If the events in existence are real, then those can create technologies in most cases to take advantage of those real, recurring events in space/time. And they will work any where/any time in our universe, where the conditions are the same, for the last 15-20 B Yrs. and LY’s and in all spaces and times in between. & likely for billions of years into the future.

3. This similar kind of commonality can be developed for the human brain/mind. We know that the brain has structure/function relationships, which are stable and reliably there in almost all persons. If a person has a stroke in his speech centers, there will be damage to the speech output/function. The same is true for specific motor functions, & higher level functions throughout the brain. This has been established beyond all doubt.

In the same way the higher functions of language, thinking, music, facial recognition, visual information processing, movement, etc., have been localized to various regions in the brain. There is some variation in it, but it’s all pretty much the same from person to person. The same cortical cell columns which make up the outer layers of the brain, the cortex, when see on the microscopic sections show the same 6 layers, And over the cortex the EEG is the same, alpha, beta, theta, wherever tested. When the person sleeps the cortex is largely shut down, and we know that intact brain stem gives wakefulness to the cortex. The complex processes and abilities of the human brain/mind are found in the cortex. There are other connections, but when the cortex is damaged, the major functions may be lost forever, unless some healing is possible, but esp. in older persons, there is not much ability to recover completely from serious damage. This is fact.

The Cortex of the brain, the cortical cell columns (CCC) with their 6 layers invariant (except motor cortex is modestly different, lacking layer 4 and has Betz cells) are micrographically, virtually all the same from the the visual cortex, to the sensory, speech, hearing and frontal cortex, too. They do differ in function, tho, but given that each CCC, of the 100K’s of CCC’s, has 10K’s of neurons, with multiple and differing functions, yet still are almost all alike, save for, we assume, differences in synaptic connections, upwards of 1000’s per neuron.

Here we have a commonality of structure and therefore function. The Comparison Process is likely the dominant, high level function of each CCC. It’s the basis of the mind. It can function in many different ways from creating recognition, its basic function, to creativity, a form of recognition and much else, including language, vision, musical ability, motor performance, sensation, and is the modulator/mediator for the emotions via a dopamine system built into the CCC.

See the “Emotional Continuum”.

And here is the situation, when the COMP goes wrong we find delusions commonly, or mistakes in speech, or even mania and psychosis, too. But it can mostly be traced back to the cortical mediation by the COMP. If we want to investigate the mind/brain interface, we look to the COMP to give us guidance and insight as to what to look for, because the COMP is the basis of recognition via a tie in to the Long Term Memory (LTM), or with working memory in many cases. If we see someone we know, it triggers a feed of information to the visual cortex, creating a brain image, which gets observed by the Right inferior temporal lobe in the FFA, and we re-cognize that person. That is we “KNOW again”, based upon the COMP, comparing the image from the eyes with the LTM image. That’s what creates recognition of images. The exact physiology is way more complicated than we can imagine, but recognition is an established fact in the mind/brain interface, and we commonly accept that as a working model.

5. Recognition also works for language, and many other tasks, such as hearing, identifying voices and music by comparing with the LTM in the hearing centers. Speaking and reading by matching/comparing word sounds or written words, and meaning is given. If we want to look up a word in the dictionary, we use the COMP until we find the word, if it’s there, and the dictionary was created, order from disorder by alphabetizing the words by the comparison process. This we all have in common with others. We read and organize dictionaries, lists, indexes, phone books, maps, etc., by the same process, the comparison process. It’s universally used as it’s the basis of recognition, by the simple method given above. That is a part of empirical introspection.

What about descriptions and measurements? This has been treated before:


But suffice it to say the descriptions verbal are qualitative kinds of measurements. And descriptions using numbers are quantitative. There exist far fewer examples which can be measurements with respect to descriptions, which are far, far more adaptable, but of course, not necessarily mathematical.

6. As far as understanding HOW the COMP arises from those complicated CCC’s, that would involve solving the N-body problem for 10K’s of neurons with 1000’s each of synaptic connections to other neurons, too. That cannot be done, because the possible combinations which need to be understood in these complex systems is in the range of 10 exp millions or more. No computer, no matter how fast currently existing, or conceivable can sort thru all of that complexity of virtually unlimited size. But the commonality of functions of speech, language, hearing and so forth can all be located in the cortex as the primary information processing area for the higher functions. We therefore look at the CCC production being unable to comprehend the complexity of the neural networks in most of their details.

7. Let us now, having stated that, move backwards in time to the Mesopotamian area around the Sumerian civilization about 5500 years ago. From there we get the epic of Gilgamesh, which is the oldest known work from that area. In it we learn of Gilgamesh, a mighty man, and his friend, wild, untamed, yet still human, Enkidu. They were close friends. And here we find philias first, that of brotherly love, the same Philias from which Philadelphia was created, the City of Brotherly Love. This was not Eros, or other forms of love, but philias. And then Enkidu died. Gilgamesh was torn up by his grieving and loss. He grew angry and destructive and the people appealed to the gods for help.

But the point is this. Here was friendship which we know today, and there was anger, and loss and grieving over 5000 years ago. The tale is credible from our standpoint. We have seen and felt the same emotions ourselves and in others. Gilgamesh and Enkidu, regardless of their technological backwardness were noticeably, emotionally human. This establishes an historical continuum of the existence of recognizably modern human emotions to about the middle 4th C. B.C. It establishes the commonality of those emotions within most humans, whether then or up until today.

Gilgamesh even went so far as to meet Utnapishtim, who was the Sumerian equivalent of Noah. The Flood story is an ancient one and by means of the Atrahasis and Siusudras, as well as the later Greek Deucalion story of the Flood, we know something happened then, about the middle 4th C. B.C. Whether it was from an extended monsoon, or an asteroidal oceanic impact which put 10K’s of cubic miles of water into the atmosphere, which rained down over the Middle East and possibly elsewhere, we do not know. But there the first rainbow was also reported, which extra-ordinary depths of the rainbow have explored before in “Depths within Depths…”.


The brain is also like that. Depths within depths, the mind at the top, the CCC’s next and then the entire complex anatomy and cellular metabolism of the cells which supports it. The mind on top, the CCC’s doing their mysterious neurophysiological magic, which we are hard pressed to understand, although we can see the COMP working there during waking and occ. during sleep in dreams. Recalling and remembering dreams and even creating dreams through lucid dreaming, too.

So in the absence of any kind of detailed neurophysiological understanding which defies our limited sciences and math, we are left with the COMP to show us what is going on in the mind. And it works. Posit the COMP and we can understand better most languages, creativity, recognition and the metaphor/analogy/anecdote word cluster which arises, is produced from the comparison process, too. It provides a look into the mind. And we use the commonalities of experience to understand others’ minds, too.

8. From Gilgamesh we travel to the Palestine area about the year 2000 B.C., before it was known by that name and find the story of Joseph, son of Jacob, AKA Israel, with many brothers. His father favored him and it drew the envy and anger of his brothers. We can understand those emotions, too. Those are common enough today. So they took his coat of many colors and sold him into slavery in Egypt, where his father would not find him, thinking him dead. There Joseph had an experience of lust with Potiphar’s wife and was thrown into jail. But he was let out by his good character. And Pharaoh, the Per Ah, Great House, had a dream of the 7 fat cattle and the 7 lean Cattle.

Joseph knew the Nile flooded every year, but occasionally. there were serious droughts when as we now know, the monsoon failed in Ethiopia, which supplies the Blue Nile with most of its water, and thus Egyptian Nile, giving life and flooding and volcanic, rich silt to the land of Egypt during the yearly inundation there. He made this connection to the Per Ah’s dream. The story goes on. But we know those emotions, they all had. We each have seen them.

9. Science can give us very little information about history. This is a failing and limit to science. How can we study that which is no longer there? How can one experiment on and observe the past? Archeology is about as close as the sciences get to history, but what do we have but commonality and preponderance of evidence to know if Julius Caesar ever lived? Or Jeshua Ben Joseph or Mohammed or the Buddha? Nothing. The sciences cannot answer. So we rely upon commonality again. We recognize those emotions in Gilgamesh and Joseph. We recognize them in the Iliad of Homer, the Trojan War epic. We recognize those feelings and actions and their own recognitions of each other, throughout.history. And we see the grieving of Achilles over his lost friend, Patroklos, very similar to we saw in the Epic of Gilgamesh, over 2000 years before.

10. In Troy lived Cassandra and her brother, Alexandros, pious to the gods, young persons, the children of Priam of Troy, or Wilios, as the Mukenens (Myceneans) called it. They were given the gift of prophecy by the gods. But some gods, realizing it was too powerful a gift, gave them a compensating curse. All would know they could predict the future, but few would believe them. Here again is the power of myth, tho it’s real and true, unlike some other wild speculations. We see this again and again. “A Prophet is without honor even in his own land.” Prophets are not always/often believed, many have had that experience a few times. Who believed Churchill, that great statesman and a very rare person, a seer, who knew what Hitler was. and who knew before the end of WW2 what Stalin was up to in taking over eastern Europe? Though he was not believed until after those events had occurred and then many people didn’t care to acknowledge his rare talent, as related in C. P. Snow’s “The Variety of Men”.

That is the deeper meaning. The myth of Cassandra is a piquant and good reminder that people do not want to hear prophecies and even after being told the truth, and it occurs, they will not acknowledge it. It’s no myth. It’s a deep psychological insight as true today as it was 3300 years ago. Some truths are universal, esp. if the human emotions/mind have not changed very much in the long years of intervening time. Many of the Ancient Greek myths such as Sisyphus, or the Bed of Procrustes have deeper meanings. This shows the power of the COMP to understand, to creatively find truths and meaning. How many here reading this have EVER considered the deeper meaning of the myth about Cassandra and prophecy? Yet, we can see it’s true. We can understand it. and how? We have the same COMP working in our brains.

11. We see much the same feelings and emotions in the ancient Greek plays of the 5th/4th C. BC. up to present times. From the Oresteian trilogy of Aeschylus through the “Lysistrata” of Aristophanes, we see them in full display 2400 years ago. And again, from the histories and stories preserved right from the Roman times, to Chaucer and up into current events.

Therefore, by the evidence of commonality, the Rule of Commonality (RoC), we know that human emotions have been very much like ours for the last 5500 years. We see recognition in them as well, as they all knew each other, too. They had CCC and the COMP then, very much similar to us at Present.

What is responsible for this stability in the emotions? Human brain structure and genetics. By the COMP we see across all cultures, all times for the last 5,500 years, the same emotions and the same recognition processes in the human brain. On the basis of the RoC, then we know those are likely real and true. Love exists, grieving exists, crying and the emotions exist in each of us and everywhere for humans for at least the last 5500 years. The sciences are silent upon these facts. yet our long, detailed histories, literature and the RoC established them as true. The sciences are silent on morality and many other spiritual matters. Does morality exist, tho the sciences cannot study it and tell us if “You will not kill” is good or bad? Shall we kill and steal and create damage because the sciences cannot study these and give an empirically true and well confirmed answer? No.

Did Archimedes create the Calculus in about 300 BC? Yes. Did Newton and Leibniz create their very similar versions of the calculus 2000 years later? Yes. Commonality, once again. The same COMP function from the same genetics/brain structures of the cortical cell columns. Virtually the same insights leading to the 3, independent, very similar creations of the calculus.

The Rule of Commonality establishes the Comparison Process in our cortex, too. We do the same COMP as our neighbors do, and as our ancestors did, also. We can understand Hittite and ancient Sumerian even this day, tho some of it is over 5000 years old, using the COMP to translate dead languages, even as were the Linear B tablets from old Mukena of the Trojan War, and Hittite language from the time of the Trojan War, as well. In those, we see the same emotions, the same recognitions, the same COMP working in the past and up to present.

We organize and read phone books and dictionaries and all those similar forms by the same process, the COMP. We all read English by the same means, too. Recognition of words, tied to meanings in our LTM. By the RoC which establishes the validity of the sciences, and the validity of most modern medical practice, as well. It’s not certain in all cases, but does not have to be. Or are we to deny the existence of migraine headaches and pleasure and pain, too?

Or will we deny the same process in the creation of the THREE(perhaps 4) independently created non-Euclidean geometries of Gauss, Riemann, and Lobachevski, as well as the same process of creativity documented in the evolutionary model by Wallace and Darwin, each some 25 years apart? And of the 12th C. monk who also created the basis of a non-Euclidean geometry 500 years before Gauss?

12. Let’s look into how the COMP was discovered/created. I’ve studied these matters for at least 45 years. It’s reasonable to conclude that my insights have a good deal of knowledge, experience and judgement behind them. The insight came with the thought that the structure of our moral laws based upon religion, was very similar to the structure of our physical laws. This was sort of interesting. How is it possible that our Judeo-Christian moral laws, could have created the similar physical laws? Something in common must be acting. For what do we find in moral laws? We have prescriptions for specific actions we can and cannot do. And how do we know what those laws are, sitting there thinking? Because we COMPARE Each of ours and others’ behaviors to the moral laws, and see if we break them, or obey them. We compare in our minds the physical laws to events in existence, which we have established by careful testing and observation, both COMP tasks, and those events do correspond.

At first came the thought that it was the J-C moral laws’ structure which created the same, stable form of the laws which describe the universe’s working. This was why science first arose in the West, because Physical Laws correspond to the structure of moral laws. We compare in each to see if events work that way. There is a commonality among them. If that were the case that only cultures created the two systems of laws, Moral and Scientific, then no one else could figure them out unless Jewish or Christian. Clearly, something else was going on, because persons of all persuasions anywhere on the planet can be converted to Christianity and observe those laws, and persons of all races and cultures and languages can also do very good science and understand it from learning in schools, as well.

13. And this common element is the Comparison Process in our brain cortices. Common to all humans, everywhere, for 1000’s of years, because the emotional systems within which those moral laws can only work, has been unchanged for 1000’s of years, too. Stability & commonality. Very similar moral and religious laws, the same mind/brain processes working for 1000’s of years, across many, many widely differing cultures, languages and places, means a common process is working in the human brain. And that marked the discovery, and realization of the COMP. The Comparison Process is the lowest common denominator of most all higher level thought processes so far tested. Analogies, metaphors, even logic and mathematics all arise from it secondarily. The COMP is very likely the primary thinking process..

Again, a creative insight by the comparison process. Completely consistent with the COMP model. We can use the COMP to look into the minds of our creative people and see what’s going on in there, the same as they read words, read dictionaries, and maps, and street addresses, too. If it does the one, it can do most all, potentially. It’s the same process, allowing for the many variations, which is easily acceptable.

Our consciences are little more than an internalized moral code in our LTM, accessible by our brains. With that we test and check our behaviors against our own actions and those of others. This is the COMP because testing and checking are the COMP, also. In the Legal laws, the cops police us and govern us by them. They and WE know when a car runs a red light, or when someone hits another person, or otherwise injures them. Most all of us have the comparison processes to recognize these actions as illegal.The conscience in our frontal lobes corresponds very well to moral laws, legal laws as well as physical laws of the universe in the way they are created and set up to be read and applied by the comparison process.

14. As an aside, the vast majority of our motor vehicle laws are based upon the simple Exclusion Principle created/discovered by Pauli. It’s easy to see. No two fermions, normal matter, can occupy the same space at the same time. If we collide there is bound to be damage of some kind, If we run over other persons or into buildings, other cars or objects, there will be damage. The most of vehicular laws are set up to deal with this possibility and try to avoid/minimize this problem by car lanes, traffic regulating lights and signs and other means, to prevent accidents and provide remedies in case such damage/injuries should occur.

By comparing the Pauli Exclusion Principle to our traffic laws, we can recognize/see/understand that this is true. We can replace most of the legal complexities and regs/rules by “Don’t run into any person/thing and cause damage.” That’s all that’s needed. The rest is just enforcement and remedies for damages. If someone breaks that rule, they get nailed by the laws as harshly as the damage demands. Simple. Basic. We don’t need any other laws, besides that one. The power of the COMP. Again, the Rule of Commonality can be invoked, honestly and truly by the Comparison Process. Working within all of us.

We can see inside our heads with the COMP. We can see ourselves reasoning and thinking to avoid breaking moral laws/customs, and seeing those who do so, as well. We can see legal laws being broken and know not to break them, ourselves. We can see what is going on in the brain of police officer who’s pulled over an errant driver. He can see into the driver’s mind and what he’s thinking by the same rule. This is empirical introspection made possible by the COMP. And it’s valid.

Thinking and other higher brain processes are very likely the COMP. This is what explains thought, those processes we go through when using the COMP for math, testing, comparing, recognition, creativity, reading, speaking, writing and so forth. Most all the higher processes are very likely the COMP. Our consciousnesses and our consciences are most all comparison processes.

Some have talked about where the self recognition, the self of each person comes from. This is very easy using the COMP. We see ourselves in mirrors, and we know that by comparing ourselves with others, what we are. Simple observation, making sense by comparing our faces, our arms and legs and everything in between, we know we are human and members of our culture, speaking each language of those, and behaving according those moral laws/rules.We know that each of us has feelings, and pain and pleasure as they have the same internal sensations as do we, within the normal variations.

How can legal laws proliferate at a rate of 50k-100K pages of new rules and regs per years? Is this not the endlessness of the COMP, its unlimited nature, tho gone badly wrong?

15. What of that real problem, dreams? What are dreams?
The problem of investigating dreams is the problem of introspection. How do we know what dreams mean has been the bugaboo of the entire field since Freud’s “The Interpretation of Dreams”. Most of it simply is not believed because of lack of substantiation for his approach. A great many New Agers also talk/write about dream interpretation with an equivalent lack of credible substantiation. The same is true of popular herbal books, which smack of folk medicine, poor thinking and lack of substantiation.

But there is a way and in the clinical neuroscience it’s been used for years. How do we know that dreams exist? Because of the Rule of Commonality (RoC). We know that pain exists in people for the same reason, everyone knows about it and has realistic appreciation for those injuries and related problems such as migraine headaches with also do exist. The same is true of pleasure and other findings, introspective.

Empirical Introspection

16. But in specific cases? That’s a tough one. When a patient comes in with numbness, either persistent or intermittent in the hand, we can tell if it’s real or not by several techniques. First, does it correspond (compare) to real sensory nerve distributions or not? If hand/glove kind it’s not always clear. With a careful exam we can detect numbness and tingling with specific methods and find on electromyograms (EMG) whether or not the reports of numbness have a concomitant injury shown by increased latencies and slowed nerve conduction speeds. The above can provide realistic, confirmable by others, and SPECIFIC determinations that the individual complaints are real. That is, the introspective reports are the case.
But how can we do this in dreams? We know they exist, but reports of dream content are colored by length of time elapsed between the dream and report, emotional factors such as social concerns about appropriateness, etc. But occasionally there are real cases where we CAN show this.

I’ve been a field biologist for over 50 years. My observational skills are developed. I have two cases. The first where a recurrent dream of walking along a weathered wooden pier with planks missing, and the green water below with waves sloshing against the piles and at times almost close enough to get my feet wet. In each case over 40 years, I was simply terrified I’d fall into the water and get drowned. In each case of these repeated nightmares, I was usually stressed by situational problems at work, etc.
But the key was, we were showing old family movies of the time we visited in St. Petersburg, FL., and on one of them it showed a movie of that same pier, same color water (all my dreams are in color). At once I recognized that THAT was the source of the dream. I’d walked on the pier with my father, and had been terrified. But I’d forgotten the event.
This was clearly Freudian repressed memory, because for some 45 years it wasn’t clear WHERE the dream had come from. Within a few weeks, that dream tried to recur, I just said while dreaming, this is that old memory and I won’t have this any more. And did not, and haven’t since.

Once the source of the terror was found, and realized what it was, in tandem with Freudian neurosis abatement observations (which argues that Freud’s rules are real and existing by the RoC), the dream stopped. It has never recurred, either. I had a similar dream with a swaying elevator, and once figured out, some 10 years later, when riding on the SAME elevator, the recognition came to me that THAT was where it had come from. It tried to recur, and I abolished it the same way.

19. That dreams can appear to be remnants of older memories many times, which we seem to have forgotten, not just repressed, seems to be the case. The fantastic elements of dreams, events appearing, disappearing and so forth, are simply NOT real and unexplainable at present

However, for this one. I can fly sometimes while dreaming. I lift up off the ground and take off. Sadly, no one who’s ever seen me having one of these dreams has reported any levitation whatsoever of my body!! But the one thing I do recall is that the flying was always very slow. I’d get caught up in wires, etc. and thinking about it, it takes a LOT of processing power to fly, creating all of that changing, cartooning visual imagery, esp. very high, because then the complexity of the surrounding scenery would take a LOT more processing power to recreate that. I am NOT a hang glider person, tho I have no fear of flying at all.

In this case of flying dreams, they are completely synthetic and cannot possibly compare to any real memories at all. In the case of lucid dreaming reports, the persons can also get control of their dreams and create fictional activities, too. Therefore it’s hard to believe the dictum that ALL dreams are based almost completely upon memories, only. Those memories might provide a groundwork, but the mind can build on that, actually. It can create dreams very much like how stories are created, using past experiences. We know this because the scene changes in dreams are NOT real because things simply appear and disappear in violation of physical laws. That is magical thinking, which isn’t real any more than one can fly or cause objects several meters from one, to move into one’s hand. That fiction my dreams have done a lot of. But telekinesis has never been shown to be real without instrumental assistance.

20. However, I was using computers about 1995, and at the time moved up from a low baud of a few 100 to a 2400 baud rate of screen scrolling. It exceeded the ability of my brain to read each line by a factor of several times. But bless my brain it DID try to keep up, tho never really succeeded. Within weeks of that time, tho, my flying dreams ALSO sped up, markedly, and I wasn’t getting slowed down or tangled up in wires again Since then, continuing to use faster and faster computers, I can fly a LOT faster and higher, too, even to this day.

Probably, visual processing speed in my brain sped up to its maximum by using the new high speed modem. And my dreams got faster. One suspects that using computers has sped up the the brain processing of we humans, where such is possible, too. As speed of intellectual processing is related to 85% of IQ, because the IQ tests are timed, therefore this creates a reasonable conclusion from my dreaming of flying, that computers may in fact speed up our brains and make us proportionately smarter, in that respect.

These are the ONLY realistic interpretations of dreams I’ve ever been able to make. Should OTHERS have similar findings, then we can begin by the RoC, to learn more about dreams. Until then it’s a lot of speculation as Father Freud first formally showed us by his very flawed, “Interpretation of Dreams”. We must have a LOT more testable, introspective data to compare with before we can more reliably decode and understand our specific dreams.

21. Let us consider yet another aspect of consciousness using the Comparison Process and the Rule of Commonality. We know we have 100K’s of cortical cell columns pretty working in tandem while we are awake, i.e. parallel processing. Most of these are doing tasks much of the time when we are thinking or going about our daily tasks and activities. But most of the time we ignore much of that blooming buzzing confusion around us. We ignore leaves on plants, rocks and stones on the ground, the complexity of grass leaves on lawns, etc.

All of that implies very clearly that we are ignoring most of the CCC(cortical cell columns) which are working, much of the time. Attention focused means that we are ignoring a lot of sensory input which is constantly going on and being processed. Then what gets our attention? Clearly, we have priorities. Loud noises, bright flashes of lights, hearing our names, a sudden source of pain, and so forth. This refocuses attention to such things. We can also focus on memories and how to type and read to compose lines like this, by ignoring a lot of other sensory inputs, constantly working while we do composition.

So we have a LOT of COMP going on all the time, onto which we can focus our attentions. Each of these are like voices/individuals seeking attention while we are awake. This is the stream of consciousness is it not? When we are not attending it, it becomes the subconscious, very much like that of Freud. We can shift to any of these processed data streams, the pain in a foot, the position of the left leg, the color in the background of the typing screen, and many other things. The totality of this is the consciousness, is it not? It’s awareness of the many sensory inputs and the many tasks our 100K’s of CCC’s are up to when we are awake.

22. The Stream of Consciousness writing of James Joyce’ “Ulysses” has been mentioned before as a signal way in which consciousness can work. But let us look further. While dreaming we can hear other voices. This means that a voice recording/creation capability is there for us to play any time, but we rarely access it except when sleeping during REM periods. How is this any different from the Voices, or visions which many have reported during waking times, esp. if they are in manic/psychotic states? We have reports of people seeing visual hallucinations, also, tho rarer because that requires a LOT more processing power. How are the voices the madmen hear any different from the controlled words we hear others saying while asleep?

Clearly, the former are out of control and show us what’s going on in comparison. The brain isn’t working right, but the pathology shows us how the brain can work when things go wrong (the comparison process, again). There is a misapprehension and an accessing of memories and the ability to CREATE a conversation using normal imagination and then to imbue it in the manic/psychotic mind with a sense of reality, which it does not have. This is the fictional/inventive aspect of the consciousness at work is it not? And it does not differ that much from the looseness of associations seen, also manifested in Ulysses either? The very basis of creative writing.

How about the demons and voices which folk belief attribute to person who are crazy? The possessions by demons comes to mind. They say things out of their heads, and the COMP in people have falsely interpreted those as being of demon possession, when in fact they are simply expression of unsuppressed and controlled processes in the stream of consciousness which have gone very wrong. The person hearing those voices and what he says have been equally misinterpreted by his hearers as being of demonic origin, the demons of possession and by himself as being something more than the inventions of his own brain, mistaken by himself as being real. The frontal lobes are not doing their testing/checking work very well, and the system becomes delusional, on the part of the hearers as well as he who is talking.

22. Speaking in tongues is yet another manifestation of the COMP gone wrong in the brain, because persons actually think that gibberish means something, when it doesn’t. Anyone can speak this way. We simply set loose the ability to talk and say the biggest bunch of uncontrolled series of sounds, vowels, syllables, etc., we can. But to falsely attribute this to being of some significance is as silly as believing the loose associations of the manic/psychotic are meaningful either. Our Frontal lobe checker for normal, intelligible speech has been disabled voluntarily in glossolalia and by a sick neurophysiology in the mania. And that’s likely what is going on. Again, a problem with the comparison Process, not unlike that being seen in the psychotic, tho certainly not as severe.

23. Where DO all those good ideas we think of come from? And the answer is we parallel process to solve problems and find ideas. The ones which make sense to us we focus upon and ignore the rest. This not only explains how ideas “pop up” seemingly from no where, but gives a rational, evidentiary source for them from the 100,000’s of CCC which are doing the work, either together in connected clusters or in other ways.
These are simply more examples of what is going on inside our brains using the COMP and cortical cell columns which do the work.

Let’s talk about recognition. We know this exists very clearly because we see it massive in others, as well as animals and even some plants have a form of it. Recognition is the major production of the comparison process as stated before and shown by innumerable examples. It means basically that we detect a sensory input (or inputs) or idea/word/image, compare it to LTM and it makes a fit, matches, and so forth. It compares well to that internalized memory in our LTM.

24. Recognition continua can be seen of many types. We’ve all had that pseudo recognition when we’ve heard or seen something and when we check it realize our brain, that is COMP, was playing tricks on us. It didn’t stand up to repeated checking/testing. A sound which sounded like something else, a dark spot in the corner of our vision which disappeared when we tried to see it more clearly. These are the misfirings of the COMP, which create in more substantial cases, delusions, rationalizations, myths, false beliefs, superstitions and so forth. With good training in critical thinking, we can rid ourselves of much of this noise/nonsense parading as useful knowledge. As always, James Lett’s chapter on “Critical Thinking” in Frazier Kendrick’s well edited book, “The 100th Monkey” from Prometheus Books can provide good methods to clear out the “Balogna”, a la Carl Sagan.

24. The complex images of pareidolia, or seeing complex images in clouds, or grass patterns, or Jesus in a tamale of occasional appearance, too. These too are the COMP trying to make sense of things, and failing. Yet we don’t immediately become aware of it. Most of us see the “man in the moon” effect, but if you look, you can also see the native American’s rabbit, too. Rabbit Ears are where the face’s eyes are, to help us see it on a full moon day with minimal cloud cover. That’s the COMP working, though our checkers dismiss it as interesting, but not real, tho similar. Again, the comparison process in action.

25. That’s one end of the recognition continua represented as a part of the dualities of nonsense and errors, versus much more recognizable, real perceptions. I recall being in Raratonga where a great many persons ride motorbikes because fuel is very costly there. Standing on a roadside and saw something coming floating down the road, towards me, with very little noise as the wind was blowing towards it, muffling noise. As the image got closer I began to see a very large woman with a huge, flowing dress which virtually covered the entire motorbike she sat on. And then heard the sound of the small cylinder engine firing off, putt-putting as she came towards me. These are the illusions made by inadequate visual comparisons with audible sounds to make sense of it. Again, something very odd, becoming with time, something very interesting, but entirely real and existing, well within the normal range of recognition. It showed us how with very little data, our COMP is seeking to explain things and make sense of them with descriptions qualitative, which became better, even better as time passed.

And it’s easy to see how such inadequately evaluated images can become myths, that is, the illusions become delusions and very often damaging to our best interests, long term survival and benefit.

25. The other end of the continuum would be those images, senses, touches, audible inputs which are very easily, accurately recognized, such as hit tunes or classical pieces, coins, or books, or cars, etc. Those are highly probable events to some extent, although to describe them completely reduces the chances of the description verbal being completely correct. This is how, roughly, Bayesian statistics used by can imitate human recognition, tho in the brain’s CCC’s there is nothing definably mathematical going on at all. Qualitative matching, comparison descriptions are very different from mathematics, and much more flexible and useful, too, as has been shown in other “Description/Measurement” articles.

26. Let’s look at memorable events in our lives compared to those events we mostly ignore or don’t attend to much. Those events which are of importance to us, marriage, having a child, seeing a scene of great beauty, a tune of similar note, we have in each case a great deal of dopamine release. On the other hand, very unpleasant experience, such as when we broke a bone, or were burned, or badly hurt emotionally, or socially embarrassed are also recalled, due to the same process. This facilitates and reinforces the laying down of a permanent memory causing protein synthesis and synapses creation to make that memory trace long lasting. less memorable events, such as learning from books, we have to reinforce again and again to learn, esp. if we don’t much have an interest in it. Again, tying in the COMP to the dopamine release we see there also. This is easy to understand using reason alone. But the neurophysiological evidence also supports that conclusion. Again, our minds combine with known physiological responses to figure out what’s going on in our brains/minds.

Well, enough of these meanderings. My mental legs are getting tired. Time to get back home, have a bit of a snack and print out those images we took for our long term memory notebooks in our minds/brains. Maybe tonight we’ll dream of the Old Man in the Mountain in Vermont, or the Camelback Mountain, or even Les Grand Tetons!!

And maybe some reading this will find those many more valid interpretations and methods of introspection to open up further our understanding of the mind/brain.

“Scientists identify link between introspection and brain structure” 2010

The Praxis

The Praxis: The Use of Cortical Evoked Responses (CER), functional MRI (fMRI), Magnetic Electroencephalography (MEG), and Magnetic Stimulation of brain (MagStim) to investigate recognition, creativity and other aspects of the Comparison Process

By Herb Wiggins, M.D. Clinical Neurosciences; Discoverer/Creator of the Comparison Process/COMP Theory/Model; 14 Mar. 2014

The word, praxis, is Greek and means how a model/theory is made/shown to work. Essentially, this means the Comparison Process ( COMP) can be detected and studied neurophysiologically by means described below. Anything which can be studied exists. Because the higher level cortical function of recognition is fundamentally based upon the COMP, then the study of recognition is the study of the COMP in one of its most basic, higher level forms. How do we recognize something, be it a word, an image, a face, a voice, a tune, a sensation? We compare it to our Long Term Memory and if it matches well, then we have recognized it. This is modeled to some extent by Byesian statistics used by computer recognition systems already available.

Now what happens in our cortex during recognition? It’s complicated, and no one really understands, nor can understand all of the details of how all those 10,000’s of cortical cell column neurons interact, esp. with their 100’s-1000’s of synapses with other neurons. Nor how they interact with the 100,000’s of other cortical cell columns. That is a problem far, far too complicated and detailed for any human mind to figure out in a finite time. So we can approach the problem another way, by cutting through the complexity and simplifying the understanding by using a high level tool, the comparison process.

Recognition at its deepest level is essentially signal detection. From out of ambient noise the brain detects a meaningful signal, and then compares it to LTM (Long Term Memory) for recognition. If it maps reasonably well, then we positively recognize it. The relationship of this to signal detection in psychology is at once obvious. From that comes recognition, or knowing. We know what the signal means. We recognize it by comparing it to our LTM of similar/same events. It matches, another COMP word.

For instance if we hear a sequence of notes which sounds very much like the opening of a popular tune by the Eagles, say “Desperado”, we at once recognize the intervals as that and can name it, and often hum/sing along with it. That is recognition of the auditory/musical kind. If we hear our name yelled out, we often turn towards the source of it, and nod or signal back. That means we recognized our name. So by the evidence, recognition is one of the major actions mediated by COMP. Any event in existence, or idea/word/image which can be studied and recognized neurophysiologically, relating to higher cortical functioning, is part of the comparison process.


The above URL is essentially consistent with the underlying neurophysiology of the Comparison Process. When we recognize something we get a P300 latency, that is a Cortical Evoked Response(CER). It’s similar to photic stimulation, i.e., a sequence of bright lights flashed during EEG recording, and related auditory evoked responses (AER) which are simple, basic detection responses. The high level P300 is associated with general recognition, which may be sensory stimuli, or even recognition of faces, ideas, words, etc. This is the basis of understanding the foundation of the COMP. As it’s cortical in origin, and so are the higher level cortical processes, therefore it fits.

To “match” that is “compare” the internal memory/model of sensations, to external stimuli is essentially what the Comparison Processors do.


And this which shows that recognition can be detected and understood, as well, including most specific tasks.

Click to access Johnson%20et%20al.%20Psychophysiology%201985.pdf

Again these responses were very small in amplitude, but could be detected by repeated stimulations and built up from background. Higher level cortical recognitions could be detected and recorded with a much higher significance than chance. These articles above show that recognition can be reliably tested in many cases. Essentially, they electrophysiologically show the recognition process going on, that is, the Comparison Process.

Now, let’s take a model previously written about. Dictionary indexing of words to where they belong in a series of words. Using the same, above method of collecting evoked potentials, can be shown, very likely, that the recognition of where the word fits in alphabetically, within a series of words, can be specifically studied. Also, the recognition of what a word means can also be studied. Also the inserting of such a word in a series of alphabetically listed words can also be seen. In each case, if the experiment is done well enough, the exact point where the reader/indexer finds/inserts the word into its proper place can be determined by cortical evoked response (CER), the P300. This will confirm that recognition as previously discussed by the COMP is being measured by the CER. Each time this is seen and confirmed in subjects, will confirm that the COMP is indeed working. And also that it is, by the Rule of Commonality, similarly used by most all persons.

The same is true for every star on the Hertzsprung Russell diagram, the IUPAC listing of 32 Million known compounds, and the massive Taxonomies of all known species of life. And all the phone books, directories, and so forth.

Most every time a word is seen and recognized, until habituation, a reliable CER P300 can be seen which shows that recognition has happened. Far, far more complicated recognitions can also be studied in this way. Images, complex tunes, word phrases, such as “The Beans were in the Can” and show that these make sense, whereas, the “Can was the Beans” makes no sense. There will no difference between the latter and noise, whereas the former will show the characteristic P300 of highly likely recognition, plus the individual will acknowledge that recognition, too. This is the COMP at work in the cortex.

The P300 can be used extensively in these cases to show that in most cases of recognition of a sensible word/word cluster, there is a P300.

Now, linguistically, we conjugate verbs by the “I love, You love, He loves, We love, you love and they love series, Amo, amas, amat, etc. What the COMP model states is that the two words will be recognized with a P300, while the individual words will not. No word is an island. No word stand alone. The recognition by the P300 will show, according to the COMP model what makes sense to the brain’s speech centers and what does not. That is what is language and communication and what is not. This will show that grammar as we know it is NOT as important an aspect of communication as has been thought, but the COMP recognition by P300 IS what is meaningful. The REAL, truly underlying basis to most all language is the Comparison process. It’s how the words compare to each other, which can be detected by the P300, which is what makes language work, what makes sense. It’s the sensory and word context which supplies the meaning, not the formal grammar. It is MEANING which is important not the grammar names of the words. The basic linguistic structures will most all be related by the comparison processes in terms of word/phrase recognitions, not single words, which is basic, school grammar. The P300 will show what is meaningful to the brain is not necessarily our formal grammar, either. It will give us a far deeper insight into how our higher cortical processes work, that is, the Comparison Process.

This is the Mind/Brain interface. This is the Praxis.
It will show that Chomsky’s Language Acquisition Device is indeed the cortical cell columns in our speech centers, that language is innate because the CER P300’s will most all be the same during language use and recognition, over all languages, not just English. it will also show the finer details of how unlike languages are differently processed in brain, too.

Linguistically, we will take a user who is otherwise cortically normal by MRI, and present to him/her certain signals such as “What is this?” holding up a banana for instance. There will be a P300 when and if she recognizes the banana. There will be a simple motor related P300 when she’s getting ready to sign the word, “banana”. And this will confirm she knows what it was, and had “re-cognized” the banana. Several other words can also be used. Several other subjects can be tested to find out the normal ranges of these P300 patterns, i.e., to establish Rule of Commonality comparisons and standards.

Now, and the astute know where this is going, (their P300’s are registering recognition, again empirical introspection), we take Koko and do the same to her. We will see very similar patterns in her if she detects the sentence signed by, “What is this?” and her cortical P300 will register it. Then when she signs back “Banana” we will see a similar P300 in her motor cortex as we have seen in human subjects. If it’s not understood, then it will be delayed, background noise P300. If she understands it and signs Banana, a similar P300 effect will be seen comparing well to human detection criteria. Those P300’s, the human and the gorilla, or the chimp, will compare favorably and reliably. and this will not only show that humans and higher primates can communicate, but are also using very similar responses to each other, because our neurophysiologies are very similar, too. The neurophysiology of recognition, of the comparison process.

It will establish that recognition among animals esp., the higher primates, is real and existing and will in other species, show that they are recognizing, too, by an analogous process, if birds, dogs, cats, or other creatures are used. This is the comparative neurophysiology of recognition, that is, the Comparison Process. It will establish that Koko and other apes are indeed capable of recognition of Ameslan, and are using it just like we are, given some modest allowances due to species differences, and the fact they have fewer comparison Processors than do we.

Recognition is the key characteristic of the Comparison Process. And it will guide in the following ways, our understanding of how our brains’ cortical functions work.

Currently, functional MRI (fMRI) is being combined (Comparison process, of course) with Magnetic Encephalogram (MEG) to study structure/function relationships in the brain. We can detect brain function by increased flow by MRI and then correlate (compare) it with MEG signals, too. These are positive signs and methods, showing real, existing comparison processes going on inside of the brain. This is a positive sign that our diagnostic methods are actively using the comparison process in combining fMRI/MEG testing to get more reliable data, as the comparison process shows, will, necessarily, happen. Just like a genetic defect can often provide the comparison necessary to better understand normal function by this same instance of having something to compare to normal.

But there is something lacking and it’s this. What happens if those localized Comparison Processes are turned off, momentarily in the brain? Specific functions will be interrupted or be unable to be initiated. That will provide further solid evidence that a specific higher level function in brain is being shut down at a certain specific site, as previously revealed to be active there. Yet another structure/function relationship, which is basic brain anatomy.

The means to do this non-invasively is here. It’s called magnetic stimulation. Grossly if we stimulate the brain with a high Tesla field, it will make the neurons momentarily depolarize. Then we can selectively depolarize, by repeated stimulation to a spot in the cortex/brain where a cortical activity is being done, such as saying the word, “longitude”. We can find out where this process is going on by interrupting it, temporarily, by brain magnetic stim, can we not? And that will tell us what is going on there by the fact that it stops, having previously located that function in that area by fMRI and MEG. This will complete, non-invasively, the chain of structure/function relationships which can be found in living brain, will it not?

Now how do we do this? Very easily. We have seen how Vinn diagrams overlap. and once again, in the more astute, there is a strong P300 very quickly being created right now. Each of the 3 overlapping in 3 dimensions, magnetic field strength stimulations is sub-threshold depolarization of the brain. Where they overlap, however, they would be made safely supra-threshold. And the desired point to target in the brain can be accurately found within a few millimeters by already well worked out Neurosurgical methods of Stereotactic mapping.

Essentially, the gyri of the cortex of human brain could be sequentially and repeatedly studied non-invasively to find out what was going on at most points in the brain. The fMRI/MEG studies to locate where brain activity was going on, too. And the MagStim point method for confirming the existence at the specific sties in the brain where activity was going on by temporarily stopping it. The 3 comparisons would establish a high degree of reliability and confirm a working structure/function model of the brain to a degree of precision and refinement never seen before. The mind fairly boggles at this potential to utterly revise and gain much deeper understanding of how things work in our brains/minds.

As a further benefit, it’s know that pain stimuli are processed in the brain through a “pain matrix” model of about 10 known sites which mediate/modulate pain. Using the MagStim point system, what each site does can to some extent be figured out. And if 1 or 2 certain areas, when stimulated, block pain completely, the implications would be considerable for pain control, esp. using placement of superficial scalp magnetic stimulation. on affected areas of the sensory cortex or subcortical targets.

How this relates to creativity and its study is clear. By the COMP model, creativity is very much a form of recognition. That “Aha!’ moment. Again, a bit of dopamine release, too. But using the simple pennies method of counting, we could map creativity as better and better means are created for counting by each subject, at that point where they “get” the new idea either by description or when they suddenly realize/recognize a better method.

In telling jokes, also, there would be a P300 when they get the joke as compared to when they did not, showing again, that the COMP underlies telling jokes and humor of most all types. This would confirm the COMP/dopamine boost aspect of known humor, rather convincingly. And using the fMRI/MEG plus MagStim points method, would show where in the brain this humor is being mediated. The same for music, for swearing center location, the conscience in the frontal lobes, and so forth. Exploring up and down the cortices of the brain, going over each gyrus in whole brain with ever finer and finer investigations. We see here, in the Praxis, the value of the comparison process which can not only empirically and introspectively see inside, and explain our minds/brains, but find ways to decode and understand our minds/brains. This is the power of the Comparison Process model.

It means that the Tarab of Oum Kalthoum can be studied in those listening to her. It means that basic human thinking processes will be open to study, as well, from math, to music, from the sciences to the arts. Most all human brain activities of the cortex can then be more carefully studied.
Let us think about one more subject, that of exactly how, what kind of stimulus is necessary for Long Term Memories to be laid down.

Clearly, we know that it’s due to repeated reinforcements. The more we go over something, the more likely it is to be remembered, and more easily recalled. This is called facilitation in neurophysiological terms.

But consider what happens during highly charged emotional moments. This will very likely enlighten us as to the nature of what is going on. During those times, such as Archimedes “Eureka!” moment, or those mountain top experiences we all have had, there is a LOT more dopamine release and much longer reinforcements to memory being made. How often do we have to purposefully reinforce those awe filled moments to recall them? Not often. It gets done by the high dopamine release those events create.

That’s the secret, we see. Some dopamine release is seen at most all creative and recognition events. Some more so than others. It’s the dopamine boost, which begins the LTM event of protein synthesis and synapse creation, which creates the stability of the Long Term Memory traces, which Wilder Penfield found in his noteworthy studies on living brain in Montreal. Those stable memory traces are what create the platform upon which our consciousness and thinking are founded and stabilized. More in the article on “Brain Hard wiring”.

Further consider what happens when photic stimulation occurs. The brain will create an evoked potential which is visible on the EEG. Similar effects have been seen during music played with a heavy beat. These will entrain widely the brain. It can have almost an hypnotic effect on people alone or in groups. Thus the tarab of Cairo, the effects of rock groups, the crowds’ responses to a charismatic speaker. The effect of the 1-2, 1-2 of 4/4 time beats of the marching band we hear as it passes by.

When we see flocks of birds flying, as they veer and fly together, to schooling of fishes, or the herd behaviors of animals running. How is this any different than our entrainment when people sing in choirs or play in a band or orchestra, together, when they become as one? This is the social entrainment effect. If CER were done with those in such collective groups, we would see the careful and close entrainment of visual and sensory evoked responses acting as one in those groups of players. The same with a good movie, where all were on the edges of their seat during scenes of brilliantly acted and produced scenes. Or in the listeners to those inspiring choirs, and orchestras. They would be entrained just a birds and fish fly together.

What of empirical introspection? The investigation of CER can surely give insights and confirmations of it, esp. in known tasks, such as indexing and reading indexes looking for a specific target word or word placement in indexing.

So, we see the Comparison Process as work, finding correspondences, relationships, associations and creativity, which bring us better understanding and the best performances of our species.

brain mapping using combined fMRI and MEG

Target words: Recognition; cognition; Comparison Process; Cortical evoked potentials; Functional MRI (fMRI); Magnetic Electroencephalography (MEG); Magnetic stimulation of brain (MagStim); Humor, Long Term Memory. Dopamine