“If you’re not confused, you’re not thinking hard enough” – el Loco Gringo
The confabulator is a mental construct that can be used in visualizing the processes in the lower levels of the mind. IE the neuron.
It has two functions (to date), both of which modulate the sensitivity of the neuron. Consider that the Neuron is a gated device.
1)It is an aggregator which adds the output of the dendrite system and transforms it into a quantitative potential (level) that can trigger the gate.
2)It is an accumulator which sums the output of the endoplasmic reticulator. See paper same name.
These signals are combined to bias the gate of the axon, either enabling or disabling it. It thus acts as either a positive/negative feedback/feedforward system. This then is the subjectivity of the decision making process. (centering, taboo, lattice etc.) It also provides the latency which controls long and short term memory. This information is only included for those who are interested in such things. Applying constructionist thinking to the neuron, it is fairly simple to visualize the nature of the mind. (using bottom up thinking)
An aggregate is a collection of items that are gathered together to form a total quantity.
An Accumulator is an apparatus for storing energy or power
The function of the endoplasmic reticulator was described by scientists at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research
Bearing in mind that the electronic analogy is an only an analogy, The diagram shows 8 gates (neurons). The neuron actually controls two systems, the dendrites and the axons. The axon connections have to be close together, the dendrites can be across the brain. Now we’ll do an analogy of an analogy. We’ll call the right hand group of 4 the axon (objective) network and the left hand the dendrite (subjective) network. Let’s assume we want to make a decision on taking a job. The two de terminates we have decided on are; proximity and pay. Pick one of these gates and assign these to the two inputs. If the pay is good and it’s close, and all other things being equal, the neuron will fire and we’ll take the job.
But all is not equal. Let’s make the situation ambiguous, the pay is good but we have to move. Oops, now we have a problem, do it fire or do it don’t fire? Lets check the dendrite system, that’s the tie breaker. We’ll assign values to the eight input pins. Friends, clubs, associations, expenses, ethics, location, stability, parking. (It doesn’t matter) Assign values to each of these inputs, add them up or sum them (confabulator) If the number is positive we take the job. If the number is negative we pass. Even if the pay is good and it’s close the dendrite system may override the firing if the values are high enough.
This is why when they do a CAT scan on brain activity, there will be a cluster of neurons firing and random unexplained random firings. The dendrite system is the “hidden layer” that has been heretofore unexplained. Hunches, centering, creativity, ethics hooks in here.
Bear in mind, the mind actually works in patterns, not in discrete functions.