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The Thought Process – Step-by-Step

Below is the first and only explanation of the thought process which explains how it works, how it is influenced by unconscious thoughts and how, when and why some of your thoughts are converted into language and spoken out, how they are executed, etc.

To make it easy to understand, a typical thought process is explained in a step-by-step manner in chronological order, where each step is followed by a summary in simple language.

Step 1

Interactions are segregated from the ongoing experiential information by the process of filtration in LB for those that contain preset execution information, i.e. those that are repetitive, condition based or genetically programmed (more under title How Interactions are Filtered) and the rest of them, which are new, first time occurrences, and thus may require new execution information. Interactions containing preset execution information are processed by LB and those that may require new execution information are sent to VP for further processing.

The above step explains how interactions from your ongoing experience are segregated and processed in two different ways.

Note: Interactions mentioned in the step-by-step explanation may also refer to parts of interactions, e.g. olfaction (sense of smell) in the interaction of eating.

Step 2

Preset Interaction Information Processing by LB:

Step 2a1

Information on "intramural attributes" like trends, summaries, confidence levels, probability values, emotion factors, etc. related to the segregated preset interactions is fetched from its memory and processed with them respectively, the result of which is sent to VP in order to further process it concurrently with LB.

The above step explains how parts of your experiences are pre-evaluated before they enter consciousness.

Step 2a2

If interaction processing in the previous step contains preset execution information about an interaction, it is executed based on its preset confidence levels, which are passed on by its underlying interactions through intramural attributes. If confidence level of an interaction is above a certain threshold, it is executed by LB (without volitional control) after it retrieves its execution information from its memory. For those under such threshold, the lower the confidence level of such interaction, the higher control VP has over it (e.g. to inhibit it from being executed).

The above step explains why some of your interactions, based on interaction processing in the previous step, are executed automatically, i.e. without you consciously executing them, like looking back when tapped on the shoulder or stepping back when you see a car coming your way. It also explains the degree of control you have over conscious, subconscious and unconscious interactions by explaining their underlying mechanisms, which are the basis of your initial reflexes, intuitions, gut feelings, habitual behaviours, phobias, etc.

New Interaction Information Processing by VP:

Step 2b1

Information from the filtered interactions received (in extracted form – more under title Composition Extraction) from LB (i.e. those that may require new execution information, mentioned in Step 1) is flagged as conscious.

The above step explains when you become conscious of the experience you are having.

Step 2b2

The information flagged as conscious enters the awareness buffer (any information that is flagged as conscious is linked to awareness buffer, which maintains dynamic links to information related to ongoing interactions - explained in detail under title Contextual Awareness).

Step 2b3

Such links are used to contextually navigate the database of past information in VP (i.e. B-ROM) using categorical, experiential, temporal, etc. associations to get detailed information related to such ongoing interactions.

Step 2b4

Such detailed information is additionally linked to the awareness buffer, so it can be quickly and easily accessed when required while having the experience.

The above steps explain how you become aware of various aspects of the experience you are having, which makes it easy for you to ponder over them. E.g. on meeting your friend, you become aware that he owes you money and that you had met his family last week.

Step 2b5

Information on intramural attributes like trends, summaries, confidence levels, probability values, emotion factors, etc. related to such interactions is fetched using links in the awareness buffer that was updated in the previous step and processed with them respectively.

The above step explains how you evaluate various aspects of the experience you have pondered upon in the previous step, as in the example given in the previous step, does the person's brother repeatedly borrow money from you, what is the probability of him returning the money, etc. Such processing also enriches your perception.

Switching Tasks in the awareness buffer

Information linked to the awareness buffer (i.e. information a person is aware of) seems to be available simultaneously, which is not the case. When VP switches between different tasks in the awareness buffer, thanks to ease of access provided by the links in the buffer, it happens without any delay, offering the effect of what is known as "refrigerator light phenomenon". The refrigerator light phenomenon is the feeling of refrigerator light being always on, even when its door is closed, which is when a limit switch turns it off. The effect it produces is like when communicating with a group of people, you switch from one person to the other, while all of them are available for communication as and when needed, giving the effect of simultaneity (as explained under title Contextual Awareness).

The above topic explains how is it possible for you to be aware of many things when you can pay attention to only one.

Step 3

Results of interaction information processed by VP and LB in above steps enter the awareness buffer, which is the full information about the ongoing interactions. This helps in quick and easy access of information related to an entire interaction if and when required while having the experience by navigating through links in the buffer, which helps in gauging it from a historical perspective, thereby aiding in making optimized decisions.

The above step explains how you become aware of the entire ongoing interaction.

Step 4a1

If available and accessible, past information on decisions taken in similar interactions and their results is retrieved by LB along with confidence levels.

Step 4a2

If available and accessible, guidelines for receiving and processing similar interactions are retrieved by LB.

Step 4b1

If available and accessible, past information on decisions taken in similar interactions and their results is retrieved by VP along with confidence levels using categorical, experiential, temporal, etc. associations.

Step 4b2

If available and accessible, guidelines for receiving and processing similar interactions are retrieved by VP using categorical, experiential, temporal, etc. associations.

Step 5

The awareness buffer is updated with information from steps 3, 4a1, 4a2, 4b1 and 4b2, which is sufficient information to make decisions about the interaction, where information from steps 4a1, 4a2, 4b1 and 4b2 is responsible for the overall personality, information from steps 4a1 and 4a2 is responsible for skills, genetic predispositions, habits, etc. and information from steps 4b1 and 4b2 is the basis of your knowledge.

The above steps explain how you gain sufficient information to make decisions based on your overall personality, skills, genetic predispositions, habits, knowledge, etc.

Step 6a

VP uses information made available in the previous step to make one or more decisions on how to handle the ongoing interaction using simple logic, which are linked to awareness buffer.

The above step explains how you make decisions based on information gained in the previous step.

Step 6b

While taking into account more than one decision, VP needs to deliberate their content, which it does by converting such intramural mode of communication to extramural, i.e. language (reason for which is explained in the topic below).

To do the same, VP detects and brings up information required for deliberation from intramural communication in a stream based on rules required to form language (learning which is one of the reasons it takes time to learn a language) and converts into extramural mode of communication, i.e. language.

The above step explains how your thoughts are converted into language, which is the basis of the inner voice you hear while thinking.

Reason for Converting to Language: The reason why VP needs to convert intramural communication to extramural (i.e. neural communication to language) for deliberation is that intramural communication explained till now is either for data storage/retrieval or data processing, but the process of deliberation requires one or more chains of decisions progressing in a sequential manner, where each decision is based on the previous one in the chain, which can best be done by converting it to language (extramural mode), as language helps tie up content of an interaction to its respective communication, may it be sensory or intramural (i.e. physical or mental).

The above topic explains the reason 1) why you think in language, 2) why only a part of your thought process is in language and 3) what is the reason behind chain of thoughts in a thought process. E.g., while choosing between red dress and a black dress to wear, you do not have to convert your choice into language, i.e. by saying to yourself, "I'll wear black", you simply pick up the chosen one, but when you buy a cell phone, you may say through your inner voice, e.g. "its better to have a larger display for the price compared to a larger memory, as I'm only going to use it to make phone calls and check emails".

Language and Human Intelligence: As mentioned above, language helps tie up content of sensory and intramural (i.e. physical or mental) interactions with it, so they can be recalled at will for the process of deliberation using their lingual counterparts.

Even when some nonhuman organisms have rudimentary language capabilities, they are not developed enough to sustain such deliberation. Without language, it is not possible for them to recall their earlier experiences at will, which instead are typically recalled by context. It is for this reason they cannot think about events that have happened in past at will, nor can they imagine future situations (a known fact).

The ability to deliberate using language is one of the biggest, if not the only, factors responsible for the development of human intelligence, only limited by how developed the languages are and how they are utilized.

The above topic explains limitations of the thought process in nonhuman organisms and why language is one of the biggest, if not the only, contributing factors for the intelligence of mankind.

Step 6c

To make decisions more effective, VP considers CB-ROMs (more under title CB-ROM) of other people if they are involved or are likely to get involved in the interaction.

The above step explains how you consider other people if they are involved or are likely to get involved in the interaction to make your decisions more effective.

Step 6d

While coming up with decisions, 1) if any section of the ongoing extramural communication (i.e. section of verbal communication) requires usage of LB resources (for thorough logical processing, retrieval of preset information or randomizing), VP sends the intramural communication underlying such extramural communication to LB, which executes it and sends back the result to VP in the form of a summary (more under title LB Summary) and 2) if LB wants to contribute information to VP in the process of making a decision (or part of it) of the ongoing intramural communication, it sends such information to VP, which assigns consciousness level to it proportional to the confidence level passed on by LB.

This way, even when VP and LB typically contribute concurrently to come up with multiple decisions on how to handle the interaction, the person is neither aware of the reasoning used for the decision nor the source of processing done in LB, as information processing in LB does not get flagged as conscious.

The above topic explains the basis of intuition, gut feelings, eureka moments, etc. that occur during the thought process.

Step 7

In the extramural mode, the content of communication is deliberated upon (i.e. mulled over) by VP using information gained in steps 4a1, 4a2, 4b1 and 4b2 to judge (in a hierarchical manner if necessary) which decision out of those selected by VP (mentioned in Step 6a) is to be finalized to handle the interaction, which becomes the goal.

The above step explains how you, based on your personality, knowledge, skills, genetic predispositions, habits, etc., judge and finalize which of the decisions you had come up with earlier to handle your ongoing interaction is the best for execution, which then becomes your goal.

Step 8

In the process of reaching the goal of the finalized decision, if VP requires to communicate part(s) of extramural communication to others, it instructs LB to do so in verbal or written form as required (learnt while learning the language), which it does after considering information gained in steps 4a1, 4a2, 4b1 and 4b2 and getting feedback of such part(s) from CB-ROMs (more under title CB-ROM) of other people if they are involved in the interaction to evaluate its effectiveness on them (more details under title CB-ROM Utilization).

The above is also the basis of non-verbal communication like gestures, facial expressions, etc.

The above step explains how you select the thoughts, views, opinions, etc. to be communicated to others in verbal or written form and what you do to make them effective. It also explains the basis of non-verbal communication like gestures, facial expressions, etc.

Step 9

LB executes the finalized decision as and when required (typically) by VP. VP guides LB in execution if physical interactions are involved. When repetitive or preset interactions are detected, VP hands over the control to LB (to save VP Utilization Time) and gets into standby mode until new interactions is required.

The above step explains how the finalized decision is executed as and when required.

Summary & Flowchart

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