The Three-Pound Universe

brain image customizedTHE HUMAN BRAIN

What is termed and explored at 33 Gateway Lane as the TOP-DOWN/BOTTOM-UP
CONTINUUM finds many congruences and correspondences throughout reality.  For
example, it is opined at 33 Gateway Lane that the pervasive psychological model in our
society, Freudian psychology, is representative of Bottom-Up, whereas the less pervasive Jungian psychology is representative of Top-Down.  It is noted that there is one
Continuum, but the difference in traveling that Continuum via Top-Down or Bottom-Up  is like the difference between night and day.

Provocative correspondence is found with the Bottom-Up and Top-Down Processing in the field of brain studies.  In her superb The Human Brain Book, Rita Carter summarizes this brain processing as follows:

Sensations are triggered externally by an occurrence that impacts on a sense organ, and internally, by memory or imagination.  The former is knows as “bottom-up,” and the latter as “top-down” processing.  The two combine to create our experience of reality.  Each person’s experience of a given event is different.  Physiological differences affect bottom-up processing.  One person’s color-processing area in the brain may be highly sensitive, for example, so that colors are more vibrant than average.  Also, an individual’s own memories, knowledge, and expectations affect top-down processing.

Bottom-up [vision] processing alone presents the viewer with a meaningless array of seemingly random blobs and shapes.  Top-down [vision] processing imposes a pattern on the image that helps the viewer understand it.

 top-down:  A phrase used to distinguish “processed” information or knowledge that is used to interpret “raw” sensory data.

bottom-up:  Usually refers to relatively “raw” information flowing from the primary sensory areas of the brain rather than from areas involved in thinking, imagining, or creating expectations.

The following is excerpted from the Wikipedia entry “Top-down and bottom-up design”:

Top-down and bottom-up are both strategies of information processing and knowledge ordering, used in a variety of fields including software, humanistic and scientific theories (see systemics), and management and organization. In practice, they can be seen as a style of thinking and teaching. A top-down approach (also known as stepwise design and in some cases used as a synonym of decomposition) is essentially the breaking down of a system to gain insight into its compositional sub-systems in a reverse engineering fashion. In a top-down approach an overview of the system is formulated, specifying but not detailing any first-level subsystems. Each subsystem is then refined in yet greater detail, sometimes in many additional subsystem levels, until the entire specification is reduced to base elements. A top-down model is often specified with the assistance of “black boxes”, these make it easier to manipulate. However, black boxes may fail to elucidate elementary mechanisms or be detailed enough to realistically validate the model. Top down approach starts with the big picture. It breaks down from there into smaller segments.

A bottom-up approach is the piecing together of systems to give rise to more complex systems, thus making the original systems sub-systems of the emergent system. Bottom-up processing is a type of information processing based on incoming data from the environment to form a perception. From a Cognitive Psychology perspective, information enters the eyes in one direction (sensory input, or the “bottom”), and is then turned into an image by the brain that can be interpreted and recognized as a perception (output that is “built up” from processing to final cognition). In a bottom-up approach the individual base elements of the system are first specified in great detail. These elements are then linked together to form larger subsystems, which then in turn are linked, sometimes in many levels, until a complete top-level system is formed. This strategy often resembles a “seed” model, whereby the beginnings are small but eventually grow in complexity and completeness. However, “organic strategies” may result in a tangle of elements and subsystems, developed in isolation and subject to local optimization as opposed to meeting a global purpose.

Also from Wikipedia:

According to Theoretical Synthesis, “when a stimulus is presented short and clarity is uncertain that gives a vague stimulus, perception becomes a top-down approach.” Conversely, Psychology defines bottom-up processing as an approach wherein there is a progression from the individual elements to the whole.

It is not yet common knowledge that a central feature of United States Navy SEALS training is functional performance via Top-Down Processing.

All the Western and Eastern esoteric traditions as well as Kabbalah, metaphysics, et. al. have components corresponding with the TOP-DOWN/BOTTOM-UP CONTINUUM.

What is termed and explored at 33 Gateway Lane as the “Realm of Four” includes
consideration of that “three-pound universe” commonly known as the human brain.  For example, the brain includes four primary lobes:  Frontal, Parietal, Occipital, and Temporal.

The Top-Down/Bottom-Up Continuum works in natural hierarchical concert with the Realm of Four.


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