Why do physicists and mathematicians like Roger Penrose study neuroscience (primarily the occipital lobe and the claustrum) to understand what reality is REALLY like?

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Why do physicists and mathematicians like Roger Penrose study neuroscience (primarily the occipital lobe and the claustrum) to understand what reality is REALLY like?

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Because part of the discourse concerns our ability to perceive reality — maybe the answer to “what is reality?” can be found by exploring the ways that we interact with or *perceive/process* reality.

I’m not really sure I understand your question completely. But I guess one of the problems with knowing what reality really is, is that whatever we think we see, hear, feel, taste isn’t actually reality. It is the signals from the world first being taken up by our senses (which already filters out a lot) and then processed by our brain which then finally presents us with a picture of what the brain wants us to know.

And for example for seeing: the brain doesn’t just copy light intensities pixel by pixel, like a computer or a camera would. But it heavily edits it, because for us to function best some information is more important than the rest.

This of course is also really relevant for artificial intelligence, because computers just ‘think’ and process things fundamentally different than the human brain does.

I’m not particularly familiar with Roger Penrose, but I think I can guess what he’s probably referring to.

Our senses themselves have considerable limitations and the more-or-less thorough vision of the world we see around us is largely the product of our minds “filling in the blanks” when the inputs from our senses are comined in our brains. This process is understood hardly at all past the points where our sensory nerves first connect with our brains; but a fairly dramatic demonstration of this fact is the *punctum caecum*, which is a blind spot in our field of vision where the optic nerve enters the eyeball. We never perceive this blind spot because our minds fill in this blank space with whatever we expect to see.

There is nothing strictly relevant to mathematics or physics to be gleaned from this, but understanding it provides a good perspective of how mathematics itself is actually just an extension of how we organize and simplify the universe in our minds.