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Neural and Social Networks 7.1 Connections, Relationships, and Networks 7.

2 The Neural and Social Networks

The learner understands the parallelism between neural and social networks.

The learner creates a social map that traces the various roles that students play in the community (family members, community leader, etc.) and
rank the significance of the roles played within the community.

1. Identify connections, relationship, and networks

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2. Illustrate how the brain or neural network works

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3. Compare the neural networks with social networks

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4. Establish linkage between self and the social network one belongs to

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5. Demonstrate how thinking processes are shaped by social relationships

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6. Identify the significant social roles students play within the community by creating a social map of their relationships

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7. Rank the roles in the community in terms of significance and explain why

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Culminating
Trends
Network neuroscience provides new ways of understanding the complex patterns of structural connections and functional coupling in
the human brain.
Social network analysis offers systematic ways to quantify social environments and interactions among persons and people groups.
Recent trends bring these two types of analysis together to understand how brain networks and social networks interact to influence
the behaviors of individuals, groups, and populations.
The confluence of these fields is beginning to shed light on how ideas and behaviors spread from person to person, and has the
potential to inform health, education, and community intervention.
How do brains shape social networks, and how do social ties shape the brain? Social networks are complex webs by which ideas
spread among people. Brains comprise webs by which information is processed and transmitted among neural units. While brain
activity and structure offer biological mechanisms for human behaviors, social networks offer external inducers or modulators of those
behaviors. Together, these two axes represent fundamental contributors to human experience. Integrating foundational knowledge
from social and developmental psychology and sociology on how individuals function within dyads, groups, and societies with recent
advances in network neuroscience can offer new insights into both domains. Here, we use the example of how ideas and behaviors
spread to illustrate the potential of multilayer network models.

Why is consciousness an outcome of only neural network interactions,


and not social networks or internet interactions?
2 Answers

Harland Grant, Co-Host of The Dawdler's Philosophy Podcast

Answered 7w ago
Well, first of all, we don’t know for sure that it is only a neural result. With something as squishy as “consciousness” at this
point, it could go either way:

It could be that there just is no such thing as consciousness at all and so it is not the “outcome” of any of these systems… Or it
could be that other complex networks areconscious and we just don’t know it yet.

However, those meta issues aside, I think the most direct answer to your question is: because [of known examples of complex
networks] only neural networks have been subject to the right kind of evolutionary pressures for long enough to influence the
systems to develop whatever that phenomenon is that some people call “consciousness”.

A way to look at it, in a sort of adaptationist terminology, is asking the teleonomic question: What is this thing for [if anything]?
I like Daniel Dennett’s phrase that the brain is for “producing future”— explaining and predicting one’s environment in real
time sufficiently to reliably produce successful behavior. Some of the important parts of our environments include: ourselves
and other humans. Perhaps some combination of self-monitoring [self-awareness if you like] and “theory of mind” [that which
we attribute to other people, “folk psychology”] work together to help foster an evolutionary environment in which
“consciousness” is a desirable solution.

Other examples, like computer network connections, are for other purposes, and have no evolutionary pressure to develop
consciousness. They get along well [if not better] without it and so the chances of it developing in these systems is vanishingly
small. Of course, it seems possible to me that “intelligent designers”, i.e. computer programmers / A.I.
researchers, could eventually manifest a “conscious” computer, but for it to develop naturally without a pressure to do so seems
unlikely.