synaptic plasticity question, etc.

Sun Jan 23 11:28:48 EST 1994

Something I'm curious about.  During the course of the adult lifetime, say even
from minute to minute, does synaptic topography change dynamically ?  Are
synapses 'broken' and formed as part of normal ongoing brain function ?

When speaking of 'protien systhe{is' as a basis for some aspects of memory,
what exactly is meant ?  

Now my 20 cents worth.  I agree that we've really got to get away from this
reductionist stuff when studying the brain- comparisons with digital computers
have got to stop !  I believe that due to the inherent compexity of this organ,
the massively parallel dynamically adaptve processing for which our information
theory lags so sadly (behind digital info theory), we will not ever be able to
describe brain function in reductionistic terms.  One way perhaps todescribe
brain function would be to build a 'brain' (whatever the technology) that
becomes self-aware and is able to learn for itself.  This way we could make use
of the fact that for parallel networks we do not have to fully understand the
'structure' underlying the information processing (cf. serial systems,  i.e.
algorithms).  I mean, how can we ever hope to describe something which employs
10E11 neurons and 10E12 connections ?  Time for a paradigm shift.

Barry Manor  Physiologist Cognitive Neuroscientist Biomedical Engineer.
             PhD Student in Medicine @ University of Sydney, Australia.
             Generally Confused, Lover of Bicycles, Bach and Beethoven.
   DoD #620  'Zeph' Kawa Zephyr 750.  She torques, I listen.
     E-mail: b.manor at  (University of New South Wales).

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