Need help on synapses.

Philip Dorrell p at dorrell.demon.co.uk
Thu Dec 14 16:57:12 EST 1995


In article <4aoe2oINNe60 at duncan.cs.utk.edu>,
   tzusheng at cs.utk.edu (Tzusheng) wrote:

>So the question can be reduced to: Are the synapses in the same functional 
>region of the brain homogeneous ?  If not, how different are they ?  It seems 
>to me that if they are quite the same, they don't process information much. 
>I might be wrong.  Thanks.
>
I think the basic answer to this question is that the meaning of signals is
contained not so much in the signal, because the signal either occurs or it
doesn't and firing can be fast or slow and also oscillatory behaviour does 
occur but otherwise there isn't much variation. The real difference in 
information provided by different neurons is that they are different neurons. 
Different neurons have different meanings, and I suspect that the mechanisms 
of learning ensure that they tend to acquire different meanings. For example, 
if the neurons that a given neuron outputs to always fire before it fires, 
then its own signal is somewhat redundant (and untimely), so as a result of 
this it can try and change (by  changing the weights on its inputs) and adopt 
some new meaning that might be useful or interesting to its potential 
"customers".

Philip Dorrell   Email: p at dorrell.demon.co.uk
Articles on consciousness, dreams, music, evolution, anthropic principle at
http://www.xmission.com/~gastown/dorrell/



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