Why dont we hear/see individual neural firing events??

Lee Kent Hempfling lkh at MAIL.CEI.NET
Mon Sep 30 09:29:43 EST 1996


Lee Kent Hempfling (lkh at mail.cei.net) wrote:
> 
> It is a very common misconception that neurons only fire.

Assuming that you mean firing as an action potential, that is what they
commonly do as an output.

That is what you observe them to do. Woudl you look at a transistor and
declare that it only discharges? Of course not. It puts out a value. It
is the value that is of interest not the fact that the neuron fired it.

> What neurons
> do is accept a charge value, hold it until they accept a second charge
> and the result of the calculation is discharged from the neuron. It is
> this discharge that is observed as firing.

Nope. They accept many inputs. If the temporal and spatial summation of
inputs leads to a threshhold level, they will fire an AP. After that,
they are refractory for an interval. It is the refractory period
that limits the 'firing' frequency.

I did not say they did not accept many inputs. I was referring to a
single event. Neurons are shared by many of the same type of pathway
connections with the charge-firing controlled by synchronous timing of
the biological clock. The neuron is 
a component of process not the cause of it. A neuron has no more control
over what it does than a wagon has over whether it moves. The wagon
carries a load. The point is the load, not the wagon. As it is with
neurons: The point is the value the neuron processes and the issuance of
that value for further processing. Demanding to remain adhered to the
output stage of a device is ignoring the internal function of it.

> There is no noise in that
> process. If there was, we would all be dealing with incorrect sensory
> perception. 

Sure there is: spontaneous transmitter release at the synapse. Of
course, such events are unlikely to significantly influence the next
neuron's firing.

Maybe in your brain sir, but not in humans or any other brain for that
matter, so I am being facitious. The neuron is a component. It functions
by motivation not on its own. When you come to realize that neurons are
functional components and not drone switches you will have a chance at
understanding how the entire brain functions.

> It is not a binary function. > 

Depends on your definition. After all, it either fires an AP or it
doesn't.

What definition? Binary is a two state process, off or on. Look at a
door. It is either open or closed. Or is it? If it is just slightly open
you would say it is OPEN when it is only just slightly open. Try putting
a person through a slightly opened door. One can not. But a door far
open will permit passage. What you are saying is that the fact that the
door is only partially open should not inhibit passage because its open.
The brain does NOT function is a binary state. The only thing
potentially binary about it at all is that it is either ON (Alive) or
OFF (dead).

The biggest problem with researchers today is the failure to come out of
the binary mentality. ONLY DIGITAL COMPUTERS run in binary. People are
so used to analyzing things in a binary mentality that they permit the
binary god to overcome their intellect. If a ball was binary it would
jump in a square wave instead of roll in sine. If a tree was binary it
would either be a seed or a full grown tree. If a person was binary she
would either be all knowing or totally moronic. Fuzzy Logic attempts to
rectify this problem but is performed within the constrains of a binary
protocol.  A radio is either on or it isn't. WHo cares what volume it
is. Its either ALL LOUD or its off. Who cares what station its on? Its
either ALL stations or its OFF. Come now...... no one would treat things
in binary..... but learned scientists insist on using the binary
mentality to describe observations.

The Binary computer is a product of the brain. IT IS NOT THE BRAIN. The
operating system of the brain has been duplicated (on a small scale)
with ALL claims above proven in physical reality.

Even the question is binary: Depends upon your interpretation.......

Yes, either binary is TWO states or it is NOT.



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