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machine brains

ray scanlon rscanlon at wsg.net
Tue Sep 23 19:57:19 EST 1997

	"In endeavouring to assess the kind of code or codes that the nervous
system 	might use to transmit information, we have looked at the
capabilities of the 	neurone as a receiver. However we must bear in
mind that nowhere does a neurone 	form the *end* of a system. It is
therefore not so much a receiver as a 	transformer. We shall have to be
as much concerned with the mechanism as with the 	codes themselves."
		I. C. Whitfield, "Neurocommunications: An Introduction".

When discussing whether any neurons are receivers as opposed to
transformers (transducers) we must remember the difference between the
subjective and the objective. The objective brain brain runs from
sensory neuron to motor neuron. The subjective brain, the brain as
experienced by the mind,  runs from sensory neuron to receiver. That
is, we postulate an 'exalted' neuron, one whose activities we
experience. But where? The entire brain? A part of the brain? A
particular neuron?

We turn to Wilder Penfield who ventured that experience takes place in
the diencephalon, in a region that includes part of the hypothalamus
and part of the thalamus. He gives as his reason that while great parts
of the cerebrum may be excised with no effect on awareness any invasion
of this particular region leads to uncosciousness.



email: rscanlon at wsg.net

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