Signals in the brain

F. Frank LeFever flefever at
Tue Apr 28 22:24:47 EST 1998

In <3545E63F.7F85B101 at> Dirk Wessels <d at> writes: 
>F. Frank LeFever wrote:
>> Frank's commment:
>>  plenty of factul data in books or journals (when you are ready for
>> scientific journals; start with elementary textbooks).
>My experience is that these elementary books just state the data
>that confirms their basic theories.
>The more data/facts become more interesting, if this data does
>not confirm the theories.
>In magazines like Science and Scientific American,

Further comment: Scientigic American is a magazine.  Science is a
(scientific) journal, primarily for presentation of new data, with
occasional theoretical presentations.

 I saw that
>there were many measurements that did not confirm the "basic"
>theories, but were in these cases used for supporting the authors
>new theories. Yet these were based on the basic ones, and
>the actual data used seems to deny the basic models, and need
>much more complex models.

Sounds like the basic procedure of scientific progress comes as a
surprise to you: yes, "thesis, antithesis, synthesis"  is the way we
have achieved the impressive understanding (manifest in technicologies
you may take for granted) available so far.

>OK, I am not trying to disguard the "basic" theories, but
>my experience with programming AI and simultated neural
>networks tell something different than the brain and the
>actual processes going on in the brain.
>Therefore I have begun with a different hypothesis:
>"Emotions are most important, then the "logical" signals.
>This seems to confirm the evolutionary approach, since
>even plants seem to have feelings (fear,.. etc).

WHOAAA! Rein it in.  Don't pollute the waters of discourse any further.
At the very least, offer a USABLE definition of "emotion" before
asserting that plants "seem" to have emotions.  Either you have a
private definition or you belong with the "brain surfer"--in soome oher
world (certainly not in a neuroscience discussion group).

>Based upon this we need to understand this process much
>better and how it helps in constructing memory and how
>hormones and emotions influence each other exactly.

Confusion of levels of discourse.  Whether you mean "emotions" as a 
subjective experiences or as particular physiological patterns of
response, one refers to chemicals which influence the response, and/or 
are part of that pattern; the other is the whole event.

>(Since we are still looking for the "love" parfume, 

POSSIBLY this means you have heard something about pheromones?
They may play a role as cues for some kinds of emotions (as do sights,
sounds, touches, smells--yes, one does differentiate between odors and
pheromones) but are hardly the basis of "emotions" or a key to their

it seems

>that we have 
not found the exact process b
ehind emotions).
>Maybe emotions is a more mixture of both electrical en chemical

EVERYTHING is.  Activities of cells (including brain cells) can be seen
as chemical or as electrical, depending on your measuring instrument.

AGAIN my PLEA: crack a BOOK!  Never mind (the journal) Science; it
seems even (the magazine) Scientific American is at a level bound to
confuse and mislead you until you READ AN ELEMENTARY TEXTBOOOK and get
SOME grasp of the basics (you did NOT--contrary to your assertion--get
"basics" in Sci or SciAm; that's not their job).

>But maybe I will start with my full hypothesis and see where we
>find data that seems to deny it.

Why not start with a full STATEMENT of it? n.b.: a hypothesis is a
specific prediction (to be confirmed or not by specific predicted
data), ideally not just a "hunch" but based on a well developed THEORY.

 Therefore I was first looking
>for some more actual 

Actual? as contrasted with---?

and representive

Representative? meaning what?  sampled randomly from some universe of

 data (and not those
>from magazines).
Again, the distinction between "magazines" and "journals" is crucial.
Scientific data are available ONLY in journals; that's where we report
the outcomes of our experiments/observations.  That's what the authors
and editors of "magazines" and BOOKS work with.


>    Dirk

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