In <717h0c$a93 at ux.cs.niu.edu> rickert at cs.niu.edu (Neil Rickert) writes:
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>> It is a strawman.
>>Ah, yes. In your idealogical committment to an absurd genetic
>determinism, you must find ways to berate those who are capable of
>seeing the evidence to the contrary.
> It seems to me that it is Rickert who attacks strawmen: the
interaction of genetic and environmental forces in development
is a truism; I doubt any of the 20,000 members of the Society for
Neuroscience would argue otherwise, and I see nothing in the reply
he attacks that suggests otherwise.
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>>Again and again and again in the brain, topology is preserved.
>>Whatever that means. Without defining your terms, this is quite
The term does not need definition for anyone familiar with the
literature of developmental and functional neuroanatomy of the
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>>>>>My disagreement is with your statement that the brain is not
>>>>signal energy flowing through the sensory neurons and information
>>>>encoded in DNA. What is this other source?
>>>>For example, the chemical constituents of the air, the food, other
>>>parts of the environment.
>>>Any molecule from the environment that desires to get to the brain
>>the blood-brain barrier. This is not easy and is a basic
>>problem when attempting to get medication to the brain.
>>This is silly. That medication can get to the brain is already
>enough evidence. Moreover, there it is well know that nutritional
>disorders affect brain function.
Where to begin? How to sort out the layers of confusion?
Well...(starting at the top of the heap): it is useful to
distinguish between things "reaching" the brain and things
actually "signalling" the brain. One can "reach" the brain with
an ice-pick, also with a spoken word; but the processes are quite
One wonders if Rickert knows anything at all about the vast
literature on the blood-brain barrier, about active transport
mechanisms, etc. Yes, some medications pass the blood-brain
barrier, many do not. Pathology can sometimes cause "leaks" in
the BBB, allowing things in which are otherwise excluded; one
therapeutic strategy is to deliberately damage the barrier too
allow temporary access by a medication otherwise excluded.
Some food constituents enter easily, osmotically, others
require active transport, subject to energy constraints on the
transport, competition for the mechanism, etc.
In most cases, we are talking about actions on an entirely
different level from the signal functions mediated by the sensory
input which is (yes) remarkably topological in its organization.
F. Frank LeFever, Ph.D.
New York Neuropsychology Group