Newbie seeks advice in modeling NMDA-channel

ken collins kckpaulc at aol.comABCXYZ
Wed Nov 3 18:41:03 EST 1999


>[...]

>First off, can you be a little more specific about what you mean by
>"model of a NMDA-receptor"? 

>[...]

let's 'cut to the chase'... you're addressing things from the
'we-don't-know-anything-about-the-brain' "school" of thought with respect to
nervous system function... the perspective that holds that, if there's one
unknown, then nothing can be said with Certainty.

of course, i strongly disagree with this perspective on Neuroscience, viewing
it as a 'cop-out'... one that's, nevertheless, extremely-popular in
Neuroscience circles (why it's so is discussed in AoK; see Ap3 and Ap7 in
particular).

the view i hold is that what is known with Certainty can be used to fill in the
gaps with respect to what remains unknown, because what is known necessarily
delimits what can be happening within the stuff that remains unknown. this not
only allows things to go forward beyond the 'point' of
'we-don't-know-anything-about-the-brain', but, simultaneously generates
hypotheses with respect to what remains unknown, thereby, accelerating research
in those areas of Neuroscience.

with respect to NDT, itself, except for questions pertaining to 'Supernatural"
stuff, the whole problem is rigorously encapsulated in the
input-analysis-output architecture of the nervous system.

at first, the 'middle', 'analysis', portion seems to be 'mysterious'... the
view is that 'pretty-much anything' can be happening in-there.

but, on closer inspection, one sees that the only stuff that can be happening
in the 'middle' is what, given specific inputs, that which will result in
specific, 'appropriate' outputs being manifested by the effectors.

given such, one can pin things down, further, through a study of stuff like
pain-avoidance, and the verified understanding like the outputs of the
cerebellum being totally-inhibitory. when one does so, one finds, as is
discussed in AoK, that the neural architecture of the CNS is rigorously ordered
so that, by maximizing inhibition and minimizing excitation (or minimizing
E/I), the effectors will be activated in ways that will result in the body's
'moving away from' environmental sources of noxious stimulation.

when one takes what's learned, and looks further, one is confronted with the
fact that the 'reticular system' extends throughout the CNS. this means that,
if the powerful pain-avoidance mechanism is to be tightly-integrated throughout
the extent of the CNS, TD E/I-minimization =must= be functional whereever the
'reticular system' extends, which is everywhere within the CNS... else,
higher-'level' functionality would occur in a way that's 'uncoupled' from the
low-'level' pain-avoidance mechanism, and one could not 'understand',
cognitively, why it is that one's body 'moves away from' environmental sources
of noxious stimulation.

the method used in the development of NDT goes on like this, integrating
everything.

the rationale is the same throughout... overall integration must be preserved
within the neural architecture it the overall functioning of the nervous system
is to be, and remain, unified.

going at things in this way exposes the 'we don't know anything about the
brain' "school of thought" as being totally-unfounded (it is, in fact, 'just' a
way in which folks in 'neuroscience' 'excuse' themselves from having to
actually Think... which is a bit 'humorous' when it's realized that what's
being studied, in Neuroscience, is the organ of thought :-)

but i =understand= that NDT is a great 'embarassment' to folks who do
'neuroscience' from the perspective of the 'we don't know anything' view.

there's little i can do about that, except that folks who don't yet see-it will
allow me to address their concerns, on their terms, at their convenience.

in the interim, i just wish that someone would allow NDT's position to be
communicated in the traditional way.

cheers, ken (K. P. Collins)




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