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Temporal neural activity - what is it?

ken collins kckpaulc at aol.comABCXYZ
Mon Nov 8 07:22:23 EST 1999


>Subject: Temporal neural activity - what is it?
>From: "Kyle Doerksen" kyle_doerksen[spaminacan]@hotmail.com 
>Date: Mon, 08 November 1999 01:49 AM EST
>Message-id: <ynuV3.8974$Q5.352632 at news1.rdc1.ab.home.com>
>
>I'm interested in brain patterns as varying with time. From what little I've
>read, it seems that new reserach is being conducted that indicates that the
>patterns (time series) of neuronal excitation are important in overall brain
>function. Could you please advise me as to where I could look to find more
>information about this, and what relevant terminology I could use for www
>searches?

hi, Kyle. there's no 'time' in the nervous system (or anywhere else within
physical reality; but that's another discussion).

what's been referred to as 'time' is 'just' energy flowing.

to see-it with respect to nervous system function, one has to constantly keep
in mind the overall problem that the nervous system must 'solve' if it's host
organism is to survive:

given an input-->analyze-->manifest an output

in our nervous systems, this problem is embodied in the Geometry of the neural
architecture, which maps the body-environment interface (skin, retina, cochlea,
etc.) into the CNS, and outputs to the effectors, in rigorously
topographically-ordered (Geometrical) fashions, in which the correlation
between the input and output 'maps' is preserved throughout their entire
extents, with respect to a single principle:

that topologically-distributed excitation should be maximized and
topologically-distributed inhibition should be minimized... compactly "TD
E/I(min)".

thus, in the 'middle' part of the problem, what happens is that the input
"map's" activation  is transformed into an 'appropriate' output "map's"
activation... that is, the energy-content of the input 'map' is transformed
into an 'appropriate' energy-content in the output 'map'.

why 'energy-contents'?

because 'appropriate' behaviors are produced by the effectors' doing =work=.
coding things in terms of energy-content translates exactly into work at the
effectors.

but, what must effector activations be, if an 'appropriate' behaviro is to be
manifested?

they must be sequenced so that the energy-content of the activation reflects
the work-flow that must occur in the the effector activations.

to achieve this, our nervous systems sequence the energy-content of the output
network in a way that rigorously reflects the work-flow needs of the effectors.

note, there's no 'time' in-there; 'just' sequenced energy-content.

how is 'appropriateness' converged upon?

through trial and error. if a behaviro that's manifested is 'inappropriate',
there will be feedback from the environment that will be mapped into the
nervous system in a way that elevates TD E/I.

and since our nervous systems are engineered, throughout their entire extents
to do only one thing, achieve TD E/I(min), they can use the energycontent
that's been mapped into the nervous system to correct the 'inappropriate'
behavioral manifestation by simply converging upon TD E/I(min).

this will, in the middle, 'analysis' part of the problem, take the form of an
abstract minimization of the network activation's sequenced energy-content, and
this is mapped pack to the effectors, where it will yield an adjusted,
sequenced, work-flow, and, therefore, an adjusted behavioral manifestation.

and so forth. because of the elegant way in which the neural topology is
'engineered', converging upon TD E/I(min) 'simultaneously' converges upon
'appropriate' energy-content being mapped to the effectors, and 'appropriate'
behaviors being manifested.

back to non-existent 'time'... our experience of 'time' is actually our
experience of the rate of energy-consumption within our nervous systems. the
old saw about 'time flying when one has fun' is actually correlated with the
fact that, when our nervous systems are relatively well-converged upon TD
E/I(min), they function relatively-efficiently, and their energy consumption is
also relatively-minimized.

the converse case, in which TD E/I is relatively-high, occurs when our nervous
systems' activation is poorly-converged... think about driving your car during
the winter, and the road on which you're driving suddenly turns icy while
you're steering your car around a curve... your car slides... there's a tree...
because of the ice, there's nothing you can do but wait for the 'crunch'.

in such instances, the activation that occurs within the 'analysis' portion of
the network =soars=, and, be-cause it does, we have the experience of "time's
slowing-down"... but, look closely, and you'll see immediately that what's
happening is that, since the neurons in the 'analysis' portion of the net are
'running rampant', they're also driving everything else at a higher-energy
'level', so everything's 'running-faster' than it 'normally' would, so more
'analysis' work is done during what would normally be done in what is referred
to as a 'period of time'.

but we've no 'clocks' in our nervous systems... all we have is TD E/I, which
directly reflects energy-consumption, from which we infer nonexistent 'time'...
which is obvious because, obviously, what's referred to as 'time' hasn't
changed, yet, as we head for that tree on the ice-slicked road, 'time' seems to
have come to a stop, and we experience what, in terms of what's been referred
to as 'one second of time', as if it were much-longer... minutes.

this is be-cause our nervous systems are consuming so much more energy...
be-cause neural activation has tended toward randomness.

it's the same way in all of physical reality, BTW... for instance, compare
'normal' geological erosion with the effects of an avalanche, any one sees that
they are 'just' the same thing, only one runs its course much-more rapidly...
more energy flows per unit of what's been referred to as 'time'.

but there's no 'time' in-there... 'just' energy flowing.

it's this way be-cause everything within physical reality reduces to the
one-way flow of energy from order to disorder that is what's described by 2nd
Thermo (wdb2t).

when we wind a clock's spring, we are just doing work to imbue the spring with
'potential energy'. subsequently, the clock's escapement meteres out the energy
of its spring in a way that's engineered to have a more or less rigorous
correlation with the period of Earth's rotation.

look and see. it's all 'just' energy flowing.even in 'clocks', there's no
'time'.

'just' energy, flowing.

the 'only' difference between a 'clock' and a nervous system is that, while the
clock vectors it's energy-flow in a relatively-delineated way, nervous systems
are able to direct their energy-flows in infinite ways.

"viva le difference!" :-)

ken (K. P. Collins)




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