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Thinking without language?

kenneth Collins kpaulc at earthlink.net
Mon Nov 22 07:14:28 EST 1999

but Thanks for as much as you did. (further comments below)

dag.stenberg at helsinki.nospam.fi wrote:

> In bionet.neuroscience kenneth Collins <kpaulc at earthlink.net> wrote:
> > i have an old hypertext doc that runs under MSDOS and all Windows. it's about
> > 500k compressed, expands to a little over a meg. if you can run it, and want it,
> > i'll send you a copy. it provides a brief introduction to a unified theory of
> > CNS function, cognition, affect and behavior, and discusses TD E/I-minimization.
> > comprehension requires other reading in Neuroscience.
> Well, the compressed file is 355 k in my computer, and the sum of
> expanded files is 863 k.

must be different sector size(?). (small sectors waste less disk space.)

> This citation is, in my opinion, helpful:
> "Duality Theory [the theory proposed by Ken] holds that the central
> nervous system is structurally ordered everywhere to achieve the single
> biological goal of minimizing the sum of the topologically-distributed
> ratios of excitatory to inhibitory neural activations that are occurring
> within it. This is stated in a compact form as
>         [finitization] = [summation of] (TD E/I) [minimized]"
>                 (sorry, cannot find proper symbols to go over the net)
> As far as I have understood, the brain of every individual tries to
> behave in such a fashion that the sum of (topologically distributed)
> E/I is minimized, and each brain region strives to influence other
> regions so that _its_ E/I is minimized. This also means
> "energy-consumtion minimization at cellular, sub-systematic and global
> levels".
> The topological issues are more difficult to understand, and I do not
> claim to have done so.

it's why i whine about doing it in-person, at a chaulkboard. try drawing the great
decussations on the inside of a paper grocery bag. the 'topologically-distributed'
refers to the fact that the neural architecture =maintains= the mapping of the sensory
receptors into the CNS, and back out of the CNS, to the effectors. it's a Geometrical
ordering-principle, because of which, 'appropriate' effector activations can be
converged-upon through 'blind' minimization of excitation and maximization of
inhibition, or the minimization of E/I.

> There are protopathic and epicritic brain regions:
> the protopathic ones are the diffusely connected ones, like the
> reticular formation, and the epicritic ones are the orderly ones
> (hypothalamus, thalamus - strangely enough).
>         (Not a triune brain, here).

yeah, but there is phylogeeny in-there. it's just that, as new stuff was developed,
the basic 'protopathic'-'epicritic' functionality, which is traceable all the way back
to organisms having radial symmetry (i. e. coelenterata; "jellyfish"), was maintained
within the newly-developed features, because doing so maintained a survival advantage.

> The TD E/I minimization principle leads to interesting conclusions.
> According to the AoK (1989) text, an angry face has more wrinkles, thus
> more information density than a smile.

it's not 'more wrinkles'. it's that, in anger, the external architecture of the face
becomes 'compressed' into a relatively-smaller surface area. =that= is what results in
there being a greater information-density, which occurs as relatively more info per
retinal unit area, which translates directly into greater activation density, which is
greater TD E/I, albeit, in a relatively-localized way, which, furthermore, allows one
viewing the 'compressed' face to orient with respect to it (because it's 'localized'
on the retina (see the discussion of 'ramp architecture' in AoK, Ap5)), and doing so
brings the image to center macula, which reduces the asymmetry inherent in the retinal
activation, which is coincident with TD E/I-minimization. (i know it seems kind of
"Rube Golberg"-ish, but that's just a function of there being a lot of stuff happening
in parallel which must, nevertheless, be discussed sequentially. it's much easier to
convey the essence at the chaulkboard.)

> Consequently, it causes greater
> TD E/I.  "If one behaves inappropriately with one's environment,
> an increased amount of excitation will be experienced".
> I understand that the CNS then takes various actions to decrease
> the TD E/I. (I would). The theory states that "all activation states in
> which TD E/I are minimized ... consist the 'subjective-good' knowledge
> category".

yeah, be-cause, anything else means that the environment is 'hammering' the nervous
system [TD E/I(up) occurs], and the nervous system responds by converging upon TD
E/I-minimization in a different way (AoK, Ap5; "supersystem configuration").

> Enough for now. I did think that explaining how I have understood the
> concept of TD E/I would be helpful.
> Dag Stenberg

the 'difficulty' is that one has to carry through all of the neuroanatomy =and= its
activation, all simultaneously. it's a lot that's so much easier to do at the

it's important to work 'forward', in complexity, from the 'Rosetta Stone' that's
outlined in the 'short paper' section of AoK, in particular, the cerebellum's 100%
inhibitory outputs, and to work out relatively-simple cases first, gradually adding
complexity until everything's integrated. it doesn't take too-long before intermediate
'level' things come together sufficiently, and when they do, they become part of the
"Rosetta Stone", and so forth, until all there is is "Rosetta Stone", and everything's
connected-up, and 'functioning', plain-as-day.

i won't even try this last thing without a chaulkboard... it's books-within-books

cheers, Dag, ken (hoping you're not goofin' on me :-)

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