The mitochondrion as a flip-flop memory element in neurons
theophilus.samuels at btinternet.com
Sat Dec 23 09:01:22 EST 2000
I am glad that you replied to my last very short posting. The reason I
asked was to get another perspective on an interesting 'debate' that took
place in this NG back in September concerning how information was processed
within the human brain.
The work that you mentioned deals with 'frequency coding' involving a
binary system, and as pointed out in this thread, the timing of each AP may
consititute to an analogue system as time would be the variable quantity
(remember, it may only be variable to us since we are unable to understand
it). These are the same sorts of 'already known information' that I posted
back then and believed intuitively to be correct, or at least on the right
track. Indeed, the only problem that was faced with this model is how could
the temporal attributes of AP trains give rise to the phenomenon of
consciousness, or in fact how could information be processed in this manner?
This brings us to the AG message:
>I am not a specialist and I do not dispute what you say here. Indeed I
>find attractive the idea that information is encoded in the exact
>timing of the spikes. Is there any information yet on what 'reads' the
>time intervals between spikes and 'decodes' them to give back the
>original information to the receiving neuron (or neurons)? At the least
>a 'stopwatch' would be needed, would it not?
I do not know of any work that points to such a 'stopwatch' and to have
one would be an extraordinary finding.
There are some interesting ideas involving complexity theory (i.e.
involving complex systems that can exhibit 'emergent' behaviour) and chaos
(recently, Christini and Collins of Boston University found that apparently
random sequences of nerve impulses can be rendered periodic by pretending
they are chaotic and applying the usual methods of chaotic control) that use
APs and their associated timings that attempt to understand the human brain.
The door is open.
Harry Erwin, Ph. D. <harry at dherwin.org> wrote in message
news:1em22oz.1ck5cit1l7pviaN%harry at dherwin.org...
> Theophilus Samuels <theophilus.samuels at btinternet.com> wrote:
> > Elaborate please.
> What about Simmons's evidence for 10-100 nanosecond resolution of range
> in bat biosonar? The neurons involved are comparable to typical
> mammalian neurons in their recovery times and rates of spiking. That's
> pretty good evidence that the key cue is the exact timing of the action
> potentials involved, not their presence or absence.
> What about Levy's work on variable timing of action potential generation
> in the hippocampus? During replay, the neurons spike much more quickly
> than they did during the initial exposure to the stimuli.
> > T.L.S.
> > Harry Erwin, Ph. D. <harry at dherwin.org> wrote in message
> > news:1em03vp.380928zetb0gN%harry at dherwin.org...
> > > Theophilus Samuels <theophilus.samuels at btinternet.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > It's that good ol' argument about 'digital vs analogue' again.
> > > >
> > > > T.L.S.
> > > >
> > >
> > > Except that I've seen some suggestive evidence.
> > >
> > > --
> > > Harry Erwin, PhD, <mailto:harry at dherwin.org>,
> > > Senior Lecturer in Computing at the University of Sunderland,
> > > Computational Neuroscientist (modeling bat behavior) and
> > > Senior SW Analyst and Security Engineer.
> Harry Erwin, PhD, <mailto:harry at dherwin.org>,
> Senior Lecturer in Computing at the University of Sunderland,
> Computational Neuroscientist (modeling bat behavior) and
> Senior SW Analyst and Security Engineer.
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