Question about neural connections.

John H. johnhkm at netsprintXXXX.net.au
Thu Feb 17 19:33:18 EST 2000


Hi,


Ralph Leonhardt <leo at neuroinformatik.ruhr-uni-bochum.de> wrote in message
news:Pine.GSO.4.21.0002171556110.14111-100000 at gol...
>
> On Thu, 17 Feb 2000, Ev wrote:
>
> > This may seem silly and obvious but I'm confused. Since every neuron
> > can have up to 10,000 dendrites but only 1 axon it seems to me that
> > there is a mismatch of inputs and outputs. What am I missing? Can a
> > single axon terminal sit on more than 1 dendrite?
>
> Hi Ev,
>
> I think your question is pretty straight forward to answer:
> axons can develop branches (same as dendrites do) and thereby 'supply'
> many dendrites/neurons with input.
>
>
> > Also, I posed the following question to a newsgroup on evolutionary
> > biology but the responses were not very convincing: what is the purpose
> > of laughter and why do we have areas in the brain devoted to finding
> > things comical and humorous? Can anyone help with this?


Maybe these areas are not just devoted to laughter, I would be surprised if
they were. Should we even try and find a logical reason for laughter?
Laughter is an emotion of sorts, used in various ways for various ends. To
ridicule others and so enhance one's own status, laughter may have arisen as
a social weapon but I doubt it, to just have a good laugh, to see the absurd
side. It's primary function may be for the purposes of the limbic system and
have nothing to do whatsoever with logic or contradictions. Laughter is just
plain fun. There are plenty of "arational" things we do because they are
just plain fun. There are lots of strange human behaviours that evolution
can't answer.

There is some evidence that even rats laugh, and I dolphins also have a
sense of humour, though many animals may possess that. You'd need it given
what the risen apes have been up to lately.

Is fun a good enough reason for a creature to do something?


John. H.
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