A Theory of Sleep

yan king yin (no spam please) y.k.y at lycos.com
Wed Aug 15 01:54:23 EST 2001


"Brian" <zhil at online.no> ¼¶¼g©ó¶l¥ó:
> Hello Yin,
> This was a well-thought theory.
> But my question is - how will this theory affect the interfacing between
> neurons and electronics if the neurons are producing/destroying synaptic
> connectiosn via the dendrites and axons ?
> Just curious - it could scrap the idea about interfacing with the CNS,
but
> it might not pose a problem if the goal is the external neural system,
like
> the eyes(vision) or ears(audio).

I found out that my earlier schemes for neuroelectronic interface has
various
technical difficulties, and that using an external neural system as you
said,
might be more practical. Im studying on some of these aspects.

The brain is very plastic and if you make new innervations from an external
source it could likely cause re-organization in the cortex, and then the
brain
might be able to "see" with the new source (for artificial sight).

For example in the phatom limb, motor cortex is re-organized so that other
nearby areas invade the amputated area. The problem is how to induce as
much plasticity as in the early stages of development.

In Roger Sperry's experiments with the frog with the rotated eye, the frogs
stuck out their tongues in the wrong direction and eventually failed to
learn
the new directions. So there is a limit to this plasticity. Maybe the
change
was too drastic in this case.

Some neurites undergo maturation in the cytoskeleton and also myelination.
After that their structure is much more stabilized, and it seems that this
process is irreversible. Maybe the brain is modular so that some neurons
retain plasticity while others are more stable.






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