Undergrad seeking advice

Allen L. Barker alb at datafilter.com
Tue Sep 10 14:59:01 EST 2002

"Richard S. Norman" wrote: 
> First, you should get some background in biology.  A good intro course
> plus some background in cell biology and physiology and an intro neuro
> course will really help you decide.  It will also show you that your
> ideas that seem so appropriate and logical to you now are hopelessly
> naive given the true complexity of neurons and nervous systems. 

His "naive" ideas have already been put into practice in many
instances.  The devices will continue to improve.  Many academic
researchers seem blinded by the trees.  

While it is admirable and interesting to come up with a 
theory of how the whole brain works, that is not necessary for 
basic brain interfaces.  Biomedical engineering may be a good 
field for this sort of thing.  You do not need to know everything 
a brain is doing to extract useful information from sensor data.  
The brain is also an adaptive organ which learns and can reorganize 
itself when the feedback loop is closed.

BTW, when such technology is abused nonconsensually and to harm
the result is popularly called "mind control."  I have a collection
of links at http://www.datafilter.com/mc which focuses on such
human rights abuses, but you might also get some ideas for positive

Allen Barker

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list