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monkeys learn to use brain-machine interface

KP_PC k.p.collins at worldnet.att.net
Mon Oct 13 07:35:37 EST 2003

Ho, ho, ho :-]

Every 'time' I discuss 'implants', 'knees-jerk'
all over the place.

I'll cut to the chase.

"Allen L. Barker" <alb at datafilter.com> wrote in message
news:WTsib.28989$Eo2.8800 at newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
| [...]

| Monkeys Control Robotic Arm With Brain Implants
| http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17434-2003Oct12.html
| By Rick Weiss
| Washington Post Staff Writer
| Monday, October 13, 2003; Page A01
| [...]

Quote from the Washington Post Article:

| Still, Segev expressed astonishment at
| how much the monkeys were able to do
| with signals from only a few hundred of
| the brain's 100 billion or so nerve cells --
| evidence, he said, that "the brain uses
| a lot of backup and a lot of redundancy."

This's an incorrect interpretation, the
more-mature the subjects, the more-
incorrect this interpretation is.

Plasticity occurs within brains in a give-
and-take way that always has qualities
that are analogous to those that are
observable in the "phantom limb" phen-

Quote from the Washington Post Article:

| That may explain one of the more
| interesting findings of the Duke
| experiments, he and others said:
| that neurons not usually involved in
| body movements, including those
| usually involved in sensory input
| rather than motor output, were easily
| recruited to help operate the robotic
| arm when electrodes were implanted
| there.
| [...]

Prior to the implant procedures, these
neurons were doing something else.

The implant has, literally, taken over
control of the monkey's nervous system.

I've discussed all of the most-important
mechansms involved in long-former posts.

The basic thing is that, since the implant
is not globally-integrated within the neural
Topology, it cannot function in a globally-
integrated-TD E/I-minimization way, and,
to the degree that it does not, it Dictates
to a nervous system what it is that it will
be - which is clearly-observable in the
'recruitment' cited in the quote from the
WP Article, immediately-above.

What the Experimenters have failed to do,
or what the Reporters have failed to report,
if the Experimenters did it, is a careful
lenghty-term analysis of the generalized
information-processing propensities of
the implanted subjects and 'normals',
which can be accomplished through
patient, detailed observation of behavioral
dynamics with both sets of subjects free
of the artificial stuff.

The implanted subjects will show stereo-
typical deficts, relative to the 'normals',
with respect to the same behavioral

Note [again... and again and again?]: It's
=not= my position that there's no usefulness
in developing implant technologies with the
goal of assisting folks who are incapacitated
due to injury.

My position is that going into organically-
intact 'normal' nervous systems with implants
will always reduce the information-processing
power of the 'normal' nervous systems.

Whyuse implants in 'normal' nervous systems,
when all that's necessary is to pick up a book,
read and learn its contents, and, voilà! The
brain rewires itself, while =maintaining=
globally-integrated TD E/I-minimization

You know - it's why we send our Children to

To folks off the NG: =Please= understand
my position, and spare me from any further
jerking-of-knees because 'you' read the
word "implant" in something that I post.

I'm not 'angry', but gees, 'louise'! Enough,
already, with 'knees-jerking' because I use
a word in a way that folks don't care to


K. P. Collins

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