a thinking brain

David Longley David at longley.demon.co.uk
Mon Jul 5 13:10:39 EST 2004

In article <363d693e.0407050909.3fb6c69a at posting.google.com>, ray 
scanlon <rscanlon at nycap.rr.com> writes
>David Longley writes:
>> >> You make assertions which are false.
>> >
>> >I am entitled to examples. Please do give a few..
>> I've given you plenty in a number of posts.
>That is not the answer sought. I wish to learn. Please list some
>examples so I can correct myself.

We don't yet understand how a 302 neurone nematode C. elegans works 
(according to Wiesel), and we barely understand a relatively basic 
defensive behaviour of Aplysia. We do, however, know how to go about 
asking these questions - it's through the use of the science and 
technology of behaviour analysis. Your remarks to the contrary are 
false, and your remarks about "thinking" and the thalamic reticular 
nucleus/cortex are unreliable folk psychological speculation.

If you seriously wish to correct yourself I would suggest you put all 
thoughts of "thinking" in the mammalian central nervous system aside and 
start looking at the simpler behaviours of animals above and see what 
can be learned from what's being done there. The work on the neural 
mediation of operant conditioning in Drosophila is another). If that 
doesn't appeal, I suggest your interest in any of this is fundamentally 
misguided. Much of what's said these days about brain and cognition, or 
neural nets and learning is either speculative philosophy or euphemised 
statistics respectively.
David Longley

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