Modularity [was Re: neuroscience training?]

ken kpaulc at earthlink.net
Thu Mar 11 07:24:52 EST 2004


"Drat!' I've been working too-casually lately.
Too many typos - my 'heart' is looking-elsewhere
while I work here in b.n.

I'll fix them, and add a bit, below.

"ken" <kpaulc at earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:QwY3c.14677$%06.8343 at newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net...
> I enjoyed reading your discussion, John.
>
> "John H." <johnh at faraway.> wrote in message
> news:405037d3 at dnews.tpgi.com.au...
> > "Peter F." <effectivespamblock at ozemail.com.au> wrote in message
> > news:kXl3c.183$KJ.8628 at nnrp1.ozemail.com.au...
> > > "John H." <johnh at faraway.> wrote in message
> > > news:404d8995 at dnews.tpgi.com.au...
> > > > [...]
> > > > JH:
> > > >
> > > > I wonder if Chomsky's ideas gave rise to
> > > > the modularity concept. Both are deeply
> > > > flawed, if the work of the British neurosur-
> > > > geon John Lorber didn't put it to rest then
> > > > surely the recent work of Ed Traub (Contraint
> > > > induced movement therapy) has nailed
> > > > modularity deep into hell.
> > >
> > > I don't believe (or at least hope) you don't
> > > sincerely and deeply wonder that Chomsky's
> > > ideas did so.
> > >
> > > Much more meaty discoveries (than Chomsky's
> > > hypothesis) motivate the thinking in terms of
> > > mental (brain fucntional) modularity;
> >
> > You are correct there, probably can go at least
> > all the way back to Wernicke and Broca. Then
> > was added regions of the dlpfcs to higher language
> > functions, regions of the temporal lobes are impli-
> > cated, and then the cerebellum (of all places) also
> > plays a role. What next?
> >
> >
> > > E.g., the much publicized research by Hubel
> > > and Wiesel on kittens drew people's attention to
> > > not just a certain experiential neccessity behind
> > > visual perception but also a certain microanatomical
> > > aspect of _neatness_ about how retinal information
> > > ends up being processed partly by neurons in a
> > > 'striped' (columnar) configuration in the primary
> > > visual cortex.
> > >
> > > A very similar inspiration to thinking in terms of
> > > modules might be gotten from corpus striatum of
> > > the basal ganglia.
> > >
> > > And there are of course many other reasons for
> > > ideas of the brain as a collection of modules -- not
> > > the least an as basic and simple a reason as the
> > > general 'structional' properties of nerve-cells
> > > themselves.
> >
> > Okay, there is a certain style of modularity in the
> > brain but if you examine the data you also find
> > some very intriguing exceptions. Last year some
> > German scientists studied how female brains
> > handle language through the course of the menst-
> > rual cycle. To their surprise they found noted
> > differences across the cycle. Not small regionally
> > specific differences either, but wholesale changes
> > in left-right balance in language production and
> > comprehension. Caveat: can't remember if it was
> > fMRI or PET study, fMRI may not be as reliable
> > as we would wish, I have noted references (but
> > lost in my archives at present) indicating that fMRI
> > images can altered by a wide range of factors.
> > The picture doesn't always tell the story.
> >
> > A few years ago it was suggested that the reason
> > why some women have conceptual difficulties in
> > menopause is because their brains are undergoing
> > subtle changing in functionality. Given that andro-
> > gens play relatively minor roles in the cerebral
> > chemical symphony these two results are rather
> > surprising. I suspect that as we all age the brain is
> > continually adjusting its structure to reflect the
> > changing state of the brain.
>
> This's the first I've heard of this stuff, and it's all
> very-interesting, but is easily accounted-for in terms
> of TD E/I-thresholding dynamics, which Necessarily
> shift in accord with accumulated "biological mass"
> =and= overall 'level' of TD E/I that an individual
> [male or female] is experiencing.
>
> As TD E/I increases, the 'range' of TD E/I-minimiza-
> tions that can be achieved shifts with respect to the
> "biological mass" that's been accumulated.

which 'shifts' "supersystem configuration" 'states that
are converged-upon via TD E/I-minimization. [This's
Testable.]

> It's why folks behave differently under 'stress' than
> they do when their external experiential environments
> are 'hunky-dory'.
>
> And, lo and behold! During passing-episodes, it's
> mostly the activation-dynamics that only temporarily
> 'shift'.

This's Testable.

> [If the 'stressors' are long-term, to the degree of that,
> structural mods 'trail' as global TD E/I determines [as
> in 'normal' Learning dynamics] "biological mass" needs
> to be "rendered useless" [AoK, Ap8], and reconstructed,
> so that long-term TD E/I-minimization can be, again, 'opt-
> imally converged-upon. Which is, for instance, what hap-
> pens in the "phantom limb" phenomenon.]

This's Testable.

> > Constraint induced movement therapy, which produces
> > seemingly miraculous results if one adopts a strict modu-
> > larity hypothesis, certainly does raise some fundamental
> > questions about brain organisation and plasticity.
>
> TD E/I-minimization, as in the long-term case, above.

This's Testable.

> > The work of John Lorber on microencephalics and\or
> > those who had shunts inserted because of hydroencephalus
> > raises some perplexing questions about brain organisation.
> > Some of these shunts failed and the individuals experienced
> > substantial loss of cortical tissue, yet one of them was a
> > honours student in mathematics and no identifiable path-
> > ologies though subtle testing will reveal differences but in
> >  practical terms these differences are often insignficant in
> > practial terms. Compensation. What would be interesting
> > in such cases is what happens as they age. There are also
> > numerous clinical cases of individuals who have experienced
> > considerable brain damage and been advised that they would
> > always suffer this or that deficit yet the recovery has been
> > very pronounced and left the doctors completely puzzled.
>
>
> TD E/I-minimization, as in the long-term case, above [I can
> say more about the first case you cite, above, but it's not
> appropriate that I do so Publicly [and, unfortunately, my eMail
> is still not working [still getting the 'hack'-attempts, but I can't
> "Send" eMail - I know how to fix it. Just haven't gotten-around
> to doing so. [Not much call for sending eMail :-] But I'd like to
> get the additional info to the Physicians who are working with
> the subject.]

[And, then, there's the 'weirdness' that everything I write gets
'sucked-into' the nothingness, anyway. Must be a 'black hole' :-]

Anyway, this's Testable.

Whoops! It's already Verified in the existing Literature.

> > Qualification: I did a search for his work and it turns out
> > there has been precious little follow up. John Lorber doc-
> > umented over 600 cases of individuals with severely reduced
> > cortical thickness (CAT scan). One in particular had only 1
> > mm, avge is 45mm, with IQ126 and a first class honors
> > student in mathematics. Unfortunately, as so often happens
> > with such findings, the scientific community conveniently
> > ignores the same. I've downloaded one journal article on
> > this issue and will read it later. By the way, John Lorber
> > was a Professor of Neurology at the Uni of Sheffield so in
> > the first instance I'm inclined to examine what he says,
> > whereas many rely on that bloody insidious redundancy
> > argument, yet another example of ad hoc explanations in
> > Neuroscience.
>
> I'd like to give the Researchers, involved, more-info in these
> cases, too, but it's not appropriate to do so Publicly.
>
> > The point is this Peter: As the physicist John Wheeler once
> > commented, "In any discipline find the strangest thing and
> > then explore it."
>
> Yeah, Physicists Love the 'exception', 'cause they Know
> that's where the 'Treasure' is.
>
> > In Neuroscience it seems that many fail to appreciate
> > the wisdom of this advice. I'm a rampant iconoclast, and
> > being blessed with a good memory, well I'm just a real
> > bastard to deal with at times.
>
> LoL :-]
>
> Me-too.
>
> What is 'wrong' with bringing-up-the-New-thing?
>
> Nothing.
>
> I think it happens in Biology be-cause there's never
> been any 'mature' Theory, the existence of which
> would make 'contradictions' stand-out in-relief, 'whis-
> pering', "Hey there's Treasure here. Come and look."
>
> Establishing the First such 'mature' Theory is one of
> the things I'm working-toward in NDT & TH.
>
> [My First-Love was Physics, after all :-]
>
> > Some may say that reward processes are mediated by
> > the VTA - Acc - PFC dynamics, I suggest this simply
> > reflects our current state of knowledge.
>
> 'Reward' [all of affect] is Determined by globally-integrated
> TD E/I-minimization. The =general= way in which this occurs
> is =briefly= discussed in AoK, Ap5, in particular, with respect
> to Amygdalar "priming".
>
> Of course there are 'nodes' that, through Evolutionary
> 'td e/i-minimization' ['climbing' of WDB2T], ha[ve been] con-
> verged upon [to form] relatively[-]compact, and relatively-
> functional, ways of doing this or that that is 'optimal' with
> respect to Survival, but it's globally-integrated TD E/I-mini-
> mization that [Determines that] which will be converged-
> upon within any "supersystem configuration".

Affect is aligned dynamically, in a way that's commensurate
with previously-constructed "biological mass" and 'momentary'
external experiential 3-D energydynamics - via globally-inte-
grated TD E/I-minimization.

[End of edits. kpc]

> This's what underpins George Bernard Shaw's astute
> Observation with respect to the individuallity of "tastes", how
> they differ, and how it's good not to 'guess' with respect to
> them [can't recall, just now, how he said it - very-Witty].
>
> > No, I'm not opting for a Lashley style of distributed
> > processing, I think Lashley's results are better explained
> > by reference to the immunological impact arising from
> > multiple cortical insults.
>
> Nope. Lashley Nailed-it. His Work was 'just' =way= ahead of
> it's 'time'. He'd've done 'back-flips' if he'd ever been able to
> read AoK [and the Refs cited in AoK].
>
> > Shallice &??? put forward a supervisory attention system,
> > Goldman-Rakic and others argue for multiple attentional
> > processes. A typical example of the history of neuroscience.
> > It starts out simple then just gets messier and messier ... .
>
> In a very-real way, there are as many 'attentional processes'
> as there are People and their individually-unique experiences.
>
> Fortunately, this =Hugeness= is all the same-stuff.
>
> Globally-integrated TD E/I-minimization.
>
> Cheers, John, ken [k. p. collins]






More information about the Neur-sci mailing list