ken's work

NMF nm_fournier at ns.sympatico.ca
Tue Mar 16 20:28:12 EST 2004


Ken,

I recently received a copy of your AoK piece (provided by Matt).  I agree
with every one of his comments.  I have not spent a great time reading every
piece, however, many of the concepts that you have discussed in the past now
have an appropriate context.   The abbreviation issue that was brought up
earlier is something that I feel can be resolved if you ignore making
reference to this paper in contexts where the majority of your readers have
not read the copy, and I would suggest to stop using abbreviations and
writing each word out.  These are your own words and your own definitions.
They are not known to everyone else.

There were some parts that need to be reworked and your interpretations were
actually inconsistent with neuroanatomical evidence.  (Your discussion on
the hypothalamus and reticular formation are one example.   Your ideas were
outdated). These were slight mistakes and overgeneralizations.  (Your
discussion on the amygdala with respect to TD E/I minimization and
information flow had interesting features and parts that were I disagree
with).

Although the general thesis was something that I agreed, especially with
respect to the entire concept of TD E/I minimization and the effects on
information flow, there were some parts that I would still disagree with you
on.  For example, your premise in supporting the importance of the
inhibitory proclivity of the nervous system is valid, yet it is an
overgeneralization in some instances.  There are many circumstances that can
emerge that are quite deleterious from the effects of inhibition.  The
situation is more complex then what you have presented.  For instance, too
much inhibition can cause seizures.  Too much inhibition will interfere with
memory consolidation.  I agree there must be a balance between excitatory
and inhibitory tendency, however, reading your work that idea of "balance"
is not really apparent.  But in any case, many of the overall concepts are
things that I agree with you about.

One thing that might be nice would be a mathematical conceptualization of
this TD E/I minimization ratio.  Irregardless of what you believe or have
suggested previously regarding mathematical conceptualization, all of these
processes you describe are quantifiable.  Do these calculations and if they
are in accordance with experimental data, then you have something.

When reading the previous post presented by Matt.  All of his points were
valid.  I believe you have underestimated the contemporary view that
neuroscientists have now on brain functioning.  There have been many
advances since when you complied these concepts in the 70's.  Even by your
own accord you have stated on numerous occasions that you do not read the
contemporary neuroscience literature.  This is a bad idea.  For example,
your discussion has completely ignored the contribution of the nuclear
basalis, a contribution that would basically fit well with your concepts of
TD E/I minimization.    However, you have suggested on numerous occasions,
"Should I eat or read neuroscience papers?".  Well, with this statement in
mind, your continue believe that your approach is novel makes sense.  You
haven't read anything current and do not know what the contemporary views
are.  Thus, it makes sense and we should not continue to inform you about
this point.

Another question posited by Matt that I believe still hasn't been answered:

  "Why should I accept your concepts when the same concepts are applied in a
    context that is generally accepted by my contemporary peers.  The
concepts are
    measurable and have the appropriate discourse for expression?"









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