Synaptic modification rules ?

Matthew Kirkcaldie m.kirkcaldie at
Mon May 24 20:09:41 EST 2004

In article <lvisc.67$H36.4436 at>,
 "Peter F." <effectivespamblock at> wrote:

> People like you and Neil have, as far as I can see, already enough
> scientific ammunition (factual information and strong or best bet
> indications) to shoot for bigger and uglier beasts than it seems to me that
> you currently humbly aim for.

Well, thank you, but I think you over-estimate my knowledge!  However I 
do have "rules of thumb" and heuristics which I privately apply when 
trying to figure out how things work.  Having seen many more able minds 
than mine make simple topics pointlessly complex, I try not to push my 
gut-feelings on other people.  I think it's because what makes intuitive 
sense to me is not likely to be intuitive to others, and I don't have an 
objective framework to fall back on.  So I have my ideas, and I enjoy 
them, but I stick to the facts in public.

> For one, I bet you could easily back-up my conclusion (if you only cared to
> concur ;-)) that a phylogeny filled with certain types of irregularly
> occurring inescapably adverse situations can implore, and would have induced
> in one or more mutant ancestor of ours, a specific or local  "synaptic
> Hibernation" (LTD of synapses within a dendritic tree) -- akin to how, with
> seasonal regularity occurring harsh winters or draughts have resulted in
> animals that hibernate or aestivate to a global (organismically so) extent .

I really don't understand what you're saying here - do you mean 
connectional structures in the brain which remain latent unless called 
upon by adverse circumstances?  Sounds like a target for Occam to me - 
there are plenty of mechanisms whereby stress-related changes in 
regulatory systems can kick neuronal populations into quite different 
patterns of activity.  Doesn't need any acronyms or terminology either - 
I feel these things are barriers to understanding, and that they tempt 
people to think that something is understood.

> The common denominator (unifying psychophysiological feature) of all these
> adaptations to ~HITSS~ (Hibernation Imploring Type Seasonal Stressors and
> Sporadic such Stressors) being: a selective canceling of behaviour and
> Consciousness (or a 'preconscious preclusion' of SHITS-specific focuses of
> actention), and a crucial dampening of a correspondingly particular
> functural (functional + structural) pattern of metabolic activity.

If you say so - I think the ideas could be re-expressed in a form which 
allows others to comment usefully, rather than having to decode your 
terminology before addressing the idea.

> Anyway, whether you understand me or not, I like reading much of the posts
> by people like NMF and yourself.

Thank you - and I enjoy the ideas you express, but would enjoy them more 
if I understood them more!


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