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[Neuroscience] Re: Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience

John H. via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by j_hasenkam At yahoo.com.au)
Sun Dec 3 04:06:02 EST 2006

Thanks Michael.

I had at look at Freeman's work some time ago (poor chap, Walter
Freeman was the Lobotomist, to share such a name, even though the
practice of lobotomy was not nearly as horrific as typically

Yes, there is promise there which is why I have previously downloaded
his file on wave packets. But alas ...

All of physics, chemistry, molecular biology and behavioral
pharmacology can be focused like a brilliant spot of sunlight on a
single synapse in the ganglion of a snail, and the refraction can
illuminate the entire nervous system, like the grain of sand that
contains the universe. Investigators seek the legendary "memory trace",
the permanently modified membrane channel, or its protein molecule and
regulatory gene that form the channel gate to regulate the flow of
chemicals across membranes. These ultimate structures are conceived as
the memory "code written in electrical and molecular alphabets [that]
might some day help us to read our own minds." (Alkon 1992, p. 126) The
search continues with increasing frenzy, despite the conclusions
arrived at years ago by Sir Frederic Bartlett, who wrote: "...some
widely held views have to be completely discarded, and none more
completely than that which treats recall as the re-excitement in some
way of fixed and changeless 'traces' " (1932, p. vi)


These further steps are virtually unknown, because the complexity of
the functional interconnections and of the spatiotemporal activity
patterns are beyond our present competence to describe and measure
them. There is nothing in principle, however, to prevent us from doing
so at some time in the future, other than the self-referential paradox
of the mind coming to comprehend itself.


At least it is comforting to read that last paragraph, obviously many
others are recognising the same problems as myself(no surprises

Good tip though, Freeman is someone who I should have another look at.

By the way, at a stretch, his ideas remind of another chap who used to
hang around here: Ron blue, "Correlational Opponent Processing". I have
that file somewhere too I think. You may still be able to find him on
the web, he has designed an AI device based on his principles.

It does help,


Michael Olea wrote:
> John H. wrote:
> > I still maintain that Glen's position that what can be safely said is
> > that memory is "change" is the more rigourous position to hold. It is
> > empirically verifiable, "storage" is not. Unfortunately it confronts
> > one with a despair because at present it is so lacking in informational
> > value. Perhaps this is one reason why people prefer to think of
> > "storage": at least you can play with that concept. "Change" just damns
> > my intelligence.
> Don't dispair. See:
> Walter J. Freeman
> http://sulcus.berkeley.edu/FLM/MS/WJF_man2.html
> I hope that helps.
> -- Michael

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