[Neuroscience] Re: Convergent theorizing (was Re: Mirror, Mirror .... You Bloody Liar)

ian.vitro via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by ian.vitro from gmail.com)
Thu Feb 22 19:52:52 EST 2007

I find it amusing, KK, that you say that "science is a contact sport"
and then you tell me to back off when I start throwing checks. As for
cats walking without the involvement of supratentorial structures -
there is no information from the legs getting past the 14th thoracic
vertebra, therefore there is zero involvement of any brain part. The
only thing you might still have is vagal nerve innervation, but this
is incapable of controlling skeletal muscle.

Look, Ken's a hack of the "one theory to explain everything" variety.
This thread was a question about mirrors, and the answer - verifiably
experimentally and by the laws of physics - has nothing to do with
brains. Ken says it's perceptual, and TD E/I explains it. Reflex loops
- again, verifiably in an experimental sense and by the guy with MS
who posted - do not involve cerebellum or supratentorial structures.
Ken says there's problems with the role of cerebellum in reflex, and
the answer is (surprise!) TD E/I. Over in the "Dendritic spine..."
thread, there is a true scientific answer to a legitimate question;
Ken wades in to say that the answer is correct, but because of TD E/I
- and god forbid you ask him to explain. I originally attempted to ask
him legitimate questions, but was met with "this has been all covered
in AoK," and that all the problems had been dealt with in the '70s. So
I started nailing him, because that's BS. Ask him how well findings
since the '70s - like fMRI - have supported or disproven

I don't consider philosophy a waste of time - in fact, I love the
stuff. But it's not neuroscience. I do, however, consider BS a waste
of time - for worthwhile philosophical reading about how brains might
work based on scientific data, try Patricia Churchland. You call me
naive while arguing that progress in thinking about how brains
function is independent from how brains function. This is laughable,
and you know it on some level, or else you would refrain from
attempting to belittle me (funny, I don't feel more inadequate...).
And "resting" fMRI, please. A small change in breathing rate throws
the BOLD signal off far enough that many neuroscientists are wondering
whether any of this data is worth anything at all, or if it, whether
real comparisons can be made between labs. BOLD doesn't even indicate
neuronal firing, it indicates oxygen consumption - and no one has ever
shown that the two have that big a correlation. What does it measure?
No one is sure, but the answer is probably mitochondrial activity,
which has much tighter connection to other energetic processes than
firing (axon firing = zero (0) ATP expenditure by the neuron. Yes, 0;
and maintaining charge is also a ridiculously efficient process when
compared to, say, any other energy-expending process in a cell, ever).

But you're right about one thing - I should turn off your radio
programs, because there sure isn't anything worth listening to.

Have a good weekend,


On Feb 22, 9:13 am, "konstantin kouzovnikov" <myukh... from hotmail.com>
> >cats walking with complete spinal transection
> >is Barbeau & Rossignol 1987.
> Thanks, Ian, didn't know this paper. as I said, I guess including in this
> case, cerebellum was always left connected, aside from the brain stem. As
> you have not said anything about the two computational references I have
> made, you either consider them useless or do not know the work. In the
> opposite case you would interpret the first statement in a very particular
> fashion, i.e. as an answer to why the cats were walking and Ken is right.
> The majority of neuroscientists, today, do not have the answer to that. If
> you think you do, answer the following: why there is no paper on walking
> cats with no supratentorial structures as well as no cerebellum? Don't say
> because they are dead.
> >I think Konstantin has finally found the same problem I have with Ken.
> >Ask a legitimate question, and you are told that it was dealt with in
> >the '70s (with no real references of course). That's not education, or
> >even discussion.
> Sure, there is a problem. Problem(s). So much harrased, Ken has irrational
> expectation (only partially irrational): as in the past, he just will be
> kicked in the butt and noone is interested in what he has to say. Why can't
> you forgive him for his "tresspasses" as you may need to ask him to forgive
> your's? (hopefully soon!). If the goal is to find a problem one would always
> succeed, by way of persistence alone. I was looking for the content, not for
> the problems. I found what I was looking for and am very happy with that. Do
> not make it look as I am in your boat. My point is that the actual content,
> perhaps delivered in a particular manner which may not be to everyone's
> taste, has a number of extremely valid points.
> >problems (like the one of spinal transection) do not exist.
> When apparently intelligent people use such a extreme language, there is a
> message which is different from tsuch a maximalistic choice of phraseology.
> C'mon Ian, we all have personality. As we are joining the same old staff
> kitchen, on the Internet, why don't we make good use of each others
> personality, but keep staying kind, and keep reminding ourselves that
> without such personalities our life would be as emotionally exciting as life
> without guys like...  Glen (where, the hell, his postings, I miss him) for
> instance. I personally like to see the passion and am ready to forget some
> wording because I am enjoying to see how the guy's mind works. One has to be
> intelligent to be so brave and expose his/her thinking. There is no higher
> level of observable harmony, aside from love, to become really fascinated.
> Aside from learning from these people, it's like watching a fire -
> mesmerizing! I see the same wonder in Ken as he is as cool as an old cranky
> wisard can be. There is a lot to learn from him, if you are still interested
> in learning. Bisides, what kind a scietific exchange is it if there is no a
> good fight? Boooooring, as Homer would say. Relax, man! Ken told you that he
> has his Reasons to do what he is doing, so, let it be.. Just respect is as,
> I am sure , you respect human rights, equality and all these jazz? sure you
> do, otherwise how would you achieve what you have achieved?!
> >Ken doesn't seem to be interested in how brains work.
> That is just not fair to tell a guy who apparently spent his life on it.
> C'mon, man! Only because he is in such a minority (socially), it doesn't
> mean we should get together after school and kick the hell out of the guy
> for whatever the hell is the reason, just making ourseves feeling better,
> there are doors for it, just slum them as hard as you can and then say:
> ooops, sorry, didn;t mean to.. something like that; remember what Bill Gates
> said? don;t kick a nerd because, on day, he may give you a job.
> He's interested
> >in how brains might work if they follow the rules he thinks they
> >follow
> Have you noticed that he has an absolutely similar problem with you and
> you-like? What does it tell you?  This is normal. It is called having
> convictions. Felt he is wrong? Find a good argument which may work for him
> and see how Ken responds. But above all, be kind. It'll take further with
> those who may teach you something extremely important you need to know and
> you just don't know  yet that you do need to know it.
> >have. And for the record, guys, brains "at rest," i.e. during boredom
> >and simple relaxation with your kid (to use Konstantin's example) are
> >not resting. There are millions of neurons firing at these times.
> Hang on, Ian. Is you definition of "resting" brain involves neurons stop
> firing? Are you learning about imaging from Scientic American? You've got to
> consider what is the convention: resting imaging is an antipode to fMRI and,
> in the majority of the cases, involves absense of "f", i.e.  a specifically
> designed way of uploading brain with a specific task. Course there is a huge
> methodological problem with monitoring environmental or internal
> thought/affect stimulation, but, again, the convention is that resting has
> nothing to do with neurons stop firing. The cetral focus is a controlled
> effort in discouraging brain from intentional (volitional) functioning
> and/or seeting the brain for strong spontaneous self-stimulation. The
> methodological problems with resting imaging are not greater as in
> functional, but are different. I hope you do not need a lecture on what the
> problems with functional imaging are.
> >This is
> >not an absence of activity, like coma. That's why coma is a
> >pathological state.
> Sorry, Ian, no offence, but I will leave the undergrads fighting with you on
> this one. You are faring the surface here and getting subjects mixed so
> badly that one would need much more space than Ken sometimes is using, to
> comment on this one.
> >AT the heart of it, good theories of brain function are based out of
> >physiology, because that's what brains are. If you're not interested
> >about how synaptic events, dendritic computation, plasticity, parallel
> >processing, or neuromodulatory substances influence signaling of
> >neuronal assemblies (or consider them mere "constraints"), then you're
> >not interested in brains.
> So, you really do not know what Ken is talking about, including how much
> physiology, in a different form, is in what he is talking about. Just sad.
> I would like to thank you for making it so clear as before reading this
> statement I was absolutely perplexed with why the computational arm of
> neuroscience managed to get out so much more practical science than the
> pre-, peri- and clinical neuroscience. What you are saying is that unless
> one is talking exactly within the paradigms of the contemporary physiology
> and what you are refering to the connectivism type of thinking, it is not
> science of brain. You actually go further than that:
> You're interested in philosophy, not
> >neuroscience. Please move threads accordingly.
> Allow me to get "Ian's hut" on and approach you with the venom you have
> indulged yourself in placing onto other people:
> Ian, you have completely revealed yourself - you are a scientific pagan; a
> good man who is as naive as well intentioned. You have no insight how much
> you are both a child and a victim of scientific positivism and are a part of
> what has caused a crisis in neuroscience, for quite a while now: a lot of
> false prophets and little output. You think that the philosophy is a waste
> of your time. More to that, you have the audacity, after patronizing all of
> us describing how Ken's 1st message was 100x smarter than anything else
> written in this group, then acusing him of being a moron, to now suggesting
> to a lot of us that any attempt to interpret the physiology with any level
> of abstraction, whether it is computational, or systemic, or any other path
> of, sometimes, sequential - from lower to a higher- abstraction of
> physiolological phenoma would be as not belonging to neuroscience. What a
> brilliant case of an attempt to orchestrate a goup-wise rejecting
> opportunity  based on personal feeling of complete and utter inadequacy when
> dealing with a slight elevation of abstraction in neuroscience!
> You know what? You just have committed a suicide, sorry to say that. What
> you have said here is beyond an opportunity for social scientific recovery.
> Not in a near future. This is just bad stuff, man.
> >thread and stop coming into every single neuroscience thread and
> >refusing to discuss your philosophy in a constructive manner.
> If this is an example of a "constructive guy" describing what is
> "constructive" I need to refer you to a few communistic regimes that are
> still kicking around. You will fit well, IV. Alternatively, you can follow
> the suggestion of a good and confident broadcaster: don't like what I have
> to say, turn off the bloody radio,...  Saddam.
> Ken has the same rights you do. Incidently, he has more to share and, guess
> what, a few of us are ready to make an investment into understanding where
> he is coming from. Leave Ken alone, Ian. Be a good sport!
> Konstantin Kouzovnikov
> _________________________________________________________________http://homepage.msn.com/zune?icid=hmetagline

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