[Neuroscience] neuro chip
(by nicolas.boyer At ingenieurs-esigelec.fr)
Mon Jan 8 12:22:57 EST 2007
Hello, I would like to know if anyone has heard about a chip which through
the axons could pass. The aim of it was to "hear" each axon in a nerve.
2007/1/8, neur-sci-request At oat.bio.indiana.edu <
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> 1. Re: Need Help With Neuroscience-Related Article (ian.vitro)
> Message: 1
> Date: 7 Jan 2007 10:32:33 -0800
> From: "ian.vitro" <ian.vitro At gmail.com>
> Subject: [Neuroscience] Re: Need Help With Neuroscience-Related
> To: neur-sci At net.bio.net
> Message-ID: <1168194753.449408.251420 At 42g2000cwt.googlegroups.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> No, my last name isn't Vitro. But I do find it an amusing play on
> I think Glen is right in many respects (although I do think Dennett has
> some valid points about consciousness). By clinging to the idea of a
> "mind," neuroscientists are making a fundamental semantic error. Mind
> remains a crutch for neuroscience following arguments like 'knowing
> Newton's theories of gravitation are wrong doesn't mean that they can't
> be useful,' or some such. To take the argument further, we shouldn't
> even be talking about "schizophrenia" or "depression," we should be
> talking about dysfunction in physical substrates within the brain that
> produce what we see as aberrant behaviour, or a "mental disorder." Mind
> is sort of detrimental when it comes to thinking intelligently about
> brain - no one really knows what schizophrenia or depression actually
> is or how to treat it because they are broad categorizations of
> potentially vastly different neural dysfunctions with similar
> behavioural outputs. I guess if you set the bar high enough, scientists
> shouldn't be talking about minds at all or you could take them as
> Thing is that brains probably aren't really broken down into discrete
> component parts. The fundamental unit of processing isn't one on/off
> neuron. That's like saying the fundamental unit of the pocketwatch is a
> single gear or spring. The key will be in understanding assemblies of
> neurons and how they interact with other neuronal populations to change
> information processing, motivational state, and subsequent behaviour.
> There isn't a mind in there, or there shouldn't be. As Glen says, many
> "modern" neuroscientists cling to the idea of some little guy called
> the mind residing in various areas of the prefrontal cortex and limbic
> system. This is a fundamental flaw of old-school beliefs about
> ourselves, our minds, and the structure of the universe. It results in
> not the blatantly unscientific question like "Who am I?"; but with more
> pathological pseudoscientific questions like "Where is consciousness
> located within the brain?"
> This question is pathological because it seems like it has an answer.
> But it's still running on the base assumption that there will be one
> place in the brain and we can say "Yeah, there's consciousness on my
> fMRI image, p < 0.05." This is, I think, the epistemological problem
> Glen talks about, and rightly points out that most advances in
> neuroscience are not guided by conceptual revolution. But conceptual
> revolution is a long, difficult process and we'll have to wait a while
> (sadly) in most realms. But as long as we cling to this serial
> processing model we're not going to understand what goes on in our
> brains to produce what we describe as consciousness. If we could ever
> figure what exactly we mean by that word.
> Ian Vitro
> Glen M. Sizemore wrote:
> > IV: Hi,
> > As a grad student with boatloads of neuro training, I could put in more
> > than 2 cents worth. As Glen says, there's a good deal of hyperbole
> > here.
> > GS: Hi Ian (I doubt that "Vitro" is your last name).
> > If you read further, though, you will see that I hedged somewhat.
> > not many people who could be called "neuroscientists" would argue that
> > are investigating the question "Who am I?" (some would though), it is
> > that neuroanatomy and neurophysiology are unfulfilling until we relate
> > disciplines to behavioral facts, and some of those behavioral facts
> > complicated human behavior - behavior that some (but not me) would say
> > necessitate a "self" (or an "executive") etc. It is when these sorts of
> > issues are raised that neuroscience is, almost thoroughly, committed to
> > dualistic epistemology. No one argues that there is a non-physical
> > but the simple substitution of "brain" for "mind" has preserved the old
> > mentalistic epistemology.
> > IV: The article talks mostly about work from the 19th century, which
> > we've largely moved beyond in many respects.
> > GS: Have we? I would argue, as did Skinner, that most of what is new in
> > neurobiology has come about, not by some conceptual revolution, but by
> > breakthroughs in other fields like physics and engineering (fMRI),
> > (knockouts), biochemistry (highly selective blockers and agonists), etc.
> > believe that the original article, as naïve as it is, captures this
> > sentiment: we are still simply correlating location of critical circuits
> > behavior, without explaining how the physiology mediates behavioral
> > function. And the reason is, I believe, partly because "we" have adopted
> > conceptual structure that is, to put it bluntly, totally screwed up.
> > conceptual base consists of a dualistic epistemology. Again, to put it
> > bluntly, we were once comfortable with an indwelling entity that pulled
> > of the strings that make behavior happen, and "we" are still comfortable
> > with such indwelling entities that live in places like the hippocampus
> > PFC.
> > IV: The subsequent ones
> > address modern research, but I couldn't access them to give a breakdown
> > on any one in particular.
> > Most modern neuroscientists are not concerned about "Who am I?" in
> > their research.
> > GS: I have questioned this statement to some extent.
> > IV: We try to limit ourselves to questions we can answer if
> > we want to make progress at a scientific level. But it is arguable that
> > questions such as this drove early neuroscience research. In Phineas
> > Gage's time (the accident was 1848) most of the world consisted of
> > confirmed dualists, and the study of mind and brain were only just
> > starting to coincide thanks to the work of men like Broca, Wernicke and
> > Hughlings-Jackson later in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
> > There are indeed dualists within modern neuroscience and the philosophy
> > of neuroscience. Check people like Hameroff & Penrose (we can't imagine
> > how consciousness might work, so it must be really complicated and
> > involve some equally complicated branch of science - I know! Quantum
> > physics!) and Frank Jackson (and the concept of qualia); who seem to
> > believe that whatever the mind is, it consists of a physical portion
> > and some other portion which is affected by unmeasurable, unknowable
> > forces. Even some respected scientists, Sir John Eccles for example,
> > emerge as dualists under close scrutiny.
> > GS: I have suggested that, in contrast to what you say, that the dualism
> > widespread. Indeed, I argue that it is nearly ubiquitous when one
> > what is important, i.e., the epistemological stance.
> > IV: I am personally a staunch monist (see Patricia Churchland, bless her
> > heart; and Daniel C. Dennett for arguments supporting this side).
> > GS: Both of these people miss the point. I'm most familiar with Dennett
> > IMO, is an absolute idiot.
> > IV: Problem is that once you start talking about "self" and
> > you start getting uncomfortably close to what people might think of as
> > a soul. And a lot of people aren't willing to let go of that concept
> > (and they might be right for all we know), and thus feel that some part
> > of the mind continues forever as a soul, and therefore some part of the
> > mind must be non-material. My personal feeling is that, like
> > creationism, this has no place in a science classroom or experimental
> > reasoning, but it needs to be debated.
> > GS: Once again, the issue is not ontology, it is epistemology.
> > IV: The analogy of "software" comes from the view of the mind as a
> > non-physical aspect of the brain, or at least implies that it exists.
> > It is a fairly common one, and I really don't like it because of the
> > clear dualist implications.
> > GS: Good for you! A step in the right direction.
> > IV: I like the metaphor offered by the monists
> > that describe consciousness as an "emergent property" of the brain.
> > Like in nanotech or computer simulations of pattern recognition, large
> > groups of information processing units seem to spontaneously
> > self-assemble to maximize efficiency, some philosophers think something
> > similar occurs in brains using neurons and glia, and their
> > multitudinous electrical and chemical interactions.
> > GS: This also misses the point. The issue is, I believe, how such
> > are to be understood at the behavioral level, for it is this level that
> > "contains" what must be explained, and it is here that neuroscience has
> > corrupted by mainstream psychology.
> > IV: To be honest, we still have some scientists and philosophers
> > dualism. However, dualism includes by definition a component
> > inaccessible through the material realm, and thus unmeasurable to
> > science. Because science concerns itself with the physical and
> > material, it shouldn't try too hard to incorporate dualism into its
> > theories.
> > GS: Again (in case the horse is not yet dead), the issue is not
> > ontological - it is epistemological.
> > Cordially,
> > Glen
> > "ian.vitro" <ian.vitro At gmail.com> wrote in message
> > news:1168010498.654280.104060 At i15g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > > As a grad student with boatloads of neuro training, I could put in
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