the liver and the brain

David Longley David at longley.demon.co.uk
Wed Sep 1 08:57:49 EST 2004

In article <363d693e.0409010503.5f3a4336 at posting.google.com>, ray 
scanlon <rscanlon at nycap.rr.com> writes
>Wolf Kirchmeir writes:
>> Are you claiming that we are born able to walk?
>Absolutely! However, birth here ia relative. The construction by the
>DNA of the brain continues for several years after parturition in
>> The development of the motor cortex is actually a good deal more
>> complicated than you appear to believe.
>I defer to no one in my belief in the complexity and precision of
>connection of any part of the mammalian brain. But I do believe we can
>find abstractions. Motor programs proceed through the ventral
>antior-ventral lateral complex of the thalamus on their way to the
>motor and pre-motor cortex. What happens when the motor program
>arrives at the cortex is fascinating, but another story.
>These are just words, but they do make sense to me.

Does it?

Yet describing what you're doing with such words as having all the 
features (attractions and problems) of playing with a *virtual* 
underground railway set probably doesn't make sense to you. You probably 
think that just my being offensive or even ignorant!. But what you're 
doing really is best described as "motorized virtual phrenology" at 
best. Ask yourself what it might be that you're playing down or 
neglecting when you write that way. Clue: how do you know that any of 
these lumps of mush have anything to do with what you're talking about?

You're not the first to be seduced into this way of talking (it goes 
back to the first journals of brain research/neurology at least) and you 
won't be the last. But as Sternberg (1983) once said in another context 
about yet another contemporary phrenologist "How much gall is too much 

The errors don't change - all that changes is the vocabulary people turn 
to when they make them down the generations.
David Longley

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