the liver and the brain

ray scanlon rscanlon at nycap.rr.com
Thu Sep 2 21:06:56 EST 2004

r norman writes:

> ray Scanlon writes:
> >The motor program generators are established in the developing nervous
> >system by the DNA. When triggered, they produce motor activity. We
> >ask, "How are they triggered?"
> >
> >The sensory neurons transduce the energy of the universe as it arrives
> >at the body surface. They also transduce energy from the internal
> >condition of the body. The resultant signal energy filters through the
> >interneurons and, when it summates at a given motor program generator,
> >it triggers the generator.

> This is about the most simplistic explanation of behavior that I have
> ever heard.

Simple, not simplistic. Please. 

I know that it is difficult for a man, who has spent his lifetime cataloguing
trees, to listen when he is told that he is surrounded by a forest.
Nevertheless, that's the way it is.

You must try.

> Ray, if you want people to
> take you seriously, it is time to stop talking in the most simplistic
> and general terms.  Be specific.

 The brain is far too simple a device to be described in other than simple 

Sensory neurons transduce the energy that impinges on them. The resultant 
signal energy filters through the interneurons and sets off a motor program
generator (include initiator and controller, if you would). The motor program 
travels to the motoneurons that execute it. This is true for the hagfish and it
is true for humans.

In mammals, a complication is added with the appearance of the thalamic 
reticular nucleus. The neurons in the TRN, when excited,  can halt signal
energy on its way to the cortex at the medial (auditory) and lateral (visual)
geniculate bodies, and at the ventral posterolateral-ventral posteromedial 
nuclei (ventrobasal complex – somatic). This frees the cortex from the rush
of signal energy. If the TRN also inhibits the ventral anterior-ventral lateral
nuclei, the transit of motor programs from the basal ganglia and the 
cerebellum are also halted. The great and glorious exercise that we call 
thinking can now take place. If the TRN is now inhibited and the neurons
in the above mentioned nuclei are disinhibited, we say that we have 
decided and the motor program(s) may proceed to the motoneurons.

Not simple but what can you do.

Now, tell me, do you think we could get some of those suckers at NIH to
fund us (you and me) while we insert electrodes in a man's thalamic reticular
nucleus and check this out? They fund all sorts of hare-brained projects.
Who knows, there might be a Nobel in it.

> If you cannot do this, then please remove bionet.neuroscience from the
> list of news groups you post to.  Your BS might be quite acceptable
> for philosophy, cognitive science, or neural net discussion (though I
> think not), but definitely does not belong in neuroscience.

As is well known, this is a democracy and nothing is as democratic 
(to the point of anarchy – and even beyond anarchy) as the internet.
I, Sir, will not retreat.


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