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[Neuroscience] Re: Wherefore art thou Neuron Code?

John H. via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by bingblat from goaway.com.au)
Tue Apr 10 03:34:33 EST 2007

"r norman" <r_s_norman from _comcast.net> wrote in message
news:bttl139d1o1koqv2iq0r6ikooadhmpjpov from 4ax.com...
> On Mon, 9 Apr 2007 02:21:30 +1000, "John H." <bingblat from goaway.com.au>
> wrote:
> >
> >
> >Just the other day I browsed through a book by Ray Kurzweill (surname not
> >right) wherein this AI dude argued that in his lifetime it will be
> >to upload his self into a machine and so achieve immortality. Now I read
> >neuroscientists stating that we don't really have a clue about what we
> >talking about.
> Statements like Kurzweil's are the very reason why two neuroscientists
> state we don't have a clue.

> >In his text, "The Wisdom Paradox", Elkhonen Goldberg puts forward an
> >interesting twist on the cerebral organisation debate. He raises the
> >interesting idea that the right frontal neocortex is primarily about
> >learning new skills while the left is about executing learned skills and
> >evidence to support it. Perhaps this explains why learning is so often
> >associated with struggle because in imaging studies one typically sees an
> >association between the right and sadness, the left and happiness. Tough
> >luck for you educators, evolution is working against you. Unless of
> >you don't teach your students to learn but rather just tell them how to
> >think. Perhaps the best test for teaching skills will be the number of
> >suicides in the teacher's classes. The higher the number, the better the
> >teacher.
> Gee, associating some function with only, say, a region of the  brain
> with some 10 billion neurons really does explain everything, doesn't
> it.  And, perhaps, those 10 billion neurons might be able to handle
> more than one task without confusing them.  The type of wild
> speculation you indulge in, even if only to parody what people really
> say, is exactly the problem.  Note:  having a portion of the brain
> "light up" in imaging studies does NOT mean that portion of the brain
> is "responsible" for the function.  There might be some tiny number of
> neurons, perhaps only a few hundred thousand or so, scattered all over
> the place that are really the critical factors and this would never be
> seen by current imaging techniques.

The problem is much worse than that. There are a number of physiological
variables that can impact on imaging studies. Isn't it long overdue for
someone to address this problem? Can fMRI distinguish between inhibitory and
excitatory function?

Stop preaching to the choir, I know about all these problems. I am not the
problem here, your colleagues are.

> You might also want to consider experimental techniques that have even
> a chance of producing some evidence to support your ideas.

No point, I lack the skills and resources to do the same.

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