[Neuroscience] Re: motor programs in the brain

r norman via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by r_s_norman from _comcast.net)
Tue Aug 7 17:11:19 EST 2007

On Tue, 07 Aug 2007 14:59:13 -0700, "rscan from nycap.rr.com"
<rscan from nycap.rr.com> wrote:

>On Aug 6, 8:48 pm, r norman <r_s_norman from _comcast.net> wrote:
>> However you seem to swing the pendulum far too much in
>> denying any influence of learning, a process that can easily modify or
>> modulate genetically determined circuits.  Why not go for the middle
>> ground and say that genetically programmed patterns, as modified by
>> conditioning and learning, underlie a lot of vertebrate and mammalian
>> and primate and hominoid (and human) activity.  Nonetheless, you also
>> do have to concede that there is also a separate enormous pattern of
>> behavior especially in the latter group of the above mentioned animals
>> that is essentially completely learned.  Even something like bird song
>> varies tremendously in the relative significance of genetic
>> programming and learning.
>I would strike "learning" from my vocabulary. I think "maturation" a
>better word to describe the process of axonal growth, synaptic
>strengthening and weakening, new synaptic formation, synaptic
>sloughing, and programmed neural death that follows the rules
>established by the genome to adjust the motor acts of the organism to
>the environment. "Maturation" includes the concept of a window during
>which certain of these adaptations are emphasized, or even possible.
>One thinks of binocular vision in the primate as an example. The
>binocular window closes at six (?) in man, forever.
>Let it be "maturation".

Maturation indeed would be a suitable word for the very limited set of
processes you describe " that follows the rules
established by the genome".  However if you do insist on striking out
"learning", then perhaps you should eliminate bionet.neuroscience from
your cross posting list.  I'll let the ai, cognitive science, and
philosophers fight it out, but learning is a rather well established
neurobiological phenomenon that has perhaps more than just a little to
do with human behavior.

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