10 Mar Biological Brains – Section 1 Intro
In this segment of the Understanding Context Blog, I will take a high level look at the brain:
- Its areas,
- Cell types,
- And functions.
I’ll also explore where the brain stores and processes different types of information, including emotions. Studying the human brain is an important part of this analysis, because biological brains clearly outperform man-made information systems (computers) in many important ways. This is an eclectic study because it draws on knowledge from disciplines as diverse as anthropology and mathematics. In some respects, it points the way to the interconnectedness of all things.
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|neurons cell types||Harvard Center for Brain Science|
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This exploration will build our understanding of neural structure and functions. For those interested in cybernetics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), such an understanding is critical. Rather than build a model on old assumptions — some of which may be erroneous — we must first explore the salient issues. The idea that a computer can be made to resemble the brain, in form or function, is still a bit far-fetched. For one thing, the brain is very moist and mushy where computers are very hard and dry. The brain is self-healing and dynamically reconstructs itself continually. Computers don’t change much (other than the arrangements of electronic bits in chips and on disks) and they break very easily, requiring frequent repair and replacement. People are constantly inventing computers that are better, faster and more capable. For thousands of years, the brain has remained enigmatically capable, and no improvements are forthcoming.
Thus, the idea of neuromorphic computing has significant limits. I shall press forward with this effort to chronicle my studies notwithstanding.
By the by, I’ve been working on this since the 1980s, so if some of the graphics look a bit dated, it’s because I produced or acquired them long ago.
The material I am posting in this section of the blog explores that organ whose profound capabilities are frequently cited in distinguishing humans from brutes, animals, and scarecrows. Some suggest that our ability to carry on advanced and abstract communication is unique among earthly species. Certainly the communication factor is an extremely important component of learning and cognition.
While the “hardware” of our ability to perceive, think deep thoughts and communicate is covered in this segment and its sister segments on Neurons and Biological Networks; I will reserve the “software” side for later segments of the blog, where I will discuss complex cognitive functions and communication.
Check out this link to a great podcast: The show for everyone who has a brain
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|4||Perception and Cognition||5||Fuzzy Logic||6||Language and Dialog||7||Cybernetic Models|
|8||Apps and Processes||9||The End of Code||Glossary||Bibliography|