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25 Aug Determinacy in Neural Connections

Neural Net

For many years, researchers thought that it was wrong to assume that there was a cell or set of cells in the brain that stored the memory of Grandma’s face. Though the comparison with computer memory was appealing, it was thought to be too simplistic and incorrect. Now, more researchers in different academic disciplines are assuming […]

29 Jan Brain Signal Variations

I’ve focused, in the last few posts, on the structural and functional variety in neurons and synapses. Brain signal variations include local potentials and post-synaptic potentials. Local potential differs from action potential in that the latter is generally characterized by a brief electrical spike and return to resting potential. This characterization of action potential does not always apply: […]

27 Jan Go With the Flow

Brain Flow

Modeling Neural Electrical Flow Patterns From looking at possible mechanisms for information storage, we move back to its movement. It may be important to understand the patterns of electrical flow in the brain to define good models for artificial systems that attempt to match human competence in cognitive processing tasks. This is what neural network and […]

25 Jan The Chromophore as Digital Bit

Brain Data

I have opined in prior posts that the skeletal components that give structure to axons and dendrites, especially microtubules, may play a larger role in cognition than previously thought. The illustration of microtubule structure at right shows how the alpha and beta tubulin dimers string themselves together to make protofilaments, which further join one another […]

18 Jan Multi-Layered Perceptron


Multi-Layered Perceptron In prior posts we introduced the concept of the artificial neural network and the perceptron model as a simple implementation of a neural network. We showed the structure, including an input layer and an output layer. Let’s look at one of the typical approaches for processing input to derive the output. The net output of […]

14 Jan Timing is Everything: Asynchronicity of E/I


Time marches straight on in a never-ending rhythm, never stopping to rest – never missing a beat. After memory fails, and all the mainsprings unwind, time strides forward. Coincidence and synchronicity of events in the physical universe are time bound, but not necessarily meaning bound. In the human brain, time loses relevance and thought flows in lesser […]

14 Jan Visual Input Processing

Brodmann Back of the Brain

The visual cortex in the human brain is arguably the pattern after which most artificial neural networks were modeled: the flow of signals is directional through layers 1, 2 then 3; and large numbers of the cells are touched by the flow of action potentials through the system. The variations in the cells, however, contrasts with the artificial […]

08 Jan E/I Electric Potential Curve

Action Potentials Classic Curve

Challenge I’ve noticed two phenomena in computing that have often been compared to brain activity even though they don’t significantly resemble the behavior of electrical potential changes between neurons: Flip-Flop (the changing of a “register” from 0 to 1 Node Firing (The activation of a node in an artificial neural network) In this section of Understanding Context, I’ve been trying to […]

06 Jan Excitation and Inhibition

Most, if not all, neural information-processing functions involve the flow of action potential. Impulses in the nervous system are changes in the action potential or electrical charge of membranes. It is possible that, in addition to the membranes, the potential within the cytoplasm of the cell changes as a result of electrical flow in neurons. […]

31 Dec Signal Transduction in Neurons

Two Neurons

Wires in the Brain Electrical impulses jump from neuron to neuron in the brain through their branching nerve fibers. This movement of electrical potentials is called signal transduction, and significantly resembles the process of electrical flow in printed circuit boards and semiconductor chips. Nerve fibers (axons and dendrites) are filled with a fluid called axoplasm. […]