The Brain: Basics
The Brain - is wider than the Sky -
For - put them side by side -
The one the other will contain
With ease - and You - beside-
(1830-1886) Even though its common knowledge these days, it never ceases to amaze me that all the richness of our mental life - all our feelings, our emotions, our thoughts, our ambitions, our love life, our religious sentiments and even what each of us regards as his own intimate private self - is simply the activity of these little specks of jelly in your head, in your brain. There is nothing else.
Vilayanur Ramachandran, 2003
Brain = Behavior ... a true story? a good story?
Because of ...
Let's tell some stories, make some observations, revise the stories, explore usefulness ...
observations made by others (personally verified or not)?
social stories (heard from others)?
Neurons and Neuronal Signalling
The nervous system is a complex assembly of a very large number of interacting neurons
All behaviors/experiences reflect patterns of signals in those neurons
Neurons are largely the same in different parts of the nervous system and in the nervous systems of different organisms
Neuronal signals are largely the same in different parts of the nervous system and in the nervous system of different organisms
Neuronal signals may originate either inside or outside of the nervous system, and can be influenced by a variety of material agents (including chemicals)
There is some degree of indeterminacy in the generation of neuronal signals
The organization of the nervous system in influenced by its own activity
The trend of the evidence re brain=behavior
"To Fight Stuttering, Doctors Take a Close Look at the Brain", NY Times 12 September 2006
"An Image of Consciousness Creates a Stir", NY Times 20 September 2006
"Is Hysteria Real? Brain Images Say Yes", NY Times, 26 September 2006
The current story ...
If behavior/experiences are different then assemblies of neurons are different
Everyone has a somewhat different assembly of neurons, influenced by genes, experiences, culture, randomness
Enormous diversity inherent in variety of possible assemblies
Diversity rather than disability
Everyone's assembly of neurons is continually changing
No one is "stuck" with what they have
What we need to better understand is the architecture of the nervous system and its ongoing capacity for architectural change
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Thursday, 19-Oct-2006 17:00:44 EDT