No Brainer

#7
I would have thought along the lines of the blog post referenced in the OP?
It sounds like a total nonanswer, if you ask me.

A commenter asked this, in response:

"If net brain performance could be boosted by one order of magnitude, or even just doubled (compare humans with ~100b neurons to creatures with 50b neurons), they would be as gods unto men. Either by accident or by evolution, they should exist. As Fermi might say: where are they?"
 
#8
That's pretty amazing!

Maybe this is an argument for homeopathy.... put a little gray matter in a skull full of water and you get the same effect? :-P
I thought almost everyone here knew about this strange phenomenon - just one of the facts that doesn't fit with the conventional 'understanding' of the brain/mind.

The discussion is interesting and doesn't seem to buy into any of the usual weasel ways of explaining away this phenomenon (neurons squashed to 1/10 volume but still functioning normally, etc.). The article links to a discussion that looks as if it could be very interesting:

http://rifters.com/real/articles/Fo...drocephalicsChallengeCherishedAssumptions.pdf

David
 
#9
In hydrocephalus the brain is not missing it is just compressed. When the fluid pressure is released the brain springs back.

It is perhaps significant that many of the instances in which gross enlargement of cerebral ventricles is compatible with normal life are cases where the condition develops slowly. Gross surgical lesions in rat brains are known to inflict severe functional disruption, but if the same damage is done bit by bit over a long period of time, the dysfunction can be minimal. Just as the rat brains appear to cope with a stepwise reduction of available hardware, so too do the human brains in some cases of hydrocephalus.
...
A group of researchers based at the New York University Medical Center has assembled a picture of the histological changes associated with hydrocephalus through experimental induction of the condition in cats. The group also observed the changes in tissue structure following the implantation of a shunt, the experimental equivalent to the normal treatment of hydrocephalus in humans. Speaking for the group, Fred Epstein says the following: "Hydrocephalus is principally a disease of the white matter. As the ventricles enlarge the layers of fibres above them begin to be stretched and very quickly they are disrupted, with the axons and the myelin sheaths surrounding them breaking down. Even in severe and extended hydrocephalus, however, the nerve cells in the gray matter were remarkably spared, though eventually there began to be a loss here too." The sparing of the gray matter even in severe hydrocephalus could go some way to explaining the remarkable retention of many normal functions in severely affected individuals.

Crucial to the approach to treatment of hydrocephalus is the brain's ability to recuperate following the release of fluid pressure when a shunt is implanted. One of the canons of neurobiology is that, once damaged, cells in the central nervous system are unable to repair themselves. Does Lorber's work dent this hallowed concept too? "When you implant a shunt in a young hydrocephalic child you often see complete restoration of overall brain structure, even in cases where initially there is no detectable mantle,"claims Lorber. "There must be true regeneration of brain substance in some sense, but I'm not necessarily saying that nerve cells regenerate,"he says cautiously; "I don't think anyone knows fully about that."

What, then, is happening when a hydrocephalic brain rebounds from being a thin layer lining a fluid-filled cranium to become an apparently normal structure when released from hydrostatic pressure? According to Epstein and on the basis of his colleagues' observations on experimental cats, the term rebound aptly describes the reconstitution process, with stretched fibres shortening, thus diminishing the previously expanded ventricular space. Within a short time scar tissue forms, constructed from the glial cells that pack between the nerve cells. "The reconstitution of the mantle,"report Epstein and his colleagues, "does not result in the reformation of lost elements, but rather in the formation of aglial scar and possibly a return to function of the remaining elements."

White matter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
White matter, long thought to be passive tissue, actively affects how the brain learns and dysfunctions. Although gray matter (composed of neurons) does the brain's thinking and calculating, white matter (composed of myelin-coated axons) controls the signals that neurons share, coordinating how well brain regions work together.[2]
 
#14
Empirical data is the basis of science. The data in this case is conclusive that information processing in the brain is based on organization of immaterial (but real-world viable) information structures; rather than a "magic" property of matter/energy yielding a functional ability for understanding one's environment.

Understanding is not measurable in SI listed units of measure defining physical interaction. Understanding is measured in terms of the logical and appropriate behavioral responses.
http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/units.html
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#15
Empirical data is the basis of science. The data in this case is conclusive that information processing in the brain is based on organization of immaterial (but real-world viable) information structures; rather than a "magic" property of matter/energy yielding a functional ability for understanding one's environment.

Understanding is not measurable in SI listed units of measure defining physical interaction. Understanding is measured in terms of the logical and appropriate behavioral responses.
http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/units.html
Stephen, if you get a chance to expand on the bold it'd be much appreciated.
 
#16
Is it possible that neurons somehow
Use water molecules as quantum bits? I'm thinking of the Penrose-Hammeroff model where dipoles in the micro tubules act as flipping quantum bits, but water molecules also have a slight charge imbalance that gives them a dipole which should be susceptible to quantum uncertainty. Is there a way to perform quantum computation with water?
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#17
Is it possible that neurons somehow
Use water molecules as quantum bits? I'm thinking of the Penrose-Hammeroff model where dipoles in the micro tubules act as flipping quantum bits, but water molecules also have a slight charge imbalance that gives them a dipole which should be susceptible to quantum uncertainty. Is there a way to perform quantum computation with water?
Not necessarily the P-H Orch-OR model but I've been wondering about quantum biology in relation to water due to this article:

Water molecules trapped in tiny channels exist in a blurry quantum superposition of six different configurations that bears little resemblance to the structure of a free molecule. That is the finding of physicists in the US and UK, who have used neutron scattering to map the locations of hydrogen atoms in water molecules trapped in the mineral beryl – revealing that the atoms tunnel between the six configurations. The researchers have also found evidence that, unlike normal water, a trapped molecule has a zero electric-dipole moment. The research could shed light on how water behaves when confined to tiny spaces, such as in the membranes of living cells.
Only further experimentation will tell I suppose...
 
#18
Stephen, if you get a chance to expand on the bold it'd be much appreciated.
The current materialistic paradigm has the unwarranted belief that meaning is in the "physical brains" of humans. In fact, all living things exhibit logical behavior relating themselves to the meaningful affordances (J.J. Gibson) that they detect through direct perception. Information objects have objective real-world possibilities to be known, understood and made manifest in new events. The real-world meanings are like energy associated with a material configuration as the active part of any object. All livings things detect important "meanings", and do not wholly construct them from traces in the brain.

In this way, human observation that something is "an idea whose time (or place in a sequence) has come", is not entirely metaphoric.

I am not exactly in lock-step with Bob Doyle, but he does address this brand new way of thinking very professionally.

The experience recorder and reproducer (ERR) is an information model for the mind. The ERR is simpler than, but superior to, the computational models of the mind popular in today's neuroscience and cognitive science, the "software in the brain hardware."

Although we see mind as immaterial information, we think that man is not a machine and the mind is not a computer.

Our ERR mind model grows out of the biological question of what sort of "mind" would provide the greatest survival value for the lowest (or the first) organisms that evolved mind-like capabilities.

We propose that a minimal primitive mind would need only to "play back" past experiences that resemble any part of current experience. Remembering past experiences has obvious relevance (survival value) for an organism. But beyond survival value, the ERR touches on the philosophical problem of "meaning." We suggest the epistemological "meaning" of information perceived may be found in the past experiences that are reproduced by the ERR. - B. Doyle
http://www.informationphilosopher.com/knowledge/ERR/
 
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