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The immortalist: Uploading the mind to a computer

Khergit Deserters
Crom's Angels
#21 - 2016-03-20 23:10:26 UTC
This is different and kind of off-topic, but not 100% off-topic. Ever seen the old horror movie The Brain That Wouldn't Die? Cheap and kind of sleazy, but a great one.
sero Hita
Science and Trade Institute
Caldari State
#22 - 2016-03-23 12:34:27 UTC  |  Edited by: sero Hita
Jenshae Chiroptera wrote:

Oh, we understand how brains work, not with absolute 100% certainty but we are far, far, from the ignorance that, "a piece of God is hidden in there giving us our sentience."

We have some simplified models that has been supported by experimetns, yeah. But to say that we understand how they work is quite a leap (I know you wrote not with 100% certainty). There are so many holes in what we know. A good excersize is to read about what is known in the textbooks for teaching, and then look up the primary literature that these models are built on. You would be surprised on how weak a basis most of these models are made.

I would also like to cite a very nice quote:

Emerson M. Pugh wrote:
If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we couldn’t.

"I'm all for pvp, don't get me wrong. I've ganked in Empire, blobed in low sec. Got T-shirts from every which-where.. But to be forced into a pvp confrontation that I didn't want is wrong ccp." RealFlisker

Khergit Deserters
Crom's Angels
#23 - 2016-03-23 23:43:29 UTC  |  Edited by: Khergit Deserters
It seems the original focus was on the mechanics information transmission between neurons. Which is both an electrical process and an extremely fast chemical reaction process. That has been useful, because it has at least shown that mental illnesses are mostly not psychological problems, but physical chemical imbalance problems. The victim can't be blamed in many cases, it's a physical problem.

Then, the research shifted to trying to identify which parts of the brain "controlled" which parts of the mind's functioning. For example, MRI showed that the frontal lobe lights up during reasoning/logical and language activities. Other parts become more active when the mind is involved in emotions, such as love or happiness. So there's a rudimentary map about that.

(Incidentally, observation shows that the brain can favor particular areas, or have stronger and weaker areas. An autistic person typically (in theory) has poor connections between different areas of the brain. So, over time, more used areas tend to buff up, and less used areas tend to nerf down. People who have been subjected to prolonged threat of physical danger tend to develop buffed up cortexes, which control "fight or flight" responses. To the detriment of the social and emotional areas of the brain. That's called Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome).

Maybe the next focus will be on observing the dynamic electromagnetism of the brain, using MRI or a successor. The EM tends to move in waves. Is there a connection with the way energy in the physical world always tends to move in waves, rather than in steady streams? (Example: Guitar string subjected to a kinetic energy input overloads, can't instantly dissipate the energy, and naturally shapes itself into a waveform pattern of peaks, nodes, and troughs, until the energy is all dissipated).

Perhaps observing the brain's wave patterns will provide some insights. When combined with the previous knowledge about neuron firings and the specialized control areas of the brain. Deep learning AI might be a useful tool. It's been used as a tool for a computer program to observe patterns on a Go board, endlessly test various next patterns, store the results, and assign them values. Perhaps applying the same basic algorithm to analyzing brain EM waves could be a useful tool. The answer might be 42, but an insightful researcher might hit on an insight.

Edit: I'd humbly recommend the book This is Your Brain on Music to anyone interested in brain workings. The author is an instrument-playing punkish musician, and also a neuro-something-or-other professor. The guy is very funny and very cool. It's about music, it's about brains, its about mind, it's about minds playing music or listening to music.
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