Re: synaptic selves and Etch-A-Sketches

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Wed 04 May 2005 - 11:03:01 GMT

  • Next message: Bill Spight: "Mutant swarms and copying fidelity"

    --- Chris Taylor <> wrote:

    > When LeDoux talks about synapses (para-digital) and
    > self in the book
    > does he also factor in the full-on analog summation
    > on the soma, or is
    > this all about switching networks for him?
    I'll have to get back to you on this one. I'm jumping back and forth between LeDoux and Rose with decent results. Rose talks about the vertbrate brain
    *bauplan* so I'm in intellectual nirvana right now. Evo-devo....Yummm...
    > Worm people love to rant on about this
    > fully-deterministic cell fate
    > thing. Yawn (sorry wormies). I think we can presume
    > elegans to be _well_
    > below the 'critical mass' for anything interesting
    > w.r.t. our concerns.
    > Honey bees have special neural architecture for
    > learning routes from
    > dances, but this is just one phenome reprogramming
    > another phenome in an
    > entirely straightforward manner, rather than any
    > ghosts appearing in the
    > machine.
    > With Aplysia, I assume the small subset of neurons
    > referred to by Aunger
    > are those concerned directly with the (undergrad
    > conditioning lecture)
    > example of gill retraction in response to prodding
    > (over time the
    > initial rapid retraction response changes -- long
    > term condition through
    > changes in protein composition of the synapse, as
    > opposed to a
    > short-term change through exhaustion of resourse
    > iyswim, which also
    > occurs). Seems that shuffling stock examples led to
    > some bits getting
    > mixed up? Oh dear :\
    I've oscillated between thinking Aunger goofed again and thinkking maybe there is a subset of 32 neurons that he is implicitly referring to.

    I've been trying to find definitive cell population counts online for the central ganglia and cerebral ganglia of *Aplysia*. Is the cerebral ganglion (or ganglia plural?) analogous to higher function regions of the human brain? From trying my luck parsing abstracts and stuff it seems that there are more than 32 neurons in the cerebral ganglia (but I could be wrong in my hasty skimming). The cerebral ganglia seem to be subdivided into neural clusters with letter designations. Maybe Aunger's talking about one of these clusters? Or maybe he's talking about the neurons involved in the gill withdrawal reflex, but are there actually only 32 neurons involved here? I guess I should read some of Kandel's stuff sometime...
    > Sorry I can't get stuck into the meat of your post
    > though (or the last
    > one -- need to slow the earth's rotation).
    > You read like most people breathe dude :D
    I'm trying to meet neuromemetics head on without enough impact that will trigger the airbags.

    I'm being cross-fertilized by Calvin, Rose, LeDoux, and Bloch at the present time. My head might explode like on that movie "Scanners" if I'm not careful :-)

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