[extropy-chat] A bigger Nit (was Fragmentation of computations)

Jef Allbright jef at jefallbright.net
Wed Mar 28 18:03:19 UTC 2007

On 3/28/07, Anna Taylor <femmechakra at yahoo.ca> wrote:

> Just curious but if deprivaton experiments show that a
> human brain without stimulation rapidly descends into
> chaos, what happens when a human brain has an
> exceeding amount of stimulating sensory experiences?

In roughly simplified general terms, the organism will try to maintain
homeostasis.  Humans deprived of cognitive stimulus report that their
brains seem to begin "manufacturing" additional subjective experience
as in hallucinating or dreaming.  We might also expect a tendency for
the system to adjust its set point lower over time.

In the case of excessive stimulus, the system will tend to process the
stimulus as effectively as it can through its normal channels, with
the likely result that those channels will become  exhausted and shut
down, leading to altered perceptions of a different sort and
likelihood that the larger system will tend to eventually become
exhausted and shut down (go to sleep.)

More interesting is the tendency for such systems, when exposed to
*moderately* high levels of stress, to adapt within their capability
to do so and become stronger in response to similar sorts of stress in
the future.

- Jef

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