[ExI] 'The Other Brain'

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Thu Feb 26 08:45:54 UTC 2015

William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com> , 25/2/2015 7:20 PM:

Has anyone read this book or one similar?

It appears to show that neurons may not be the most important parts of our brain, and that little money goes into education/research on glia.

The point is regularly made (especially by glial researchers, for some reason). In PubMed, 586,690 papers mention 'neuron' and just 89,083 mentioning 'glia'. 

But there are good reasons for this: neurons react *fast* - in the millisecond range - while glia react over the span of many seconds, and in a fairly diffuse manner. Neurons are what is responsible for ongoing and specific perception and action. Sure, there are likely important things to be discovered in the glia: we have found some are acting as stem cells, and their modulation of the chemical environment is nontrivial. 

Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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