[ExI] Vermis ex machina

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sat Mar 7 01:51:20 UTC 2015

> A brain however can receive input and simply ignore it. Perhaps if
> synapses were 100% efficient, we would all act on our slightest whim or
> impulse, the buffer between thought and action no longer present. Thus
> evolution might have selected less than perfect synapses to prevent us from
> performing actions the moment the thought occurred to us. At least in my
> experience, acting on every thought that happened to cross my mind would
> have led me to many actions I would have cause to regret. Perhaps the
> requirement of a critical threshold of many synapses firing in unison acts
> as a sort of quorum to prevent acting before possible outcomes can be
> properly assessed?
> Stuart LaForge

​From what modest amount of knowledge I have about the brain, it seems that
you are ignoring inhibitory actions, likely in the reticular activating

Study:  cats were equipped with a recording electrode in their cochlea.
Then a noise was presented and the cochlea responded as usual as shown on
the scope.  Then a rat was introduced into the cage and then the noise was
again presented and the cochlea showed no response at all.  Presumably the
r.a.s. shut down that noise because the brain was attending to something
far more important.  So inhibition can take place not only in the brain but
in sensory receptors outside the brain proper.  Likewise, an
approach-avoidance conflict can be viewed as a stalemate between excitatory
and inhibitory impulses.

Bill W​

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