[ExI] Cryonics punched cards and the brain

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Sun Jan 24 18:53:53 UTC 2016

On 2016-01-24 16:30, John Clark wrote:
>> As I understand it ​
> the extracellular matrix
> ​ is​
>  the space between brain cells
> ​ and that is where the ​
> perineuronal net​
> ​is located along with a lot of fluid, and the volume of the ​
> extracellular matrix
> ​ changes a great deal ​between sleep and wakefulness so the net must 
> be tough enough to resist damage even when things get crowded.  But 
> I'm no expert on this so I may have misunderstood.

Yup, the matrix is a complicated place. It is not as simple as fluid 
plus the net proteins. They are part of it, but there are various other 
components too (basal lamina where the brain connects to connective 
tissue and blood vessels, various glycoproteins linking cells 
mechanically, myelin extensions from Schwann cells etc). And it is 
really important for brain development and responds to neural activity: 

> ​ I wish we knew how much redundancy there is in the brain, biological 
> operations are not nearly as reliable as the electronic operations we 
> use in computers so I would guess there must be a lot of
> redundancy
> ​ to ensure accuracy.

It might not be a simple number. But generally it is clear that there is 
a fair bit of redundancy given the noisiness of the environment.

Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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