[ExI] Why stop at glutamate?

Jason Resch jasonresch at gmail.com
Mon Apr 10 16:53:25 UTC 2023

On Sun, Apr 9, 2023 at 5:20 PM Giovanni Santostasi via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> What "redness" quality means? I still don't get it.
> There is plenty of evidence, like entire libraries, that show that brain
> stuff (I will use this term to mean stuff like perception, memory,
> awareness and so on) is all in the patterns. That is what matters.
> I can give you some of these examples.
> 1) Working memory chips. I mentioned Dr. Beger work at UCLA. People have
> studied models of memory and they reproduced an equivalent on chips,
> without using any chemical like neurotransmitters, or any other physical
> thing you will associate with the particular biological makeup of our
> brains. All what they did was to recreate the functionality or structure
> relations that their model said was relevant to reproduce memory.
> This is not a theoretical work that can be debated. It worked. They turned
> on and off the chip and the rat remembered the layout of a labyrinth. They
> even transferred, a la Inception, the memory in another rat !!!!

Hi Giovanni,

I have looked for this searching for "maze" and "labyrinth" but could not
find this. I did find related experiments using memories of odors and
pressing levers, however:
Are you sure the study you mention happened (and that you're not a victim
of a false memory implant ;-) ? )

I believe what you say is possible, and have followed the work of Berger
for many years, I just haven't found the specific example you mention,
which I think is the best one I have heard of so far.

> If this doesn't destroy completely anybody illusion that the a brain made
> of meat (and particular stuff like glutamate) I don't know what else it
> could. These people will always believe that meat brains are necessary
> because God made them so. No amound of science would convince them.
> 2) You can train an AI to recognize activation patterns in the brain and
> associate them with particular stimuli. This has been tried with words and
> even images both in wake and dreaming state. Here an example that should
> blow everybody minds:
> https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.11.18.517004v2.full.pdf
> Again, from this study we can see that it doesn't matter how the pattern
> is generated, but that there is a pattern of activation. These patterns are
> unique for each individual but statistically they are similar enough that
> after training over many subjects you can give a statistical estimate that
> the person is seeing or even thinking about something in particular. Again,
> IT WORKS people !

I consider this a knock-down argument against the functional role of
glutamate (or other molecules) in the sensation of red. These tests use
only blood flow data, which is a proxy for neural activity. They are not
measuring ratios of specific neurotransmitters or molecules, or
introspecting the activity within the cell, the fMRI looks only at which
neurons are more vs. less active. And yet, from this data we can extract
images and colors. This proves that neural activity embodies this

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