[ExI] The point of emotions

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Fri Apr 25 01:38:13 UTC 2008

2008/4/25 Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com>:
> At 07:50 AM 4/24/2008 -0700, Lee wrote:
>  >Look, if some computer interface attached to a bodiless
>  >head simulated *all* the feedback conveyed by nerves
>  >in a normally functioning body, then what would be the
>  >difference?
>  This question seems to imply a sort of 1930s' view of the
>  organism-as-telephone-switchboard. But the brain and its
>  enabling/enabled body are not just wired circuits; they are vastly
>  elaborate rivers of liquids bearing weirdly shaped interlocking
>  molecules. The brain is as much a set of glands as it is a circuit
>  board of ons and offs. I'm no neurologist or endocrinologist, but it
>  seems very obvious to me (although it didn't back in the sixties,
>  when everything seemed simpler) that it would require a truly
>  staggering amount of parallel linear computations to model, in real
>  time, the ebb and flow of neurotransmitters and other gooey factors
>  that are more than simple pulses or switches.

The field of computational neuroscience consists in an attempt to
model the behaviour of real neurons. It remains to be seen just how
detailed this modelling needs to be: whether it has to be accurate
down to the molecular level or just the cellular level, like the
recent IBM Blue Gene/L simulation of rat cortex

Stathis Papaioannou

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