Describing the brain as numerous boxes with multiple patterns for input and output explains several aspects of behavior, but also raises many questions. It does answer my questions of last week on how identical twins can have the same brain but different behavior. Even if the twins have identical boxes and pathways, there is no assurance that their brains will have the same use patterns of the pathways, just as there is no assurance that the cricket will always have the same output to the same input. As to why some identical twins are much more similar than others, perhaps this has to do with their individual conditioning and their meathods of learning and copying others behavior.

But this notion of multiple pathways leads to another question. If there are so many ways for input to be processed, why is there a repeat pattern of output. If there are so many way for the female cricket to process the sound of a male, why does she turn to the male 70% of the time. Why doesn't she turn to it only 10% of the time, if she has 9 other options of what to do, why aren't they all equally balanced? If there are so many options for response to touch, why does the foot always retract from pain? You could say that part of this is conditioning and learning, for people who have never been tickled and don't know that they are meant to laugh probably don't. And perhaps in the case of the cricket, hormones have something to do with influencing her response. But it still does not explain the certain patterns for behavior. Not all people are conditioned the same, yet there are still general patterns that the majority of people follow. If we can generate all of these possible outputs, why don't we? Why are so many behaviors seen more than others, and what makes their pathways better?

Wonderful question: the one I posed reversed. If we can account for things NOT happening, then how do we account for the fact that often they DO happen? What gives even statistical regularities? Am not sure how well we'll do with that, but we'll take more than a crack at it. It, and the twins, probably has something to do with "conditioning" (though we have to be careful defining that) but it has to do with some other things as well. Be sure to write again about both if the relation isn't clear by the end of the semester, ok? PG