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Zoe Fuller-Young's picture

Size matter?

Working from eambash and Jean's ideas, I agree with Jean that the question of why the brain works in random ways becomes how does the brain produce accurate, or at least predictable, output? I agree that the input/output box idea is better than stimuli/response. I would not describe input/output boxes as linear as some do above, because it does give room for flexibility and unexplained behavior, rather input/output boxes are restrictive in the sense that Jean explains above about the brain's somewhat limitless capability for randomness. What I mean to say here is that the words input/output are problematic for me, because it gives the idea of something coming from outside going in, and then something from inside going out, but the processes we are discussing seem much more internal, suggesting that the majority of movement occurs possibly without input, and/or without output.

This moves into eambash's discussion of the 99.999% of neurons being interneurons. If neurons are communicating almost exclusivley between themselves, and therefore the input/output boxes are working irrespective of input from the "outside" and output from the "inside," how is it that we behave? Is it the very small percentage of neurons that are working to provide us with visible actions? How can this be?

Also, we were shown the similarity between human/monkey/frog/cat brains, and at the very tiny level of input/output boxes we appeared to be the same, and somewhat agreed that it is the arrangement of the boxes that determines our behavior and therefore our differences of behavior from frogs. What about size? Humans have the largest brain, so are we more "advanced" because of our arrangement or that we simply have more boxes, or is it both?


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