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Zoe Fuller-Young's picture

Predictability

I agree that there are many problems with comparing computers and the nervous system. Unfortunately, I was not in class on Thursday so I am not sure exactly what was said. Therefore, I have largely been exposed to those who are against the analogy without hearing what the details of the analogy were. Nevertheless, I can deduce that both are systems, both are somewhat predictable and have what appear to be specific functions. What is interesting is that we are comparing a system to the system that creating it. (as in the human brain created the computer) Did we build the computer intentially comparable to our own system? One issue that forces me to disagree with the analogy is predictability. We have agreed that the nervous system is only somewhat predictable, but so are computers. However, I believe that our nervous system's unpredictability is sometimes explainable. What I mean is that if there is something surprising that occurs in the nervous system, there is a chance that it was supposed to happen. (although we could argue that there is no way to ever know for sure) With computers, unpredictable behavior is often due to a mistake, a virus, or "cookies." Also, our nervous system does not become outdated as computers do, they are dependable past 4 years.

To go back a few posts to the Itch discussion, I am wondeirng what we think about coughs. A cough has been explained to me as an itch in the throat due to mucus which we cure by scratching our throat, a cough. The medicine for this is an anti-histamine. Why does this only sometimes work to prevent coughing, and can we often prevent ourselves from coughing?

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