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mmg's picture


When we arrived at the 'smallest boxes being nuerons' point in class last week, I eased my defenses. This was familiar turf. I have been learning about nuerons in biology for a long time. Yet, what I had always associated the nuerons with was with producing the responses to 'stimuli' - especially the motor and the sensory nuerons. One was concerned with reporting outer stimuli to the central nervous system and the other concerned with performing the actions based on the signals that the central nervous system gave. Now, I begin to comprehend how much of our behaviour is governed simply by the way neurons interact. I guess what I find intriguing then is that whether the structure of the brain (i.e. the different kinds of interconnections of the nuerons) is solely repsonsible for difference in behaviour. How much of the way the nuerons interact can be conditioned? Are there somethings that are innate to each individual? If so, is this innateness due to genes? And, how much of our behaviour is based solely on the way the internuerons are connected? Is 'free will' nothing but interactions and sparks between nuerons? I studied a bit about synapses, and to me it is all just ions moving across one dendrite to another. I don't think I want to reduce us, the human race and all its grandness, to ions moving across a bridge just yet.  

Language is innate to humans as a species - and perhaps the development of the neocortex is one of the structural reasons to explain this superiority. Does the brain then evolve to allow for such complex functions, or is the brain evolved such that these complex functions can be carried out? This fascinates me. All this while, I had entertained the idea that structure evolved to accomodate function. Yet, since so much of function is based on structure (based on the brain = behavior assumption), I wonder if it could have been the other way round.



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