RE: [SL4] Fwd: Hemispherectomy, partial brain transplant

From: Patrick McCuller (
Date: Sun Apr 02 2000 - 19:30:13 MDT

In the forwared message: (Christopher J. Phoenix [])

"What if we could cut out a square inch of
cortex (containing many complete active-areas) and implant it in another
brain? That would leave the donor almost unchanged... but the recipient
would have access to some of the thoughts and memories, and maybe even
patterns of thought, of the donor, if the thoughts were strong enough to
spread through the rest of the brain and become conscious. "

        I wouldn't worry about this possibility.

        "would leave the donor almost unchanged" implies that the donating brain
wouldn't lose the "thoughts and memories, maybe even patterns of thought".
Therefore these thoughts, memories, and "patterns of thought" would have to
be nonlocalized phenomena.

        But the "recipient" would somehow gain them! How? The "square inch of
cortex" can't contain localized thoughts, memories, or patterns of thought.

        The brain does not exhibit high level plasticity. That so many people fail
to realize this is a shame, but it is even more disappointing to see people
mixing plastic and nonplastic models of identical phenomena.

        Also, it would be dishonest to even imply that a small chunk of brain
contains anything resembling a thought.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky []
> Sent: Sunday, April 02, 2000 7:57 PM
> To: Extropians;
> Subject: [SL4] Fwd: Hemispherectomy, partial brain transplant
> You know, no matter how much time I spend thinking about the
> Singularity, suggestions like these still give me the chills.
> --

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