From: BillK (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun Nov 22 2009 - 15:51:56 MST
On 11/22/09, John K Clark wrote:
> As far as I know that is wrong. I don't know of any experimental
> evidence that a synapse thorough LTP can encode more than one bit of
> information, nor do I know of any reasonable explanation other than LTP
> about how a synapse can encod information. If you have news that
> invalidates any of the above I would very much like to hear about it.
A recent article from Physorg
Bigger not necessarily better, when it comes to brains
November 17, 2009
Tiny insects could be as intelligent as much bigger animals, despite
only having a brain the size of a pinhead, say scientists at Queen
Mary, University of London.
"Animals with bigger brains are not necessarily more intelligent,"
according to Lars Chittka, Professor of Sensory and Behavioural
Ecology at Queen Mary's Research Centre for Psychology and University
of Cambridge colleague, Jeremy Niven. This begs the important
question: what are they for?
Research repeatedly shows how insects are capable of some intelligent
behaviours scientists previously thought was unique to larger animals.
Honeybees, for example, can count, categorise similar objects like
dogs or human faces, understand 'same' and 'different', and
differentiate between shapes that are symmetrical and asymmetrical.
Chittka says: "In bigger brains we often don't find more complexity,
just an endless repetition of the same neural circuits over and over.
This might add detail to remembered images or sounds, but not add any
degree of complexity. To use a computer analogy, bigger brains might
in many cases be bigger hard drives, not necessarily better
This must mean that much 'advanced' thinking can actually be done with
very limited neuron numbers. Computer modelling shows that even
consciousness can be generated with very small neural circuits, which
could in theory easily fit into an insect brain.
In fact, the models suggest that counting could be achieved with only
a few hundred nerve cells and only a few thousand could be enough to
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