Sunday, 9 December 2007

Our neurons chart the space we unfold our actions in

I read in New Scientist magazine, the "Guess what I'm calculating ... Simple genius" cover story of 20th of June 1998 edition, the research of Bill Kristan and John Lewis on the neurons of simple organisms. They concluded that a leech, using only 40 or so neurons,

"can add and subtract, compute sines and cosines and manipulate trigonometric identities ..."

So, in accord with nature, neurons, the unit that builds up the structures of our awareness, consciousness and every mental ability we possess, are able to do complicated procedures, our conscious mind is ignorant of.

And it goes further

"Using neurons with overlapping receptive fields allows you to process space as a continuum",

So neurons collectively chart our surrounding space. Their collective activity, the collective firing patterns of populations of neurons encodes the information about the space we are in, even before that information about their enclosing space is even used. The collaborative nature of the neurons makes it possible to collate all the information that individual neuron groups gather, in the manner described above, overlapping. Each neuron group records space from co-ordinates within the range of presumably adjacent group of neurons.

Our neural arsenal have already built a chart of the space and presumably some element of time and it is there for our consciousness to use and guide our awareness. Is that a way to explain the phenomena of gestalt and blindsight? But even if our consciousness is unable or unwilling to, it would make no difference, things will be taken care off. The concerted efforts of all the neurons in our brain will find a solution. The problem is when our consciousness interferes and meddles with the careful approach our neurons concerted efforts have provided.

And that

"go a long way towards explaining why so many creatures seem to have an almost hard-wired sense of trigonometry."

Bill Kristan says.

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